What Is AMP and How They Benefit Your Site

Google’s insistence on faster and better mobile internet has never been more evident with its Accelerated Mobile Pages project being launched in 2016. This move reflects Google’s initiative which aims at improving the mobile experience, by introducing a new, open-source project as a response to Apple news and Facebook’s instant articles. It comes as a no surprise; as more than half of all internet traffic now comes from a mobile device. Now it’s being used by the leaders of publishing industry such as BBC, CNN, Forbes, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, etc.

What Is AMP and How They Can Benefit Your Site

What Exactly Is AMP?

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for short, represents a stripped down form of HTML code, specifically designed for fast loading times. AMP HTML boosts the performance by removing all the elements which tend to cause a web page to load a lot slower on mobile, including JavaScript and any third-party scripts. Google insists that a page made using AMP HTML can load a page from 15% to mind-boggling 85% faster when compared to the traditional, non-AMP version of said page.

How Do AMP Actually Work?

To make AMP as fast as it is, developers had to use a more streamlined version of CSS code, a traditional web design language. Furthermore, certain HTML tags are no longer supported by AMP, which means that there’s very little space for anything except the content you want to view. Although the pages themselves are static, developers can easily embed the rich media objects such as social posts, videos, and advertisements. AMP pages are completely separate from both desktop and mobile version of a website.

Not only that, but Google is also relying heavily on caching the content for an additional boost in speed and availability. This allows content makers and producers to have their files cached by third parties, giving the publishers, even more, control over their content and other, similar platforms the ability to cache or even mirror their content and deliver them to the end user even faster. The good news is that all the AMPs are getting cached by Google, particularly Google AMP Cache, at no cost at all.

Who Is AMP Intended For?

At this moment, the majority of all AMPs are mostly news stories from different online publishers. However, it’s safe to say that AMP will soon become relevant for additional businesses besides the news. For example, e-commerce websites are sure to jump off the accelerated mobile train, which has been confirmed in the middle of 2016 with eBay announcing their AMP-enabled mobile shopping experience with over 8 million AMP browse nodes. This came as a no surprise, having in mind that Google has been pushing the mobile responsiveness doctrine for some time now.

What Are the Benefits of AMP?

To put it as simple as possible, the single greatest benefit that comes from using Accelerated Mobile Pages is the incredible increase in page loading speeds. Why is a little increase in loading speed such a big deal you might ask? Well, considering that around a third of users tend to abandon a page which takes more than three seconds to load completely, this ensures that businesses will have a lesser chance of potentially losing revenue. And this is especially important for business who get their profits from online advertising.

AMPs and Content Creation

Accelerated Mobile Pages are built on top of the existing HTML and CSS technologies. This means that the content creation follows the same development process which is already in use by most of the publishing world. Fortunately, there is a simple solution for those who aren’t developers and are not familiar with the use of HTML code, as most content management systems now have specific plugins which can automatically generate AMP content. WordPress has its own plugin for that called WordPress AMP plugin, which has the ability to dynamically generate AMP versions of posts hosted on the website.

AMPs and SEO

AMPs are not a factor considered for search engine optimization per se, however, their implementation goes hand in hand with Google’s mobile-first approach. What this means is that your website won’t get an enormous boost in rankings, but websites with AMP pages will certainly be favored as opposed to non-AMP ones. Loading speed, on the other hand, is directly related to search engine rankings. An AMP page which has fewer bounce rates and receives more clicks due to its fast loading times will certainly be placed higher in the rankings as it proves itself to be valuable to the end-users.

AMPs and Monetization

Publishers are in full control of the ad inventory with their existing web page, and the good thing is that AMP actually supports paywalls and subscriptions. This allows content creators and publishers to further work on the viewing experience for anonymous users, metered users, and subscribers. Google Analytics is somewhat limited at this time, with the full support being currently in the works. Nonetheless, analytics and third-party providers are working together with Google to deliver better solutions without sacrificing the small size and fast speeds of current AMPs.

Final Words

The future of AMPs is still considered to be uncertain at the moment. The implications it carries for mobile web generally depend on whether it gets adopted by publishers as a standard. One of major motive that keeps it moving forward is the fact that AMPs aren’t as proprietary as its alternatives, such as Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles. This makes it easier for developers and publishers to incorporate this technology into their business practices, and with Google promoting the AMPs as a new standard in the mobile experience, it safe to assume that they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Sam Cyrus is CEO and co-founder of Green SEO, an SEO Company from Sydney. Sam is also a creative writer and likes to share his insights on entrepreneurship, business, online marketing, SEO and social media. He currently collaborates with Nirmal, Wordpress Web Developers from Sydney.