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Google AMP What?
Mobile web design and friendliness is huge news today because mobile bandwidth is so slow. But so is desktop. Can’t somebody do something? Google says it’s going to fix the problem and speed up the web.
They’ve created a new web coding system and web designers and developers are tackling right now. Those who ignore it, might see the search engine rankings lower or in future, disappear. AMP will have a growing impact on SEO.
Last October, Google announced it is developing its new web page coding system which allows pages to show up faster in mobile browsers. Slow loading pages, loaded with ads, have been a big user experience problem. Google saw an opportunity to come up looking like heroes by creating the Accelerated Mobile Page Project to help find a solution. But then again, it’s Google’s own advertising servers that are bogging down the web experience. Is Google spinning its own advertising problem and using it to challenge and undermine the prevailing open source standards?
Others believe Google is responding to competitors who are delivering fast loading pages that provide a better search and user experience.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google-backed project intended as an open standard for any publisher to have pages load quickly on mobile devices. On Feb. 24, 2016, Google integrated AMP listings into its mobile search results. — From Search Engine Land.
Conform to Google or Else!
Yes, it’s yet another time when your website design/programming will need to conform to Google’s always changing standards. Faster performance though is something mobile users desperately want. We‘re moving to a strange new era where people aren’t using desktop/laptop computers and instead go online using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. But will AMP actually speed things up?
How does HTML compare to AMP Speedwise? This is from Nieman Labs:
“On my iMac, the full version weighs in at 1.3 megabytes, renders the visible content in 2.60 seconds, and loads completely in 5.80 seconds. The AMP version is about half the size (777 kilobytes), renders in 0.47 seconds, and loads completely in 1.34 seconds.”
I recently installed the AMP accelerator from Automattic (WordPress) to speed up my pages for mobile. If you’re viewing on a mobile device, did this page load quickly?
Wed Designer Headaches
The AMP code is something important for you web designers and web programmers to deal with. It’s all about how the browser calls for various files it needs in order to “render” the page quickly. These new pages which conform to the new fast loading standard will be given preference in Google’s organic and Adwords search results.
Web designers, SEOs, programmers and advertisers need to be up on on these matters:
- You’ll need to have 2 versions of your posts
- All CSS must be inline – no calls to slow-loading css files
- CSS animation might be banned
- The AMP rendering engine loads things asychronously and decides which page components will load first and last
- images need to utilize the custom amp-img element and must include an explicit width and height.
- custom tag that must be used to embed locally hosted videos via HTML5, called amp-video
- you likely will not be able to have lead forms, on-page comments and some other elements unless you use an iframe (Google’s not fond of iframes)
- In order for Google (and other technologies supporting the AMP Project) to detect the AMP version of your article, you will need to modify the original version of the article page. The original article page must include the following tag, essentially a canonical tag for AMP pages: <link rel=”amphtml” href=”http://www.example.com/blog-post/amp/”>
- Some HTML tags might be banned: iframe, embed, object, and HTML5 multimedia tags, img, video, and audio, are replaced with custom elements amp-img, amp-video, and amp-audio.
There’s more to the Google AMP standard of course and you can learn more:
AMP for beginners: https://www.ampproject.org/docs/get_started/create_page.html
The AMP Project Specs: https://www.ampproject.org/
How do you feel about AMP? Does your website or platform support Google’s new code? How do you feel about about what this means for the web? Are web design firms going to be able automate the AMP standard, or will Google muck it up so they can dominate? You’re learning something about business aren’t you? 🙂