Cloud Google Accelerated Mobile PagesAs a website owner you are probably overwhelmed with the rapidly changing way that search engines work, the jargon you are bombarded with and whether each new thing is all really necessary. You may have heard people talking about AMP pages and wondered what on earth it is all about. It is actually a year since the AMP project was rolled out by Google and Twitter as an open source project to speed up the user experience on mobiles.

What are AMP pages?

AMP means ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’. In short it is a slimmed down html page which is designed to be super-fast, it has limited html tags with streamlined CSS. It is a stripped down version of a web page designed for pure speed on a mobile. The recommendation is that all pages on a website have an AMP version to enhance speed and functionality for mobile users.

To see an example of this, search the web on your mobile and you will see a little lightning bolt in the results pages, indicating the page is an AMP:

amp-pages

How will AMP pages help my business?

In the year since the AMP project was rolled out, many thousands of developers have embraced it, knowing that one of the biggest problems with mobile search is that a clunky or slow loading page will be exited very fast.

Double Click say: “we found that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load”.

So with faster loading pages on mobiles, studies have shown increased engagement, lower bounce rates, longer average sessions and of course the bottom line to this is increased conversions and revenue. For more detailed insights to the AMP project and the results one year on, read this article.

I think it is no longer applicable for people to deny that their website will be viewed on a mobile, it is where the future is no matter what sector you are in.

Are AMP pages easy to implement?

Yes and no! This will depend on your website platform. Even with WordPress for example, where there are AMP plugins, there may be issues. If you have asked your developer to create AMP pages, a quick way to check if they are correct and accepted by Google is to look in Search Console. It will tell you which AMP pages have errors and need to be modified. If they have errors Google won’t index them. Common errors include javascript (a big no no) and prohibited html tags.

Do I need AMP pages?

Well on the one hand, Google is pushing the project right now and improving mobile user experience can never be a bad thing. However the cynics amongst us wonder whether Google will ditch this project sometime in the future. We all remember the google authorship cull a couple of years ago, where Google had told us how important this would be. Web marketers who had spent a lot of time implementing this were left frustrated to say the least. So as usual, we can never be sure what the big G has planned, but in my mind I think AMP pages probably have a future.

Are AMP pages a ranking factor?

AMP pages are not a specific ranking factor for mobile search at the moment. Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, stated during his SEJ Summit Chicago appearance that, “Currently, AMP is not a mobile ranking factor.”

But who is to say that they won’t be soon? The fact that Google is talking about rolling them out to Google News and Google Now, indicates they are serious about the longevity of this project. There is talk too of expanding AMP to product pages for ecommerce sites like Amazon.

But I don’t actually believe it matters if they are a ranking factor or not. Why? Because the issue when people talk about ranking factors is that they are over simplifying the way that Google works. For example, we know that usability of a web page and user experience are a ranking factor, so although AMP pages are supposedly not a ranking factor, the fact that they improve user experience and are performing well means they contribute to the ranking of the website.

How can we help?

If you would like some help with improving the visibility of your business online or in mobile search in particular, call one of our friendly team to see how we can help with your web marketing on 01793 766040.

 

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