Welcome to a speedier mobile web.
It’s been a massive week for the Google SERPs this week and it’s only Tuesday. As well as Google killing Right Hand Side Ads and shutting down its own comparison service, it seems that Google has also launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages project.
Although we had been expecting it around next weekend, as Google stated it would be here “late February”, it seems some people have been seeing results with a little AMP icon today (Tues 23 Feb).
— Mark Chalcraft (@markchalcraft) February 23, 2016
The AMP project is an open source initiative which aims to improve the performance of the mobile web. As our own Rebecca Sentance explained in her article on Google’s AMP only yesterday, AMP pages are a “stripped-down version of the mobile web which runs on a reinvented version of HTML.”
Google has stated that a page created with AMP HTML can load anywhere from 15 to 85% faster than the non-AMP version of that page.
What this means for users is a much faster mobile web, and for publishers using AMP a likely boost in search rankings, as site speed and mobile friendliness are both vital for user experience.
It was informally speculated during the announcement of AMP back in December that these pages created using AMP might receive a ‘fast’ label (similar to the ‘mobile friendly’ label), but it seems that Google is going with AMP and a little lightning bolt…
For us within the search industry it may be obvious what this label means, but is that the case for regular users?
From asking around the non-SEW parts of the office, nobody guessed that the symbol meant faster loading pages. One person, who will remain anonymous replied, “louder pages.”
Fair enough to be honest.
The point is, there perhaps needs to be a lot more education from Google in order to tell people what this symbol means, if it’s not going to use something more obvious like ‘fast’. Especially if AMP pages are meant to benefit the user and are Google’s preferred way of improving the mobile web.