Considering their efforts in robotics and the life sciences, there’s little doubt that Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is thinking out of the box, and the development of Google AMP (or Accelerated Mobile Pages) is one more paradigm shift that businesses cannot ignore.

Major corporations from Disney to eBay to the Food Network to the NFL, not to mention countless news outlets, have started creating their own AMP pages. Have you heard about it? Have you been curious? Should you be an early adopter?

Let’s do a quick review of Google AMP so you know what it is and what it means for your business.

Google AMP logo

What is Google AMP?

AMP is Google’s new open-source initiative to allow content publishers to share webpages displaying everything from text to graphics to video using a singular code, which will work across all mobile devices, regardless of what model of phone or tablet one chooses to use. In doing so, their goal is to make mobile web surfing a quick and seamless experience.

When thinking simply about supply and demand, Google AMP makes a lot of sense. With mobile devices now accounting for 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, slow websites are a hindrance in the process. Responsive websites—or websites that are designed to render well on devices from PCs to tablets to smartphones—have become essential. Google recognized this and has stressed it to the world with their SEO updates of 2015 and 2016. (Remember Mobilegeddon?) However, Google AMP strives to create a mobile experience on a different level.

Is Google AMP better than a responsive or “mobile-friendly” website?

The answer of “better” is hard to say, but the answer is clearly that they are different. Google AMP pages are streamlined by design, and because of this simplification, Search Engine Journal explains:

  • AMP pages are 4x faster and use 10x less data compared to non-AMP pages;
  • AMP pages load in less than one second (on average);
  • 90 percent of AMP publishers experience higher click-through-rates (CTRs); and
  • 80 percent of AMP publishers experience higher ad-viewing rates.

These numbers are nothing to sneeze at.

Google AMP has also recently released experimentation capabilities, such as A/B testing, allowing marketers to conduct user-experience experiments on their AMP pages.

However, one consideration that marketers presently have to keep in mind is that Google AMP pages take a viewer to a Google-based URL in the same way as Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News. The traffic isn’t going to show up in your business website’s Google Analytics. Tracking and data analysis is a present weakness in the AMP model, but with the data-driven nature of AMP-Experiments, this could be simply a matter of time.

Does Google AMP make sense for all businesses?

While AMP pages started with “Top Stories” and news-related sources, they have been growing exponentially. New AMP pages have been appearing across multiple industries, including ecommerce.

In fact, Google noted the ecommerce industry specifically when they suggested, “AMP is a natural fit for e-commerce because AMP makes webpages fast, and fast pages help with purchase conversions.”

Do ads still work with Google AMP?

While this was a later phase of the project, AMP for Ads has now been launched to allow for mobile marketing to continue on AMP pages just as it is everywhere else.

Are AMP pages ranked better on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)?

AMP pages will soon begin to appear in Google search results with a lightning bolt logo. At this time, Google execs claim that AMP pages will not automatically be given higher placement on SERPs, but who knows what the future will bring.

It should be noted that loading speed and responsiveness are major SEO ranking factors, though, so AMP pages already have a lot going for them.

How does a business create a Google AMP website?

The open-source code employed for Google AMP is AMP-HTML, which is a version of HTML5 with a specific set of requirements and restrictions. For example, an AMP-supplied JavaScript library needs to be the source of all JavaScript if this is applicable to the site. Anyone with a development background and an appreciation for the open-source community could develop Google AMP for your business.

AMP plug-ins are even starting to appear in frameworks like WordPress to make the mobile optimization even simpler.

Whether the future of the mobile web is Google AMP or something entirely different is yet to be determined, but businesses would be smart to be aware of AMP at this time. Maybe it’s time to pull the trigger, maybe not; however, either way, it’s something a business needs to have on their radar.

Do you have questions about SEO, responsiveness, or Google AMP for your business? Contact Midlothian Web Solutions today for a free consultation.