picture accelerated mobile pages by google

Accelerated Mobile Pages, known to many in the industry as AMP, is an open source initiative that has been introduced by the agreements of both tech and publishing organisations regarding the necessity to push the entire spectrum of mobile content. This includes consumer platforms and publishers, for both creators and users of mobile content.

Now in 2017 because mobile content is beginning to mature, many expect content to load immediately and have the capability of being explored with ease. That being said, this is still lots of content online which is extremely slow to load, sometimes to the point where users exit desired web pages. The solution to fill this void in the ‘user journey’ if you will, is Accelerated Mobile Pages which are specifically designed to load in an instant well before users become disgruntled, in the hopes of creating a better mobile internet experience for everyone.

What are the benefits of Accelerated Mobile Pages?

When the speed of web pages is the focus, loading in an instant is the ultimate goal. It’s no surprise that there is a direct correlation between pages that are slower to load and bounce rates – the point at which someone exits a website. This has been studied and statistically proven in the field. When web pages such as those utilising the AMP format are used, the general consensus is that people will undoubtedly become more engaged and choose to consume this material – whether that means reading and/or sharing content.

In addition to this good news, the performance of a web page isn’t the only benefit of developing in AMP. It also benefits the capability of distribution by using the potential of the open web for content to appear simultaneously across various applications and platforms. This enables more revenue to derive from subscription services and advertisement campaigns.

How do Accelerated Mobile Pages work?

Like any other HTML page, Accelerated Mobile Pages are the same apart from one aspect, and that is the set of limitations for technical functions that are overseen by the specifications of the open source initiative themselves.

Files for Accelerated Mobile Pages capitalise on the technical approaches that ensure the speed of the file is the priority in its build in order to provide the fastest experience possible for end users. There is a library of web components constantly growing in both size and enrichment that provide the capability to embed media components like rich advertising displays, social posts, videos and analytics. The objective is to build commonality between related web pages at their technical core to increase the load time speeds.

AMP files can also be cached and stored in collective cloud drives to minimise the length of time it requires to reach the mobile devices of any particular user. When using AMP format, producers of content in these files enable them to be cached by third parties. When using this file construction method, the publishers control content, but the respective platform can optimise the speed of delivery to users by caching or even mirroring content. Google has opted into this programme by offering the use of the Google AMP Cache which is free for everyone to use. All AMPs will be cached using the Google AMP Cache as standard. It’s fair to say that competitors of Google, and other technically capable organisations may opt into this initiative as well by replicating the Google AMP Cache.

To summarise, the technical limitations built into the construction methods within a system centered around the ease of caching will provide faster-performing pages and content. This in turn, will provide larger and more engaged target audiences for those who publish material on these platforms.

Why does the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project take an open source approach?

The parties involved in this initiative intend to make mobile web more efficient for everyone, not simply for one platform or organisation or website over others. In creating an open source project, this ensures those involved equally share and contribute coding methods and ideas for the overall cause of making the web faster. This is a project in its infancy, but it has endless potential as increasingly more organisations join onto this growing open source.

Who can use Accelerated Mobile Pages?

The initiative is based on the principle that everyone benefits. Everyone benefits from information and ideas, while also benefiting from its end use. Everyone from consumer based platforms to publishers, developers and creatives all have access to this initiative.

What are the consequences of using Accelerated Mobile Pages?

Using the AMP format, producers of content in this file format are creating them to be subject to crawling, indexing, display and caching by external third parties taking into consideration the robots exclusion standard.

What type of content works best using Accelerated Mobile Pages?

The overall objective is for the entirety of published content, so blogs, videos, images, photographs, GIFs and articles to work using the AMP file format.

Does making my content work for Accelerated Mobile Pages involve more work?

The short answer is no, not much more. AMP HTML is created from existing technologies for the web and the process surrounding development is a direct reflection of the one publishers are currently using. If publishers visit GitHub, they can become familiar with the AMP HTML specification. Anyone with considerable experience in current processes need not expect to have to learn things over.

How can publishers move content into AMP HTML?

Both content management system (CMS) providers and publishers can develop integrations with their existing CMS to produce AMP content. More popular CMS providers such as WordPress have already set the initiative in place by offering plugins such as the Automattic AMP plugin, while more are sure to follow the same pattern.

The Involvement of Technology and Platforms

How can a consumer platform get involved in Accelerated Mobile Pages?

It has been stated that the initiative is open to all interested, and existing parties involved are keen to win the engagement of consumer platforms for the project. The Google AMP Cache is open to everyone to use for no cost, and this includes consumer platforms that would be keen to display AMP content within their own materials and areas of the web. Those interested in having their questions answered are able to get in touch with the initiative through GitHub.

How can my organisation get involved in Accelerated Mobile Pages?

You can view the contributing guidelines of the initiative by contacting via Github.

Publisher Monetisation

How does advertising work on Accelerated Mobile Pages?

Another key objective of the initiative is to encourage the growth of effectiveness for ad monetisation on the mobile web while focusing on a user-centric approach. This will be achieved through a catalogue of more comprehensive formats for ads, networks and technologies that can be used in conjunction with Accelerated Mobile Pages. As a byproduct of this catalogue, practices for ads will become increasingly sustainable in terms of ensuring that ads in AMP file format are safe to use, fast to navigate and engaging for audiences and users.

Are publishers able to sell their own ad inventory?

Existing websites and ad selling options are totally at the discretion of the publishers themselves.

How do subscriptions and paywalls work with Accelerated Mobile Pages?

Premium subscription services and paywalls are at the core of the key objectives of Accelerated Mobile Pages. There is a flexible framework that AMP currently supports whereby document viewing experiences for subscribers, measured users and anonymous users are controlled by publishers.

How are analytics being handled in this AMP format?

The initiative has another core objective of confirming publishers are able to obtain robust analytics. While demo releases are more limited in their collection of analytical information, the full specification is expected to fully support this is more detail, along with integrating third party systems while not compromising on the size and speed of AMP files. There are parties involved that are participating in the initiative that provide holistic analytics.

Do publishers receive measurement credits for traffic?

Absolutely, AMP files are in the same format as the rest of your site when it comes to measurement metrics.

How I get involved in this initiative?

The Open Source Initiative welcomes both organisations and individuals to get in touch via Github. Its preferred through this channel so that you can be added to a distribution list and be kept in the loop on any new developments surrounding the project.

List of references

AMP frequently asked questions