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Google Accelerated Mobile Pages

Since their launch, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) has been gradually growing in popularity and functionality. More than 2 billion pages now utilize the stripped-down and sped-up content system, and a new survey shows users are also responding very well to AMP.

A poll conducted by 9to5Google indicates that more than half of all internet users prefer to click on AMP content over regular links to full content hosted on your website.

The question posed by Justin Duino from 9to5Google asked: “Are you more inclined to click on an AMP link than a regular one?

With almost 1500 responses so far, 51% of people say the “Yes, I prefer the stripped down versions of websites when reading something.

The other responses include:

  • No, if I want to read something, I will open the link whether it’s AMP or not – 24%
  • No, I prefer loading the entire website – 13%
  • Yes, but only when my device is using mobile data and I don’t want to load a full website – 9%
  • Other – 2%

Of course, informal online polls are hardly considered incontrovertible proof. The results are open to interpretation and informed by numerous factors. For one, the people who frequent 9to5Google’s site are more likely to be tech-inclined and informed about the latest news and features in search. They also likely view Google in a more positive light than the average person.

Still, there is plenty of evidence that content producers and brands love AMP, but there’s been little effort to actually ask users how they feel about the format. Based on this, they are largely in favor of the stripped-down content that lets them get straight to what they clicked on with as little loading time as possible.

Google has been using its Accelerated Mobile Pages technology to deliver content almost instantaneously for over a year, and now it is starting to spread the technology to new areas of its platform.

Specifically, Google says it is beginning to use AMP technology to speed up search ads in two different ways.

Firstly, Google AdWords is launching a beta program allowing advertisers to create landing pages using Accelerated Mobile Pages. The result is a faster transition from seeing the ad to being able to convert, and less chance of someone leaving because they get tired of waiting for your site to load.

Secondly, Google is boosting all ads across the entire Google Display Network by automatically converting them to a new AMP ad format. As of today, the search engine has already converted a “significant” number of ads across its display network.

Google says its new AMP ads load 5 seconds faster than regular ads without any visual changes. This way, ads on AMP pages can load just as quickly as the content, creating a more seamless experience.

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The Accelerated Mobile Pages project says it has made its stripped-down superfast mobile pages even more versatile with the ability to support forms in AMP HTML.

AMP uses a simplified version of HTML to provide pages faster than usually possible on mobile devices – where speed matters most to users. However, the format offers limited features compared to full-fledged web pages. Until now, one of those limitations was the lack of ability to include forms.

Now, AMP users can include everything from the standard e-mail address capture form to more complex forms or even interactive polls. In addition to making it easier to communicate or gain information from your visitors, the support for forms can help with allowing customers to select colors or other details on e-commerce product pages.

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As the AMP project says in its announcement, support for forms “enables building experiences ranging from a product color picker on an e-commerce detail page to an email field to capture newsletter signups to an interactive poll to engage readers within an article.”

If you want to start running your own AMP pages to deliver content faster to on-the-go users or you want to start adding forms to your already existing accelerated mobile pages, check out the AMP project’s official guides and documentation.

You can also see live examples of what the forms may look like on your site at AMP by Example.

The AMP project says it plans to continue to expand the functionality of AMP pages and AMP forms based on user feedback, but the overall focus is still on providing functional and engaging web pages to users as fast as possible.

In the wake of the one-year anniversary of the release of AMP (accelerated mobile pages), Google has released a new testing tool to help content publishers ensure their AMP pages are properly set-up and displaying correctly.

The tool is directly available at https://search.google.com/search-console/amp and can be accessed through the Google Search Console.

The testing tool is designed to work on mobile devices and uses Google’s live web-search infrastructure” to assess any AMP page using real Googlebots to provide real-time evaluations.

Specifically, it checks the AMP markup and structured data on the page for issues, then highlights any part of the source-code that could be creating errors. You can then click on the issues for more details about the issue.

The testing tool also allows you to see a live preview of how the page may appear in Google’s search results.

Below you can see screenshots of the tool in action, taken by Barry Schwartz:

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Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are starting to appear in organic search results, after months of only appearing in the ‘top stories’ carousel.

What is Google AMP?

As the internet becomes increasingly mobile, Google has made site speed a top priority within its search results. Part of their effort to speed up the web has included the launch of its Accelerated Mobile Pages technology, which allows publishers to create pages using a stripped down version of HTML and JavaScript that emphasizes site speed.

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Other platforms including Twitter and Facebook have launched their own versions of Accelerated Mobile Pages with their own unique features and structure.

The coding framework allows Google to pre-load numerous assets with the goal of allowing publishers to deliver content extraordinarily quickly without sacrificing style or ad revenue.

What Does This Mean For You?

In the past, Google only showed a small fraction of the 600 million AMP documents published online within the limited ‘top stories’ carousel at the top of search results. Now, all AMP pages have a chance to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) as organic search results.

By default, Google will display AMP versions of pages in mobile search results when available.

While AMP pages do not automatically rank better than other results, they are likely to provide strong competition in SERPs. AMP pages are not a direct search ranking signal, but page speed is. Considering AMP pages take less than one second to load on average, it is likely that high-quality AMP pages could dominate mobile results in the near future.

How to Get Started Using Google AMP

If you want to start using Accelerated Mobile Pages to deliver your content to mobile visitors, you have a few options. You can manually publish two separate versions of your content – one with your standard website code, and one using Google’s streamlined version of HTML.

Or, you can use a number of plug-ins to automatically create and publish AMP versions of your content when you publish your normal version. With the WordPress AMP plugin from Automattic, you can immediately publish AMP pages with a single click. You don’t have to spend any time stressing or maintaining duplicate versions of your pages or digging into code to start publishing lightning-fast content to mobile searchers.

Google Mobile

Since the launch of Accelerated Mobile Pages, Google has indexed over 150 million AMP pages from over 650 thousand unique domains. You probably wouldn’t know that from looking at the search results, though. Instead, searchers have only been shown the small number of AMP pages featured in the “Top Stories” carousel on some search results.

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That is starting to change. Google is giving a preview of search results with considerably more Accelerated Mobile Pages in the organic search results. The pages are still marked with their usual blue lightning bolt, but now they aren’t restricted to carousels.

You can see for yourself what the expanded AMP support looks like in Google’s demo showing what their search pages will look like as AMP pages become more common in search results in the near future.

Google makes it clear the inclusion of AMP pages in organic search results doesn’t mean they are implementing an algorithmic change to how they rank sites. Ranking will work as it has been, but with these faster pages included in the possible results.

The change makes AMP pages considerably more attractive to a number of new markets, including e-commerce. For example, Disney, Genius, and Reddit have all used AMP pages, but they were unlikely to ever be found through search because they were not likely to be included in the “Top Stories” carousel.

Google Mobile

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) have been rumored to rollout in late February for some time, and it appears they are finally starting to appear. The AMP listings are being spotted in mobile search results, but it seems they are not available for all searchers.

Accelerated Mobile Pages are pages designed to be super lightweight and allow for incredibly fast load times. It does this by using a unique, streamlined version of HTML that is able to be heavily caches to provide the fastest loading experience possible.

To see if you have access to the new AMP search results, just perform a search on Google.com for any query that would typically trigger a news box. If you can’t think of anything, you can try ‘Trump’, ‘Google’, or ‘Obama’.

Barry Schwartz shared a few screencaps of what you can expect to see as the listings become more widely available. You can see them below:

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This screencap shows AMP listings appearing in the news listings, rather than the carousel:

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