Launched by Google in 2015, Accelerated Mobile Pages, more commonly known as AMP, is an open-source web components technology companies integrate into their websites to accelerate page loading on mobiles. AMP enables you to improve your website’s user experience by showing lightweight versions of your web pages using Google servers.
AMP-powered pages initially showed a lightning bolt that symbolized that it uses the Accelerated Mobile Pages plugin to speed up the loading time. Both the symbol (bolt) and the name imply the function of open-source technology: to speed up the loading time. You can easily integrate it into any enterprise website. Google offers the plugin for any CSS so that you can install and integrate it conveniently.
How Does it Work?
This technology functions by peeling away the various parts of a website and storing the essential components as cached data on Google servers. This is what actually allows it to render a page really fast, sometimes in just one second, on mobile devices. In other words, you can consider Accelerated Mobile Pages as a ghost version of the website.
Accelerated Mobile Pages removes features like ads, videos, animations, etc., from pages to enable a faster load time. As a result, a mobile user does not have to wait for this rich content to load and can, therefore, access the most significant bits of content on a page in no time.
All this aligns perfectly with its primary goal, i.e., to deliver an enhanced user experience for website visitors. And there shouldn’t be any surprise given that Google has focused a lot on increasing the load times by making it a ranking factor on SERP. Many believe AMP was also developed and launched to compete with Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles.
Accelerated Mobile Pages employs optimized HTML code to render your pages faster. Thus, it removes some aspects of the HTML code tag manager responsible for slowing down the page load time.
Here are some things you need to know about Accelerated Mobile Pages:
- You need to employ a streamlined version of CSS for AMP.
- You correctly validate your site for AMP to operate.
- You need to load custom fonts for AMP sites.
- To avoid weird-looking images, you have to declare their heights and widths.
- You need to utilize AMP-approved extensions to add videos to your page.
- Some tech experts opine that AMP reduces your revenue-making potential by making it more difficult for you to spot fake news articles. It also redirects the page to Google servers, thus impacting your traffic numbers.
- An AMP page’s URL uses the AMP prefix to identify the page as AMP.
Pros and Cons of AMP
Accelerated Mobile Pages evoked a lot of fanfare when it was launched in 2015. However, since then, it has lost much of its popularity, as evidenced by Google no longer showing the AMP symbol (bolt) in search results. Some research suggested that AMP reduces lead generation by over 50 percent.
However, the initial excitement over AMP was not misplaced either. It made perfect sense to develop a technology that improved website user experience on mobile devices, given how internet users shifted from PCs to smartphones.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of Accelerated Mobile Pages.
- Improved loading time – AMP speeds up the website loading time by removing inessential page elements. This is vital for rendering a faster load time for mobile device users.
- Better search rankings – It is true that Accelerated Mobile Pages itself is not a ranking factor for Google. But Google does use the website loading speed as a ranking factor. As a result, companies and businesses adopted AMP to improve their ranking as it enabled a faster load time.
- Easily implementable on WordPress – Apart from ensuring a shorter load time and improving SERP ranking, Accelerated Mobile Pages is straightforward to implement for WordPress sites. Many companies thought, why not use an open-source plugin technology to improve their website performance further?
- Difficult to implement for non-WordPress sites – Setting up an AMP page requires significant coding experience and help from software developers.
- Reduced ad revenue – AMP automatically reduces the number of ads shown on your page to increase its load time, thus limiting your ad revenue potential.
- Restricted analytics – Accelerated Mobile Pages pages, since they are stored on Google servers, don’t allow you to run standard analytics tags, making it hard for you to monitor how changes impact your website traffic and performance.
- Limited design and content control – AMP may adversely affect your branding strategy by stripping down your website and removing non-essential elements.
- Reduces lead generation – AMP removes various lead generation elements like download assets or lead capture forms, thus limiting your site’s capacity to generate leads.
As you can observe, AMP has more cons than pros. So, should you use it?
Who should use AMP?
Many companies still wonder whether AMP is a suitable technology for them. The answer lies in what kind of problems you’re facing and what your goals are. Moreover, considering the fact that Google itself has removed the Accelerated Mobile Pages symbol from articles shows that it believes Accelerated Mobile Pages has not really done the job the way it was initially intended to.
However, there are some cases where AMP might actually benefit you. These are:
- If you are struggling with page speed despite optimizing it for faster load times, AMP is a good choice for you.
- If the majority of your website traffic comes from mobile users.
- If most of your content is news-related that you’d prefer to load quickly.
Nevertheless, Accelerated Mobile Pages is not a good choice for you if your business model is based, or majorly relies, on lead generation and revenue generation via ads.
When it was first launched, many marketing gurus believed AMP to be the future of digital marketing. However, the open-source Google technology has since lost its favor with the business community. Its cons clearly outweigh its pros.
Therefore, instead of utilizing Accelerated Mobile Pages to deliver a better website experience, it is better that you work to optimize your website for speed and to ensure it is easy to use for mobile phone users. This approach is much more likely to deliver the results you’re looking for. Want to know more about accelerated mobile pages visit us at [email protected].