Speeding Things Up With Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Website development is a complex activity, especially when coding to deliver content in a smooth and strategic way. We live in a world where technology continues to help us make things faster and above all easier. According to data collected by Akamai, “40 percent of shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a retail or travel site”. In addition, Maile Ohye (Developer Programs Tech Lead) from Google emphasises that “a fast site increases conversions, it helps you have increased user satisfaction, and know that a slow site causes not only dissatisfaction but lasting affects” (at 3:18).
Understanding Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open source platform which aims to dramatically improve the performance of mobile web pages. AMPs are an open-source protocol that allows webmasters to create pages capable of loading almost instantly on mobile devices. The idea is that a handful of simple structural changes using one type of code can make your site load up to four times faster and use eight times less data. By using the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices, content can appear everywhere in an instant—no matter what type of mobile device the user’s using.
AMPs are especially beneficial to the majority of webmasters who earn advertising revenue from their websites. With faster web performance provided by AMPs, advertisements can run smoothly alongside heavy content on a web page that would otherwise take a long time to load – thereby increasing the opportunity for a web page to earn its advertising or subscription revenue.
There are three main technical components of AMP.:
- AMP HTML – this is code markup that appends to specific HTML tags. AMP HTML identifies specific elements such as images or text – thereby increasing the speed at which information is downloaded onto a mobile device.
- CDN (Content Delivery Network) – while a CDN is an option component for Accelerated Mobile Pages it is also a recommended one. The use of a CDN can expedite the delivery of content onto mobile devices. This can also result in cutting down the loading time of a page. A critical element of Accelerated Mobile Pages.
The Potential of AMPs
As has been discussed, AMPs have the ability to service the growing need for online speed – both for users and webmasters. The below examples indicated how AMPs have already improved the performance of two of many reputable websites:
Slate: an online liberal and progressive magazine about current affairs, politics and culture.
Gizmodo: one of the online key leaders in design, technology, and science content.
…. while the demand for faster performing mobile websites is indicated to rise:
- Publishers like things faster (~700k publishers, like Google, CNN, The Verge, BuzzFeed, The Guardian and New York Times).
- 10x less bandwidth used by AMP pages (which means reducing loading times to keep your audience captivated).
- More than 8700 developers engaged with AMP (The more, the speedier).
The evidence here suggests that AMP is fertile ground for getting ahead in search, and a full 80% of survey respondents believed that AMP would have a significant (49%) or moderate (31%) effect on search rankings.
AMP will soon be a key battleground in search, as AMP listings are now spreading throughout organic mobile results. Publishers and organisations may find that the need for AMP implementation will reach the tipping point early in 2017.