The Lowdown on Google AMP and How It Can Help You

Earlier this year, Google launched their new AMP project, also known as Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is an open source project created by Google that sets out to create instant access for all mobile users. When you visit the Accelerated Mobile Pages project site, they dive straight into their ultimate purpose of the project:

“The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an open source initiative that embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere.”

Accelerated Mobile Pages works by limiting the technical functionality within the Accelerated Mobile Pages specs while utilizing cloud cache to provide optimal delivery speed for viewers. The project claims it is a way to easily increase speed on mobile sites for publishers without affecting any ad revenue the company relies on.

AMP is essentially a framework for creating mobile pages. It consists of three parts: AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP CDN.

  1. AMP HTML- Extended HTML with custom AMP properties including custom HTML tags which work to create common patterns and browser support.

  2. AMP JS- A library that implements best performance practices, manages resource landing, and customizes HTML tags. AMP JS also works at making external sources asynchronous, sandboxes all iframes, and disables slow CSS selectors.

  3. AMP CDN- A proxy-based content delivery network for all valid AMP documents. It automatically improves site performance by grabbing AMP HTML pages and caches them. Also contains a validation system that guarantees a page will work.

The Google AMP project is an open source that offers various informative tutorials in both video and document form to help publishers and developers understand how the mobile optimization process works. Google made AMP and open source project because they believe that, “Making the project open source enables people to share and contribute their ideas and code for making the mobile web fast.”

The project already has big name publishers and technologies optimizing their mobile content with them including: Time Inc., The Atlantic, Vox, BBC, The Huffington Post, WordPress, Twitter, and Pinterest. It even boasts a more in depth page found here of businesses and technologies around the world that are utilizing AMP.

As you can see the Accelerated Mobile Pages project is beginning to play a significant role in the way website developers are creating business sites and affecting the way these sites are optimized. This change could not have come at a better time as a recent report shared by Kissmetrics said that slower page response times means higher page abandonment. 

According to Jon Parise of Pinterest, 

“In early tests, we found that AMP pages load four times faster and use eight times less data than traditional mobile-optimized pages. A better, faster mobile web is better for everyone, including users, platforms like Pinterest and publishers.”

With 47% of consumers expecting a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, this data on AMP is a huge deal for mobile users and technological firms alike. Not only will mobile users finally be able to download a site they click on quickly and efficiently, but it gives businesses an opportunity to generate income from more consumers that they would otherwise miss out on. For an e-commerce site making $100,000 a day, mobile site optimization is the difference between gaining or losing $2.5 million in annual sales.

Mobile optimization with AMP does require a bit of work for those looking to switch to an optimized page. You will have to have two different versions of your webpage, one that is standard for viewing on the desktop and then the AMP version.  This could involve some additional rewriting of your site to meet restrictions and choosing abandon elements you would typically use with third party JavaScript like on-page comments. 

While it may seem intimidating at first, the amount of video and article tutorials available to users make it a worthwhile venture. Not only will you attract more customers with an optimized site that loads as quickly as they expect, but AMP pages enjoy the benefits of ending up in the top carousel of Google searches above standard sites. This means that by optimizing your site with AMP it is more likely to be clicked on.

Overall, AMP is providing an exciting new way to streamline mobile page optimization by utilizing an open source platform that contains a relatively easy framework for developers, publishers and other technologies to create optimized mobile pages.

About Author

Tim has been building, designing, and executing websites since 1999, and joined in 2009. His specialties include online e-commerce consulting, web and business marketing, and project management. With technical and creative savvy, Tim is a born entrepreneur & problem-solver. When not staring soulfully at Google Analytics, Tim enjoys roughing it Apple-free in the great outdoors.

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