All Things Digital

Tuesday 01, March 2016

Mobile Accelerated Pages: What you need to know

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project has officially launched on Wednesday (24th Feb) – a day earlier then expected.

So what exactly is it? Will it affect your business? How can you get in on the action? We have all of your questions answered!

What is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

Basically, it’s an open source initiative from Google and Twitter that aims to “dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web”. It is designed to enable online publishers to easily increase rendering speed on mobile devices without sacrificing revenue that they may receive from advertisers.

In fact, a page created with AMP HTML is expected to load from 15 to 85% faster than a normal mobile version. To get an idea of just how fast it is, Nieman Lab have tested the performance on a NY Times article and have reported the following results:




domContentLoaded time (s)

(when all HTML is downloaded)


Fully Loaded time (s)



















Google has asked publishers and developers to adopt this back in October 2015. Companies on board include: Twitter, LinkedIn, The New York Times and The Guardian.

Guardian amp vs normal

Caption: The AMP version of a Guardian news article (left) and the normal mobile version (right) Credit: Search Engine Watch

How is it different from Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News?

With Facebook and Apple, they use RSS to deliver an optimised and stripped-down version of an article. In order to get your content on Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News, you’d currently be required to enter into an agreement with either companies. However, Google’s AMP is designed to be open source (like HTML), which means that anyone is welcome to join.

Besides the partnership factor, there are also several major differences publishers should be aware of:

AMPs are web based:

All AMPs can be rendered in your mobile browser – meaning that no apps would need to be installed.

AMPs are performance based:

AMP is much more concerned about performance, readability and speed rather than aesthetics like fancy visuals. However, it is important to note that they can be just as user friendly and attractive as Facebook Instant Articles or Apple News.

Why is it so fast?

Essentially AMP is a form of HTML – but a very lightweight version in order to keep performance super-fast. This means things like certain HTML tags, author-written JavaScript and any third-party scripts can’t be used. CSS should also be stripped down as well to increase loading speeds.

AMP is also designed to be cached in the cloud, so that it’ll take less time to download content onto your device.

Demo rundown of what AMP looks like

Who exactly is it for?

The project is open to all players and content distributers, from publishers to e-commerce stores to blogs. It is currently in the very early stages where only a few publishers and platforms (like WordPress) are involved.


I am a publisher / content distributer. How can I get on-board?

If you’re using a WordPress CMS:

Then that’s fantastic because it’s actually one of the easiest ways to get started. Automattic/WordPress have developed plugin in which you can download over here.

You can also head over to SearchEngineLand and Yoastfor the instructions and details about installation and analytics.

If you’re using some other CMS:

This leaves things a little trickier, although it’s still within your reach. Because AMP is built on existing web technologies, the development process is similar to the one many publishers are using already. To get started we recommend familiarising yourselves with the AMP HTML specs on GitHub. You can also find help and instructions on the AMP Project website as well as the official AMP blog.

Is it a replacement for my Responsive website?

At the moment, the team at OnQue believes it’s not a replacement for responsive web design. As AMP is here with one simple mission: to create extremely fast reading experiences for users.

As we’ve discussed already, implementing AMP HTML will mean that you’ll have to sacrifice some of the aesthetics of your website (like JavaScript) that’s there for the enhancement of your users’ journey and experience. Quite simply, if your site is more than just text, images and videos (e.g. SaaS platform), then we believe AMP isn’t really for you.


So what does this all mean for the future of digital marketing? Although AMP does appear to offer a much friendlier version of the open web compared to say, Facebook Instant Articles, we think publishers may still be in danger of being locked into Google's specific tool to build their version of a webpage.

This is what we believe is the biggest problem with AMP. At the moment, Google has stated that AMP will not affect rankings in search. However, there is no guarantee that this is will be case in the future - since page speed is already a ranking factor in Google's algorithm, why shouldn't fast loading pages who use Google's tool be prioritised?

At the end of the day, we believe the team at AMP have provided us an impressive and valuable tool that will give online publishers and advertisers a realm of new opportunities. It will be interesting to see how it'll be adopted in the coming months and any new developments that will take place.

Need help getting your head around AMP? Give OnQue a call today!

Mobile Accelerated Pages: What you need to know

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project officially launched last Wednesday – a day earlier then expected. So what exactly is it? Will it affect your business? How can you get in on the action?