Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is an open source format created by Google. It is to hasten a mobile page’s loading time – within less than a second. And it does so in different devices and platforms.
Why Is The Loading Time Important?
The lesser time it takes ages to load, the more time readers can spend reading or click through the website. Consequently, the return visits and views increases, as well as in CTRs (click-through rates). And an improvement in SEO as well although this one is not proven yet.
SEO experts say that the use of AMP did not improve traffic. They recommend that only large companies/blogs/websites use it if they’re willing to shell out money for it.
Why Was The AMP Developed?
The AMP project is Google’s next step in improving “the web” and the overall user experience on all mobile devices. It’s important to note that AMP is a pure mobile solution. This means it does not work on desktop devices.
AMP is a markup in the HTML5 source code. It enables web pages to load faster than usual on mobile devices.
Also, the use of mobile phone for web searches has increased over the years. It has overtaken desktop usage. However, web pages on mobile devices generally load slower. This is true even with the 3G and 4G connections.
With the increase of mobile phone usage, it just right to improve user experience and load times similar to desktop versions.
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Is The AMP Available In Other Search Engines?
AMP is currently supported by Google. This means you won’t experience the same fast loading times on other search engines such as Yahoo or Bing. eBay, the popular e-commerce website, also supports the AMP. This makes it easier for other e-commerce sites to catch on.
How Does AMP Work?
AMP’s secret to making pages load faster is simple: only load what you need to load. Therefore, the webpage doesn’t have to wait for other resources to load. This includes unnecessary ads, images, and content.
These web pages or AMP HTML pages are a stripped version of the original HTML. Which means, there is some part that you cannot include. AMP HTML only allows inline style sheets that do not exceed 50 KB and minimal third party elements.
In case it isn’t obvious by now, HTML pages are different from AMP HTML pages. Both of them have their own distinct guidelines, so you’d have to create a new AMP-compatible version of the webpage, as well as post types on your site.
AMP HTML will only be accessible when you place /amp/ at the end of the URL, which is recommended by Google.
For example, if you originally have http://example.com/post-name/ for your post’s URL, you have to create http://example.com/post-name/amp for the AMP URL.
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What Makes AMP Fast?
Since it’s a stripped version of the original HTML, AMP HTML is much like a diet HTML because there are certain tags you cannot use on this version.
You’ll also need a streamlined version of CSS, which means you can use most of CSS but there are certain parts you just can’t use, like the HTML.
How to Implement AMP (WordPress Plugins)
Most blogs are run by a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. You can integrate AMP into your website with just a few WordPress plugins.
You can use this either free or paid. This version offers you more options for styling, and it offers more advanced features on your AMP pages.
You can still use Yoast, Analytics, and whatnot. However, you need to pay around $49 to $69 if you want to include other integrations to your posts such as MailChimp, Gravity Form, or WooCommerce.
AMP For WordPress
Unlike weeblrAMP, this one is free to use. This official AMP plugin enables your website to have AMP versions of your web pages and post types.
If you use Yoast SEO for your website, you might also want to try Glue for Yoast SEO and AMP for free – a plugin that syncs your SEO and AMP pages, ensuring that meta-data are in all in order.
Additionally, this plugin automatically adds basic styling to your AMP pages while retaining the look and feel of your original website.
It’s important to note that if you want to make use of every AMP functionality, experts recommend serving all AMP pages over HTTPS.
Doing so will add structured data to your content as well. This helps your AMP pages rank better in the Top Stories searches so your website can take the top spot in Google’s mobile search result.
There may times that Google gave the top spots in mobile research ranking to AMP websites. However, this isn’t proven if AMP actually helps in improving a website’s SEO.
However, it does AMP does help in terms of driving clicks since most users who know about AMP (or its icon, at least) prefer AMP pages that load quicker than traditional websites.
If you run a new site, a large website, or a blog with a huge following or with long-form content, using AMP might be helpful to you.
However, if you still have a small website or if you’re just starting out, you might want to take your time to think about spending money on AMP.
What Are The Advantages Of AMP?
The reason why this project was started is the primary advantage of AMP – to hasten the page load time for mobile pages. With the increasing number of mobile users through the years and the minimal coverage of speedy internet connections around the world are more than enough reasons to implement AMP.
It’s challenging to use AMP on website applications or transactional websites, which is why AMP is primarily for information-based websites, such as blogs or news websites.
For this reason, most AMP sites we have today are from news websites, such as BBC, The Guardian, New York Times, Daily News, Allgemeine, Frankfurter, and more.
When it comes to analytics, it can be easily be implemented in AMP webpages. Certain standard tags enable the use of various analytic providers.
Should you need more than one analytics provider, it helps to know that you don’t need to define website events twice (or more). You can use an amp-pixel tag for simpler events, while you can use an amp-analytics tag for more complicated ones.
Having an AMP website increases your chances to be on Google’s new carousel. Google only selects a few websites for this prominent position along with an AMP label, given that you use the structured data for your articles.
What Are The Disadvantages Of AMP?
Aside from the limited scope of the operation (since it’s primarily focused on static new-related websites), there are more disadvantages to AMP. Since it’s stripped off of unnecessary content (like ads), your website won’t get much support from ad networks.
Google addressed this concern by integrating over 20 ad networks for AMP websites, but there are still hundreds of online ads that aren’t part of the picture.
As mentioned, ads are one of the primary reasons that slow the loading process of a website. Google realized that ads that are quick and don’t play or load at the same time fit perfectly for AMP websites.
While not many current ad networks follow these requirements, there are a handful of supported ad networks that do, such as DoubleClick (Google), AdSense (Google), AOL, Moat, OurBrain, Kargo, and OpenX.
And companies with app-like websites that have a complex user interaction take a huge blow on this.
Lastly, AMP’s relies so much on Google that it can be perceived as problematic. While it’s true that AMP has distinct open source characteristics and its own development community that solely works on the project, it’s obvious that if all works for the interest of Google – the owner of the company and controls exactly where AMP is heading.
There are critics who look at it as the “last days” of independent web standards and the emerging of company-driven directives in the World Wide Web.
At the end of the day, it’s no doubt that the AMP is the up-and-coming project even though it’s still not widely utilized by advertisers, retailers, and publishers.
But if you’re a publisher or if you’re into publishing, we recommend to check out AMP. This could give you a mobile head start in your field.