AMP-ed Up: The Mobile Web in the Blink of an Eye

accelerated mobile pages

Mobile search is a metric that has web-based companies experimenting anew with their web design. The number of searches happening on mobile has outgrown its desktop counterpart, and businesses are keen to capitalize on that trend. It makes sense to put your bets where the odds of success are greater, after all.

Of course, Google is quick to recognize that creating a better mobile experience is a mounting priority, and thus, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was born. Meant to be the answer to groans of “Why can’t this site load faster?” by mobile users all over the world, AMP nevertheless has webmasters concerned. How is this new format going to affect the broad spectrum of web experience going forward?

A Fast and Furious Mobile Web

 Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) has started to roll out to web publishers globally. This open-source initiative seeks to standardize mobile web page formats on all related platforms and devices. AMP focuses on optimizing content-rich pages for quick, hassle-free viewing by users. It is Google’s solution to the sluggish loading of content for websites with desktop-heavy elements.

AMP angles itself for widespread adoption by providing the same code regardless of platform. At its core is AMP HTML, built out of existing web technologies to provide web developers with a lightweight framework.

It might seem that AMP prioritizes a fast, uniform mobile web experience over ads getting proper exposure (and clicks), but this is not the case. Google is very well aware of the importance of online advertising, and assures AMP will not change that, at least not drastically. Find out how the search giant plans to accomplish this.

analytics traffic AMP’s role in rankings

Once a website creates an AMP version of their site or page, Google indexes that version and displays it in a carousel at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Google is quick to point out that having an AMP site alone does not boost search rankings. If your site was not ranking high before, adopting AMP will not change that anytime soon. It only means that people that happen to, or intentionally look for your page gets the AMP version served to them first (for organic search results, at least).

To summarize, AMP’s sole purpose is to bring users speed. Regarding SERP rankings, user experience is the game, where mobile optimization and responsive design matters more. Web search technology evolves over time, and adapting to AMP standards is still a safe bet, as it is sure to become an influencing factor over time.

Addressing advertisements in AMP

AMP aims to enhance mobile users’ experience by offering fast-loading web content. The logic it follows is ultimately beneficial to web businesses and content marketing, as Google wants to keep people e
ngaged in the sites they visit. A page that loads in less than a second has dramatically lower bounce rate, as opposed to one that loads in 22 seconds. Smart web design and ad placement are pointless if users are out of your site before it even loads completely.

AMP might not factor directly into search rankings, but speed does. Faster-loading sites naturally get more page views, serving the user more ads in the process.

Accordingly, Google promises to provide AMP HTML with basic functionalities, including publishers’ choice of ad servers and analytics tools. JavaScript tags are stripped away, however, as they are notoriously responsible for slow-loading pages. Third party scripts must comply with AMP’s requirements of a fast, clutter-free user experience.

Ads displayed on AMP sites should follow several “key principles”, in accordance with AMP’s primary purpose:

  • Fast – ad formats should not bog down loading speed of an AMP site, thus, ads load in a snap as well
  • Beautiful – given AMP’s stripped-down nature, ads should be inventive, aesthetically pleasing and unobtrusive in execution
  • Secure – ads should comply with web safety standards, and HTTPS is a must

accelerated mobile pagesFaster Is Better

In the end, going all-in on AMP is far from a bad bet. If you are in the process of designing a responsive website, creating your AMP site further increases the chance of climbing SERP rankings. Google will naturally reward web pages with exposure, with its wider accessibility compared to competing platforms like Facebook’s Instant Articles or Apple News.

An overhaul in the content marketing field was bound to happen anyway, and marketers would be better off subscribing to the Google way of things.

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