‘AMP’lify your mobile website with Accelerated Mobile Pages – AMP

AMP and SEO

Accelerated Mobile pages

It hasn’t been unknown that Google is leaning heavily towards providing a better mobile experience for quite some time now. Case in point – In April 2015′ algorithm update that considers mobile friendliness as one of the ranking signals. Another update rolled out in October 2015 saw Google come up with Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP. This open source project has the support of Google, WordPress, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among 30 other publishers and developers.

What is it mean for you?

At the heart of the initiative is to help the mobile user get a better reading and browsing experience, with pages that are fast to load and thus achieve optimized mobile web performance. The AMP HTML is a more mobile efficient version of HTML. This development framework is geared to let developers create web pages that are light and fast. There are 3 main parts worth considering

  1. AMP HTML – The technical standards have been altered to exclude certain tags and limits some functionality. For instance, programming interstitials (ads that come up during page download) will be a thing of past.
  2. AMP JavaScript – AMP doesn’t allow third party JavaScript
  3. AMT CDN – This optional element will implement caching and bring in further performance improvement

Tips for AMPing your website

  1. Keep two versions of the web page – a standard page and an AMP version of the same page
  2. Be ready to rewrite certain portions of the code to conform to AMP norms – for instance only < 50kb CSS is permitted in AMP
  3. Image handling is the one substantial change you need to look out for. Check out the new amp-img element that needs to be used.
  4. Video handling too needs special treatment with help of amp-video and amp-youtube
  5. If your website or blog is built on WordPress, things could be pretty easy, as you can install WordPres AMP Plugin. This will create an AMP version of your website, that could be accessible by another URL with a /amp/ in the rear. (Eg. http://blog.macronimous.com/be-mean-and-lean-in-web-app-development-build-apps-with-mean-stack/amp/)

What is the latest on AMP?

As of Feb 2016, Google has already added AMP listings to its mobile search results. Google has put up a demo here of how fast the mobile search and reading experience will be. For developers and SEO experts, this news means that they need to start incorporating AMP into the website development so that mobile rankings do not drop for their clients.

Though Google’s John Mueller says that at the moment AMP is not considered as an SEO signal. However, we can expect Google to announce this, if not now, but later.