Google’s most recent AMP update – Instant Mobile Speed? | Varn


16 March 2016

Google’s most recent AMP update – Instant Mobile Speed?

In 2015 Google officially announced that mobile searches had overtaken searches on a desktop, and numerous updates last year and more recently last month have seen Google adapt to this popular way of searching very quickly through updates such as the Mobile-Friendly Test and the removal of side Ads on the Google Results Page which strongly suggested Google were advocating a better mobile experience.

What to Expect from Accelerated Mobile Pages

At the end of February 2016, Google announced that they have now rolled out Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a frame-work which sites can incorporate to better mobile experience.  The frame-work contributes to faster load times without jeopardising any other experience factors.  In other words, you can view everything on a mobile as you could do 2 months ago, but pages will respond much faster (hence “Accelerated”).

Is it worth it?

AMP for Mobile DevicesIn a simple answer – Yes. Yes it is worth it. Incorporating AMP into your website means you may have to rewrite most of your site to house some of AMP’s restrictions.  For example, Search Engine Land say that AMP require CSS to be in-line which means it will lose many advantages because it mixes content with presentation.  Search Engine Land also say that images will need to have a custom amp-img element.  All of this means that if you do choose to adopt the AMP way of thinking, you will need two versions of any article, one for AMP, and one for everything else. AMP has its own HTML and Javascript, and also comes with an extra option of its own Content Delivery Network which ensures all AMP pages are optimised to perform well.

These reasons may be enough to put many people off of employing AMP onto their website.  However, in the long term it will reap many advantages.  The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project itself states that mobile bounce rates can be as high as 58% on pages that take nearly 10 seconds to load. The aim of AMP is to help sites load mobile pages instantaneously.  When advocating the project, WordPress and others commented on the current state of Mobile web surfing as being frustrating and slow, but with AMP users will have instant speed, with companies gaining control over their own destiny for mobile visitors.

Can you afford not to accelerate mobile pages?

Mobile is becoming the way of the web. How many times a day do you search the web on your mobile?  Although AMP page set-up appears to be a complicated process with many restrictions, in the long term it might be one of the best online investments your company makes. With Google already preferring sites with Mobile friendly pages, the use of AMP can only better your mobile rankings and provide a greater and faster experience for your mobile visitors.  Better rankings and better experience for your mobile users will certainly help increase conversions such as sales and readership.  If these are the goals your site is after, then learning about AMP could be a great investment of both your time and your company’s.

Article by: Aimee, Head of Innovation More articles by Aimee

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