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Google's Search Boss: Here’s Why You Should Use AMP, Our Version of Instant Articles (Video)

We can be a good sport, too.

Asa Mathat
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

It’s not often that Re/code is the one getting sassed on our own stage. But Google Search boss Amit Singhal tried to do just that on Thursday at the Code/Mobile conference.

In emphasizing why an online publisher like Re/code should be using AMP, Google’s version of Facebook’s Instant Articles, designed to make content load faster on phones, Singhal held up a printout of this 250-word Kara Swisher story alongside a print version of a Harry Potter book. Singhal’s point?

When someone views the Re/code story, their browser is downloading the equivalent of a book of text, which takes time, he said. If the page had been rendered with the help of AMP* instead, the page would load much more efficiently and quickly.

“You don’t have to be a super duper Javascript developer” to make it happen, he said.

Google is taking an open-source approach to the Accelerated Mobile Pages project, unlike Facebook, which is concerned with how stuff loads on Facebook, not the rest of the Web. And Singhal, not surprisingly, likes Google’s approach better.

“You wouldn’t have all these beautiful companies … if there was not an open ecosystem,” he said.

Google is not making money directly from AMP — it’s not taking a cut of ads served on these pages — but a faster Web outside of the closed walls of Facebook and Apple is a better world for Google. Especially if Google is already the one serving the ads on these pages.

Singhal is the Google executive who oversees its powerhouse search operation and the algorithm behind it. He has held the position since 2012, and has been at Google since 2000.

* Vox Media, which owns this site, is in fact participating in the AMP program. In theory, this means Singhal won’t be able to embarrass us again at some point in the future.

This article originally appeared on

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