Reasons Why You Should & Shouldn’t Use Google’s AMP

There are new articles coming out every day about increases in the number of mobile users. In the age of Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, and with the proliferation and accessibility of cheap mobile devices across the world, it is no wonder that internet users are migrating towards mobile at an alarming rate. Month after month, the number of users browsing through their desktop PC is continually decreasing.

This increase in the number of mobile internet users comes with some side effects. Users are more at the mercy of their mobile phone service providers and slow data connections than ever before. Google saw the impact of this on their own ad revenues and this is what lead them to start development of the AMP framework or “Accelerate Mobile Pages”.

The goal of AMP is to enhance mobile users experience with more rapidly loading web-pages by shrinking the size of the page and by using a number special techniques to improve page load times. Here is a more detailed description of just what Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) does.

What is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

Accelerated Mobile Pages is a Google open-source development allowing websites to load quicker. AMP’s objective is to give an amazing user experience in various platforms with the optimization of mobile pages to assure that websites load in much less time. Optimizing the loading period for the site’s content, AMP works on videos, images, or animations to offer a presentation of the site on mobile browsers in less time. AMP is just a method of getting a better mobile user experience, however implementing AMP on your site doesn’t come without some negatives. Let’s take a look at the reasons why you should & shouldn’t use Google’s AMP.

Reasons: You Should Use Google’s AMP

Accelerates loading time

With AMP, mobile users will get nearly immediate loading of website pages and gentle scrolling speed in every page. The AMP pages can load up to four times earlier than non-AMP pages all things being equal.

Flexible Layout

Accelerated Mobile Pages are much more flexible than standard mobile pages because they support a range of designs and layouts. You can still design your website in the style of your brand but you’re toolkit will be more limited than with standard CSS. It also supports ads that are less disturbing to your mobile users viewing experience through AMP-ads.

Enhanced Visibility

On the mobile search engine result pages (SERPS), Google now features pages that use AMP page in more prominent locations on the page called the carousel near the top of the results, by adding a small lightning bolt symbol after the page title on the SERP users know that a page is on AMP and will load almost instantly. This provides AMP web-pages an increase in visibility on search engines and  higher click through rate as well as offering a faster loading experience to users.

Higher Mobile Rankings

Google has always said that mobile site speed was not a direct ranking factor. But there is no question that slow load times can be an indirect ranking factor for Google by affecting the way users experience your web page and how willing they are to click on your organic results in the future. Thus, even if AMP does not give better rankings, or only a marginal increase – the increase in site speed of page and search engine visibility through the news carousel and rich snippets helps websites who integrate AMP properly to dominate the competition.

Reasons: You Shouldn’t Use Google’s AMP

Tricky To implement

A lot of people have started the AMP operation on their websites and stopped along the way, due to the complexity of implementation. AMP is also difficult to remove once it has been implemented on a site due to the way Google caches pages on their own servers when you click on results, and due to need to create additional urls when implementing AMP.

The decline in ads revenue

While AMP implementation has many success stories in the News and Recipe industries, websites on a publishing model might not benefit enough from AMP to offset the loss in revenue from decreased ads. Depending on the type of ads that are being served, serving lower quality or less ads for AMP can have a negative impact on ad revenue. While impressions might increase due to the faster load times, the overall impact on revenue can be negative depending on the type and quantity of ads that are being served and how often they are getting clicked on AMP.

Loss of backlinks

Because AMP pages are cached and served from Google’s servers, users who try to bookmark your AMP page or share the page with friends will be actually sharing a Google url. Instead of your web site getting credit for your content, Google will be earning your backlinks.

Delay of post updates

As Google AMP pages appear as Google cache pages, when a post is updated, it does not instantly arrive on Google’s cache servers, only when Google cache updates. It may take a number of minutes or even hours, in several cases, it takes days for the update to take effect.

JavaScript and CSS issue

As AMP runs a stripped down version of HTML, it does not let the execution of JavaScript. If you are running on a website that runs a lot of JavaScript heavy scripts, some of those will not translate well or at all since AMP uses a very limited subset of JavaScript.

Not yet sure whether to use Google’s AMP or not? We have already given you a few reasons why or why not to go AMP.  If you are company considering going AMP and are not sure whether it is worth it for your company please contact Growing Search using our contact form and we will be happy to help.

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