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What Are Accelerated Mobile Pages? A BadCat Guide

Accelerated Mobile Pages have been getting increasing attention lately, especially as businesses start to understand the correlation between loading speed and bounce rates. But, even if you’ve heard of AMPs, it can be challenging to know what they are, how they work, and why they might be necessary for your business.

Don’t worry—we put our nose to the grindstone this week, so you don’t have to. Our clever cats have learned everything you need to know about Accelerated Mobile Pages and why they matter for your website. We’ll explain AMPs in simple terms that anyone can understand and help you decide if they’re right for you.

The Power of Mobile

When was the last time you whipped out your laptop to answer a question, do some light shopping, or comment on a post? If you said, “I have never done that and probably never will,” then congratulations, welcome to the team of ordinary human beings. It’s no secret that the future is mobile.

Customers drawn to your business will likely be using mobile devices to interact with you in the future. Now, it’s important to note that mobile users like things to be faster than your freaky sandwich delivery service. According to research conducted by Google, mobile users want things instantly—so much so that they’ll abandon a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Yes—you read that correctly. Three seconds, otherwise known as the amount of time required to take a breath or for your dad to think up the response, “Hi, Hungry, I’m Dad.” 

Gone are the time investments of old. Mobile users nowadays would be baffled at the painstaking building of the pyramids or the two-year expedition of Lewis and Clark. With disgust at a three-second load time, they might wonder why Lewis and Clark didn’t just check Google Maps or why the Egyptians didn’t get a crane shipped within two days from Amazon Prime.

All of this is to say that the number of mobile users is increasing, and if your page speeds are slow, these mobile users will lose interest and wind up rubbing elbows with your competitors. Luckily, a solution already exists to solve this problem and has been around for some time. Google started its Accelerated Mobile Pages project way back in 2015, but only now is it starting to make it big. 

How AMP’s Work

An Accelerated Mobile Page is a stripped-down version of your original web pages. This stripped-down version loads much faster on a mobile device, improving bounce rates and even your mobile ranking.

AMPs use less imagery, files, and elements to stay lean but, in return, offer mobile users instant load times. These instant loads times are because Google caches these pages, allowing you to serve a page directly from your website’s cache. For most websites, Google must first send a request to your server and wait for the page to be served.

Is AMP for You?

Hold up. It’s not all good. AMPs improve mobile load speed, provide better rankings for AMP page priority, and put less stress on your web server, but there are also some drawbacks.

  • Scaling Back Content – Because content pieces are usually so extensive, AMP pages will likely need to be gutted. This could create a large discrepancy between your site’s desktop and mobile experiences.
  • Eliminating Ad Revenue – Ads must be stripped for pages to shrink. This is a hard pass for websites that rely on serving ads for income. Because AMP is open-source, developers are hopeful that a solution will surface to solve the problem. For now, it’s a hard sell for sites like blogs and other publications.
  • Negating Analytics – Another problem exists because of analytics. Most analytics programs require your server to be pinged to register data. If this doesn’t happen, you can’t even know if the improvements to your page speed are working.

So, there it is––the ugly truth. The reality is that some people will benefit heavily from AMP pages, but there are several dealbreakers for people affected by ad revenue, content, and analytics. It’s hard to know where AMP will take us in the future because of its open-source quality. For now, all we can do is wait and see.