22 January 2018

AMP: What is AMP and do I need it?

AMP: What is AMP and do I need it? - Tips from Digital Marketing Agency Gravity Digital

You may have seen a small ϟ AMP symbol next to some Google search results when using your phone but what does it mean? Despite what some people think, you won’t get electrocuted if you click the link. What you will get is a super-fast mobile experience.

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and is an open-source initiative from Google to make just that – really fast mobile pages. While most responsively designed websites look fine on screens of all sizes, they often contain a lot of the baggage of desktop websites when viewed on mobile. This can include large images, big Javascript libraries (a programing language used to create interactive effects) and CSS (used for styling web pages) and lots of unnecessary code. An AMP is a highly optimised version of a web page that has been stripped right back allowing it to load almost instantaneously.

HTML was introduced in 1980, around 15 years before the first iPhone, so this is what HTML may have looked like if it had been designed back then, with mobile performance in mind. AMP pages can still look good, they can still use CSS, images and some Javascript but the way they are programmed and delivered to your phone is different.

Another thing that speeds up AMP is the fact that they can be pre-rendered and cached by third parties. This means that while the publisher still controls their content, platforms, such as Google, can easily mirror the content for optimal delivery speed to users.

Should I implement AMP on my website?

The AMP approach is particularly suited to news based websites and AMP has seen large scale adoption in the publishing world so the answer here would be yes, particularly for publishers with a Google News presence.

If your business website is already optimised for mobile and was developed with best practices in mind, it should be quick already, so you may not see much benefit. However, any site with lots of static content would benefit from the increase in speed and user experience. This could be recipe sites, travel guides, entertainment sites or even a fairly standard corporate blog.

At the moment Google doesn’t prioritise content that is on AMP pages in their search listings, but should this change in the future then we’ll have no alternative but to AMP up our websites.

Find out more…

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