When you’re accessing the Web on your device, speed is of the essence. More likely than not, you’re seeking information on the fly—perhaps directions or referrals for a local store, office, or restaurant. A mobile webpage that loads slowly is frustrating, to say the least—enough so that it’s tempting to leave the page altogether and seek one that will load a bit more expediently.
This has been true for as long as mobile devices have been commonplace—and it has some obvious import for search engine optimization. Study after survey confirms it: Slow loading times cause high bounce rates, meaning that when people find your mobile site to load too slowly, they’ll simply navigate away. High bounce rates, in turn, send signals to the search engine algorithms that your page is unhelpful and unengaging—hindering rankings.
The basic implication of this: Ensuring your pages load quickly is a vital step toward improved SEO. And to help you with faster mobile loading times, there is a new project called AMP that’s well worth knowing about.
What is the AMP Project?
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It’s an open source initiative that that rallies behind the vision of an Internet where publishers can create mobile optimized content once, then have it load instantly everywhere. Indeed, AMP is described as a project designed specifically to address the problem of clunky, slow-loading mobile sites.
To put all of this a little differently, and to simplify just a bit, AMP is actually a method for building websites—its own form of HTML. It’s designed to render static content fast; though rooted in basic HTML, it carries some restrictions that allow it to provide a reliably fast performance.
The Three Parts of AMP
To speak of AMP a bit more technically, it is comprised of three distinct components:
- AMP HTML
- AMP JS
- Google AMP Cache
AMP HTML is similar to regular HTML, but it’s extended with some custom AMP properties. AMP JS, meanwhile, implements all of AMP’s top, fast-loading practices in order to manage resource loading. Finally, there is the Google AMP cache, a proxy-based content delivery network that fetches HTML pages, automatically caches them, and seamlessly improves page performance.
Those interested in diving even deeper into AMP can visit the website, which boasts some tutorial content explaining how AMP speeds up websites and how to create an AMP page.
AMP and SEO
AMP is still too new, and not widely enough used, for us to offer any prediction of its SEO effects, except to say that a mobile page with a lightning-fast loading time is never going to hurt your search engine rankings. People want mobile sites that are quick and easy to use, and Google seeks to give the people what they want. Truthfully, it’s a no-brainer.
Working with AMP may be the right move for some developers; to discuss a broader range of page optimization strategies, however, we invite you to contact our team today.