In February, Google released their new open source initiative called AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), with the intention to revolutionize mobile news consumption. These AMP pages allow websites to serve mobile users with static content at an extremely fast rate. And when I say extremely fast, I mean SUPER DUPER FAST!
How it works
AMP search results gather content on Google’s own servers. This keeps readers on Google rather than sending them to actual websites.
AMP pages are made up of 3 different parts:
- AMP HTML: HTML files with restrictions offering reliable performance and extensions that allow you to build rich content beyond basic HTML.
- Google AMP Cache: a proxy based CDN that delivers the AMP HTML pages to Google’s cache and is made available to the end user on Google’s servers. (Google mobile search).
How does this affect search?
Posts optimized for AMP will be prioritized in the search results, so it is a good idea to check if your competition is optimizing for AMP when you are deciding whether to optimize your own content for AMP. We expect news sites, popular blogs and syndicated content to be among the first to make the switch, because they will see the most benefit.
Even though AMP-friendly content will be served without users leaving Google, AMP HTML allows links, so users will still have the option to explore the host site further.
How Google AMP posts are featured in mobile search results
How Google AMP posts look on mobile when users click through
Using Google’s AMP Pages
Applying Google AMP to your editorial/news/blog content is an intensive process because you need to restructure your posts entirely. Luckily, it is also a simple process because the AMP framework was created to encourage simple, minimalistic coding. If you decide to use AMP pages, your page must follow the AMP HTML specification to work properly. While these standards are very similar to traditional HTML, they have been reduced down to the bare minimum. Take a look at the tags in the specifications documentation to find out what tags are still available with AMP. Notably, you can keep your live posts and articles the way they are now if you want to and create mirrored AMP content to feed to Google (using the rel=canonical tag to prevent duplicate content issues).
What’s Next for AMP?
I think it’s really interesting that support for forms is coming in the near future. With recent news of marketers learning how to hack AMP pages for lead generation, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google got some complaints about prohibiting the form tag. Since it’s a way to increase page speed, strategists might start using AMP pages to test the waters to see how quickly they can get AMP pages at the top of Google’s mobile search.
To learn more about getting your AMP pages displayed in Mobile search, check out Google’s Search Guidelines for AMP pages.