SEJ Summit 2016, Chicago, IL

From the SEJ Summit in Chicago, IL… we bring you insight from Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google.

Gary Illyes spoke about Google’s top priorities and why we should pay attention to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). With a focus on speeding up websites, Google is pushing AMP adoption, but Gary assured us he “wouldn’t force AMP down your throats. I’ll tell you all the great things about it and then let you force it down your OWN throats!”

For the first time this summer, more Google searches were completed on mobile devices than desktop computers,” stated Gary. But, there’s a serious problem. The web is littered with slow, cluttered websites lending bad user experiences. These slow downs are contributed to things like the overuse of analytics implementations, or too much content being crammed on a single page.

We want to make the web great again by creating fast pages that are easy to implement, as well as mobile-friendly by default.” 

AMP Explained

In order to combat slow and clunky web pages, the AMP project was begun as an open source initiative. It embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once– and have it load instantly everywhere, from the moment it’s pushed live. We already know how to make fast web pages; all of it’s now done easily through the building blocks of AMP!

How to Increase Page Speed

  • Simplify: less JavaScript!
  • Optimize bandwidth: get the best content for your device (image resolution) & parallelize the loading (asynchronous load)
  • Cache: use Content Delivery Servers to store a local copy of your pages

The Building Blocks of AMP

  1. HTML 5 (AMP HTML)
  2. JavaScript (AMP JS)
  3. CSS3 (Custom styling)
  4. Global Proxy Cache (AMP Cache)

AMP Features

Since 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3-seconds to load, Google decided to take hold. The solution was AMP, an open-source framework that outlines a common set of building blocks that replace JavaScript. AMP is extremely fast, it’s free, and developers can add to it if they see fit. Its features include:

  • Ads load in safe iFrames, secondarily to content, and are HTTPS (versus HTTP) hosted. This is known as “smart content prioritization” and is done by prefetching elements, no relayout, and asynchronous load.
  • AMP pages are naturally responsive, which automatically renders the best image for each user’s screen.
  • It’s limited by design, with no custom JavaScript except in AMP-iFrame, no scrolling elements on the page, and a maximum 50kb inline stylesheet.
  • Less than 1 second median load time, versus mobile-friendly websites that have a 22 second median load time. This is HUGE! (Remember, 40% of people leave a website that takes more than 3-seconds to load.)
  • APM pages are 4x’s faster, with 10x’s less data transfer

How AMP Helps Publishers

Publishers are faced with new challenges including evolving ecosystems of closed distribution models, poor consumer perceptions of mobile web experiences, monetization at the content level, and technology updates that are outpacing development cycles.

AMP pages help enhance users reading experience by caching and loading articles instantly, hopefully deepening engagement in the same breath. Publishers now have control over visual design, as well as their business model. All existing ad formats are supported by AMP, which also makes our lives a bit easier.

AMP-HTML on Google Search works to drive new content discovery to searchers. In essence, it’s HTML with a few restrictions implemented in order to deliver reliable performance. It also touts some extensions to build rich content that’s beyond HTML’s capabilities.

  • 89%+ of publishers who have implemented AMP are realizing higher viewability rates with
  • 90%+ of publishers receiving greater engagement with higher CTRs. The majority of these same publishers are also seeing higher CMP’s, as well.

Carousal Addition

Google will be creating more article carousels, which are already being used for soft-news topics, like “pasta recipes.” The carousels make it easy for the searcher to browse, by swiping left (like the Tinder of pasta recipes).


The Washington Post implemented AMP pages and then conducted research comparing them to their existing responsive pages. The responsive pages showed a 3,500-millisecond load time, while the AMP pages decreased load time to 1,200-milliseconds and an AMP CDN load time of 400-milliseconds. The Washington Post’s percentage of seven-day visits from search stood at 53% before AMP, and rose to 63% after implementation.

Faster is better and simplicity is happiness. In our minds, AMP is a no brainer.

Interested in adding AMP to your site?  The TM Team can hook you up.  Contact us to learn more about how we can help AMP up your site.

To learn more about AMP, visit The Amp Project.

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