“80% of Internet users own a smartphone,” according to study done by David Chaffey, CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights.
With the large percentage of users using their smartphones to search for data every day, it’s not surprising that Google takes a step further to enrich user experience for mobile users.
Last February of this year, Google has launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), their newest, open source project. Google’s AMP can be seen as similar to Facebook’s Instant Article and Apple’s News.
When using AMP, a web page loads 85% faster than standard mobile web pages browsed through a page on a mobile browser. In using Google’s AMP, publishers can certainly benefit from the fast implementation of their website, along with the availability of ads for their content.
For webmasters and owners, AMP could be an added boost to your SEO efforts. However, it’s implications aren’t clear on how SEO can improve with this. Google’s News and Social Products Senior Director once mentioned in an interview that they will “an emphasis to the one with speed because that is what users find compelling.”
This is evident as sites serving their content as AMPs are on the top of the search results. As you can see from the screenshot below, AMP results are found at the top of the search results. This screenshot previews the carousel type of results for AMP.
On the other hand, here’s an example of a non-carousel result:
In a simpler sense, accelerated mobile pages is a user-centric web page that’s been stripped down to the minimum.
How Does It Work?
According to our source video above, 40% of the visitors to your site has the tendency to click off after three seconds or install an ad blocker, as they commonly see ads as a nuisance and the sole reason why websites load slowly.
How does AMP work in response to the need for speed? There are three parts that make up the AMP’s solid speedy response:
AMP HTML is HTML with some restrictions for reliable performance and some extensions for building rich content beyond basic HTML.
The AMP JS library ensures the fast rendering of AMP HTML pages.
The Google AMP Cache can be used to serve cached AMP HTML pages.
How to Install Google AMP
To install or implement Google’s AMP to your web pages, you will need the help of a developer. You can’t just sign up like Analytics or AdWords and have it readily implemented to your site. AMP is basically HTML extended with some HTML tags replaced with AMP-specific tags.
If you’re knowledgeable with developing code, Google has a comprehensive guide on creating your AMP page.
If you’re curious on how it’s done, here’s a basic highlight on how to create an AMP.
- Lay the groundwork by creating the AMP HTML Page.
- Add an image following AMP’s image markup. Here’s an example:
<amp-img src=”welcome.jpg” alt=”Welcome” height=”400″ width=”800″></amp-img>
- Add some style through CSS, but understand that there are certain limits in an AMP. Style is limited because it can affect the performance of the page; you can check how you can modify and control the layout here.
- Check your AMP; preview the page and check for validation errors. You need to clear out the errors in order for you page to get into Google Search.
- Prepare your page for crawling. Make sure that you apply canonical linking properly.
- Go ahead; publish your content!
Still not convinced with Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages? Watch this side by side comparison made by the people at Rocketmill:
Google AMP Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages. Take note that some of these questions were taken from Quora, but we answered these questions ourselves. If you still have any questions, you can always ask us in the comments!
Really? There’s no easy way to get my blog posts converted to AMP?
There is, but it’s a plugin for WordPress. It will need some tweaking too, as it’s just the bare necessities for an AMP. If you’re not on WordPress, there may be other plugins compatible with your own CMS.
How do I SEO this AMP thing?
You can still do some on page optimization — title tags and other metas that you prefer optimizing. You can also optimize images and even add a Schema.org markup on your post. Also, you should make sure that your preferred tracking analytics is also installed in these pages.
I have added AMP to my website blog, the pages have been indexed, but Google is still not showing them in the SERP. Why?
It takes time to show up these results. Patience, young padawan.
Are Google AMP listings going to only be for news articles?
It’s actually available for every content publisher, and Google plans to expand this to apps and recipe pages.
About the author: Kenneth has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade. He is the owner and the driving force behind Sytian Productions, a Philippine web design company.