Has it happened to you that web pages take time to load on mobile devices? Surely yes. It is a fact that many pages are not designed for this type of platform and that many devices do not offer the possibility of accelerating the loading except for the type of browser you have downloaded from your Apps store.
That is why now Google is committed to a new tool for mobile devices that helps the loading of web pages. We are talking about AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).
Since sites are faster for more engaged visitors, rankings in potentially higher search engines (and therefore more exposure), AMP is definitely worth thinking about when you create the next sample of your work based on the Web.
AMP is an open-source project with Google that supports it, and has been in development since September 2015.
Google has shown us on many occasions the importance of the search engine for web pages to load quickly. In fact, there is a link to check the loading speed of a web page: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
Google’s slogan for this type of analytics is: Make the web faster / Make the web faster; But what happens on the mobile part? We tell you a bit about AMP.
In this video below of Search Console Training, Daniel Waisberg goes over how to use the Google Search Console to improve your AMP implementation. Find out more about AMP, why you should use it, how using it can benefit you in Google Search, and how to detect (and fix) issues with AMP in your website through Search Console.
What is AMP?
Accelerated Mobile Pages, a technological initiative aimed at making the web content of all types of online publications load faster on mobile platforms.
The project is based on AMP HTML, a new open format that allows developers and publishers to access it and integrate its features into web pages.
Google is aware that more and more, millions of users enter the web through mobile devices and, among other giants, had support from the BBC, WordPress, El País, BuzzFeed, Mashable, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal. Other technology partners such as Twitter, Pinterest, Chartbeat, Parse.ly or LinkedIn also participated in the launch of AMP.
That WordPress is included within the partners that supported the AMP project is a breakthrough; It is one of the main web managers (CMS). For those who use this editor, there is already a plugin that they can install and automatically does all the work.
We have already spoken that new generations of users leave the page if it takes more than three seconds to load ( 40% of users ). That same generation expects the page to load faster on mobile devices.
There are two key rules that AMP has designed:
- The developed web pages work in all browsers and the user does not need to install extensions, browsers or additional applications.
- On the other hand, in order to reduce the loading time, AMP aims to apply restrictions in the process of creating a web page.
AMP is integrated into several of Google’s services, which logically will also benefit from this open standard that will accelerate the loading of pages and their components.
How does AMP work?
AMP uses some components to improve the mobile experience. Between them:
- AMP HTML: It is a technology-based on web components that aim to generate lighter HTML pages.
- Use of caches: The use of the CDNs of the project itself allows this type of server to obtain the AMP pages, validate their configuration if it is, save the response to serve the user optimally. Validation implies that no use of external resources is made since what is intended is that all resources be served from the same source using HTTP 2.0.
In this way, AMP makes web loading much more efficient. In other words, do you remember that your mobile or computer saves cache so that once you visit a page, the next time you do this it loads the components faster? This is something similar to what AMP does, “cache” the page before you enter it to ensure a faster experience on mobile devices.
Advantages of AMP for the mobile device market
Without a doubt, the mobile device market is the most benefited with the features that AMP is implementing in the web pages, but what advantage do they represent for the telephone companies and for the user? These are some:
- Improve the user experience on the internet
This is the main objective of Google and its partners in developing AMP. Ideally, in 2 seconds, a page integrated with AMP will load on the mobile device, which makes it possible for the user to navigate from one page to another without complication.
- Improve mobile performance:
Not only is there talk about improving the performance of mobile device browsers. Also saving on their battery; as the device spends less time on loading pages.
- Google will penalize websites not adapted for mobile
The internet giant has made it clear that it wants to improve the user experience, so it has warned that there are penalties in its search engine for those web pages that have errors or that are not entirely suitable for the mobile platform version.
- Opportunities to advertise more effectively
With the advantage of accelerating web pages not only comes the opportunity to optimize the content; It also opens the door to online advertising so that ads load more efficiently and can be fully visible within web pages when visited from mobile phones. This means that websites will generate more revenue and paid advertising will have a greater reach.
At this point, Google takes the lead with its AdWords service.
What about the responsive design?
In principle, the responsive design was created so that the web pages were adapted to all devices and so you are visible from any screen.
Currently, the task of adapting a website to all devices has been made titanic for the amount that exists. That is, desktops, cell phones, tablets, televisions, consoles, among others.
Thanks to this, it is almost necessary to be updating the design of the pages to meet the access needs of users taking into account new features that increase the loading time of the web. So far, responsive design has not been a good aspect in recent years. On the other hand, we will have to wait for AMP to meet the needs of the website developers to determine the future of responsive.
AMP in Google results
Since the launch of AMP, Google has tried to ensure that all pages that have adapted to the new technology are identified when they appear in the results of their search engine.
To give you a more visual example, you can go to Google and place in the search bar “BBC” or “20 minutes” news pages that were integrated into AMP.
You will notice that next to the name comes a kind of “lightning”, which indicates that it is a page with AMP mobile-friendly technology.
Another feature that Google included was that, as with Google News, pages with AMP technology will appear on the news carousel first as “featured news” and send down to those that have not yet made the respective changes.
If we click on one of the links of the highlighted news of the carousel, we will notice that a bar is placed above the page with the name of the medium, but if we look closely at the URL, we will realize that we have not left Google.
This is because the search engine uses the CDP of the AMP project to optimize the load. If we click on any other link within the page, it will take us to the website of the medium or company and Google will indicate us with a blue bar that is still an AMP site.
With all this process the speed of loading web pages is improved, which Google reaffirms the idea that you want faster and safer sites.
However, experts in the technological area already doubt that for some companies it is not very funny that the preliminary content is served from Google’s own servers, making the user have a preview of the page without directly accessing it.
One of the concerns is that web page owners cannot visualize direct traffic data if they do not use the statistical platforms associated with the project.
So far, the focus of this discussion is focused on the results that Google shows in its Google News carousel. If in the future the idea of doing it with all its results is raised, then the story will be different. Meanwhile, we must continue to enjoy the advantages of the AMP platform for pages and users.