Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

The aim of accelerated mobile pages (AMP) is to make website pages on mobile phones even quicker to load and easier to navigate than they currently are. 

The aim of accelerated mobile pages (AMP) is to make website pages on mobile phones even quicker to load and easier to navigate than they currently are. 

Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) is a pet project of Google and Twitter. It is an open source library that website site owners can utilise to create website site pages that are smooth, quick to load, and compelling for users browsing via a mobile phone.

AMP

What are accelerated mobile pages?

Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) is a pet project of Google and Twitter. It is an open source library that website site owners can utilise to create website site pages that are smooth, quick to load, and compelling for users browsing via a mobile phone. It is another way of encouraging website owners to adopt a mobile responsive design when creating their websites, especially if they hope to be ranked in the mobile-first index. 

Google has realised that the way users browse is shifting quickly away from desktop browsing towards mobile devices. As such, they have created and implemented a mobile-first index that takes precedence over the traditional index, most commonly found on desktops. This mobile-first index will provide the user with the most appropriate results, based on the device they are browsing from. 

The aim of AMP, therefore, is to make website pages on mobile phones even quicker to load and easier to navigate than they currently are. 

At its very core, AMP is an incredibly stripped back version of HTML – HTML lite (if you will). AMP are existing HTML pages, but very lightweight in order to allow them to load onto tiny screens, quickly. 

AMP is a programme similar to Facebook’s Instant Articles, or Apple News. AMP pages are identifiable in the search results by the lightning bolt symbol displayed next to them. 

What makes accelerated mobile pages so quick?

Because HTML is designed for larger screens, AMP is the mobile friendly version. And to make it quick, certain elements of HTML have been stripped out to allow it to load quickly. The whole programme is about speed and efficiency and easy reading. You will have to check what CSS you can use, as some parts aren’t allowed on AMP, JavaScript is also out. 

As a side note, images won’t load on AMP until the user scrolls their mobile screen down and onto them. 

AMP are going to be cached so that each page won’t have to load every time. Google will host the pages and the content, meaning it will always be available, quickly.

How can accelerated mobile pages help with SEO?

  • Website loading speed is one of the factors the search engines take into account when ranking websites. 
  • According to Kissmetrics, a one second loading delay can reduce conversions by up to 7%.
  • AMP could be one of the ranking factors that Google uses for SERP in their mobile-first index.

How can you use accelerated mobile pages on your website?

Websites can cross over their existing pages with AMP by simply including the rel=amphtml tag into their existing HTML code. 

Should website owners adopt accelerated mobile pages?

There are a few negative points worth noting: 

  1. Users will only get access to the AMP pages if they click on the AMP version of page. 
  2. Tracking data from AMP via Google Analytics is still in its infancy, and doesn’t yield the same results as for traditional pages. 
  3. You will have to sacrifice many of the UX elements that you have incorporated into your original website design, as they won’t be compatible with AMP, as AMP favours speed over UX. 

Saying that, uptake of AMP is rapidly increasing with over 31 million domains now adopting AMP, up from less than 1 million, 2 years ago. And as users opt to browse more and more from mobile devices rather than desktops, the requirement for mobile friendly web pages is only going to increase. So if you want your website to feature in the mobile-first index, you might want to consider adopting AMP. 

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