We all remember when the days of dial-up and leaving your desk to wait for a page to load. Sure, we’ve progressed by about 100 times the speed since, but the future of the web isn’t happy with that. We’re now looking at instantaneous speed.
Enter AMP – the latest concept you need to know about. You know all about responsiveness. You know how it important it is. But what is the next inevitable step when it comes to web? It’ll probably come as no surprise that the latest initiative to cause controversy in the tech world is entirely backed by Google. We’re talking about Accelerated Mobile Pages. These mobile-first pages are going to change the way we use the internet on our phones. Keep reading and you’ll find out exactly why this movement is likely to be the future direction of web.
What are Accelerated Mobile Pages?
Of course, we should probably define AMP first. Although ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’ sound pretty straightforward, you still might be at a loss as to exactly what they mean. Well, the Google-endorsed project uses an open-source library to ‘improve the content ecosystem’ for pretty much everyone who uses the internet. Bit lost? In simple terms, it’s a bit like something you might have already seen on Facebook or Apple News – instant articles. These articles load instantaneously as they’re already loaded on the app. Essentially, the AMP Project is looking to take this concept and apply to the whole of the web. The framework has three main components: AMP HTML, AMP JS and AMP Cache. Each serves a different purpose and you can learn more about them here.
What are the benefits?
Well, the team behind AMP suggest user engagement will be at all-time high rates, which is likely to be true. If your news article or product page loads instantly, your conversion rates will increase as customers are much more likely to stick around. We think AMP’s tagline sums it up pretty well: “If it’s not instant, it’s not fast enough”. In fact, we have some stats to back this up. According to HubSpot, for every 1-second delay in load time, you’ll see a 7% decrease in conversions. However, some experts are actually suggesting that number could be as large as 12%! Either way, it’s not something you want to see your online presence fall victim to. It’s a no-brainer that in this highly competitive and overloaded digital environment, we need web pages to be as fast as possible. The benefits of instant load times are endless. Not only will your conversions increase, but engagement with your brand, product or story are more likely to flourish too.
Obviously, there are sceptics – especially when it comes to the fact that this project is so heavily associated with the search engine powerhouse. Clearly, Accelerated Mobile Pages will give your page a better chance of ranking with Google. But are harmless SEO benefits really as innocent as they seem? Some suspicious minds allude to the controversy of Google always trying to be the ‘puppet master’ of the web and launch features to benefit their company only. However, Google’s VP of search engineering, David Besbris, responded by telling The Verge: “This is honestly a fairly altruistic project from our perspective. It wasn’t like we invented AMP because we wanted to control everything like people assume.”
As a web agency, any initiative to improve the web is pretty positive to us. However, we will always remain sceptical and look out for any potential criticisms from various sources and experts. So far, it looks like Accelerated Mobile Pages are going to make our lives a whole lot easier, smoother and faster. Who can complain about that?