Google is hard at work on a way to drop the current load time for websites from seconds down to milliseconds, according to a recent reports. Those few seconds can mean the difference between losing a potential page view, which translates into lost advertising revenue for the search firm.
Content publishers would have to make changes to their website’s coding and also give permissions for the sites to be copied and cached for faster loading times. Because the project aims to push the coding design for websites towards a universal standard, the ability to also retain the original look of the various styles of each website has been a challenge.
Facebook commands a user base that often accesses the content they see through its proprietary format, and Google’s project is an effort to prevent a large scale move of publishers towards catering to that model. For the first time ever in July of this year, Facebook referred more traffic to publishers than Google, at 40% to 38%, respectively. For Facebook, that number was just 12% two years ago.
Users have demonstrated a preference for the uniform format of mobile apps like Facebook, with projections this year estimating that 81% of the time spent on mobile devices will be devoted to app usage, as compared to the 19% of time spent on the mobile web. Apple is aware of the trend and is currently at work on Apple News, which will offer curated news content similar to other news apps, like that of Reuters.
Google is also working with Twitter to more effectively display its Tweets on web pages. Other companies on the project include The New York Times, Pinterest, and Instagram.
The new model from Google would not isolate publishers from the influence of competitors such as Facebook, which has demonstrated that users want to consume content in a way that connects them to their peers on social media.