The web can move faster than you may think — and those with a stake in online publishing and marketing need to recognize this before they fall behind in the speed game.

Titled the Accelerated Mobile Page Project or AMP for short, the open-source initiative helps publishers create mobile-optimized content so that information loads instantly.

Last year, Google and a number of publishers and technology companies, including The Washington Post, Vox and BuzzFeed, signed on to AMP with the goal of improving mobile web browsing.

Why AMP?

According to AMP, several seconds is several seconds too long. People don’t wait for slow pages to load, and that means publishers lose engagement and money by the second.

Data shows speed thrills — and even kings of e-commerce like Amazon, eBay, Netflix and Wal-Mart will lose customers unless they boost their web page load times, according to a report from Radware, a company that focuses on application and security solutions. Last year, the company analyzed the 100 highest-traffic, e-commerce sites, which include Etsy, Best Buy, IKEA and video game seller Steam, and found it often takes more than the three seconds Radware recommends for the home pages of the sites analyzed to load.

AMP preaches faster load times and lower data usage than non-AMP pages. The project cites research from SOASTA — a technology company that provides services to test websites and web applications — that shows bounce rates go as high as 58 percent for web pages that take nearly 10 seconds to load.

Ideally, more publishers and platforms will integrate AMP pages to build an overall faster mobile Web experience. A demo of AMP in Google Search is available here on a mobile device.

A Google search for news on the President, for instance, triggers the carousel, which calls up news articles right away. Users can browse other articles by swiping left and right, without going back to the search results.

Users can distinguish AMP pages with the green lightning bolt icon on the bottom.

In January, Google Analytics announced its feature of measuring AMP pages.

Learning Opportunities

Tech Specs

The initial technical specification published on GitHub on Oct. 7 with more features being added over time.

Because AMP is open-source, any content creator can use AMP pages. ChartBeat and WordPress are among other early adopters, in addition to giants like Twitter and Google.

AMP says the HTML is built “entirely out of existing web technologies,” so it should not require extra work to develop for publishers. 

AMP promises flexibility and support for a range of ad formats, including working with paywalls and subscriptions. Sustainable Ad Practices is in the works to guide best practices around AMP pages, its Website added.

One thing to note: Third parties can crawl, index and cache AMP pages.

What Now?

According to the Google News Team, AMP is set to launch in Google Search as early as later this month.

To prepare for the launch, Google recommends:

  • Create AMP HTML pages.
  • Check if your pages validate in Search Console.
  • Find out whether your third-party CMS providers support AMP.

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