Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is “an open-source initiative aiming to make the web better for all. The project enables the creation of websites and ads that are consistently fast, beautiful and high-performing across devices and distribution platforms.” – ampproject.org
Basically its google’s answer to faster page loading for mobile users by stripping pages down to the minimum it needs to show the content to the user. Integrating google AMP into your site can be simple or it can be very difficult. It all depends on what platform your site is built on and the complexity of the features your site needs for its users.
In most cases, you only need to apply AMP to your blog post/ news pages. If you can apply it to your whole site with little extra effort then it’s a good idea to do so.
Is Google AMP going to stick around?
The world of website development changes rapidly. New technologies come and go. A lot of website owners have been burnt in the past when they spend time and money applying a change to their site to keep up with the trends only to have that change become completely irrelevant 12 months later.
Fortunately, it looks like Google AMP is one of those technologies that’s here to stay. Google have been putting more and more into the Google AMP project.
Initially, it was built for the benefit of mainly news websites. It’s since been expanding to be applied to nearly all business types including e-commerce.
Google AMP is constantly being developed and fleshed out. At this rate, it looks like it’ll be able to support most of the basic website components very soon.
If it’s here to stay then why shouldn’t you integrate AMP into your website?
AMP does come with some cons. These cons could be completely erased as it matures, but for now they remain.
Below are some of the main pros’ and cons’ of integrating google AMP into your website.
Google AMP Pros:
- Increase mobile rankings – Your page speed is faster so your ranking position will increase
- Forces you to follow best web practices – You must pass a long list of strict web standards google have put in place for them to accept your web page as an AMP page
- Reduces load on the server – With your content cached on a CDN your server doesn’t need to serve as many requests. This isn’t a big deal for most that are on a standard hosting plan but for bigger sites it can add up
- Higher click through rates – Your web pages will show with a small AMP logo in the SERPs. This alone has been known to increase click through rates
Google AMP Cons:
- Can lower the functionality of your site – While AMP is evolving at a very fast pace, it still has a lot of limitations on what can and can’t be done on a web page
- Can change the mobile design of your site – If your site is built in bootstrap or a responsive WordPress theme, chances are that the mobile design you once had will have to be downgraded a little
- Can be a pain to implement – If you aren’t using WordPress then you will need to basically build a whole new web page
With the main pros’ and cons’ out of the way the question remains. Is AMP worth it?
It depends… You need to weigh the benefits with the time and money that is going to be spent implementing it. For WordPress users, there are simple plugins you can use to integrate it, and other plugins you can use to style the AMP pages to look as similar to your normal web pages as possible. For those people, I say spend the hour setting it up.
Millions of websites have implemented AMP pages already but much more are still on the fence. If you have a custom built website then it might not be worth it until google openly say they are favoring AMP pages over regular mobile pages.
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