Google AMP is short for the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project and it’s an open source initiative led by Google designed to make publisher’s content load fast on mobile devices. Sovrn has been involved with the project since last fall and we’re excited to be part of an effort designed to support independent publishers and the open web.
Google AMP overview
In short, Google Accelerated Mobile pages are special mobile-optimized pages built in a Google-created version of HTML. The pages are made to load instantly on mobile devices and show up as “cards” on the Google mobile search results.
How Google AMP is optimizing the mobile web
The key feature of Google AMP HTML web pages is that they are optimized for load speed and reader experience more than anything else. While the text content of the page loads instantly when a reader lands on the page, elements such as ads and images are not loaded until the exact moment they are scrolled into view.
How does Google AMP effect SEO?
It remains to be seen how much Google AMP will influence Google’s mobile search results, but we suspect it will have a significant impact, given how important load time is to SEO, particularly in the mobile-specific search signals. The AMP cards, however, are prioritized in search results and have been given premium positions at the very top of the page, right below the first two SEM ads. Because the cards feature large images and big headlines, they are much more likely to get clicked than a normal text-only search result.
Taking the 30,000 foot view for a minute now, let’s discuss why Google is doing what they are doing and why publishers should be rooting for Google’s success. Ultimately it comes down to competition and choice.
Over the last few years, SEO dominance has waned as social has been an increasing source of traffic for publishers. As a result, publishers have been essentially seeding power to Facebook and away from Google and their own web pages.
While Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News are closed systems where publishers have less power over their content and fewer monetization options, the AMP project is designed to keep the web open. Many critics of Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News are bullish on Google AMP because of the openness of the project and Google’s efforts to bolster their search business and strengthen the open web.
One way AMP is more open is that publishers will have their choice of ad providers and will not be locked into using Google products as they are with Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News. AMP will also support subscriptions and paywalls.
Most content-rich publishers will be able to easily adopt AMP, but there will be some custom coding required.