Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

If you are into technology and optimization, then you may have heard the term “AMPs”thrown around lately. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. What are they? What do they mean for search, and how can you prepare for it all? These are the questions that we are planning to answer through this article.

What are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

Accelerated Mobile Page (or AMP, for short) is an open source initiative launched by Google and Twitter. The project is designed to make mobile pages fast. At its point, the solution is basically a stripped-down form of HTML. It’s an HTML page designed to be super lightweight and hence makes loading of a mobile page real fast. Google, Twitter, and few other companies have rolled AMP out. Experts are considering this as a kind of response to projects such as the Facebook Instant Articles project from Facebook and Apple News. the project is open source and aims to receive responses from developers around the world.

Why use AMP?

Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way consumers access information nowadays. People consume a tremendous amount of content only via their phones. Publishers and marketers around the globe have been using the mobile web to reach these consumers. But they are constantly witnessing a pain when it comes to user experience and efficiency. Every time a web page takes too long to load, they lose a consumer. The opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions declines whenever consumers meet with a slow loading web page. They just don’t look into at. They close the browser. This is where AMP comes into the picture.

The AMP open source project aims to improve the performance of the mobile web and increase their efficiency. They desire webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and also load with minimum time lag. They even wish the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices, no matter the type of phone, tablet or mobile device the consumer is hooked to. An optimization code that works everywhere, cool ain’t it?

What makes AMP so fast?

The concept on which AMP is designed is that the whole platform is designed for pure readability and increased speed. Things such as images don’t load until they’re scrolled into view, and the JavaScript is the technology that does that. The experts at AMP anticipate that there is going to be a time where the JavaScript library is built into certain operating systems. In the AMP system, these are designed to be heavily cached so that Google can host these pages, host the actual content so that there is no requirement to fetch it from somewhere else.

The project relies on AMP HTML, a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies. The technology allows websites to build light-weight webpages. They have developed a demo on Google Search for the same. You can view the demo here.

How the key areas that AMP will focus on?

Google has announced that over time other Google products such as Google News will also integrate AMP HTML pages. Nearly 30 publishers from around the world are taking part in this initiative.

Google has collaborated with numerous publishers and technology companies, to make the mobile web more efficient and optimized for everyone. Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress.com, Chartbeat, Parse.ly, Adobe Analytics and LinkedIn are among the first group of technology partners planning to integrate AMP HTML pages.

In the coming months, Google is going to work with other participants in the project to build more features and functionality focused on some key areas such as:

  • Content: Publishers constantly rely on rich content features such as image carousels, maps, social plug-ins, data visualizations, and videos in order to make their stories more interactive and stand out among the crowd. They also implement ads and analytics in order to monetize the content and to understand what their readers like and dislike. The analytics play an important part for publishers to understand their target audience and create content that has the highest acceptance rate among their readers. The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project provides an open source approach, allowing publishers to focus on producing great content, while relying on the shared components for high performance and unmatched user experience. The initial technical specification, developed with input and code from the partners in the publishing and technology sectors, has been released on GitHub. The project can be viewed here.
  • Distribution: Publishers want people to enjoy the great journalism they create anywhere and everywhere, so stories or content produced in one country can be served in an instant across the globe i.e. across countries and continents. This demands distribution across all kinds of devices and platforms a crucial factor when it comes to content publishing. As part of the initiative, Google has designed a new approach to caching. This new approach allows the publisher to continue to host their content and at the same time allowing efficient distribution through Google’s high performance global cache. They intend to open their cache servers to be used by anyone free of charge.
  • Advertising: Ads are the source for funding free services and content on the web. Ads is an important revenue generation technique for these online services. With Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), the objective is to support a comprehensive range of ad formats, ad networks and technologies. Any sites using AMP HTML will retain their choice of ad networks. They will also have the option to utilize formats that don’t detract from the user experience. Another core goal of the project is to support subscriptions and paywalls. Google plans to work with publishers and those in the industry to help define the parameters of an ad experience that still provides the speed that the AMP team is striving for.

The team at AMP urges that companies start building AMP pages for their site and make sure that those pages are valid, because the AMP version of the webpage is just like a diet version of HTML, but it’s quite strict on how the HTML is being built. The tags are required to be in certain orders and certain places.

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