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An update on Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages

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Apr

Do you remember Google’s new initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages? We took a look at it last October. It’s one of the many ways in which Google are continually looking to improve the user experience (and arguably dominate the web).

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, are open source web pages that enable content such as news and videos to load extremely fast on mobile devices within Google search. At its launch, Google described AMP as great news for publishers looking to provide a better user experience and ultimately more traffic.

So, how’s the project going? Well…

The benefits of using Accelerated Mobile Pages

As predicted, AMP is very straightforward to implement. It uses a stripped down lightweight version of HTML. The speed at which videos and other rich content loads on mobile devices is truly impressive, and it even uses less mobile data, which is great for users.

Since AMP was launched, plenty of publishers such as Wired and the Washington Post have benefitted; indeed, Google has published some interesting case studies about their success.

Using AMP is pretty much mandatory for news sites now if they want to be displayed in Google’s news carousel. This of course can be seen as both a benefit and a drawback as publishers are pretty much tied into the concept.

And the drawbacks….

AMP is still in need of some refinement. The ‘fantastic user experience’ championed by Google has not been experienced by everyone. Broken links and other bugs have been a big problem. Users have complained about difficulties sharing AMP links, too, which could be seen as a disaster.There have even been security and privacy concerns. In fact, publisher Kyle Schreiber goes one step further and claims that it’s bad for the web – you can read the full article here.

However, while the rollout has perhaps not been Google’s finest moment, it has certainly taken steps to improve these bugs and things are improving. And AMP, when it works well, delivers superb results.

Are publishers tied into using AMP?

Google has always said that using AMP will not affect a site’s rankings. However, as mentioned above, publishers are effectively forced to use AMP if they want their articles to appear in Google’s search results carousel.

Despite its slightly bumpy rollout, AMP is no doubt here to stay. We’ll be keeping an eye on how things go. If you’d like advice implementing AMP, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.

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