Google to Automatically Link to AMP Results When Available

Joshua Benton, reporting for Neiman Lab in October:

Google said it won’t prefer AMP pages over non-AMP pages in search… but reminded us hint-hint-nudge-nudge that page speed is already a factor in Google results, with faster pages getting preference. […]

Dieter Bohn, reporting for the Verge today:

Now, Google has announced that it plans to expand the delivery of AMP links beyond that carousel to all mobile search results. So when you search for a story and an article from an AMP publisher shows up in search results, clicking on that blue link will take you to the AMP version of the story instead of the traditional website. When a webpage has an AMP version available, it will be represented by a small lightning bolt next to the search result. (For now, Google is offering a “developer preview” of AMP pages within search results to collect feedback before it rolls out to all users later this year.)

AMP, you will recall, is Google’s proprietary fork of HTML that requires the inclusion of a 158 KB JavaScript file to “speed up” the webpage. By contrast, the very page you’re reading is well under 158 KB with everything, including the little sidebar ad and the lightweight analytics script I use.

By the way, in case you’re wondering — and I know you are — the linked Verge page is over 8 MB, took over six seconds to load its over 200 HTTP requests, and included 146 page errors. At the beginning of June, Nilay Patel told me that site performance would get “way better very soon”, but I’m not seeing it.

Update: Just for giggles, I tried loading up the AMP version of this article and, though it loaded in just half a second, its 100 HTTP requests transferred 5.39 MB of data, and created an infinite number of page errors — every second, three new ones are created, due to a bug in the ad script.