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Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) : Is this going to be the new standard for Web Content?


Google has been favouring mobile friendliness of websites since quite a long time. Be it rolling out the updates like Mobile geddon 1 & 2 and thereby forcing webmaster to be more mobile friendly or improving the interfaces like app streaming to keep users engaged, Google’s algorithm has always prefered websites optimised for mobile devices. Yes, if your website is able to pass Google’s mobile friendly test, it should not have any issue in getting a good rank in the search engines. However, this can be treated as a minimum standard for mobile optimisation which is subject to increase in specificity and/or expansion in definition. In this attempt of favouring and making it easy for websites to be mobile friendly, Google and Twitter have created the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) Project. The question now is - Is there any possibility of AMPs eventually becoming new standard for web content optimisation!! Let’s try to find out..

What is AMP?

Accelerated Mobile Pages Project is a set of open source standards that enable webmaster to create web pages that faster on mobile devices. AMP is a lightweight, stripped out HTML version of traditional web pages.

How AMP works!!

The basic idea behind AMP is stripping away the items that make the HTML codes heavier to load on mobile devices. All you need to use while creating an AMP is an updated, streamlined version of CSS and completely give up on JavaScript.

Role of AMPs in SERPs..

Is there any advantage of AMP for SEO!? Well, the answer to this will be a NO!! Yes, as of now, there is no clear ranking benefits of having AMPs over traditional web pages. However, these appear in a somewhat different manner in the SERP. you might have come across these small lightning bolt symbols next to the AMP designations shown under certain headlines in a carousel rotating above organic search results. This usually appears when you are searching for new stories. Theoretically, AMPs could be able to get you some extra visibility assuming that your authority is strong enough to enter that carousel. Though it’s not very clear whether Google is trying to include the AMP structure as a main ranking factor in future.

It might be possible that Google will deliberately increase its emphasis on AMPs thereby forcing more webmasters to use this formatting to produce faster contents. Google may also try to make it easier for web pages to apply these standards or, just improve the visibility of AMPs. As the competition is high from other big players (like Facebook) and the number of mobile audience is increasing day by day, the demand for faster content will always be there. However, it’s quite unlikely that AMPs are going to be the new standard to decide a website’s ranking.

What prevents AMPs from becoming a Standard for SEO!?

The main reasons restricting AMPs from being the new standard for SEO are,

Limited Functionality:

With AMPs you have your content loading much faster. You have images, videos etc. available on your site and those only load when the visitor scrolls to have a look at them. But, you will not be able to code your page with desired functions that you want to make available for your viewers. This may be treated as fine to some extent yet, webmasters still need to have some degree of flexibility to create the websites there way.

Focuses on a single platform:

Mobile marketing tops the priority of the marketers these days which increases the importance of mobile optimisation of the websites but, these are not the only aspects of marketing, there are others too. AMPs totally ignores all other aspects of marketing and completely focuses on mobile optimisation. Well, it’s true that majority of the traffic these days originate from the mobile devices yet, there are still a significant number of visitors coming from desktop sites. Focus on AMPs exclusively will completely isolate the desktop users which is not a desired transition the users or technology are willing to have in near future.

AMPs are useful but, only for a limited range of content types:

Yes, no one can deny the usefulness of AMPs but, it’s also true that these are useful for only a narrow range of content types (different content types). AMPs are designed to facilitate readability and minimize the page load time which makes these perfect for articles, news, other digestible informations and alike contents. However, at the same time AMPs can not be considered useful for videos, podcasts, extended forms or eBooks etc.

To Conclude..

Let’s ignore the effects of AMPs on page ranking and SEO for a moment and consider the website’s overall performance of the effect of pageload time on this performance. It’s true that a faster loading web page is capable of holding the visitors for a longer period and keep them engaged thereby reducing bounce rate. And, for this reason only, Accelerated Mobile Pages are worth consideration for web page optimisation. But, we have already discussed in this article that there are other factors too that should be considered while planning to optimise your website as per SEO standards.

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