As mobile indexing becomes a priority, so does page speed. AMP pages are a hot commodity in the SEO community as information about it trickles down to digital marketing managers of websites. But there are pros and cons to developing this search marketing strategy. Before we dig into them, let's start by uncovering the nature of AMP pages and why it is important.
What is AMP?
AMP is an open source initiative by Google that began in October 2015. These pages are lightweight thanks to replacing visual richness with a minimalistic look. AMP functions by limiting the elements that websites can use to make sure pages load properly and quickly.
Why Do We Care About AMP?
AMP gained momentum back in August 2016 when Google announced it would move past "Top Stories" into the main organic search results. Now, AMP is an official part of mobile search.
Although AMP receives no special boost in mobile results, Google still prefers and links to AMP compared to the conventional page version. It loads faster in the AMP viewer unlike conventional web pages – less than a second on average. This is why big publishers like Bing, WordPress, Reddit, eBay, and Shopify use AMP to enhance the mobile and search marketing experience, among others.
Keep in mind there are more than 600 million AMP-enabled documents available. And they are spread out in over 230 "locales" as well as written in more than 100 languages.
In addition, AMP extends beyond news content into e-commerce, shopping, entertainment, travel, cooking, and more. Therefore, publishers and marketers have a lot of room for traffic growth, with a more mobile-friendly and engaging set of web pages on the horizon.
Now, let's get into the pros of AMP. One major benefit is AMP's ability to speed up website load time as mentioned earlier. Users get to enjoy less complicated mobile pages, decreasing wait time and making them more likely to stick around on a website. This practically promises more visitors to one's website, which is great for brand awareness, at least.
AMP's faster load time can lead to higher mobile ranking, although it's not a ranking factor by itself. The more Google prioritizes AMP, the more impact it will have on SERPS.
Besides quicker page loads, AMP will provide faster servers if your website gains a lot of traffic.
Now, let's review some cons about AMP. For example, ad revenue is reduced since it doesn't easily run ads. So, this hurts one's search marketing strategy.
On top of this, it's difficult to measure progress without easy support for Google Analytics. Google Analytics requires a certain tag that is time-consuming to implement.
Furthermore, Google relies on saved cached versions of AMP-tagged pages. This leaves publishers and marketers scrambling to understand the rest of AMP's functions and impact without specific, convenient technology.
Despite all this, Google isn't penalizing websites for not using AMP. But it is keeping an eye on the websites that do. And this poses an interesting question. Should websites jump on the bandwagon now or wait until a final verdict is out about whether it's necessary?
Based on your newfound understanding of AMP, what is your answer to the question? Overall, AMP has a lot of good to offer, but using it does come at a price. Want to read more about mobile? Read our case study: Spring Ushers in a New Way to Shop on Mobile.