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What is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

Across all industries, recent technology innovations have all been focused on improving 3 things – Speed, Weight, and Ease of Use. This “can it go faster” mindset has led to either amazing technology or regrettable outcomes. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a product of this mindset. In this article, we will look at what is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and why it matters.

What is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

AMP, formerly an acronym for Accelerated Mobile Pages, is an open-source initiative launched by Google on October 7 in 2015. AMP aims to help content owners and publishers reduce the loading times of their webpages and optimize them for mobile browsing.

Basically, AMP is a project aiming to create faster websites for mobile devices. 

Furthermore, according to AMP’s techlead, AMP no longer stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Why is AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Important?

According to Kissmetrics, 40% of web users abandon webpages that take longer than 3 seconds to load. Losing 40% of your potential users and customers is undesirable for any business. The worst part is, it’s not your fault, the blame lies with the underperforming technology used to build your site. 

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Therefore Google came up with AMP, a standardized framework used to build streamlined websites. Using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) on your slow website cuts down its loading time and consequently boosts your site’s traffic.

While AMP is not a ranking factor for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), loading speed and mobile-friendliness are significant factors. Therefore, since using AMP improves your site’s loading speed and mobile-friendliness, your site will get better search engine rankings for mobile users. 

So if you want a lift in your site’s SEO, AMP might be just what you need. 

How does Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Work?

To understand what is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), we need to understand how AMP works.

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages ) loads webpages faster because it only uses a specialized set of HTML and Javascript. AMP webpages are then distributed into the AMP Cache, a storage service offered by companies like Google and Cloudflare.

The AMP cache is a content delivery network used to bring AMP webpages closer to the user. The AMP cache also optimizes the performance of cached AMP websites.

When a user tries to view your website, the AMP cache serves him/her the optimized AMP version stored in the AMP cache.

3 Components that make AMP Webpages possible:

AMP HTML

AMP HTML is regular HTML that has been filtered. AMP HTML also has unique characteristics (e.g. special tags and extensions) that help AMP function. 

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In other words, AMP HTML is a reduced set of acceptable HTML code that has some custom HTML tags.

Search engines discover AMP pages using some of these special HTML tags.

AMP JAVASCRIPT

AMP Javascript helps AMP HTML pages load faster. also a restricted library. The AMP Javascript library manages how the AMP HTML webpage renders. It ensures that AMP’s best performance practices are implemented.

The AMP project made its AMP Javascript library open-source.

AMP CACHE/CDN 

The AMP Cache is a dedicated Content Delivery Network (CDN) for AMP pages. Popular third-party services include the Google and Cloudflare AMP CDNs. 

The AMP Cache/CDN is not needed to use AMP pages. However, using one is recommended as the cache will improve page loading speeds and provide backup storage.

Additionally, the AMP Cache will automatically optimize your AMP pages’ performance. 

Benefits of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

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AMP gives many advantages to both the content owner and the user. 

Faster Webpage Loading Times:

Webpages using AMP load much faster than normal pages.

Reduced Advertising Space:

Non-AMP webpages often have intrusive adverts. AMP gives viewers a better browsing experience by limiting the size of adverts.

AMP Pages need less resources:

As the AMP HTML and Javascript library lacks certain resource-demanding elements, pages will load easily.

Higher Traffic & Lower Bounce Rate:

40% of users close pages that load for more than 3 seconds. Therefore by using AMP, you can claim traffic that otherwise you would lose to bounces. 

Increased Mobile SEO

Google pushes Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) pages to the forefront of mobile device search results. This is because they are more mobile-friendly than regular webpages.

Focused Browsing

Because AMP pages don’t have all the extra fluff, users experience fewer distractions during browsing.

Drawbacks of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

AMP may not increase Site Traffic

Since AMP webpages are hosted by your Cache Service Provider, traffic won’t be registered directly on your servers. This is because AMP content has the Cache’s URL. 

Content Owners have less control

Giving away AMP versions of your website to AMP CDNs means you now have less control over your content. A Malicious Cache/CDN could even misuse your content.

Less Advertising Revenue

Some content publishers have reported that AMP pages generate less income from advertising than their regular websites.

Increased Security Vulnerabilities

More steps between the user and your content leave a lot of room for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities. In 2017, Russian hackers exploited an AMP weakness to send phishing emails. Therefore, AMP may create weaknesses in the web’s security.

Are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for everyone?

Amp is not for everyone and not all websites function well with AMP. AMP is great for websites with static content, for example, news websites.

Although AMP is not for everyone, here are 4 situations when using AMP makes the best of sense.

  1. When the majority of your visitors use mobile devices, start using AMP.
  2. When your website loads slowly, AMP was specifically built to help you.
  3. When your Bounce Rate is too high, use AMP so that your AMP pages load quickly and your visitors stick around.
  4. When your Quality Score and page experience is low, AMP will improve user experience as your site is more stream lined.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Controversy

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) has quite the controversy and conspiracy associated with it.

Security advocates state that AMP pages do not allow distinctive tactics used by legitimate websites to differentiate themselves from suspicious ones. This equitable treatment of websites leads to both trustworthy and shady sites looking alike; making it much harder for consumers to tell the difference.

Conspiracists and Advocates for a free internet accuse Google of being the internet’s puppetmaster. They say the AMP project is just another stepping stone on the company’s agenda to controlling the internet.

In short, they say Google is forcing sites to adopt a standard that helps Google keep tabs on their users. However, Google claims the AMP project was driven by selfless motives. 

Conclusion

Regardless of the privacy and security concerns associated with AMP, it is a great project.

For a long time, mobile users were neglected to suffer through web browsing. But now, users can easily and quickly browse webpages with less hiccups than before.

Overall, AMP is a great project that gives order to the mayhem that has become the internet.

I hope your question, “What is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?” has been answered. And you now know what AMP is and what it can do for you.

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