What are AMP Pages, and why does your site need them?

What are AMP Pages, and why does your site need them?

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

With the rise in mobile search in the past few years, the problem of slow loading pages on mobile devices has come an increasingly frustrating issue.  While traditional methods of enhancing websites are often used for mobile, optimising images to reduce size is a simple improvement that many sites do not make.

Image Optimisation

Early last year Google launched an open standard AMP (Accelerated Media Pages), specifically designed to load quickly on mobile devices.

AMP allows you to build web pages for static content that render quickly; a subset of HTML and CSS, they are optimised to load as fast as possible. Additionally, AMP is designed so that Google is able to cache the page which makes serving them to an end user even quicker.

What are the benefits of AMP Pages ?

The main benefit is that Google is favouring pages with AMP versions in mobile search in early 2017, with the percentage of mobile pages in some Google properties increasing from around 30% to nearer to 70%.

A DoubleClick study earlier this year comparing ad performance on AMP and non-AMP mobile pages across 150 publishers found that:

  • 80%+ of the publishers realised higher viewability rates
  • 90%+ of the publishers drove greater engagement with higher CTRs
  • The majority of the publishers saw higher eCPMs (effective cost per thousand impressions)

How do AMP Pages work ?Picture1

In outline, the normal existing page links to its AMP version using a link type of AMPHTML, the AMP page then links back with a canonical link. Additionally, when Google has the page cached, the cached page will have a link back to the original page again (also using a canonical link).

Using an example from The Guardian (their pages have both a HTML page and an AMP page):

(HTML) https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/feb/05/susannah-harker-family-joseph-harker-scene-painting-london-studio

(AMP) https://amp.theguardian.com/stage/2017/feb/05/susannah-harker-family-joseph-harker-scene-painting-london-studio

The html page links to the AMP page with a link like this (<link rel=”amphtml” href=”https://amp.theguardian.com/stage/2017/feb/05/susannah-harker-family-joseph-harker-scene-painting-london-studio”>)

The AMP page then has a canonical link back  like so (<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/feb/05/susannah-harker-family-joseph-harker-scene-painting-london-studio“/>)

The AMP specification can be found at the AMP and some CMS systems such as WordPress already have plugins to create AMP pages.

If you would like to learn more about AMP Pages and other SEO issues contact DAC London  on  020 3866 4210.