It’s now two years since Google announced the launch of their Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project. So how far have we come in the last two years and what does the future look like? Well, for those of you who might still be thinking that the project has not really taken off, here are some figures that were announced by Google’s Ranna Zhou at SMX Advanced in Seattle in June:
Some pretty impressive stats but who exactly is using AMP? Well, according to Tech Crunch, who reported from the Google I/O Developer conference earlier this year, a whopping 900,000 domains are now using AMP. It was announced at that conference that Google was expanding the project to include more e-commerce sites as well as covering more ad formats.
So where do we go from here and should you be considering AMP for your website?
Let’s just quickly cover off what exactly is Google AMP for those who may not have heard much about it. Google AMP:
In a nutshell, AMP allows your web pages to load much faster than regular HTML web pages, helping to improve your user experience and helping to improve your visibility in the search results.
When AMP first launched, the ‘platform’ was only available to publishers. Some of the first to jump on board with the project were The Guardian in the UK and the Washington Post in the USA. A quick look at the AMP Project website shows a compelling case study from the Washington Post with some pretty impressive stats:
Since the early days when it appeared only the big publishers were really benefiting from AMP, Google has rolled AMP out to a number of other publishing channels to great effect. Recipes have been one of the biggest adopters of AMP and now with the latest update, e-commerce sites are also starting to jump on board including Zalando in Europe, Myntra in India and AliExpress in China.
Well, there is no conclusive answer to this question. You must first ask yourself a number of questions which will help you to make that decision. Questions like:
If you already have a fast-loading site, the benefits of moving to AMP may not be worth the time and resources required to implement AMP. If most of your visitors are still coming from desktop, again, it may not be worth the time and expense to implement. If however, you are finding that your site is in an extremely competitive sector where a lot of search traffic is driven from mobile, AMP may well be worth further investigation.
If you remain unconvinced about the benefits of AMP to your business, what are some of the alternatives? Well, depending on the current state of your mobile site, there are a number of alternatives open for investigation that may work better for your business.
Here are some potential suggestions:
Now we’ve looked at some of the pros and cons of AMP as well as some of the alternative solutions, what does AMP mean for your SEO strategy? Well, if mobile is not at the heart of that strategy already, it needs to be. With Google announcing that the shift to the mobile-first index is likely to happen sometime in 2018, there has never been a more important time to get your mobile website experience in order.
In late 2016, Search Engine Land reported that nearly 60% of searches are now carried out on a mobile device with this number set to rise as we move into 2018. Whilst this number may vary from sector to sector, the trend is only going one way and that’s heading towards a mobile-dominated world. With Google adopting a mobile-first index, it is more crucial than ever to deliver the best possible experience to users on a mobile device.
As we have already established, there are plenty of advantages of switching to AMP but we would advise you to carry out a full review of your current mobile experience and assess whether the time needed to make the move to AMP is worth it, or whether there are improvements you can make to your current mobile site which would put the performance in the upper-percentile for your sector.
Gavin Hirst is a Brit working abroad. He is a copywriter, SEO and content marketing expert working for one of Auckland’s leading digital marketing agencies, Digital Hothouse in New Zealand. Outside of work, Gavin is a keen golfer and is passionate about the outdoors – hence the move to NZ! Connect with Digital Hothouse on Twitter and keep up to date with all the latest digital marketing news and trends in NZ and across the world.