Google AMP Benefits

- surf the mobile web, at speed.

Article by Bonny Sentrosi

Accelerated Mobile Page. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? If you had mobile pages to deliver, you'd want them to be accelerated. Whatever that means.

With mobile browsing taking up around 63% of all internet traffic in 2018 it's hard to ignore the ever-growing necessity to deliver as much content as possible at speeds necessary to not deter the ever impatient human mind. Those additional milliseconds it takes for us to get frustrated and browse somewhere else add up. We need pages to be fast, lightning fast.

There's a google exec sitting on a nice bonus somewhere for pairing the concept of a fast loading mobile page with the AMP acronym that instantly engages the associative part of our cerebral cortex. Add a lightning bolt as an icon and the marketing trifecta is complete. It's worth noting that a service such as this coming from Google themselves puts an instant glaze of trust over our eyes and trust we do. With reports showing the percentages that AMP pages account for across the mobile web ever increasing.

Rightly so. With everyone in the tech-talk world helping a tardy hype towards progressive web apps in 2018. Google were at the forefront back in 2015 at the launch of the AMP project of making "mobile first" a thing, before it was a thing.

For all those benefits you see on a page speed report, an actual page load speed may not be as important as you think. To understand the human-centric metrics with page load times there are two figures we should really pay attention to: 'First Contentful Paint' (FCP), the moment any content is presented to the user on screen and 'Time To Interactive' (TTI), the time it takes for content to be functional and ready for a user to interact with.

Google understands this; with a recent study of theirs showing that 53% of people will leave a mobile site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. They had to make sure all pages are scrutinised to perform within the goal-posts. Therein lies the main benefit. Make your pages AMP and your content is given the chance to grip the attention of the reader article after article, click after click.

They do this with a standardised HTML, CSS and JS library delivered by Google's cache, ready and waiting with certified cross-browser friendliness. You gain page ranking and SEO, an estimated average decrease in page loads of 75% and easy discovery for web-crawlers. The First Contentful Paint happens in milliseconds and content-heavy Time To Interactive before you can start your next thumb-swipe. You don't need a page report to evaluate how fast an AMP page is, you feel it. Instantly!

Google: the uber-hipster of tech, had already sported a fiber optic man bun, adorned a pair of ethically sourced coltan-soled sandals, looked towards the cloud(s) and decided to serve to the most impatient of minds, a feast of vegan-internet before it was cool.

Well sort of. Because for all the appeal of AMP, Silicon Valley is seldom free of the sour tastes of competition and controversy. The AMP project is no exception. Google will paint a picture of humble origins and intentions to give us a hand-held browsing experience like no other. The reality is, the AMP project was a direct competitor to Facebook's Instant Articles pitting the two tech giants, and their partners, against each other. With Google using their monopolistic status as search engine of choice to secure dominance.

But right there is the caveat. Forsake top-hat tech at your own risk because let's remember that your SEO and page speed rankings are now reliant on Google's Lighthouse tool. You can guess which type of mobile pages Lighthouse will favour and rank higher.