After Facebook’s instant articles, it was only a matter of time before arch-rival Google launched its own offensive in the form of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). While publishers have lately been turning lukewarm towards the former, AMP — Google’s ultimate strategy to dominate the mobile search market — continues to gain ground.
In India, publishers and website owners are wondering how AMP is going to impact them and what they should do to derive maximum benefit out of this change. Here I will give an overview of AMP and all that you need to know about it.
What is AMP?
An open-source project, AMP is backed by Google, whose primary aim is to effect faster page-loading on mobile devices, the cornerstone of solid user experience.
Impact on speed
Data from KISSmetrics shows that about 40 percent people leave a web page that takes over three seconds to load. Further, if an e-commerce site makes $0.1 million per day, even a one-second delay can result in lost sales of up to $2.5 million annually.
Against this backdrop, the speed improvement that AMP brings is a potential game-changer. The following table from Organic Facts shows the enormity of change. Take a look.
Google has introduced AMP for content pages (including product pages) globally, starting with the US on September 20, 2016. According to Search Engine Land, it is expected to complete the global rollout by the end of the year.
The India rollout has also begun, and Google will soon be extending this to all web pages and websites in the country.
Traffic on AMP is rising
Globally, traffic from AMP is rising, both as proportion of overall traffic and, in turn, the overall number. A recent Digiday report says Thrillist now derives as much as 15 percent of its search traffic from AMP, resulting in 33 percent growth in overall search traffic. At the USA Today Network, AMP already accounts for 12 percent of total mobile page views.
The big boys of the publishing world, from the Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal, are decidedly excited about AMP. And that’s no flash in the pan, for other renowned publications like the Guardian, Trinity Mirror, and the Financial Times have also embraced AMP.
Google had revealed in early August that it had a whopping 150 million AMP docs indexed in its search results. The number of domains those documents are coming from stands at 650,000.
News sites were the first ones to jump onto the bandwagon but more and more websites, across e-commerce, entertainment and travel sectors, and even recipe sites, are warming up to the idea.
Adoption by e-commerce
Moz is of the opinion that e-commerce sites can effectively implement AMP and, at the very least, they should ensure that their content pages are AMP-ready. Although not every e-commerce site has made their software AMP-friendly yet, eBay went ahead and did it it as early as June. Shopify has also followed suit, and more players are likely to take the same route in coming days.
Google has gone on record to say that AMP will go very well with e-commerce since it makes browsing faster, which means higher purchase conversions.
You get the drift!
Is AMP a search ranking factor?
Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, clarified at the SEJ Summit Chicago recently: “Currently, AMP is not a mobile ranking factor.”
What lies buried in that statement is a definite possibility that, one day, AMP could influence rankings strongly.
At any rate, deducing that AMP implementation will give a fillip to your website’s SEO is a no-brainer, for the following reasons:
- AMP scores big on loading time, which Google has traditionally used to determine page rank.
- A faster, more nimble web page will also keep your readers on your page for longer, reducing your bounce rate.
- For publishers, these pages will show up on the Google News carousel, which means a higher click-through rate
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)