What is Google AMP?

What is Google AMP?

Google has introduced a new search engine results page feature called Accelerated Mobile Pages or “AMP.” It’s not an ad platform and it’s not a paid search product. AMP are website pages that appear in the organic results in a “news carousel” and have special code written into them so that when clicked, the page instantly loads on your smartphone.

Here are screenshots from my smartphone of what it looks like when you do a search and get AMP results: (note the lightning bolt icon and “AMP” at the bottom of each frame of the news carousel)

Google AMP Example

For an AMP result to show up the website publisher (for example, The Wall Street Journal) has to build their webpage with the AMP coding. This coding enables a website page to load almost instantly. Google says that AMPs load roughly 4X faster and use 1/10 the data of pages not built in AMP.

Why is Google pushing this? One hope is that by increasing the speed in which a webpage loads, the user experience will be better and people will spend more time mobile web browsing versus being in apps. It’s also Google’s answer to Facebook’s very popular Instant Articles which is a similar feature (website articles appear in your News Feed, you click and the article loads within the Facebook app – no waiting for the publisher’s website to load).

How does advertising fit into this? It’s business as usual. The AMP article that instantly loads still will have ad widgets, but they will load faster and the hope is be less intrusive to the user.

Right now, AMP is aimed at high volume publishing and content sites. So should the average local business add the AMP code to their website pages? The answer isn’t clear yet from Google. But given their history, it’s assumed that at some point, Google will begin rewarding AMP compatible websites with better search rankings.

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