What is AMP?
AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages is a project that has been backed by Google and has the aim of speeding up the delivery of web content to users. AMP is a stripped back version of HTML that provides a way of building web pages that render much faster than regular HTML. These pages also pre-render in Google search much faster than HTML can.
AMP is also open-source, meaning the technology is open and available to anyone who wishes to use it. The technology is widely used across websites such as Twitter and Pinterest, but is also widely used across Google Search, often by news agency’s.
How is AMP used?
AMP is already widely used, with Google often serving AMP content to mobile devices in the format of its ‘Top Stories’ relevant to your search query. These stories then appear as a carousel, and can be flicked through easily and seamlessly. Even once a user clicks on story, he or she can then seamlessly flick to another story from another website, without having to go back to the search results.
AMP requires a website to have both an AMP version of the webpage, and also a standard HTML version. The AMP version then gets marked with Rel=”amphtml” tag that tells Google to always host the AMP version of the webpage on mobile devices.
A great example of AMP in practice is The Guardian, which has already rolled out AMP across all of it’s stories. Simply putting amp. in-front of any news story will display an accelerated mobile variant of that page on Theguardian.com
Other examples of AMP include use on the express.co.uk, which is another UK based news outlet. Here, AMP has been implemented a little differently, with AMP appearing at the end of the URL.
Below we compare both the AMP version, and standard version of the above link to see just how much of a difference there is in performance.
Comparing the two versions of the same webpage, we can see that there is a vast difference in page loading times, the number of requests drawn, and the huge difference in page size. These differences are large, and would almost definitely be felt on a mobile device, which usually have much slower internet connections and processing power to render the pages.
Does AMP have any limitations?
Could AMP be beneficial to your website?
Now, the killer question. Could AMP be beneficial to my website? With Googling ramping up it’s approach to a mobile-first index, it’s only time until your mobile traffic takes a hit if you pages aren’t up to speed. Properly introducing AMP site-wide could very well be the approach you need to future-proof your site. However, if you or your agency has created a killer responsive website for you and has taken the time to properly optimize your websites imagery, your website may not benefit from AMP as much as you hoped. Spending the time it would have taken to implement AMP and putting that time into other SEO activities could yield better improvements.