Do you really need Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?
When you’re browsing the internet and a page lags, it can be extremely off-putting and so, you exit and find something else. Accelerated Mobile Pages, (AMP for short), is a factor of speedier pages. In 2015, Google announced that non-mobile-friendly sites will be affected by their new algorithm.
Although AMP pages are not vital for SEO, page load time is a ranking factor and will affect the user’s experience. Therefore, Google saw it fit to ensure that all sites moved towards AMP pages.
In this article, you’ll find out more about Google AMP Pages, including how they work, the advantages and disadvantages, and whether or not you really need Accelerated Mobile Pages in 2021.
The main idea behind AMP pages is to make sites mobile-friendly, increase speed and allow users access to websites without limiting them based on the site’s design. If AMP pages are installed on sites, the pages typically load 15%-85% faster.
Both everyday users and large corporations can be affected by mobile internet speed and AMP pages are aimed to be the solution.
After the installation of AMP pages, a majority of sites’ rankings increased and became more accessible, although it’s not clear if AMP pages were the determining factor.
The AMP HTML improves the page’s performance, and HTML tags reflect this. For example, the
video HTML tag becomes
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a collection of servers that collaborate to quickly deliver content. In the same way, the AMP Cache supplies the browser with the correct AMP pages.
The AMP Cache is stored in Google’s server, and when requested by a user, Google locates them and displays AMP results, which ultimately loads the page faster.
Whether you really need Accelerated Mobile Pages or not really depends on the type of website that you’re maintaining.
For example, if your website is product or service-based, the user will only be able to view a restricted version of your site, and so AMP pages aren’t the best solution. Despite improving the speed or the website’s traffic, it’ll become more difficult for conversions.
Whereas, if your website is more information-based, i.e. articles or blogs, then AMP pages will be more beneficial. AMP pages remove the non-essential features, like ads, animations, and videos, and therefore provide the user with the most important part of the content. For the user, this creates an easier, more seamless experience, as they are able to scan the content quicker and it becomes more focused.
While AMP Pages work to improve the speed of sites, they also have a fair few disadvantages, that for some, may outweigh the advantages.
For the user, the removal of Ads can create an easier, more positive experience and may generate more traffic towards their website. However, if you are largely dependent on ad revenue as an income, it’ll be largely reduced and becomes an unreliable source.
On AMP Pages, you can’t use analytic tags, which as stated previously, will make conversions more difficult. It’s harder for you to monitor your progress and track your site’s analytics.
The AMP Pages rids what is deemed as the non-essential features, which therefore means that you don’t obtain control of what your user will see on your site. This is why if you’re selling a product or providing a service, it’s not ideal – you’ll want to be able to manage what your user sees as it’ll have a massive impact on their consumer experience.
The CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) restrictions of AMP appear similar to a static web page, and depending on your site, dynamic web pages are probably more desirable. The limitations also affect the amount of styles that can be implemented.
If you don’t have WordPress, AMP Pages can be trickier to install. As a consequence, you’ll either need strong coding experience or hire an external developer to do it for you.
In the earlier days of AMP, the Live Version and the AMP Version differed. Even still, the pages don’t update in the same way. Although, there is now the option to remove the cache and update the content.
Really, it will depend on what your key goals are for your site. While it does contribute to Google’s SEO ranking, as well as improves the site’s loading speed, it also has quite a few disadvantages that could then affect other factors.
It might be wise to test out AMP on your site by creating a few pages. Then, you can make a proper judgment call whether it’s really right for you.