Google AMP is short for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It allows for mobile versions of webpages to load almost instantaneously. The largest benefits include:
- Speeding up mobile loading due to cutting down on unnecessary elements in the web page
- Allowing News articles and blog posts to show up on the Google News Carousel
- Boosting Rankings in Google Search results
The feature was introduced in 2016, and since then it has created an ecosystem of hundreds of thousands of domains, leading platforms, and 100+ major technology providers all using AMP to benefit their mobile sites. Major organizations like CNBC and Wired have shown major benefits from “AMPlifying” parts of their sites.
How is it done?
Essentially, with AMP HTML you have the ability to have a document render itself to the point where everything above the fold is loaded, and only the elements of the page that are easy to render. This allows for the document, in most cases, to be done rendering by the time the user clicks on the link.
How will this benefit you?
The average mobile web page takes 15.3 seconds to load. That is astronomically longer than what is deemed a “sufficient” load time. Studies have shown that a 1-second delay in mobile load times can reduce mobile conversions by as much as 20%. With Google AMP, each page loads almost instantly, cutting down on the risk of losing leads significantly.
Most news articles are lost in the shuffle, and struggle to reach the top of the google search list. With AMP, your article will get added to the Google News Carousel at the top of the page. The article will appear below a key image, and allow users to click on it quickly, and swipe to the side to see the next article. The carousel highlights news articles, and is one of the ways Google is showing preference to AMP-ed articles.
Google is not being shy about bumping the search-engine rankings for AMPed sites. Due to the mobile loading speed increasing drastically with Google AMP, most AMP-ed webpages climb to the top of Google search results with minimal effort.
What is the downside?
Like any new feature, in order for it to work and perform at its best, Google AMP has to be applied correctly. If the code is only written mostly in AMP-friendly code, it won’t be a Google AMP page, and it won’t receive the benefits of one. A transition to an AMP-ed version of your website could take several weeks of work. But it might be worth it, if you want your articles and blog posts to reach the wider audience that using Google AMP can provide.
Another note about Google AMP, is that it isn’t a fix for every type of webpage. Since AMP prioritizes readability over aesthetic, the pages that will receive the most benefit are news articles or blog pages. A homepage, for example, would not benefit from Google AMP as much, but could still prove useful as it reformats your page to be more user-friendly. But since news articles and blog posts are meant to be read quickly, without many distractions, reducing the amount of clutter on the web page really won’t affect the user-experience.
So what does this mean?
Google AMP might be the way of the future. Most users care about fast loading time and an easy user experience. The average mobile viewer doesn’t care if the webpage has every feature available on the desktop version. Right now Google AMP is the easiest way to get these benefits. iFactory is now offering services to help web pages effectively employ Google AMP for their mobile users.
Elizabeth is a Marketing Co-op at iFactory for the Fall of 2018, working on various marketing and social media campaigns. She is a Marketing and Experience Design combined major at Northeastern University, and enjoys cooking, hiking, and running triathlons when she’s not studying or in the office. On campus she is part of Scout, Northeastern’s student-run design studio, running logistics for their Design Conference each spring.