Earlier this month, Google announced its latest project, called AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page). In essence, AMP is Google’s own version of the HTML language, the code that underlies the web. This open-source initiative is aimed at helping pages load faster on mobile devices.
Over the last years, users’ behavior has shifted from mainly using computers to mobile devices, and currently most of the people use their smartphones and tablets instead of PCs to surf the net. From this social change comes the necessity to create a system that makes websites load more quickly on mobile devices.
The AMP code is already available on Github for programmers to discover it, modify it or ask questions.
What is Google’s AMP?
Impact of APM in browsing, SERP search and monetization
Websites that opt into the AMP framework will benefit from speed improvements because the content templates share common elements and components: Speed Index revealed that performance can improve between 15% and 85%.
Google’s goal is for all published content to end up using AMP. Google’s big plan can however present some disadvantages for publishers, especially in monetization matters. While ad and analytics software is a very important part of the web and the main way to monetize it, it’s also the main problem when it comes to speed. AMP’s final aim is to show just the essential content on each website, keeping away the overload of analytics software.
On the one hand, monetization can be affected, but on the other hand AMP offers some advantages too. The most important one is AMP can help publishers provide an amazing user experience to their audience because they won’t need to wait for their page to load. If you are a publisher, AMP can also improve your visibility in Google Organic Search: the AMP module appears at the top of the SERP and pushes organic results and everything else down. From the search engine results page, users can click through to a list of AMP-compliant partner sites. Doing so will load that content almost instantaneously, as Google will also pre-render content above the fold for AMP listings. As a result, publishers who choose AMP will see how their traffic increases, while the ones that don’t opt into Google’s new framework will see a decrease in impressions and clicks, even with a top organic position.
Finally, AMPHTML loves CSS and wants AMPHTML documents to look like their authors wish, so they intend to allow extensive styling. In theory, AMP is designed to support beautiful mobile content, but the truth is that at the present moment the main problem is that AMP pages look too bare and way too more simplified than the original ones. Evidently, additional design work and CSS styling still needs to be done to preserve branding and design, because right now an original website and its AMP version look quite different.
Conclusions: should publishers choose AMP?
For now, if you are not a publisher that can monetize breaking news queries, the AMP Project may not be the best option for you: even if AMP can improve your users’ experience, your traffic, your visibility and organic position, monetization will most probably be affected. From the AMP Project website they encourage all the people to help them improve this idea, and it will hopefully get better soon, finding solutions to analytics, ads, monetization and design issues.