What is Google AMP?

What is AMP?

AMP is a Google-supported framework to build fast, search engine-friendly websites. Like Apple News articles, AMP pages load instantly.

AMP Facts

2X More time spent on AMP page vs. non-AMP page

53% Number of users who leave websites that takes 3+ seconds to load

.5 seconds The median time it takes an AMP page to load from Google search

AMP benefits

AMP is one of Google’s primary recommendations for better website news article search engine rankings. AMP is also a requirement for news articles hoping to rank in Google’s “Top Stories” carousel on mobile devices.

According to Google, AMP can also reduce digital advertising expenses in the form of discounted Google Ads pricing. Additional benefits may include:

  • Better search engine results
  • Longer site visits
  • Reduced site abandonment

How do AMP websites work?

A typical webpage can take 2-4 seconds to download and display from a server. However, AMP webpages “piggyback” on Google’s global servers and circumvent the traditional page-loading process.

Once published, AMP pages are saved and stored in the worldwide AMP Cache, allowing them to load virtually-instantly. In practice, AMP pages perform much like Apple News articles. However, unlike Apple (which walls-off publishers and controls content internally) AMP is publicly-available, Google-supported and free.

Does speed impact search rankings?

Yes. Google first announced speed was a search algorithm ranking factor in 2010. Since then, the importance of page speed has grown. Google implemented a major “Speed Update” in July of 2018.

AMP implementation is one of Google’s primary recommendations for better search engine rankings.
Reference: Google Search Docs

AMP & search engine rankings

Apart from speed, Google prioritizes the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking. AMP’s search engine metadata requirements (the technical information describing webpage content) help with search engine optimization (SEO). AMP-certified pages are also eligible for Google Search Image Carousels and other search results “perks”. To learn more, explore these case studies.

Do AMP benefits extend beyond mobile?

Yes. Desktop and non-mobile devices can leverage AMP’s speed and search-related benefits.

Why is Google interested?

Users dislike slow websites. The slow web is causing people to abandon websites, underutilize Google search, and embrace non-searchable apps.

Browser indicating valid AMP page

AMP verification

On Google Search, AMP-valid webpages are marked by a lightning-bolt icon. To qualify, a websites must adopt some coding restrictions and search engine optimization standards. For example, AMP prohibits certain desktop-era programming tools, resource intensive Javascript and “bulky code.”

Google has a list of AMP search engine metadata guidelines (i.e. logos should fit in a 60x600px rectangle, images should be at least 1200 pixels wide, articles should indicate initial publication date/time in ISO 8601 format) and offers a web-based tool to test the structured data on any specific url.

Is my website AMP-valid?

Google’s AMP testing tool, can help you test whether a webpage is AMP compliant.


Sources

“Using site speed in web search ranking.” April 9, 2010. Source: Google
“Medium time for AMP page to load from Google search is .5 seconds.” Source: Google
“AMP led to 2x increase in time spent on page.” Source: Forrester Report
“AMP Powered Pages get top spot in Google News” Source: Techcrunch

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