Embracing Mobilegeddon With Google AMP

Rob Talbot SEO Leave a Comment

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As the next wave of Mobilgeddon rolls out, marketers anxiously search for new and improved ways to optimize their sites and get on Google’s good side when it comes to mobile SEO.

After our first post on Mobilegeddon: Round 2, released last week, we received a few emails asking about the Google AMP project. That’s a good question; Google AMP is a great open source tool to increase the user experience of your site for those visiting via mobile devices.

The Problem With Mobile

As you likely already know, a tremendous amount of information is consumed on mobile devices around the world every minute. Even though mobile usage seems to have hit a plateau recently, it has still become a dominant platform website interaction.

However, most of the engagement via smart mobile devices is through apps and only a small percentage of browsing is done on the Web. This is because the experience with a mobile browser hasn’t always been great; in fact, it has been terrible. As mentioned by Tony Haile, Chief Executive Officer at Chartbeat, “This thing that should be something of utter wonder is a source of frustration.” When a page takes too long to load, the reader becomes frustrated and abandons the site losing the opportunity for subscriptions and revenue.

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Why Google AMP?

After talking to publishers and tech companies around the world, Google decided to undergo an open source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Why did Google start such a project? The idea was to create an unfettered, unrestricted mobile framework, which is entirely customizable, complete with no gatekeepers.

The project includes close to 6,000 developers from 33 countries who have joined to collaborate, as well as thousands of websites. As of February, there have been over 1,200 code submissions and 46 releases. This is an ambitious open-source project with a very tight schedule.

“This is the start of an exciting collaboration with publishers and technology companies, who have all come together to make the mobile web work better 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.”David Besbris, VP of Engineering at Google

AMP is geared towards dramatically improving the performance of the mobile web. “We want web pages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant—no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using,” added Besbris

How Does It Work?

So how does AMP work exactly? The AMP project relies on AMP HTML, which is a new open framework built out of existing web technologies. This framework will enable developers to create light-weight web pages and customize them in any way they see fit.

Paul Shapiro from Search Engine Land, explains the three essential parts of AMP:

AMP HTML: A subset of HTML, this markup language has some custom tags and properties and many restrictions. But if you are familiar with regular HTML, you should not have difficulty adapting existing pages to it. For more details on how it differs from basic HTML, check out AMP Project’s list of required markup that your AMP HTML page “must” have.

AMP JS: A JavaScript framework for mobile pages. For the most part, it manages resource handling and asynchronous loading. It should be noted third-party JavaScript is not permitted with AMP.

AMP CDN: An optional Content Delivery Network, it will take your AMP-enabled pages, cache them and automatically make some performance optimizations.

For more information on how to incorporate AMP into your site, check out Shapiro’s full article.

The Google AMP project is an excellent example of various partners coming together and striving to create a better user experience for the consumer and another important step in Google’s mobile-friendly initiative. Google has announced pages using the AMP HTML will be given priority in its mobile search algorithms.

This is just one of many SEO tools we as modern marketers should leverage to enhance our customer’s experience and win the battle for ranking in Google’s ever changing game.

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