In 2015, Google recognized our need for speed and gifted us accelerated mobile pages (AMP). Or perhaps they were just looking to give Facebook’s Instant Articles some competition. Either way, publishers and advertisers are benefitting.
Faster loading mobile pages provide a better user experience. And happy users equal happy publishers and advertisers. Using AMP is a no brainer, and big names are amping it up.
Notable AMP users include Ebay, Redditt, and Washington Post. Even Pinterest uses AMP for their pins. If you haven’t jumped on the AMP bandwagon, here’s what you need to know (and why you should).
What Is AMP
And it isn’t just content that loads faster. AMP ads have a median load time of 1.6 seconds faster than a regular ad. The lightning fast ads are made possible by Google’s AMP for Ads program, which allows marketers to create optimized ads to run alongside AMP articles.
Source: Venture Beat
How It Works
AMP achieves its speed by changing how the web works. It requires developers to use a narrow set of technology to create the pages (e.g. diet HTML). Then it serves the pages from its own services (e.g. you visit an AMP page via a Google search).
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By using an AMP format, content producers make their content (in AMP files), accessible to be crawled, display, and cached by third parties.
What Are the Benefits (and Drawbacks)
Still on the fence about AMP? There are additional benefits besides faster loading content. AMP also reduces your bounce rate. The faster the speed, the more views and less chances of losing the user.
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AMP pages also offer better visibility and higher rank for organic search. Here, you can see AMP articles rank above the fold. Not surprisingly, a DoubleClick study found that 80% of publishers who used AMP saw higher viewability rates.
Source: Convince and Convert
While AMP has plenty of benefits, there are couple minor drawbacks to keep in mind. For instance, how you code your pages is restricted. So, if you want to feature videos, you must use AMP-approved extensions. Also when a reader shares a link to AMP content, the link points to Google.com URLs, instead of let’s say New York Times. Not exactly ideal.
What’s Next for AMP
Twitter recently announced they’re going to start linking to accelerated mobile pages. And Google Analytics is planning to make it easier to see users across AMP and non-AMP pages, by unifying user IDs when someone visits a domain via AMP or non-AMP pages.
Looks like AMP isn’t slowing down anytime soon.