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AMP Predicted To Become A Major New Search Factor

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Making websites load faster on mobileMobile Search Results Based On Page Load Speed

Google is attributing significance to those webpages that use AMP or accelerated mobile pages. Sites can expect a boost in rankings and a ‘fast’ label.

Earlier this year the number of Google mobile searches exceeded that of desktop searches for the first time. Typically, mobile searches are conducted by users who are looking for fast answers and rapid communication on the move.

Some reports from Google suggest that there are bounce rates of up to 58% when a page takes 10 seconds to load. The search engine has responded by ensuring that it is catering for the instant needs of mobile users by elevating the importance of website that utilise AMP.

Google has decided to give weight to those sites that use the AMP HTML language by giving pages a boost in rankings. They are also considering adding a label to an AMP page in the SERPs, which will read ‘Fast’ next to it, thereby enticing mobile users with the promise of a speedy search.

What Is AMP?

AMP stands for ‘accelerated mobile pages’ and it is the solution that many websites have been utilising in order to create quicker page load times.

The AMP computer language is a subset of HTML which contains a reduced number of JavaScript components. This enables pages that use AMP to be simpler and less interactive, due to the lack of JavaScript content, which makes them extremely quick to load.

Websites can enable the use of AMP for their mobile pages in order to receive as much as an 85% performance improvement in page load speed.

Google’s Response To AMP

The search engine giant has been telling webmasters for several years about the importance of quick page load speeds in order to rank well in the SERPs. Not only has Google sent out messages through the Webmaster Central Tools in 2015 with advice on PageSpeed Insights, but they also created a Mobile-Friendly test so that site owners can check how well their pages display when clicked on via a Google mobile search.

In October 2015, Google introduced their AMP project, which allows website owners to use Google’s global cache to provide near instant webpage loading. AMP is already gaining popularity with large sites such as Twitter, WordPress.com, Pinterest and LinkedIn choosing to use it in order to increase page load times.

Google is thought to be rolling out AMP changes to the algorithm from as early as February 2016, so this gives webmasters a few weeks to get their sites up to speed.

Is AMP For Everyone?

Although Google does stress that there are other ways to improve the page load speed of your site, AMP should be taken seriously by any webmaster or site owner who wishes to naturally improve their SEO efforts.

If you’re a site owner, you should think about how visitors use your site. If interaction is key to the experience of your users, then you should think twice about cutting out the JavaScript from your pages. However, if your site is rich with text content, then this is certainly an avenue worth pursuing and you could gain a great deal of web traffic in 2016 if you optimise your pages for AMP.

As there can be issues with duplicate content being flagged up if you don’t add canonical tags correctly to AMP sites, it is always best to consult an SEO professional before making any major changes to the SEO configuration of your site.

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