Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
What are accelerated mobile pages?
An AMP is a highly engaging framework introduced by Google in 2016 for building web pages.
While the overall goal of accelerated mobile pages was to enhance loading speed and user experience, there are numerous associated challenges that have since prevented AMPs from gaining greater traction as a web page model.
AMPs actually exist in parallel to regular mobile pages, meaning that content can typically (if not always) be found in two different page versions. The two pages are then connected with a special header tag, used by GoogleBot (and likely others, in the future) for indexing.
Why are AMPs important?
For most content producers, there are two main reasons why the accelerated mobile page may be attractive:
- Enhanced user experience thanks to improved loading speeds)
- Visibility on Google
In an age where delayed page loading can mean losing a potential new user for good, an AMP gives your web page a major upgrade.
This is particularly true for websites with complicated and underperforming code, or websites that interact with other content as part of the platform.
AMPs require minimal investment to set up, yet provide a huge boost to your user experience, since most of the heavy lifting has already been done by Google.
On the other hand, if your website is well-structured and consistently delivers good performance, AMP is also valuable for improving visibility in Google search.
In the AMP Carousel Google introduced not long after releasing the AMP framework, news-related queries are placed near the top of the results pages, and enjoy special treatment as a result of AMP’s “big named” supporters (excluding Facebook and Apple).
What are the limitations of AMPs?
Since their introduction a few years ago, criticism from both web and publisher communities alike has focused on two main areas:
- “Stolen” brand traffic
- Poor monetization capabilities
Given its fairly limited framework, AMPs do not actually allow users to click on publisher’s content from the AMP itself. Instead, users are directed back to the Google search results, thereby “stealing” the brand’s traffic and making website performance more difficult to measure in the long run.
The other major pain point with AMPs is that they are very difficult to monetize. The “stealing” of brands’ traffic mentioned above also means lower traffic and revenue rates. Unfortunately, when many publishers began to adopt AMPs because of their display in Google search, they quickly realized these implications.
These reasons have made the adoption of AMPs slower than other emerging technologies. While there are obvious benefits for user experience and page visibility, there are also numerous challenges that must be dealt with before AMPs cam gain prominence on the mobile web.