Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open source standard for creating web pages which load quickly on mobile devices. Born out of a collaboration between Google and Twitter, it cuts out extraneous scripts, and uses inline CSS along with a form of HTML designed to render pages lightning fast.
You may have already noticed AMP content displayed as cards in a carousel near the top of your mobile search results in Google. It is most often employed on sites which publish news, blog articles, and other similar content which is published on a regular basis.
AMP HTML is regular HTML with custom AMP properties added. Many tags on an AMP HTML page remain unchanged, and for the tags that are AMP-specific, anyone familiar with the basics of HTML should have no problem with AMP HTML. For example, the HTML tag for an image is <img>. The AMP HTML tag for an image is <amp-img>.
AMP relies on the asynchronous AMP JS library, thereby ensuring a clear path for the page to render. AMP JS also quickly calculates the sizes of all of the page elements (images, embedded videos, ads, etc.) to avoid the appearance of the page jumping around as it loads.
The AMP Cache is a content delivery network for AMP documents. It crawls AMP HTML pages, caches them, and improves page performance automatically.
According to Kissmetrics, 47% of visitors expect a website to load in less than two seconds, and 40% of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than three seconds. If content is King, then surely speed and accessibility are Queen on today’s Web. Less users leaving your site in frustration results in a wider audience for your message.
In the same way that Google favors mobile-friendly sites, we’re beginning to see AMP content featured higher up on search result pages. Although it’s not the main or only factor considered, all other things being equal, AMP content should rank higher than non-AMP content.
Currently the most widespread use of AMP seems to be on news or blog sites which generate new content on an ongoing basis. “Brochure” websites which feature standard info about your company and products or services are not likely to benefit as much from AMP, but certainly will not hurt by implementing AMP.
If you use Twitter as a platform for sharing new content, optimizing your site for AMP makes a lot of sense because clicking on a link within the Twitter app opens a browser specifically designed to make use of AMP.
WordPress has made implementing AMP easy with a plugin. After installing and setting up the plugin, check to see how your content looks by simply adding /amp to the end of your URL. A feature of AMP’s caching system is a built-in validator, and you’ll also want to set up your Google Search Console to validate AMP content as well as enable AMP tracking in Google Analytics.
For a deeper look at AMP, consult the documentation on the project’s website.