What Is Google AMP?

If you’ve been following the news related to web in general, you may have heard of Google AMP. But you may still be wondering, what is Google AMP? Well today we are here to clear that up for you.

Google’s new Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open source project by Google, that allows “AMPed” web pages to load instantaneously. When you apply AMP to your website, you are basically creating another version of your website that follows the strict guidelines set by the AMP Project. This allows your website to load instantly for your users, which makes for a greater user experience.

Google encourages developers to use what it considers, the bare minimum of HTML and javascript. They also use their own “AMP Cache Servers” that fetch AMP HTML pages and caches them to increase page loading speeds. By creating an AMP version of your website, you can begin ranking your ”AMPed” pages on Google. Since AMP specifically addresses the goal of enhancing the user’s experience, you may increase your chances of appearing higher in the search results. Of course, great content will always be a major factor, so you’ll want to focus on creating content that provides value to your audience.

 

The Breakdown on Google AMP

The new AMP project can be broken down into three sections:

  • AMP HTML
  • AMP JavaScript
  • AMP Content Delivery Network

The use of Google’s AMP is a lot like Facebook’s Instant Article feature. Readers are now able to read articles from different websites without actually leaving “Google”. Not only are all major publisher websites like CNBC, The Washington Post and The New York Times using Google AMP, but business and ecommerce websites are as well. Social media sites like Pinterest and Twitter are expected to use AMP in the near future.

 

How Can I Tell I’m On an “AMPed” Webpage?

The way you determine if you are on an AMPed version of a web page, is by two indicators. First, on the Google search results page, you will see the AMP symbol next to the search listing. Once you click on the listing, you will notice that at the top of your mobile screen, you will have a bar that says Google, which means you are essentially still on Google’s platform.

 

How Does Accelerated Mobile Pages Affect SEO?

There is much talk in the SEO community about the effect Accelerated Mobile Pages will have on SEO. When Google AMP first rolled out, it only affected websites optimized for “news”, as the large publishers now appeared in the carousel.

It was obvious that all the top results for the keyword “news” were websites with Accelerated Mobile Pages, due to the AMP symbol appearing next to the search result listing. Though AMP initially was seen in full effect on publisher websites, other website types, whether it be a small business or an online store, are being displayed their AMP pages in the search results as well.

Implementing AMP can do the following to your website:

  • More Impressions By Carousel: The carousel is located above the results list of websites, even above the site ranked in the first position. This will happen when your website or article is speaking about a specific topic that other AMPed websites are speaking about as well.
  • Possible Increased Mobile Rankings: Most likely, more than 50% of people who visit your website will be on a mobile device. By offering a faster version of your web page, you may see an increase in your search rankings.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Users can avoid sites that take too much time and battery to load on their mobile devices. By having an instant loading web page, your users will love you from the start. Once that page loads, then it’s up to your awesome content to deliver value.
  • Click-Through-Rate: Users may be more likely to click on your page if the AMP label is present on your search result listing.

When Google began to put an emphasis on mobile-friendly websites, they rewarded the websites that were optimized for mobile with higher search rankings; and websites that were not optimized for mobile seen a decrease in their search rankings. This may be history repeating itself again.. you may be missing an opportunity if you decide to not apply Accelerated Mobile Pages to your website.

 

Let’s Talk About Speed Again

The goal of the AMP Project is to create a new standard for website loading speeds on mobile devices. When it comes to making sure your website is SEO friendly, AMP is a must and is not something you should ignore in our opinion. AMP allows the web page content to load very fast on mobile devices, improving the user experience.

By simplifying the code on your website, Google is able to display your website much faster as a result. To allow this to happen, AMP does not permit the use of Javascript, except for their javascript of course. AMP will use it’s own servers to display the content on your website.

You have the option of having two versions of any page on your website, the original version and the AMP version. If you are running any paid ads such as on Google Adwords, then your campaign performance may benefit from your landing page loading faster.

 

Enhanced User Experience

A major benefit of adding AMP to your website is that Google will add the AMP label to your website listing on its search engine results page. This means that any user that does a search, will be able to determine which sites are AMPified and which sites aren’t.

Even though AMP is fairly new to the consumer, we do believe that consumers will catch on. By seeing the AMP symbol, they will know that their user experience will most likely be great because of a faster loading web page.

 

How Does Accelerated Mobile Pages Affect Paid Ad Performance?

For Publishers – There are two types of AMP ads that can be implemented: sticky ads and flying carpet ads. These two types of ads not only look attractive, but they are well integrated into the page, making them less intrusive than the normal banner ad.

The AMP content on your page will have the opportunity to have more exposure if it’s listed on the top of the search results page and on the carousel.

For Paid Search Advertisers – If you’re running a paid search campaign, then you know how valuable your advertising dollars are. By directing mobile users to an AMP version of your landing page, you have the chance to increase your conversions by delivering your page at lightening speed.

Here are just a few supporting statistics to show the importance of having a high landing page loading speed:

  • A 100-millisecond delay in page load time can decrease conversion rates by 7%.
  • A two-second delay in page load time can increase bounce rates by 103%.
  • 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.
 

Who Should Use AMP?

If you are a publisher who is in the business of creating articles, news and blogs, then you should implement Google AMP to your website immediately if you haven’t done so. Other businesses should start planning to use AMP as well due to all it’s benefits.

As the Google AMP Project becomes more integrated with the search results, your business will need Accelerated Mobile Pages. We always recommend that you be proactive and stay ahead of the curve. But use your resources wisely. There is no need to create AMP for every single page on your website. A good place to start will be your company news, blog, product/service pages and landing pages.

 

What’s Next?

So now that you decided that the Google AMP Project is a good fit for your business, what do you do next?

Firstly, you should think about the most important pages on your website and make sure you have AMP versions of those pages. This requires development, so if you have a webmaster, you will want to contact them to see about creating AMP versions of your pages. On the other hand, if you have some coding experience and are tech savvy, then you may be able to create some AMP versions of your pages depending on your current website structure.

Using Schema.org meta data is also an important factor for your page to show within the first page of the search results and the carousel with Google AMP. If you are trying to get a jumpstart by using Accelerated Mobile Pages, make sure your schema is correct.

 

The Takeaway

Overall, we do believe Google AMP is here to stay. It really is addressing an important issue in user experience, which is the awful feeling of waiting for a web page to load. Being that this open source project is supported and developed by Google, you should be proactive about your digital marketing efforts. Whether you are a large publisher or a small service based business, Google AMP can help increase your user’s experience and ultimately get them closer to taking your desired action, whether it be reading a full blog post or submitting for a free quote.

So when will you make sure your site is AMPified?

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Digital Marketing, SEO, Websites