What is Google AMP & How Does It Affect SEO?

Google AMP offers you an open-source framework that you can use for creating sites, ads, emails, and stories optimized for faster mobile browsing and page loading.

They are crucial for SEO as they ensure dynamic and lightning-fast experiences on different platforms by letting all kinds of pages, ads, images, and layouts load almost on the go. 

I’m a bit of an SEO nerd when it comes to the technical side of SEO, so listen up.

Let us dive deeper into the world of AMP and understand why they are rated relatively high for optimized and conversion-driven online presence.

What is AMP?

AMP (accelerated Mobile Pages) are toned down and lightweight versions of HTML webpage content that loads faster than an average HTML5 document. After applying the “rel=amphtml” tag, all the websites can aid AMP pages. There are three steps of AMP configuration that the pages with AMP have to follow:

  • HTML: A toned down and exclusive mark-up of customary HTML code with distinctive tags.
  • JS: They bring resources and toned down to eradicate pointless rendering.
  • CDN: An improved network planned to cache and acquaint them with AMP codes as soon as possible.

AMP similarly decreases the requirement for additional CSS requests and eradicates particular on-page issues like heavy images, CTAs in most cases, and a lot more backend encryption. All these steps help to increase the speed massively.

Predominantly, AMP hurries the loading period by a second of the entire loading speed by merely facilitating AMP caching. Google influences this functionality as they preload AMP docs utilizing a singular iframe in the context of a search outcome. Hence, this is why the pages seem to load in a flash.

AMP docs can moreover be accessed through the AMP library straight from its original server. A document is stored inside the AMP library with AMP JS and AMP HTML. On the flip side, fetching these docs doesn’t deliver improved speed for the most part.

What is Google AMP?

AMP is fundamentally HTML5. A simple procedure of codes that permit web publishers to make pages that tend to load faster. The upturn in loading speed is humongous and can be in the range of 22 seconds quicker that, more often than not, surges bounce rate. 

Theoretically, Google AMP is an open-source initiative established in favor of making mobile-optimized content.

Google AMP is an initiative by Google, whose ultimate motive is to assist publishers in designing more pages that will instantly load on mobile devices. The web pages seem to arrive from distinct areas within SERP accompanied by distinctive AMP lightning signals by utilizing the AMP coding. Speed on mobile devices is the main agenda of the new algorithm.

JavaScript is the core reason behind AMP’s speed. Coupled with the fact that styling can be modified with the help of CSS3. All the pages under AMP are cached that also helps massively with the faster transfer of content. 

Why is AMP Essential for SEO marketers?

People want everything fast nowadays as the demand to get things done quickly is always on the rise. 

To satisfy this thirst for speed, Google came up with their AMP project with a direct upshot on SEO and other areas. Marketers who have an ambition of staying at the top of the food chain will make AMP a part of their marketing strategy. 

Marketers need to be aware of the fact that Google gives importance to AMP for search results. This wave of AMP is here to stay, and there is no chance that this upturn will die down slowly. 

Marketers that post many blog posts and news articles need to pay close attention to AMP as AMP will massively affect its publisher website.

How To Implement AMP?

If a person is already a WordPress site user, the most straightforward process to start applying AMP is by utilizing the AMP plugin (official) from Google or WordPress. 

Suppose the person intends to retain more control of how analytics is done and how AMP pages’ look. Then, that individual can opt for other plugins such as the AMP for WP or WeeblrAMP. 

We all know that not all businesses utilize WordPress, and all the available plugins come with their shortcomings. So, it becomes necessary that everyone is aware of implementing AMP in content marketing minus a plugin.

Step 1: Make a template of an AMP page.

First, make an AMP page template as you like to post high-quality content and blog posts. To make an AMP page, begin typing in an AMP HTML page “<!doctype html> at the beginning of the page. Furthermore, categorize that page as AMP by inserting a “?” symbol inside the HTML tag similar to <html ?>. 

Unluckily, few HTML tags are not allowed for in AMP pages. Some of the instances are:

  • <embed>
  • <input elements>
  • <param>
  • <frameset>
  • <base>
  • <applet>
  • <object>
  • <frame>

Step 2: Screen and confirm your page

To start screening your AMP page, the page needs to be opened in the web browser within your file system. Another way to utilize it is going to a local web browser such as Apache 2.

An individual can check if the page is correct or not. Go to a web browser of their liking. Type “#development=1” into the URL; after that, go to Chrome DevTools to look after the validation errors.

The ideal practice would be to check two or three AMP pages from your website. Preferably, try to contain pages that are ranked to check whether Google is aiding AMP in mobile search results. 

An important suggestion to keep in mind is that Google can take a few days to search, check, and catalog the AMP of that particular page. Moreover, try to keep the rollout run for a month (ideally longer than that if it’s possible). This gives sufficient time to make sure that rolling out AMP is worth the time.

Step 3: Look out for performance

The usual way in digital marketing is to keep track of the performance of the AMP pages. This is not only to compare the performance of your AMP pages and your competitors. Nevertheless, to see if the performance has been able to live up to the set earlier goals. 

Tools such as Google Analytics or any other B2B tools that are available in third-party apps. Various vendors provide the facility of viewing the AMP analytics. Few other significant points to note utilizing canonical URLs and different variables to explain what is to be recorded. This will help to understand variation in traffic due to AMP.

Moreover, extraUrlParams feature amp-analytics that surges query string factor to the official URL (for instance, “type=amp“). This smoothens the process of differentiating AMP pages from regular web pages in analytics. This allows you to relate entire traffic on pages before and after AMP.

Growth of AMP Websites around the World

AMP is not a privilege reserved for more prominent brands; around 1.4 million websites currently use this technology. If we break down the numbers industry-wise, then the picture would be like this:

  • 11% of AMP technology is currently in use inside the Arts and Entertainment industries.
  • 6% of AMP technology is currently in use inside Computer Electronics and Technology industries.
  • 5.88% of AMP technology is currently in use inside the Science and Education industries.
  • 5.15% of AMP technology is currently in use inside the Gaming industry.
  • The other industries use the rest of 73%.

A few popular websites that take full advantage of the AMP technology are as follows:

  • eBay
  • Independent.co.uk
  • Gizmodo
  • Washington Post
  • BBC
  • Yahoo
  • Pinterest
  • Wired
  • WordPress
  • Reddit
  • CNN 

SEO Benefits of using Google AMP

AMP assists businesses to construct SEO and content strategy. They also offer a smoother browsing experience for mobile device users as well as lightning-fast loading speed. Few more benefits are as follows:

  • An upturn in websites’ engagement: Lightweight AMP web pages bode well for mobile users who often do not have an unstable connection. Moreover, the faster loading of pages smoothens the browsing experience of the user. Hence, the user tends to stay on the website longer than usual.
  • Better-quality traffic and ranking: The time taken to load pages is a factor in Google rank; AMPs are highlighted in Google’s algorithm. Hence it impacts rankings. For instance, if two sites are similar, then the faster wins the race.   
  • Advanced CTR (click-through rates): A significant advantage of AMP is its features in the Top Stories carousel. This is the case in Google mobile SERP-it tends to appear at the top of the search results. It is more likely that the users will click the AMP pages; hence, more click through rates.
  • Better views of Ads: In AMP, the HTML code is set to improve the total usability of images and posters. As a result, there are increased ad views, assisting publishers in enhancing the content’s prospects.
  • Decrease bounce rates: A study tells us that 53% of the website visitors leave the site as it takes longer for a mobile site to load. There is potential to get 2x more time spent per viewer if the publisher uses AMP.

Summing Up!

The AMP technology is still in its infancy stage. The lackluster launch of the technology by Google made this technology go unnoticed for quite a while. 

All that has changed as with every passing year the computer used data is being transferred to mobile screens, it is evident that the future lies with AMP.  

Author Bio:

Akash Kumar works as a Digital Marketing Head at Digital Vidya. Digital Vidya is a global leader in digital marketing and data analytics training.

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