Google’s AMP – Oh no they did it again!

Google’s AMP – Oh no they did it again!

As publishers and content marketers lick their wounds from Mobilegeddon and finish creating great looking responsive websites (as Google recommended), Google has come out with a new initiative called  Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

Why does Google think a change is needed?

The main issue with responsive websites is their load speed on mobile devices – they are very slow. A responsive website is actually several different websites (desktop, smartphones, tablets, etc.) packed into one code database. This creates heavy, slow code that is not channel-specific optimized. To solve this issue, Google’s AMP initiative will require everyone (once again) to rebuild their mobile website, this time as a separate dedicated mobile site.

What’s an AMP website?

AMP is a subset of the HTML standard, which is great since all modern browsers will support it. On the other hand, since it’s a subset, not all HTML features are supported. Mainly scripts, forms and external style sheets. There is some limited support for analytic and advertisement. The result is a high-performance website that loads much quicker than a responsive version. The pain is, of course, the lack of rich features supported by JavaScript, and the need to maintain multiple version of the same website. In a way, this is a huge step backward, but I guess Google realized that over packed websites create poor results on mobile devices, even when browsed from the latest and strongest smartphones.

Do you need it?

Same as responsive design and the “Mobile Friendly” algorithm changes, publishers and content marketers will have to implement AMP or it will affect their Google SEO rank. From a demo released by Google, it looks like non-AMP results will be pushed way below a new call-to-action component that highlights only AMP results. All other search results will be displayed below the new AMP component. Google recently announced that official support for AMP will come earlier than expected, by the beginning of 2016.
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Is it faster?

We’ve simulated the AMP result vs. Simple responsive result for the website http://www.nrg.co.il/. We’ve measured both the load time of the home page and an internal article page. The load time for responsive version (not optimized) was 6.75s and 5.16s
homepage_responsive

article_responsive

 

While the load time for the simulated AMP pages was 1.44s and 1.15s,

homepage_amp

Article AMP optimzied

 

which is clearly a much better load time.

Zuznow is AMP ready

Zuznow’s one-click mobilization platform is already AMP enabled and can easily produce both full HTML and AMP result for the same page. For more information please contact Zuznow’s support team at http://support.zuznow.com.

Conclusion:

AMP standard improves the load time (and by that the user experience) significantly but requires a major technical effort. It is recommended to stay tuned for any Google announcement and be ready to support it when needed.