What is Google AMP, and How Will it Affect Independent Publishers?

sovrnmarketing // January 26, 2016

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Accelerated Mobile Page (or AMP, for short) is Google’s open source initiative designed to improve the performance of the mobile web. With the 2015 launch of both Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple’s News App, AMP is Google’s answer to the increasing demand for a fast and stream-lined mobile experience.

What’s unique about AMP is that it is built on existing web technologies, allowing publishers to host their own content and manage their own advertising while still providing an optimal mobile experience to their readers.

What is Google AMP and how does it work?

Accelerated Mobile Page is designed to load content lightning-fast. It does this in many ways, including allowing only asynchronous scripts, sizing all resources statically and keeping all third-party Javascript out of the critical path.

The result? An extremely lightweight web page that loads incredibly fast.

AMP is segmented into three separate parts. These include:
AMP HTML – HTML with custom AMP properties.

AMP JS – The AMP JS library stores resources for AMP users and custom AMP tabs.

AMP CDN – The AMP CDN is a proxy-based CDN that helps delivers AMP documents. Publishers aren’t required to use the AMP CDN.

What does AMP look like on a mobile screen?

AMP appears as a “cards” above the blue links in search results.

As you can see below, AMP helps publishers use rich media like image carousels, maps, social plug-ins, data visualizations and videos.

How will AMP affect mobile advertising?

AMP enables publishers to work with the mobile ad partners of their choosing as long as they don’t hurt user experience.

As stated on the Google blog, “Any sites using AMP HTML will retain their choice of ad networks, as well as any formats that don’t detract from the user experience. It’s also a core goal of the project to support subscriptions and paywalls.”

Essentially, the focus with advertising will be user experience first – keep it lean, fast, and pleasing to the eye.

How might AMP negatively affect publishers?

AMP’s longterm effect on publisher revenue and readership is still unclear. While Google hasn’t confirmed this explicitly, it seems that publishers who do not adopt AMP HTML will be penalized by Google in search results. In addition to an SEO hit, publishers who do not use AMP may also lose readers who prefer the fast and streamlined AMP experience.

How can publishers get started with Google AMP?

Any publisher will soon be able to adopt AMP. However, publishers will be required to do some custom coding when implementing AMP HTML onto their sites.

Want to learn more?

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