21st Apr, 2016 / Sofiann McKerrellSofiann McKerrell

Image of Weather app with AMP-backed articles, complete with the lightning bolt icon on other news stories

Google announced that its mobile site, the Google News and Weather apps on iOS and Android devices will be updated to give higher placement to AMP-backed articles in Google News. Articles from publishers that embraced Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP will get a more prominent position for better exposure.

Following the update, a carousel of AMP-enabled top stories will be added to Google's mobile site, and Weather and Google News apps. This tells online users and readers that the articles will load quicker than regular articles. All other AMPlified stories within the app will feature a small lightning bolt icon right next to the word AMP.

In their blog, Google explained that people will read more when news stories load faster. This would then drive "more traffic to a publisher's site".

The carousel will include 14 headlines that users can navigate quickly. When a user taps on an article, the same mobile user interface will open up, allowing users to see more articles with just a swipe. The only difference is that the news viewer has been optimised for fast-loading.

AMP, an open-source initiative, is said to load documents four times faster on average than non-AMP counterparts. It also uses 10 times less data. So even when articles contain rich media, such as YouTube videos, Twitter embeds, animations or graphics, the page would still load instantaneously.

AMP was launched earlier this year in mobile search results. The goal is to keep people updated about the latest news, while providing the right reading experience. With AMPlified articles, the reading experience is lightning fast.

When Google debuted AMP, the overall goal is to speed up web browsing on any mobile devices. They offered an open framework called AMP HTML to publishers to allow speedier and more lightweight mobile web pages. It was also designed to compete with Facebook's Instant Articles.

AMP has been embraced by many news publishers, analytic firms, tool makers, ad partners and platforms like WordPress. Thousands of publishers are regularly publishing content that are AMP-backed, according to Google.

The update is likely to increase mobile clicks and encourage other publishers to adapt AMP, given its potential to draw major traffic because of a page's top Google News placement.

The updated version of AMP-enabled Google News is now available with the English US edition. More languages and additions will arrive soon, according to Google.

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