Everything you need to know about Accelerated Mobile Pages – AMP

Google announced the launch of AMP pages, Accelerated Mobile Pages Project on October 7, 2015, and 1st AMP Page started appearing last year since February. According to Google, AMP pages load 85% faster than regular mobile web pages.

What is Accelerated Mobile Pages Project – AMP?

AMP is an open source project designed to help webmasters and publishers create mobile-optimized pages that loads instantly on mobile devices.

According to Google. 

We want web pages with rich content like video, animations, and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously,

We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant — no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.

Google blog post on AMP

Google officially integrated AMP pages into its mobile search results On February 23, 2016. AMP pages appear in mobile search results and they feature an AMP icon that looks like a thunderbolt.

The AMP framework

The AMP framework consists of three components: AMP HTML which is a standard HTML with web components; AMP JavaScript which manages resource loading; and AMP caches which can serve and validate AMP pages. Most AMP pages are delivered by Google’s AMP cache. Cloudflare also launched an AMP cache earlier this year.

Who support AMP pages?

Search engines

Search engines linking to AMP pages – Google, Bing, Baidu (China), Sogu (China), Yahoo Japan.

Social Media Websites

Social networking websites that support AMP content – Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Nuzzle, Tencent Qzone (China), Weibo (China).

Content publishing platforms

Content publishing platforms that support AMP pages – WordPress, Medium, Canvas, Drupal, Squarespace, and Tumblr.

eCommerce websites

These eCommerce websites support AMP pages – eBay, SnapDeal (India), AliExpress (China).

How Does AMP Work?

Essentially a framework for creating mobile web pages, AMP consists of three basic parts:

  • AMP HTML: This is a subset of HTML, with custom tags and properties but with many restrictions. For more details on how it differs from basic HTML, check out AMP Project’s list of required markup that your AMP HTML page “must” have.
  • AMP JS: A JavaScript framework for mobile pages. AMP Js manages resource handling and asynchronous loading. Third-party JavaScript is not permitted with AMP.
  • AMP CDN:  AMP CDN, Content Delivery Network automatically cache AMP-enabled pages and optimize the performance of the website.

The Pros and Cons of AMP pages

Cons of AMP pages

AMP ads could be a slow process

According to most of the content publishing companies, AMP pages generate half as much value for publishers. This can be very true as the AMP HTML format restricts popup ads and many other ads format like interstitial ads, popunder etc.  However, Google is rapidly working on expanding the functionality of AMP ads.

AMP offers limited functionality

The functionality of AMP pages has been evolving quickly, with rudimentary forms now possible and Disqus integration happening earlier this year. However, it’s fairly obvious that product pages and other format pages beside publishing contents are a way off.

There are many third-party software that many webmasters rely on to test, collect data and information or implement some functions on the website.  This is a value judgment one has to make, but if data capture, conversion or tracking is compromised, AMP may be a bridge too far, particularly for some smaller publishers.

Pros of AMP Pages

Better distribution

You may have already noticed, Google AMP results show up prominently in the mobile search carousel. This will results in increased traffic on the page.

AMP also adds some undoubted cachet, given that at this early stage of AMP, your content may easily appear above that of your competitors and occupy this large area of the mobile SERPs.

More new and returning visitors

Following are the stats published in a Google AMP blog post:

  • Washington Post — 23% increase in mobile search users who return within seven days.
  • Slate — 44% increase in monthly unique visitors and a 73% increase in visits per monthly unique visitor.
  • Gizmodo — 80% of Gizmodo’s traffic from AMP pages is new traffic, 50% increase in impressions.
    Higher clickthrough rates
  • Wired has apparently seen a 25% increase in click-through rates (CTR) from mobile search results, with CTR on ads in AMP stories up by 63%.

Better rankings

Page speed has increased in importance as a ranking factor since 2016. Google’s second mobile-friendly update rolled out in May 2016, and Gary Ilyes recently announced that a separate mobile index will soon launch.

This means quick pages and AMP pages, in particular, should see a continued boost in search ranking.

Traffic is growing

Most of the publishers that have implemented AMP are seeing increased mobile traffic. This is likely to be linked to Google prioritizing of AMP pages, and the user being aware of AMP pages and speed of the website.

A free CDN

This is effectively a free CDN (content delivery network). This is one of the important reason, I personally use AMP, this is helping me save my bandwidth cost by more than 30%. Part of Google AMP’s success in speeding up pages comes from Google’s caching of AMP content. Publishers can modify URLs to serve content directly from the Google AMP Cache which also increases the speed of the page.

If you are running a publishing site, implementing AMP on your website can help you improve the speed of your website, decrease the cost of your bandwidth and server.

Is AMP good for SEO?

According to Google, Page speed would impact your website ranking. Users are more likely to click your AMP pages on a smartphone, which improves the page speed. Yes, AMP is Good for SEO.

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