This past October (October 7, 2015 to be exact) Google took to its favorite thing, à la the internet, to announce Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP. So what is AMP? At the very basic level, an AMP is a highly manageable framework for crafting fast-loading mobile pages specifically created with publishers in mind. So, why is this still relevant if it was announced in October? Because on February 24, 2016, Google integrated AMP listings into its mobile search results.
So really, what is an AMP?
Let’s try and keep this simple…so an Accelerated Mobile Page is essentially a stripped-down version of HTML.
In addition AMP…
- Aims to significantly improve the performance of the mobile webpages
- Works alongside smart ads to load webpages with rich content (such as video, animations, and graphics) instantly
- Universalize code to work across multiple devices and platforms enabling content to appear immediately, no matter the device
Why are AMPs so Fast?
Mostly because it is a stripped-down version of HTML. It loads faster because there is less to crawl/request. So certain tags or lines of code cannot be used. Think of it like diet HTML (the guys at Moz do).
Being that there are restrictions, there are certain aspects of a website that just won’t work with for an AMP. Things like forms and popovers are limited. Again, the idea here is that the platform is designed in a way that is strictly for accessibility, readability, and speed!
Specifically, Accelerated Mobile Pages are fast because…
- Streamlined version of CSS
- Most of the existing CSS can be used, but some best practices are not allowed
- Heavily cached
- So Google can host these pages, eliminating the need to fetch the information
How Does AMP Work?
The framework for creating Accelerated Mobile Pages consists of three parts:
- AMP HTML: this specific markup language has some custom tags and restrictions.
- Those familiar with HTML shouldn’t have any difficulty adjusting existing pages
- AMP CDN: this optional Content Delivery Network, caches AMP-enabled pages and automatically makes performance optimizations
Where to Start?
Ok, so there are really two things to get you pointed in the right direction. Before starting to build steam with your AMP, you need to make sure they are valid. As stated earlier, the HTML for AMP is very strict. Tags need to be in a specific order and certain things cannot be used. If the HTML protocol is not followed the AMP page will show as invalid and will not be shown in the SERPs.
Secondly, make this process as painless as possible by streamlining the building of pages. As a part of a CMS, or something similar, this build will need to become ingrained in the process from here on out. The goal being, to have as many AMP versions of pages as there are HTML pages, or as many as possible.
This article only scratches the surface of AMP, but there is so much more information out there. So, for a more detailed breakdown head to search engine land or AMP Project and get started setting up your AMP!