AMP-ready content will score highest after the coming Page Experience update and will be the easiest way to prepare for it, but what is it?
The Birth of AMP: The Desktop/Mobile Divide
The current phase of web evolution creates a divide between desktop and mobile. On one side, the technology is present (on the server-side as well as on home computers/laptops) to serve complicated web pages containing multiple heavy loading functions without extreme long loading times or other issues.
But at the same time, the use of the internet via mobile (smaller) devices has increased significantly over the last several years. More than 80% of your website’s visitors access your website by phone or tablet. Translating desktop sites to mobile devices often creates what we refer to as a ‘bad user experience,’ which can mean longer loading times and loss of functions. Improving User Experience is–in a nutshell–what the current Page Experience update is all about.
The Lighthouse Test
To create a standardized metric to test your website’s Page Experience, Google created Lighthouse. And it makes sense that Lighthouse tests desktop and mobile versions separately. It is likely that little is needed to bring your desktop site where it needs to be, but it’s possible that your mobile representation needs more attention. This often means making adjustments to the desktop version and implementing AMP.
Since 2016, Google has been developing AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) which allows websites to serve a separate and ‘slimmed down’ version on mobile. When properly implemented, they will be fully in line with the requirements of the new update.
Pro’s of AMP
The advantages that AMP will provide are amazing:
– Loading times below 1 second (with help of Google’s cache)
– An incredible bump up in rankings
– Accelerated Mobile Pages will be specifically visible in search results in the form of a lightning bolt symbol. (This will allow the user to choose a better page experience upfront.)
Downsides of AMP
Of course, no solution is without its challenges. AMP requires very strict rules, meaning even the slightest deviation in protocol will prevent it. A narrow path to follow, but one that is completely incorporated in our maintenance plans, which means removing the stress from our clients.
The biggest challenge for your website might lie in the limitations AMP puts on more complicated code and functions. At this early junction of the shift, not all plugins/functions will be AMP ready. This could mean that some functions on your pages will not be eligible for AMP, making the entire page not eligible for AMP. Some restructuring in your website might be necessary to make a healthy compromise between function and ranking. A certain function now presented in most pages might be better off limited to certain pages. This might reduce User Experience on desktop, but increase your rankings significantly. In some cases, a (secondary) function may be better left out completely to gain the advantages that AMP accommodates.
At this time, to create an optimal situation, it is likely that part of your website will be presented as AMP and partly as regular pages. In any case, SND Agency will analyze the best solutions for our clients and come up with a 100% custom plan.
Interested in what Google’s new Page Experience algorithm will mean for your website? Feel free to send us a message and we will send you a free assessment!