Google has launched accelerated mobile pages (AMP), and they’d really appreciate it if you started using them immediately.
So what are accelerated mobile pages? First, a bit of background.
As we’ve mentioned before, your mobile site’s loading speed is now a major ranking factor. Research suggests that the bounce rate can be as high as 58% for web pages that take up to 10 seconds to load. But at the same time, there’s a positive correlation between a fast load speed and a high conversion rate:
And yet, far too many sites still seem happy enough offering their mobile users clumsy, clunky, and unwieldy sites that take ages to load.
But Google believes that enough is enough. It doesn’t have to be this way.
That’s where AMP HTML comes in. It’s an open-sourced framework that strips down mobile sites to their most essential elements, including:
Because there’s nothing there that doesn’t have to be there, the pages load almost instantly for mobile users. And more importantly for us, they preload at lighting-fast speeds in Google search results.
Marvellous, yes? But wait, it gets better!
Any mobile pages that use AMP are likely to see a boost in their search rankings, as Google will soon start to display AMP content in a carousel at the top of the results for select queries.
What sort of content will work best with AMP? In a handy FAQ, Google explains that AMP will work best “for all published content, from news stories to videos and from blogs to photographs and GIFs.”
So faster sites and a chance for improved rankings – sounds good, right?
Absolutely. But the catch is that a blur bar will appear across all AMP content, allowing users to easily return to the Google search results from whence they came.
But this might not be an issue. Clicking links within AMP content opens a new window, so it’s still possible to keep users engaged on your site.
The SEO community will doubtlessly have many questions and reservations when it comes to AMP, and not all of them are covered in the above FAQ:
- How will the implementation of AMP in the search results change as Google tweaks its algorithm for relevance?
- How do we optimise content for AMP to better improve our chances to rank?
- How will AMP work with other ranking signals, such as bounce rate?
The problem is, it’s early days. As is invariably the case with Google, the answer to the above questions is probably “we’ll just have to wait and see.”
How do I start using accelerated mobile pages?
So you want to be an AMP fiddler?
Your next step, then, is to head to Google’s dedicated AMP Project page.
There you will find:
- A detailed technical introduction, explaining how the whole thing works
- A GitHub repository featuring the source code, code samples, and further detailed documentation
- A useful guide to creating a basic AMP HTML page
So dive in, take a look around, start experimenting, and let us know what you find!