Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, have recently been gaining a lot of attention, even though they were first announced in 2015 and were implemented in 2016. We’ve been receiving lots of questions about the value of AMP, especially when it comes to the search results. So far, we have been able to identify some positive features and a few drawbacks to these pages.
For those of you are interested in, here’s what we’ve gathered so far.
The standard was first announced in 2015, began appearing in mobile search results last February, and was rolled out onto Google’s global mobile search results last September. Because AMP is a mobile standard, it only appears on smartphones, tablets, and other smaller-scale devices. It has no bearing on search results on PCs and laptops.
The goal of AMP is to provide speed to mobile webpages, and that’s where it shines. Page speed is a very minor factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, but it’s incredibly important to mobile web users. As more people are searching via mobile platforms, the value of page speed becomes clear. If a webpage takes more than a few moments to load, many people simply hit their back button and go to the next one, which may load faster.
AMP pages have been receiving favorable treatment on search results pages, and even get a nifty lightning bolt icon next to their listings that indicates their AMP status, as shown below.
As a result of their zippy load times, which are essentially instantaneous, visitors may be less likely to bounce off of AMP pages, which can have an indirect effect on rankings as well.
For all of these benefits, it’s hard to imagine why we may be hesitant to add AMP to sites.
AMP pages are also stored on Google’s servers rather than your site. Any AMP page that appears in a search result is essentially a copy of that page that exists on Google’s servers rather than your web host’s. While this isn’t a problem per se, it does transfer a lot of control to Google, since it makes your visitors Google’s visitors. This also has the added problem of making it difficult to share AMP links, because the URLs for the links are obscured.
AMP can be a great option if your website delivers only text and images, or if you want to keep things relatively simple. With that in mind, sites like that would load quickly anyway, though the boost AMP’s framework provides is welcome. A simple plugin for those using WordPress sites (like we do) makes creating AMP pages even simpler. The issue is that if you want to create a rich experience on your site, AMP’s restrictions and limitations can make delivering that kind of content impossible.
To discuss whether including AMP on your site would be worthwhile, contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234.
Here are the two main reasons you should make sure your website is mobile friendly:
To test if Google considers your website to be “mobile friendly” click here.
Keep in mind that if you have a great website and don’t want to go through the process of re-designing it from scratch, we are able to convert your website into a responsive theme. Depending on your design, some or many elements may need to change… but we can often maintain the overall look and feel of your design.
If you would like to explore a new responsive website, or converting your existing website to a responsive theme – call us at 800.267.1704 and one of our account managers will help you determine your options.
Last week, I read an article from a marketer who pointed to a 243% increase in mobile traffic among his clients over the past 2 years. I was a bit shocked by the number… it seemed high. And while traffic can differ industry to industry, and even client to client, for a number of reasons, it prompted me to take a look at analytics among our clients to see what increase, if any, they had experienced. (Note: “Mobile” refers to use on both tablets and mobile phones).
I looked at three client campaigns, each with strong natural first page placements in their respective markets. As a sample, I took numbers from January, April, July, and October to give nice quarterly snapshots over the past 36 months.
While the data does not support a 243% gain in mobile traffic over the past 2 – 3 years, it nevertheless reveals that mobile traffic has, indeed, spiked.
Mobile traffic to our clients’ legal websites ranged between 3%-8% in January 2011. This increased to 25%-30% by January 2014.
So what does this trend mean for your website? First off, you should be asking yourself the following questions:
If you’d like to explore any of these questions in more depth, or see some examples of websites we’ve built for our clients, give us a call today at (512) 394-7234.
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