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Alphabet Soup: AMP

AMP

In this spoonful of Alphabet Soup we look at A, M & P.

AMP is an open source HTML framework developed with the goal of increasing website loading speed and optimizing web pages for mobile devices. It’s likely you have interacted with AMP pages before without realizing it. If you’ve ever checked the news on your mobile device and clicked through a headline to have the news story open immediately with no wait, then that was most likely an AMP experience.

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and was designed from the get-go to make the mobile user experience better. Mobile pages that use the AMP format have restrictions to the code they can run and they are automatically cached by Google AMP cache.

While this allows for high performance since Google can respond to a search query with an immediately available AMP page result - which is mostly a good thing - it has not been without controversy, because essentially Google has been forcing the hand of website owners to deliver their content for Google to serve up directly instead of having searches land on the advertisers’ website.

Since 2016, Google has given priority to AMP pages in search results which has meant that companies across the globe have found themselves “forced” to use AMP technology to have their content reach searchers. The effects are not all terrible, of course, with strong indications that users stay longer on AMP pages, engage with content more deeply, and even spend more on ecommerce AMP pages over traditional pages. But publishers do not see these benefits across the board, and some have found the development of AMP pages to have a negative effect on their efforts to monetize their properties.

In 2020 Google announced that ranking would be impacted heavily by what they call Core Web Vitals and that AMP preference would be replaced by the measures covered in Core Web Vitals instead.

In a nutshell, AMP is still widely used and available as an option to serve content up exceedingly fast, but no longer wears a crown. Your non-AMP pages with good Core Web Vitals can now compete.

 

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Learn more about AMP: https://amp.dev/  and Wikipedia entry

Learn more about Core Web Vitals: https://web.dev/vitals/

Learn more about the switch:  https://plausible.io/blog/google-amp