Jumping on the Google AMP Train? The CMO’s Guide to Accelerated Mobile Pages

If you care about the ROI of your website, you know the importance of mobile page speed.

Google has pushed its major speed initiative, Accelerated Mobile Pages — AMP for short — hard over the last year. As AMP features and specifications evolve, marketers can capitalize on improved UX and ranking opportunities by staying up to date on AMP.

Here’s your primer on the AMP opportunity. We outline:

CMOs Guide to AMP

What Is Google AMP?

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) is an open source project geared toward enabling content to load instantly for mobile readers.

AMP’s lightning fast loading of content on a mobile device is accomplished by:

  1. Pre-rendering the content while limiting the use of JavaScript that publisher sites can use
  2. And caching content so Google doesn’t have to fetch page content from the publisher’s server

AMP pages can be fast and highly interactive with AMP components like carousel, video and light box. Pages can be customized with amp-iframe to embed components not yet supported by AMP.

To sweeten the attraction of AMP, we know that mobile-friendly pages get an organic ranking boost in Google. Currently, AMP results are delivered as a cluster in a carousel at the top of a search results page. Later this year, within Google’s mobile search results, AMP pages will be indicated with a small grey circle with a white lightning bolt.

There is an AMP report within Google Search Console that shows webmasters and SEOs the AMP pages of a site that have been successfully indexed or caused errors (reported by type) when crawled.

Who Is Google AMP For?

There are more than 650,000 domains publishing AMP pages today, according to Google.

Google AMP is for:

… with more applicable content types sure to be added over time.

“Gary Illyes from Google revealed what the next big thing for 2016 would be (…) AMP, also known as Accelerated Mobile Pages. And he said they will be pushing it aggressively in 2016.” —Jennifer Slegg, TheSEMPost.com (emphasis added)

Typically, when Google says “this is important and you should do this,” the SEO community jumps to it – especially with today’s focus on mobile SEO.

The Problems AMP Solves

AMP Is Google’s Answer to Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News

Mobile users are used to the fast-loading content experience like that delivered by Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News. Those platforms often exclude the ability to embed advertisements, however, an issue that Google is keen on solving. AMP is a response to search traffic getting left out of the mobile conversation.

With Instant Articles, publishers’ content on Facebook loads really quickly because all those pages are prerendered. You click and it’s there.

People are getting used to that experience, but Google obviously doesn’t have control over the speed of a publisher’s page load from the SERP, and it’s very important for them to make sure that people are still using Google and visiting some of the more than 2 million websites that are part of Googles Display Network.

When a SERP click leads to a site that’s incredibly slow and gives a bad user experience, it’s almost like people are going to associate that poor experience with Google.

With AMP, webmasters have a solution for speedy loading content served to searchers that doesn’t exclude Google’s advertisements. And advertisers have a framework for developing fast-loading landing pages which brings us to our second problem solved.

AMP Is Google’s Answer to Ad Blockers

AMP is also a response to the proliferation of ad blockers. Ad blockers are a serious problem for Google AdSense and the publishers that serve AdSense ads.

Neither Google nor publishers make money on ads when web users block ads. According to the latest study, 16% of U.S. Internet users block ads. The latest Apple mobile operating system, iOS 9, supports ad blocking in the Safari browser.

Apple’s move to block ads including AdSense is intended to speed up the Internet on phones, and it leaves Google out in the cold. AMP is a response to this.

Google knows it needs to give mobile web users a fast experience or they’re going to stop trusting the search engine as a content discovery engine.

As ad blockers are a symptom of a degraded mobile user experience caused by advertising, it’s no coincidence that Google reps first announced the AMP Project to the assembled webmaster/publisher community at the Google AdSense keynote at Pubcon Las Vegas in October 2015.

Placing ads on AMP pages is easier than ever with support of ad platforms. Outbrain, AOL, OpenX, DoubleClick and AdSense are advertising platforms that work within the AMP framework.

The SEO’s Toolbox for Page Speed Optimization

There are many ways to optimize the speed of a website, and all should be examined by the technical side of the house.

The starting place for AMP is the AMP Project’s Get Started tutorial. Included in the tutorial is everything you need to create an AMP page, how to configure analytics, how to include media and iframes and third-party content, guidance on making your page discoverable and how to validate (test) your AMP pages.

For your convenience, we have outlined the basic steps to AMP in our quick-start guide on how to implement AMP.

SEOs also have a number of effective tools for cranking up site speed apart from AMP, which you can get started with using the Mobile SEO & Design Checklist. This guide takes you through selecting a mobile platform (responsive, dynamic and mobile site), optiming for crawling and indexing, mobile UX optimization and testing and tracking.


This post was originally published on Feb. 4, 2016. It has been updated to reflect the current AMP platform specifications and SEO advantages.

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

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29 Replies to “Jumping on the Google AMP Train? The CMO’s Guide to Accelerated Mobile Pages”

The awareness of implementing AMP is not as widespread as before. Publishers have raised several concerns about AMP, which, in my opinion, may be contributing to its declining popularity.

I enjoyed the article. I am trying to implement AMP in my Ecommerce site.

A wonderful piece on AMP. You really explained the important point well in this article and I was able to gather a lot of new information on the subject. So thanks a lot for your help.

this article is very informative, i will be making my blog amp compliant, from this i have read

Very informative post on AMP. It’s good to know that Google is doing a lot of work to improve mobile page speed. I will surely check the AMP Project’s Get Started tutorial via the link you provided. Well done, good article.

Tried AMP’s with the blog section of my site and they are really ranking high on Google.. This is a Good piece of article though, AMP is the real deal now

This is a nice concept, moving towards a faster Mobile Web Altogether. It will be more interesting to see the Ecommerce sites adapting to AMP.

Very Detailed Post. Thanks for sharing!
AMP is really very beneficial to work on the slower part of the web and accelerate the performance of web pages over mobile.

Google is serious about being mobile friendly. Load time is important too. Good post!

Virginia Nussey

Thanks, Andre! Let us know if you test AMP yourself!

Thanks for this great piece of information. I currently work in an e-commerce firm and we blog about recipes cuz it’s an online supermarket. I will use this info to step-up my SEO game in the organisation. ;)

Virginia Nussey

Great plan, Chima, as recipes are one of the super supported AMP content types. One thing to keep an eye out for if you implement AMP is your conversions. I’ve talked to an SEO recently about his implementation of AMP. They saw some positive results from AMP, like faster load time and even more traffic, but the bounces were high and conversions dropped. Worth testing, and being watchful of what matters.

Unfortunately not all content works with AMP, if a website has loads of video content and while AMP will only make the text content load extremely faster, but the video portion still takes a bit to load :(

Thanks for making it very clear , My first gut thought was a way to speed up mobile delivery, but really only useful for say a blog on my site.Thank you.

Great post again.
But most of the topic is been heard and used in basic SEO strategy. I was expecting more , nerveless it is always a pleasure to read your blog.

What an informative and clear content! Thanks for sharing both the advantages and limitations. Keep it up.

Informative post on AMP. We are getting so many questions each day on this new development by Google and most of the time we saw that people have wrong conception about Accelerated Mobile Page update. This article is really well written and cleared some really important things on AMP. Thanks for sharing this, will be happy to refer to this post for AMP details.

Thanks for making it very clear , My first gut thought was a way to speed up mobile delivery, but really only useful for say a blog on my site

Virginia Nussey

Glad you found us, Mike. I still wonder if a blog would even be the right fit for AMP. Our blog, for example, has a “subscribe to our newsletter” field in the sidebar. I don’t think that’s possible with AMP. Implementing AMP is a marketing decision with advantages and lost opportunity cost.

Great article, I have been doing some research on AMP and wondering how on earth it would work in the context of my Real Estate website. Guess I can relax for a while.

Virginia Nussey

Totally, Roianne. I’m sure we’ll be opining if/when the AMP audience changes. :) And thank you for your compliment!

Thanks for such a great information which you have shared here.
Let me share this content with my fresher SEO team.
Really appreciable post with informative content.

A great read on AMP. You really explained the important point well in this article and I was able to gather some new information on the subject. So thanks a lot for your help.

Virginia Nussey

Sure thing, Anu. Hope we’ve added some perspective.

Thanks for the insights. Would it make sense do make a blog with AMP if that is possible?

Virginia Nussey

Cathie, it makes sense to make your blog AMP compliant if you won’t feel stripped of engagement objects forced by the JavaScript limitations. A subscribe to this blog pop-up, for example, may not be available in AMP but could help you grow your blog subscriber list. Certainly doesn’t hurt to investigate. I’d be interested in hearing about your ultimate analysis. :)

Cheers for the detailed insight into “What Google AMP Is” the first I heard ofd it was when I saw it in WMT cheers.

Virginia Nussey

Thank you, Gerry!


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