The Top Stories Carousel has released a new update to give readers the best experience. With the introduction of Web Vitals, the Top Stories Carousel can represent all relevant pages, regardless of what is used to make them. Learn more about this update and what you can expect moving forward.

AMP Project

The AMP project is an open-source project to help web publishers create mobile-optimized content that loads across all devices.

When Google Search first introduced the Top Stories Carousel, only AMP pages showed up on mobile versions of top stories. Unfortunately, this prevented many publishers from showing up in the Top Stories section on mobile devices.

With the AMP project, Google is now allowing non-AMP pages to show in the Top Stories Carousel. While AMP pages will still be displayed in the Top Stories Section, this new update now allows non-AMP pages the ability to rank well in Top Stories. In addition, when a person clicks on an article in the Top Stories Carousel, it is shown instantly.

AMP Cache

Using an AMP cache to show users AMP pages, Search started requesting and loading results in the Top Stories Carousel, the ones that people are the most likely to interact with, all while making sure that only the sites they do interact with are aware of their browsing.

Today, in the Top Stories carousel, you can swipe from one article to the next, regardless of its published site.

AMP Viewer

The AMP cache was made possible because of the AMP viewer. The AMP viewer is what made swiping from story to story possible. However, with the Top Stories carousel opening up to more content, Search can no longer keep that same guarantee required to make a safe, secure, and swipeable version of the AMP viewer.

Signed Exchanges

Signed exchanges are a recording of a site being requested and loaded. The browser can show the URL of the site where the content came from, but it protects the URL of the server that delivered it.

When clicking on a blue link or a Top Stories result page in the top stories results, Google Search can pre-fetch all the content, just like it does with AMP pages.

What is New with the Top Stories Carousel?

Those who want to be in the Top Stories carousel will need to follow Google News Policies, along with staying up to date on their web vitals and page experience cores. In addition, since Search is now allowing any web page for the Top Stories carousel, the spots in the carousel will become more competitive.

There are many excellent Web Vital tools available to get ideas on how your pages are performing. The better your numbers are, the more likely you are to outperform competitors.

The Bento Project

The Bento project allows users to use more of the performant parts of the AMP library without creating an AMP page. In other words, it is a new version of the JavaScript library that allows users to take individual components out of an AMP document and load them into a non-AMP page.

Take Away

It is a very exciting time for the Top Stories Carousel. With the introduction of Web Vitals and Page Experience, the original driving ideas behind the carousel, a modern, attractive interaction that users are able to trust and get great experiences from can be realized no matter what you choose to make your site.

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Allan McNabb, COO, Internet marketing by Image Building Media

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