The Future of Mobile Website
Accelerated Mobile Pages. Instant. Everywhere.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Browsing web on mobile has never been instant, it is a slow, clunky and frustrating experience. An ideal mobile web experience is that pages would always render correctly the first time, browsing the web wouldn’t drain batteries or monthly data limits, and content would be free from annoying, mobile-hostile ads and tracking codes. And, perhaps most importantly, everything would be FAST.
Race Between Giants
With the number of mobile internet users at an all-time high, Apple, Facebook and Google are promising their “fix” to this problem. Facebook and Apple have both taken a closed platform approach with Facebook Instant and Apple News. This undoubtedly set off alarms at Google, since closed platforms are off-limits to googlebot and therefore unavailable for ad sales. While Google’s AMP project is being developed as an open-source project, the unspoken goal is obvious: keep content where Google can see it and keep it away from Apple and Facebook.
What is Google AMP?
AMP is an open source project designed to help web publishers create mobile-optimized content that loads instantly on all devices, according to Google. “We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously,” Google wrote in a blog post. “We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant — no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.”
What are the Benefits of Google AMP?
Google AMP offers a tremendous opportunity for those who would dare to test this out:
Faster loading times — this is the most significant and outstanding benefit from Google AMP. It virtually strips down a website to its bare necessities, showing only what you need. Because of the decrease in loading times, there is reduced page abandonment, resulting in lesser bounce rates.
Increased search engine visibility — because Google prefers to show AMP pages instead of the other websites, you will notice that those lead the search results. For trending news, there’s even an AMP carousel on mobile.
The boost in website traffic — people are now aware of what the little lightning bolt means; it means that they will get the results they want faster. Thus, people will click on AMP search results more than the other websites.
Potential search ranking improvement — although there are no clear signals yet that Google AMP will affect ranking soon, it is expected that Google will put the spotlight on sites that can provide a better user experience. With Google AMP, mobile searchers will be able to work faster, easier, and better, and with all that, hopes are high that AMP will be a key ranking factor soon enough.
What are the Challenges of Implementing AMP?
As with all new technology, there is a period of adjustment. Developers will need to ramp up on the proper techniques in regard to implementing AMP. This shouldn’t be too bad: It’s still HTML, which developers (should) be able to write in their sleep. But along with this comes some extra development time. Developers need to write extra code — the desktop code as well as AMP. This will increase development time and could have an impact on pricing out projects, as extra time means extra cost. This is a reasonable trade off, however, because it will ultimately offer a much better experience to the end user.
Irony of AMP
Irony is, back in the days, there were WAP sites and m.website.com which had a light weight copy of your website for mobile users, but after years of advocating responsive website, Google has taken this full-on, tire-screeching U-turn and made AMP their new standard for mobile.
Amplified User Experience
It will be a pain for developers to create AMP pages along with a responsive desktop version of a website. The user experience is amazing, it really is instant. If you are curious on how it really works, check our Why AMP is fast by Malte Ubl.
Where to start?
To start with AMP following are some good resources that will help you through your journey towards creating instant mobile website