For the past several years, lots of techies have worried about the increasing control Google has over web content – knowing that at least part of their end-game is pure profit.
One of Google’s latest moves involves the launch of an initiative called AMP – or Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP is a framework for creating very fast loading mobile pages. As has been well documented – Google is working hard to improve the mobile search experience for users – hoping that a fast and efficient experience (in fact, recent data shows that adult attention spans are actually shrinking) will bring more eyeballs to Google.
And the stakes are high for all participants.
Google wants to win the battle for search engine market share – and with it, the battle for ad dollars.
And publishers need to be ever cognizant of the fact that Google is increasingly using user satisfaction (user experience) in its ranking algorithms.
Just how fast does your site load on mobile? Don’t know? Better find out…
So is AMP a must for every site?
If not today – then soon – yes.
Ok. So how can you get started with AMP?
One of the easiest ways get AMP’ed right now is by installing it on a WordPress website. An official plugin is being developed for this purpose by Automattic/WordPress, and it’s frequently being updated on GitHub.
What if you don’t have a WordPress site?
For starters, you’ll have to maintain at least two versions of any article page: an original version of a given page and the AMP version of that page.
Multimedia will also have to be handled differently. For example, images need to utilize the custom amp-img element and must include an explicit width and height. What’s more, if your images are animated GIFs, you need to use the separate amp-anim extended component. If you are using video, there is a custom tag that must be used to embed locally hosted content via HTML5, called amp-video.
Amp also has support for elements such as slideshows via amp-carousel and image lightboxes via amp-image-lightbox, as well as social media embeds for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Vine via their own extended components.
These tag and extended components aren’t difficult to use. But it does require that your web team know what they are doing in this space.
And very few do….