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.

3 Responses to Google and AMP: A Better Mobile Experience

  1. I only found this page because I’m looking for a way around Google AMP, its sucks!
    If you want the actual news site, and not the dumb down bastardized google version, AMP is horrible. It takes longer and increaes data usage.
    Before AMP, See a news story on Google, click the news story, go too website, read news article.

    With AMP its see a story, click story, load google bastardized version, click google link bar to the actual site. Twice the steps twice the time twice the data.

    If I have 2 Identical automobiles, I strip one down to only the minimum. No doors no seats no dashboard or radio no heat or AC put on some cheap lightweight plastic rims. Will the stripped down version be faster? Absolutely. Will the stripped down version be worth driving? Absolutely not.

    The google propaganda is the mobile web sucks. No it really doesn’t, at least not on the level they’re claiming.

    3G 4G networks with a smartphone is more than capable of handling any internet page created. If my smartphone can handle 4K video stream, it can handle any website that exists. So the idea smartphones can’t handle the modern web or full internet pages is just google propaganda.

    AMP is for google to wall off sections of the internet for google.

    Someone explain how this is better?

    Accelerated mobile pages is nothing but a solution in search of a problem.

    Chris9465 | June 26, 2017at 3:39 am

  2. I’m only here because, I want a way around Google AMP. If you’re a website administrator STAY AWAY FROM GOOGLE AMP!

    AMP is google propaganda. Its not faster and takes up twice the data.

    Before AMP see a story on google news click story go too website.
    After AMP click news story go too some dumb down google version. Then you have too click the grey link bar too get the actual website. Twice the Time Twice the Data.

    AMP is google trying to highjack the internet into its own walled garden.

    The idea that a modern smartphone and cell network can’t handle a full website is just google propaganda.

    My smartphone can stream 4k on 3G so a modern website is no problem.

    Google accelerated mobile pages is a solution in search of a problem. So what is a company too do when it has a solution but no problem? Good’ol fashion propaganda. Just keep repeating the lie about mobile websites. Repeat a lie long enough, people will start too believe it.

    Stop believing corporate propaganda. Google is about google.

    Chris | June 26, 2017at 4:06 am

  3. Thanks for your comments, Chris.

    Sarah Goodlaxson | June 27, 2017at 2:06 pm

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