What is Google AMP and Why Does it Matter?

Google has rolled out AMP in Ireland, the what now? If your not emerged in SEO and digital marketing, you probably haven’t heard of AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages at all. Announced in August 2016 Google has introduced a new way of designing web pages so they can load even faster on mobile devices. 

Google rolls out AMP pages in Ireland
Google rolls out AMP pages in Ireland

Kelvin Newman, founder and host of one of the world’s largest SEO conferences “Brighton SEO” said recently “Think of Google as more of a referee than a judge”. This has now become one of my favourite sayings when it comes to SEO and digital marketing. Google’s main tasks is to return results to a person searching. The more accurate, readable, relevant and functional these results are the better the experience for the searcher.

Google have taken this into account again by rolling out Accelerated Mobile Pages, Google is putting a little AMP symbol beside pages that have been optimised for mobile use.

What Is AMP?

It is a web page that has been stripped of many of the elements that cause a page to slow down. This is different to a ‘responsive’ page that goes into a mobile mode when it’s squished onto a mobile screen. AMP pages are a secondary lightweight version of a page that carries less third party javascript, less cookies and slow ad-networks.

The Advantage Of AMP?

By making the page less data heavy it will load faster than the desktop version. This will suit mobile devices that are connected to slower networks and will help reduce the cost on high priced data packages for mobile users. It will also mean that the AMP version won’t keep loading half way though you reading an article, causing the content to jump down the page as you are reading it (this winds me up).

How Does It Affect My Ranking And SEO?

First of all AMP pages don’t get an additional ranking boost they only display as an alternative to the desktop version of the page when the results are displayed on a mobile device. Google has a current mobile friendly ranking preference, so the AMP pages are on the same level because they are simply mobile friendly.

Google won’t give you a slap on the wrist for not having it implemented. They will simply replace the main page, whether that be a mobile friendly one or a desktop one, and show the AMP version of the page.

How will it affect my business?

As it grows in popularity and searchers begin to realise the added benefits with data usage and load time, you may begin to see increased volumes of users clicking on AMP marked links over standard ones. You don’t necessarily need to start screaming down the phone at your web developer, but you may wish to start planning for it. Your web developer may not even be up to speed with AMP yet, so you may need to share this article with them.

If your site is built on WordPress you can add an AMP plugin that will make your posts compatible but not your pages at present. If you need more help or want to learn more, you can visit these resources to find out more.

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