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Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

What are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

Accelerated Mobile Pages, abbreviated AMP, is a cross-platform open-source framework designed to significantly shorten the loading times of Web pages on mobile devices. Accelerated Mobile Pages use their own HTML tags, their own JavaScript library and a highly streamlined CSS (style language of the WWW) to accelerate the loading of Web pages.

Start of Accelerated Mobile Pages

The launch of the AMP project was announced by Google on 7 October 2015. The preparations involved the European Digital News Initiative (DNI), news publishers and technology companies including Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and WordPress.

In February 2016, Google first displayed the AMP versions of web pages in mobile search results. Initially, links to Accelerated Mobile Pages were limited to the “Top Stories” section of Google’s mobile search results. In February 2017, one year after the official launch of AMP, Adobe reported that AMP websites accounted for approximately 7% of the total web traffic of major publishers in the US. And by May 2017, two billion AMP pages from 900,000 domains were online, according to Google.

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What makes Accelerated Mobile Pages different from other websites?

Accelerated Mobile Pages use a CSS streamlined to less than 50 KB, a modified HTML code with special tags, their own JS library, and usually Google’s proxy-based Content Delivery Network (CDN) to deliver the page content.

AMP HTML tags partly replace the conventional tags within the HTML source code. This reduces the size of the source code and loads content only when it is needed by web page searches. In addition, AMP only makes one HTTP request per page request.

The Google AMP Cache ensures a fast provision of Accelerated Mobile Pages. With conventional websites, the web host’s server delivers the web pages. When using the AMP Cache, the pages are delivered via the worldwide HTTP 2.0 based Content Delivery Network (CDN) from Google. For this purpose, the web pages including all images and JavaScript files must be stored in the cache of the network. The files are checked by the network for their perfect functionality and optimized if necessary before they can be delivered.

What are the advantages of Accelerated Mobile Pages?

The fast mobile pages offer advantages to all companies. The bounce rates can be reduced by using AMP. In addition, the positioning of the content in Google’s news overview is improved, as is the ranking of the website in the search results.

For mobile users, Accelerated Mobile Pages offer the advantage of very short loading times compared to conventional websites. AMPs are not loaded completely in one go, but gradually onto mobile devices. The layout of a website, followed by text and cover picture is loaded first. This allows users to scroll through the text of a website, while other text, images, and content from external sources are loaded in the background.

If an AMP version of a conventional website exists, a link to the AMP page is usually inserted into an HTML tag in the source code of the standard page. Because most AMP web pages are easy for web crawlers to find, search engines can link to the AMP version of a web page instead of the standard version and output it in mobile search results.

What are the disadvantages of AMP-based websites?

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Accelerated Mobile Pages framework is the restrictions on CSS. Due to the limited scope, various options for the layout of a website cannot be used. These include, for example, transitions and animations. In addition, the AMP HTML code cannot be used to display forms on a website.

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