What are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Should you Care?
AMP is an open-source project. It is designed to allow Google to very quickly load website pages for mobile devices like smartphones. It's basically a stripped-down version of your existing webpages that will eventually be hosted entirely by Google.
AMP was born based on two emerging trends; the rapid rise of mobile-based search and the need for fast mobile content delivery. Google loves fast-loading webpages and loading speed is a well-known ranking factor for all webpages. According to Google:
“The way we think about it is, speed is one of those critical ranking factors, not the only one that you need, and AMP says to us, basically, ‘I’m consistently fast.”
So, does your website need AMP pages and if so when? According to Google's John Mueller most users do NOT need to create AMP pages right now. Currently AMP benefits publishers and news websites. So, if publishing lots of content is NOT a major part of your business then you can afford to wait.
AMP pages are simplified versions of your existing pages but there are some basic rules. If you do eventually create AMP pages some basic rules include:
- Your pages cannot have forms
- Images will only load when you scroll down to them
- A stream-lined version of your CSS is required
Google is pushing AMP. They have already laid out primer on the subject at https://www.ampproject.org/docs/get_started/create_page.html . Of course Google is also pushing mobile search – out of necessity - and has again reiterated the following warning in April 2016:
“Beginning in May 2016, we'll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.”
Read: if your site is not mobile-responsive you better get it there! You will continue to lose ranking potential in the eyes of Google. Please call us discuss how to best create a mobile strategy for your website.