What Is Google AMP? Everything You Need to Know About It!

by | Sep 21, 2020 | Blog Updates | 0 comments

So, just what is Google AMP? The internet is a fast-paced world with everything happening within a matter of seconds. Keeping this pace updated with all the latest news and stories is essential for any portal to survive in the viciously competitive online world. To this effect, search engines play a vital role in meeting the end-user needs with regard to timely information.

Now, traffic from search engines is monopolized by platforms such as Google who seems to be at a mission to deliver every content to their end-users in seconds response. Unfortunately, due to so many factors determining any website’s speed and performance, it’s not easy to ensure every site meets the desired benchmark. Thus, came into existence the concept of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a Google-led open-source technology initiative to improve the end-user web browsing experience.

What is AMP, and how does it work? Have a look.

What Is Google AMP

What Is Google AMP?

The speed of the page delivery is absolutely crucial as the websites not performing well on this factor lose out on a significant chunk majority of the organic traffic. That is why most companies like google, apple, and Microsoft spend a lot of effort on developing their systems for speeding up the page delivery proactively. There is also a whole lot of advantages in it for the end-users. More so, if they care a lot about the user experience. One way to do this is through the use of technology like AMP.

The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, or simply AMP, is an open-source HTML framework developed to improve the end-user mobile experience. The overall idea of AMP is to generate lightweight and fast pages with respect to loading time and usability. This project was developed by Google, and Big G started working to implement AMP back in 2015, apparently with many known brands. What’s quite impressive about AMP is that it facilitates faster content display for users and reportedly even faster page rendering time. The optimization being achieved through this open-source approach will assist mobile devices and tablets to perform better in loading content while rendering more relevant images. The lightweight pages thus hosted on AMP are proven as some of the fastest on the Internet.

Another thing that any Google fan would be genuinely happy about learning is that, unlike other platforms like Facebook Instant Articles, AMPs can be featured on mobile SERPs as well. Apparently, the presence of AMPs on search result page pushes up CTR and increase the daily traffic dramatically.

When it comes to increasing the speed of the page load, AMP puts various restrictions on the developers and the web agency to keep page loading time low while delivering a high-performance experience to the end-user. To simply it, AMP prioritizes front-end content delivery. This means that there is a restriction on the use of certain custom javascript, CSS files, ads, image files, etc. if they cannot be served-up instantly. In addition, Google even looks for the removal of external trackers, pingbacks, etc., backends. Such things can greatly limit the performance of the mobile browser. To put a restriction on the bandwidth available to the end-user, AMP raises the security of the sites by default be restricting the use of Schema or structured data and custom initiator for tracking. These characteristics have made AMPs inherently more Google-friendly and SEO effective today.

Overall, Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP features an easy to implement web development framework, which makes sure everything is delivered on the fly. AMP is basically aimed towards creating a functional, versatile, and secure mobile experience across the internet ecosystem.

Types of AMP

The Internet is crammed with all sorts of known and unknown content that needs to be accessed quickly by the end-users.

Different types of websites featuring a myriad of content types share the web today.

While New York City is full of skyscrapers, the Internet is filled with skyscrapers of pages and pages of content. These are classified as different types of AMPs based on their functionality.

Following are the different types of AMPs in the Google ecosystem today:

  1. AMP for Creators

1.1 Websites / Blogs

1.2 Stories

  1. AMP for Ads (Publisher pages)
  2. AMP for Email

Let’s discuss each of these different AMPs, one by one, in the sections below.

1. What is Google AMP for Creators?

Perhaps the most common use case for AMPs is the websites meant for content distribution, like blogs or similar. As a creator, you have the complete creative freedom to design your blog post and distribute the content to your end-user. AMPs for creators are basically aimed at providing a similar experience across a wide variety of platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and more. The distribution and the content management system can be completely fine-tuned as per the creator’s end requirement. More types of sites that fall under this category are discussed below.

1.1 Websites / Blogs

Blogs are one of the most popular content-sharing modes on the Internet from where even the internet giants have generated millions of page views with clickbait titles. Because of the fluidity of the content distribution process, the experience of a reader becomes as rich as the creator. The instant creation and distribution make blogging a favorite for both the users and the creator as well. And by implementing AMP, you can make your blog perform better than ever and be able to serve content at blazing speeds to your users.

1.2 Stories

A friend asking a question to another friend seems to be one of the most common themes for a recent time on the Internet. These stories are comprised of texts and media audios and videos which are highly contextual to generate interest from the end-user. These topics have become so common of late that even the professional companies are not shying away from this concept. For example, Google has gone one step ahead of creating an entire app just to feature stories on mobile phones. Isn’t that rich?

2. What is Google AMP for Ads (Publisher pages)?

Unlike what most of us think, AMP does not restrict the ads placed on a web page to make it faster. This misconception is more or less to blame for the unpopularity of AMPs. The truth is actually that AMPs are more focused on restricting unnecessary callbacks and web requests in order to reduce bandwidth consumption, and since ads are the main culprits behind increasing the web requests, it’s natural for AMPs to be restrictive against them. But restriction here doesn’t imply non-visibility; instead, it means delayed visibility. Usually, when ads are placed on any webpage, due to many dependencies any ads depend upon to deliver its message, it can take a lot of time to load. But because Ads are often the only source of revenue for the majority of the website owners, compromises must be made.

AMP provides a mechanism to show the ads but only AFTER the rest of the page content is completely loaded for the end-user. AMP takes into account the limited internet user validation and notifies the endpoint of the ad once the event target was achieved, that is, the page finished loading. Thus, making it a lot more respectful and user-centric approach.

3. AMP for Email

For those who are not aware, OpenJS foundation has created an open-source project called AMP for email. Aimed at improving deliverability, uptime, and speed with the use of JavaScript, this AMP project is also open-source and freely available via GitHub. What’s more impressive is that this project has been implemented by more than 50 major email service providers and content delivery networks, which are already serving over 1 Billion AMP-enabled emails daily.

How Google AMP Works?

It’s fairly easier to wrap your head around the working of AMP once you learn the technical approach that is taken to make this entire mechanism work. So, buckle up for a bit as we are about to dive into the technical details now.

1. Loads All Page Content at Once:

The most compared performance factor about AMP was the load time. Leaving behind its agile nature, the AMP pages are faster than the conventional HTML pages, and a significant chunk of this speed-up is mainly attributed to the fact that AMP loads the complete page content together except ads. Hence, once users tap on to a search result page, all the elements, including the textual content and imagery, arrive almost instantly through the AMP framework. One must also note that AMP takes advantage of iFrames, which only allows for asynchronous JavaScript execution and never blocks a page’s main thread. This is what makes loading and rendering pages faster than conventional pages. Even when it comes to fetching billions of elements through Google AMP, the framework never makes use of any page loader or AJAX calls because AMP immediately loads HTML into the DOM once it’s fetched.

2. Web Browsers That Supports AMP Knows of The AMP Page Layout Beforehand:

AMP requires a few attributes to flag the AMP pages with. Without these attributes being supplied, it’s quite unlikely that the AMP pages will be rendered correctly by the Google targeted web browsers. Once such attributes get added, the browser that supports AMP knows beforehand about the page layout, and thus, there is no wait time while the layout loads. This enhances the overall experience. There is absolutely no wait time for defining the DOM, executing the JavaScript, and loading the CSS stylesheet. Again, this helps in speeding up the webpage load.

3. GPU Accelerated Image Loading:

Typically image rendering is handled by the CPU of a computer and is a computationally taxing process. However, when it comes to AMP, the browser opts for GPU rendering instead of CPU rendering, which is obviously much more optimized for rendering graphics and thus improves the speed of page load tremendously.

4. In-line CSS:

All the CSS are imported from external CSS and js files, and then the cached in-line. This way, the latency of document.write is lost, and most importantly, the style costs are reduced by much in terms of buffer in the thread. Overall, this helps to lighten the page load further in mobile web browsing. Though it does limit publishers’ ability to dynamically reference their CSS code, it does bring out the most minimalist form of web pages while making the pages load much quicker.

4 Important Benefits of Google AMP:

When it comes to what Is Google AMP and the implementation of AMP, there have been quite a few benefits associated with it. However, the most impactful ones include:

1. Page Load Time Reduction:

The most pronounced aspect of AMP implementation is the reduced page loading time. As we already mentioned above, the AMP pages get loaded much faster than traditional webpages, and this is all because most of the code is read in advance.

2. Faster Page Rendering:

Traditionally all DOM representations take place synchronously. However, through its application cache mechanism, AMP stylesheets are read and reused from the application cache, and of course, when compared to the equivalent server response, this is much more consistent. With the help of in-line styles, the trade-off between client-side rendering and DOM-based rendering rectify itself. While the DOM-based rendering is just slightly slower than the normal version, the in-line rendering is so much faster than the DOM-based rendering. In-line CSS is now a day’s commonplace, and AMP only makes use of the in-line styles meaning whatever page gets loaded with, it will load much faster compared to the normal webpages.

3. Uses Server-Side Rendering of Content:

Most of the advertisements are set up as AMP components, and these components are used by the AMP runtime while AMP is not already running on the page. However, when content is loaded to a Google search results page, all elements are loaded on to the page immediately, and hence, the user gets to experience fast page load times.

4. SEO Optimization:

Publishing an AMP HTML page gets the benefits of in-depth search engine optimization. AMP page rendering is handled completely through Google, so this eliminates the need for extra SEO tactics. It also helps in prioritizing relevant content on a web page.

What is Google AMP? Verdict

Overall, the concept of Google AMP is quite promising. Backed by a sound technical approach and making use of the latest web technologies, this technology is surely going to help the online world in improving the general end-user users’ browsing experience. At the same time, we also need to keep it in mind that AMP implementation can seldom fit into the individual context.

With the increasing number of mobile users globally, Google seems to be keeping up their word about delivering what is best to the end-users. This also includes generating a hefty amount of revenue through Ads.

Hence, regardless of whether you are a blog, website, or e-commerce business, AMP has got you covered in terms of increased traffic leads through better search engine ranking, enhanced ROI, and more profit!