Last year saw Google introduce us to another new SEO opportunity, this time in the form of Google AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages. Following the rapid tack up of mobile device driven searches, they created a way in which users could digest shared web pages in a way that works across all mobile devices, regardless of what device is being used. Their underlying aim of Google AMP is to make the mobile web browsing an easy and simple process for everyone.

What is Google AMP?

For Google thinking simply about how its search engine can deal with the rise in device searches, it has created an open-source initiative to allow publishers to share web pages with everything from text to graphics to video using a singular code.According to Google they “want web pages with rich content like video, animations, and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to loads instantaneously.” They planned to do this by having “the same code to work across multiple devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant – no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using”.

According to Google they “want web pages with rich content like video, animations, and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to loads instantaneously.” They planned to do this by having “the same code to work across multiple devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant – no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using”.

When thinking about the increase in mobile activity, Google AMP could change the way mobile information can be accessed and digested by consumers. Slow websites are a large obstacle for mobile web browsers and the majority, won’t wait for your site to load. Responsive websites and websites that are designed to have a quick loading time regardless of devices should be a necessity at this point in 2017. Google has recognised this and has since stressed the importance of a fully responsive website from 2015 with the launch of different algorithm updates and changes. Ultimately Google AMP has the objective to create a better mobile experience for users and deliver the best possible mobile experience.

Google AMP Example

According to SearchEngineLand.com, the average load time for AMP-Coded Content is 0.7 seconds. Compared to non-AMP pages which are on average 22 seconds. If you are browsing on your mobile device which one are you more likely to wait to load?

Google AMP is not a brand new scheme, it was officially integrated in Feb 2016, however, we have learned to work with a variety of clients that many websites do not have the functionality in place. You will probably recognise AMP-coded pages in mobile search results in carousel format and when searching on a mobile device you will see a little Google AMP icon that looks like a thunderbolt with the acronym “AMP”.

How Does It Work?

AMP uses a HTML framework that piggybacks on existing web technologies whilst also allowing site owners to create what Google now refers to as “light-weight” web pages.In the same article that we spoke of above, SearchEngineLand refers to the setup, this is where it gets slightly technical. “AMP-HTML is HTML5 with a set of specifications (requirements and restrictions). The optimisation is powered by JavaScript, the styling can be customised via CSS3 & pages are cached.”

In the same article that we spoke of above, SearchEngineLand refers to the setup, this is where it gets slightly technical. “AMP-HTML is HTML5 with a set of specifications (requirements and restrictions). The optimisation is powered by JavaScript, the styling can be customised via CSS3 & pages are cached.”

The concept of Google AMP is a completely separate entity to having a mobile responsive site. We often get the response that “my site is mobile responsive” however AMP is an addition to being mobile responsive. You should have a desktop version, a mobile version (which are both fully responsive & optimised) and an AMP version.

Is It Better Than A Mobile Responsive Site?

As mentioned above, it should not be considered as a replacement for a mobile responsive website, you should have the two working in sync with your desktop site. Google AMP pages are simply streamlined in their design, cached and as a result of these simplification steps the pages are:
– 4x faster and use 10x less data than non-AMP pages
– AMP pages on average load in less than one second.
– 90% of AMP pages experiences higher click-through-rates (CTR’s)
– 80% of AMP pages experience higher ad-viewing rates.

However, Google has created these pages to then appear on a Google-based URL, in the same way, that you get Apple News & Facebook Instant Articles and therefore the traffic needs to have another analytics code in order to be tracked within your account.

Should You Use Google AMP?

In the early stages of AMP it was mainly used by news stories for online publishers, see the example below. However, now AMP has been tried and tested it is increasingly important and relevant for an array of business, specifically eCommerce organisations as the AMP results carousel is well-suited to advertise products.

Ultimately the answer is yes, it offers another opportunity to develop your site to fit the requirements of an increasingly impatient audience.

What does AMP mean for SEO?

AMP is not directly a ranking factor, sites that adopt AMP will not be rewarded with a boost in their search rankings. If you have satisfied all your other ranking factors then it will be advantageous. Google continually reiterates that, speed matters when it comes to your ranking factors, as it benefits the user experience.AMP can have an influence on where Google places pages within the search engine results pages (SERP’s). Following

AMP can have an influence on where Google places pages within the search engine results pages (SERP’s). Following that, if an AMP page gets more clicks and fewer bounces because it has a shorter loading time, Google will evaluate the value to users.

Problems with AMP?

Like the majority of Google update and any updates in the digital scope for that matter, the changes take some time to get used to and adapt marketing methods in order to get the most out of the potential changes. Over time, tools, courses, plugins, and add-ons evolve to help make the process almost second nature. This is becoming the case now, however, there are many plugins that do some of the heavy liftings, however, these do not produce the same results that you might get from optimising the pages manually.

Another problem with AMP is the limitations of the platform. Although it is faster, it restricts how you can code certain pages, you must use AMP-supplied code, which can appear to be limiting. Some of the very early AMP code wouldn’t allow for much-branded design, you’re almost creating a new website that’s number one priority is site speed.

As also mentioned, another downside is that when readers share links to AMP content, the links lead to a Google.com URL, rather than the content creators site.

Overall

AMP is something you should definitely implement on your website, especially if you are providing information that is most likely digestible on a mobile device. It allows ease for the user who is likely to not only visit your site but also still share your content. It is worthwhile linking back to your page and information about your business so that those who are reading the stories you are sharing can then link back to your site easily.