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Google AMP and Your Website

Amanda KoehlerAmanda Koehler/Digital Marketing Lead
March 11, 20163 min read

Google recently launched their long-anticipated Accelerated Mobile Project (AMP).  But what exactly is AMP and how will this affect the realm of digital marketing? 

What is AMP and what does it mean for you?

AMP is an open source initiative, announced in October 2015, aimed at making the mobile web faster.

During the last four months, Google worked with hundreds of other companies to improve the mobile web experience.  On February 24th, Google started listing relevant AMP pages within the top stories section of their search result pages.

According to the search giant, these pages load “blazingly fast,” making it easy to scroll through content, saving time and data, while allowing users to swipe from one full-page AMP story to the next.

AMP Image Example

What exactly is AMP webpage?

An AMP webpage is an alternative version of a site’s pages conforming to a narrow set of web technologies served up from Google’s servers.  To use AMP, you must develop an alternate version of your webpages following AMP Standards.  The standards are similar to traditional HTML, but with strict limitations (for example, JavaScript is forbidden).  AMP pages should have a separate URL, making it easier for Google to find them. 

Webpages following these guidelines will receive special treatment from Google, potentially receiving higher rankings in the Top Stories section of search result pages.

I already created a Responsive Site, do I need AMP too?

The AMP project is primarily aimed at publishers.  News organizations and publications, such as the Washington Post and BBC, quickly adopted the standards.  As a business, creating an AMP version of your entire site is unnecessary and will not boost rankings. However, if you have a blog, or other news content, consider creating AMP pages for those webpages. 

How does this compare to Facebook’s Instant Articles?

Google’s AMP project is a response to Facebook’s Instant Articles, a new mobile-publishing feature the social network started experimenting with in 2014.  Similar to AMP, Facebook is offering a way of speeding up web pages so they load faster on mobile devices. 

The main difference between the two is that AMP is considered an “open-source” project, whereas Instant Articles are controlled by Facebook.  Instant Articles are served up within Facebook, and are meant to keep the user on the social network. (For example, you do not have to leave Facebook to read a New York Times Facebook Instant Article.)

Google AMP, on the other hand, gives publishers additional flexibility, allowing for things like links and other interactive elements. This helps readers connect with a publisher’s site and brand, which is very limited on Facebook Instant.

What are the drawbacks to AMP?

Creating more than one version of a webpage means you’ll spend more time updating and maintaining your website and AMP pages.  This can be difficult for small marketing teams.  The good thing about AMP, however, is that you do not need to create a version of your whole website, just the news or blog section.  While long-term maintenance should not be affected, it will require additional time up-front to create AMP pages. Creating an AMP version of your webpages also requires a developer to assure you are meeting AMP standards.

AMP article shares are one of the biggest drawbacks. When someone views your AMP page through Google, and shares the article via social media or email, the link shared will actually be a Google link (such as www.google.com/amp/yourwebiste.com/yourpage/amp).  As a result, your site is not getting the traffic, but Google’s servers are.

This means your website will not be given the credit for that share, essentially hiding it from any site monitoring tools.  This is a big change for marketers.  Previously, Google result sent users to websites, but with AMP, Google is keeping readers on Google.  Google does have the option of embedding AMP pages on other domains, so there is a way to get around this and still receive the link juice for your AMP page, but this will also require additional work for your marketing team and developers.

 

Amanda KoehlerAmanda Koehler/Digital Marketing Lead

Amanda Koehler is certified in Google Analytics and Google AdWords.  As our digital marketing lead, she focuses on creating marketing strategies for customers like Wildeck, Heartland Advisors,  Curative Care, Snap-on and many others. Through research and data analytics, Amanda helps clients meet their digital marketing goals.

Connect with Amanda on Twitter | Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn | Read Amanda Koehler's Blogs

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