With the introduction of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), Google is seeking to offer the mobile users a better content experience. In this post, we address some questions related to AMP pages.
Of course, the adoption of the AMP standard has a monetization goal. Otherwise, Google would not have participated in the open source project. Their goal is to ensure effective and monetization on the mobile web while embracing a user-centric approach. So, regarding formats and integration, they aim to provide support for a comprehensive range of ad formats, ad networks, and technologies that ensure ads in AMP files are fast, safe, compelling and efficient for users.
Business owners need to know the uplift from the early adoption of the new feature (AMP pages) and what are the implications if they don’t go for it.
How do Accelerated Mobile Pages work?
AMP coded in HTML, but with a limited set of allowed technical functionality, also called ‘stripped HTML’ (tags) pages. The intent of the format is to prioritize speed so that users benefit from a faster experience, also serving monetization goals.
AMP files can be cached in the cloud to reduce the time content takes to get to a user’s mobile device. Various cloud services exist for years now that publishers use to offer faster content and no downtime so that third parties can cache AMP files and be faster. Third-party caching does not mean that publishers will lose control over their content, it’s only the optimized data across platforms cached or mirrored for optimal delivery speed to users. More to that, Google committed to providing a universal cache system at no cost, but other providers may build their cache as well.
Do I need to upgrade to AMP?
So, questions arise whether they need to upgrade their mobile websites to AMP or make the change to having a mobile-optimized site now that Google introduces AMP.
In response to that, I would say that only publishers who frequently publish material do need the AMP functionality as of yet. Still, it is good to start preparing for adopting the new feature as it will be the standard by the end of the current year.
By using the AMP format, content producers are making the content in AMP files available to be crawled, indexed & displayed (subject to the robots exclusion protocol) and cached by third parties. It’s about speed and instant delivery combined with enhanced distribution so that publishers can take advantage of the open web’s potential for their content to appear everywhere quickly – across all platforms and apps – which can lead to more revenue via ads and subscriptions.
Will it hurt my website if I don’t upgrade to AMP?
Not offering AMP will not in any way damage your site as AMP don’t trigger any penalty, but your websites will be missing a feature that competitors may offer thus losing potential traffic there when people using their mobile devices show a preference to AMP instead of regular mobile pages like yours.
Also, research shows that the bounce rate can be as high as 58% for web pages that take nearly ten seconds to load. Using the AMP format will make it far more compelling for people to consume and engage with more content.
Will Google rank me higher if I turn to AMP?
To my knowledge, there is not a direct relation between AMP and more top rankings in mobile SERPs. Although it is a fact that Google favors mobile pages that are faster (that’s the intent behind AMP), so AMP may take part in Google’s mobile ranking algorithm shortly.
Does the public understand the AMP importance precisely?
AMP as a new feature is not clear right amongst business owners and webmasters. Currently available only for mobile with big publishers already adopted it, there is little acceptance in regards to SMBs. There’s also some coding to do, things to set up and maintained and of course, costs associated with all those.
So, how important is AMP today? And how important will it be soon?
AMP pages are designed to be fast and as that they are important both from a UX (user experience) and an SEO point of view. Most of its importance right now is understood by big publishers interested in offering a fast and pure readable page to their readers. Note that Google News has already started to embed AMP pages in the news feed via an AMP carousel containing up to 14 relevant headlines and stories of the day. They also label the AMP pages with the lightning bolt icon to stand out from the standard pages.
What are the best practices for companies seeking to adopt the AMP standard?
Naturally, a company may wish to have the AMP fall into the mobile traffic bucket, but they may also want to track them separately, i.e., setting a separate channel as ‘AMP pages’ or something similar. Another best practice is to set up an automated system that produces AMP pages each time there is new material published on the company website. The automated AMP production can easily happen by installing AMP plugins into the company’s CMS or any other form or integration of AMP into the CMS.
Are there any cons with the AMP standard?
The challenge but not a pitfall lies with the code validation, which is an essential step to having this functionality enabled correctly, and another challenge is the correct tracking of the incoming traffic and other KPIs related to AMP pages. The specification of AMP format is expected to support the collection of analytics information and integrating with 3rd party systems without compromising the AMP file speed or size.
How does the organization’s IT can play a role in adopting the AMP standard?
The IT needs to be involved in the project of building those AMP pages as it requires HTML coding and CMS management. Namely, it requires HTML stripped of tags that have no use in AMP pages, code validation and then, streamlining the creation of newly published material straight from the company’s CMS. I should note that AMP HTML is built entirely out of existing web technologies, so the development process mirrors the one publishers are already using today. Of course, we will need to track all those pages by inserting the marketing pixels each company uses.
Watch the informative video on AMP format
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