Over a year ago, Google launched The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (Google AMP) in order to initialize a movement to further clean and speed up the mobile browsing and search experience.
According to Google, “the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project is an open source initiative that embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere” (ampproject.org).
Since Google AMPs launch less than a year ago, now over 15% of web pages visited are going to AMP, with other major sites like eBay and Reddit stating that the new format is interesting and innovative enough for them to consider retiring the old code their websites have been built upon. If you previously had your mobile checklist finalized, you definitely want to add another check to the box.
Google’s Largest Attempt to Overhaul Mobile Web Browsing
While Google has taken multiple steps towards improving the clunky and frustrating experiences of mobile-search over recent years, such as the multiple mobile-specific changes their search algorithm has undergone, AMP represents their largest and most successful effort to making mobile web-browsing as speedy and stable as its desktop counterpart.
While many criticized AMP as being Google’s response to Facebook Instant Articles back when it was released, since then the project has had time to prove itself as a much more powerful and impacting tool. While both services have focused on the recent data supporting how old code and sluggish websites are killing the web, Facebook’s Instant Articles are confined within the walls of Facebook, while Google’s AMP have the framework capable of overhauling the entire web.
What’s Holding Some Back from Google AMP?
While the new mobile standard is being set and more and more businesses are converting their website over to AMP, it’s important to look at why some aren’t or haven’t yet and what kind of changes need to be made in order for its success to continue to rise. An oversimplified and too-easy answer is mostly that there are some ad formats and various plugins that the AMP architecture is yet to support, and some that it might never support. According to Google, some of those plugins and formats are part of the reason for the sluggish and non-optimized mobile websites. So while some are simply waiting for the move to AMP, others will need more on an incentive to leave some of that money behind.
Furthermore, a large change with AMP is how it deals with non-viewable impressions and when it decides to display an ad. Many sites still rely on non-viewable impressions to make revenue, which becomes part of the problem of old code and an unoptimized web structure. AMP instead waits until a user is near an ad position before it calls it, which while this tactic ends up displaying the ad less overall it also significantly improves viewability and click rates. While those sites who get paid for unseen ads may be hurt by this change, this helps clean up not only the browsing experience but curb poor marketing practices that are out of date and are ineffective for both the company and the consumer.
The Current AMP State of Affairs
AMP is not perfect, but it isn’t close to being “finished” either. Looking at the growing numbers and the success of current AMP websites, the progress of this new format within the past 12 months is incredible. The launch of this project has not only created a new web publishing standard, but a distribution framework that has already signed on dozens of leading tech companies, publishers, and developers to propel it forward. Combined with Google’s recent announcement of their plan to split desktop and mobile searches, many are estimating that the percentage of websites using AMP will continue to grow and reshape mobile-search as we know it.
Whether you are considering a more dialed in organic search campaign or paid search strategy to drive qualified traffic to your site mobile search is only getting larger. Contact us today to discuss how we can apply Google AMP – accelerated mobile pages to your content strategy today.