The Google AMP project was launched in 2016. It aims to transform how web content is consumed by users on their smartphones. Web pages are optimized to function exceedingly well on such devices. More and more individuals are choosing to browse on their phones and this open source initiative of Google’s aims to improve this experience.
What Is Google AMP?
Google’s open source AMP project seeks to revolutionize the creation of mobile-optimized content which can work and load immediately on all your devices. Google released a blog post about AMP when they announced this initiative in October 2015. “We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant—no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using,” stated Google in their post.
According to Google, web publishers now have the chance to create content that loads immediately on any device. This would eliminate common barriers or side effects of mobile internet use.
Google AMP: The Pros
- Decreased Loading Time
We are seeing more and more people accessing and consuming information on their smartphones. But they often get frustrated with waiting for web pages to load on their devices. The importance of mobile page speed cannot be underestimated. Google AMP seeks to improve this online experience so that users can make the most of their mobile internet use and engagement. Google’s AMP product manager, Rudy Galfi, states that AMP-coded content’s median loading time is 0.7 seconds (but most supposedly load in less than about eight seconds). This is a big jump from the 22 seconds of a non-AMP page. Content-rich web pages are quicker and easier to access than ever before. Faster loading also means higher mobile ranking for those web pages.
- Increased Views
Publishers are aware of the increasing popularity of browsing the web on phones. Yet, in the past, mobile web has presented numerous shortcomings for publishers and users. Accelerated Mobile Pages can solve issues such as slow web page loading times. With this problem out of the way, users are encouraged to spend more time on the internet as they don’t get frustrated when pages take too long to load.
Google also offers card views for AMP web pages right at the top of search results which most likely draws more users onto those featured sites. AMP can offer improved click-through rates and dwell times, and lower bounce rates. The mobile experience is intended to become a far more pleasant and user-friendly one. Consequently, adverts achieve greater exposure and interest which means that advertising opportunities and revenue could potentially increase.
- Increased Possibilities
Google AMP can offer publishers and advertisers a wide range of ways to present their content. The project can do away with the previous limitations of content size and loading time. Videos, audio, infographics, PDFs and more can be incorporated effectively in the desired ways on mobile platforms and won’t take ages to load. Fewer barriers means more options to attract and hold users.
Google AMP: The Cons
- Decreased Ad Revenue
In theory, more traffic on your site means more eyes on its online advertisements. But with Google AMP, this isn’t so straightforward. The project supports ads but options here are limited as AMP web pages use standardized ad units. Popular revenue-producers such as pop-ups and customized ad units cannot be sold by publishers of AMP. Essentially, publishers must potentially choose between less ad revenue with AMP, or less site traffic without it.
- Decreased Analytics
AMP not only restricts what you can do with a web page. It also has fewer options for analyzing and tracking the data and figures of a given AMP web page. These pages use their own Analytics tag which has been made specifically for AMP. Tracking for AMP works differently to the universal analytics.js library. This hinders standard Google Analytics. Google recommends utilizing a separate property ID for AMP activity. But the company aims to increase AMP capabilities soon.
More and more users are browsing on their mobile devices and non-optimized websites can mean far less site traffic. A faster loading time means more visitors and more engagement on a web page, as well as a better mobile ranking. But there are currently no major disadvantages if you decide not to use AMP. In fact, utilizing AMP could cost you responsive web design, ad revenue and comprehensive Google Analytics. And it is unlikely that AMP will provide a huge boost to your search ranking. But loading speed is incredibly important and this project could become more successful in the future, especially if Google increasingly prioritizes AMP sites.