Quick Start Guide to AMP

Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) initiative has taken the digital world by storm. And Web professionals would be very wise to pay attention to this important development as the Web becomes increasingly demanding when it comes to the mobile experience.


What are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and what impact will they have on your search rankings?


First, let's establish a formal definition. AMP was developed to enable publishers to better create mobile optimized content. That means it needs to be fast and easy to use. Unfortunately, many software systems today produce pages that are anything but the ideal; they are bulky and clunky and on the whole not easy to consume and engage with for end-users. That can change with AMP.


Accelerated Mobile Pages are the exact same as traditional HTML pages but have a limited set of technical functionality that is allowed (which is why they load faster). AMP files can also be cached in the cloud which can also reduce the time it takes for content to get delivered to a user's mobile device. There is also work being done to bring greater interactivity to these pages.


Speed and "experience" are not the only draws for those looking to implement AMP on their own digital properties. Google has also made it known that pages built with AMP will receive "enhanced distribution" and their content may ultimately receive greater exposure. When users search for a story or topic on Google from their mobile device, webpages created using AMP will appear when relevant in the Top Stores section of the search results page. That's good news considering that an increasing percentage of Web traffic is mobile.


The next question Web professionals have related to AMP is how they can get started and it is where things start to get a little cloudy. The good news is that many content management systems are in the active development phase of supporting AMP. And for some 60 percent of websites on the 'Net today being powered by WordPress, it's as easy as downloading a plugin. Drupal also announced a new module that provides support for Accelerated Mobile Pages.


Those interested in getting started with AMP will either need to develop their own templates (several good examples are available) or be patient and wait for their CMS system to support this initiative on their own.