What Exactly is Google AMP?

 In Design

Estimated Reading Time 6 minutes

It’s been a big year for Google so far (is there ever not a big year for Google?) with right hand side listings being removed, expanded text ads being introduced, and the arrival of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project. Although AMP was actually introduced back in February, you may still be wondering what AMP actually is.

AMP Project is “an open source initiative” aimed to improve the performance of the mobile web, primarily through stripped down versions of web pages. Google puts the user experience first, always, and have gone as far to say that content is King, and UX is Queen.

Articles appear with a lightning symbol, which signifies that if you are to click on the article, you’ll be delivered a streamlined version that is available immediately. What’s more, once you’ve clicked through to an article, you can swipe between other AMP articles from other publishers. Again, it’s all about the UX, and we’re all extremely familiar with swiping left and right now (from Tinder or otherwise….)

google amp pages

With mobile search overtaking desktop, paired with the astounding stat that 29% of smartphone users will switch to another site if it’s too slow, it’s no surprise Google implemented this update.

Currently, according to Gary Illyes, AMP is not a ranking factor. Note the word, currently. That’s not to say that it WILL be a ranking factor, who knows, but with Google’s preference to mobile friendly sites, I for one would not be surprised. There have already been notable updates, with Google announcing at the start of this month that they plan to expand AMP beyond the ‘Top Stories’, to the whole search results page, whilst clarifying that it is not a ranking change. In true Google style, they have not announced when this update will come, but they have provided a link to a demo enabling users to get a feel for it, available atg.co/ampdemo, but be aware it only works on mobile devices.

amp demo

Unfortunately, AMP pages aren’t something that just ‘happen’. You need to implement them yourselves, or at least, talk to your developer about it. Thankfully, Google offer a step by step tutorial walking you through the steps to creating your first AMP page.

For more information on the AMP Project, or to discuss implementing your first AMP pages, feel free to contact us.

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