As perhaps the next big thing in search engine optimisation, Google AMP has been getting a lot of attention lately. Though it launched nearly two years ago, AMP has remained a hot topic in the web developer community.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is an open-source initiative by Google, aiming to optimise web content on smartphones.
Around 49% of mobile web users wait less than ten seconds before abandoning a loading web page. Google aims to reduce the abandonment rate by loading web pages almost instantaneously.
The median load time for AMP-coded content is 0.7 seconds, whereas non-AMP-coded pages take 22 seconds.
AMP is currently supported by Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Opera, and UC browsers. It is spread over 25 million domains and 100 technology providers.
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How does Google AMP work?
Making an HTML page AMP-compliant is not very difficult. Developers need to add a few extra extensions for rich content. In addition, some restrictions are set in place for reliable performance.
However, if a website is relatively simple, it may already comply with AMP-HTML. This is because AMP pages are demarcated on Chrome by a lightning bolt symbol and an ‘AMP’ tag.
If pages are correctly marked up with structured data from Schema.org, the page may potentially be displayed on the Google Top Stories carousel.
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Why should you use Google AMP?
AMP-optimized pages have better ranks. This is because they are more effective in converting mobile page visitors to customers. Pages that load instantly have more views than pages that don’t.
40% of mobile users abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. The bounce rate rises by 8.3% in a single second of delay, and the page views fall by 9.4%.
AMP makes it significantly easier to market advertisements. Non-essential HTML code tags, such as those for the header and sidebar, are not executed on an AMP page. Due to fewer distractions, advertisements are more prominent.
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Demerits of Google AMP
Some developers are worried about the segregation being caused by AMP. Content creators are forced to use Google AMP to appear at the top of search results or face a direct hit in viewership.
Those against AMP have petitioned Google to stop giving preferential placements in the search results for AMP-optimised pages. Preferably, a neutral criterion ought to be used to determine the rank.
AMP also blocks most live chat services. An e-commerce site could lose customers if it does not provide the necessary support.
AMP disables most third-party features such as reviews, trust seals, and recommendations.
AMP view strips most of the branding of a website. Hence, anyone could load illegitimate data in an AMP-optimised webpage and present it as a Google-supported page.
Though AMP-optimized pages could improve the mobile user experience by leaps and bounds, the fate of developers and the security of users should be taken into account before deciding to switch over.
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