SEO Series: Accelerated Mobile Pages

As part of CNN Newsource’s ongoing series of thought leadership designed to help our affiliates expand their audience reach on digital platforms, we bring you another post in our SEO Series.

By: Dan Perry, SEO Director at Turner Broadcasting

Late last year, Google announced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a very accessible framework for creating fast-loading mobile web pages.  The open-source initiative is designed to enable publishers to easily improve speed (and consequently, the user experience) for their mobile readership.

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Although experienced developers can often achieve similar results through intensive performance optimizations, publishers often neglect this due to resource constraints. AMP allows these optimizations to be easily achieved without altering the primary mobile web experience.

There’s also the added benefit of AMP’s future usage by Google and other prominent web technology companies, who are encouraging its use by integrating it heavily into their respective platforms.

Essentially a framework for creating mobile web pages, AMP consists of three basic parts:

AMP HTML: A subset of HTML, this markup language has some custom tags and properties and many restrictions. But if you are familiar with regular HTML, you should not have difficulty adapting existing pages to AMP HTML. For more details on how it differs from basic HTML, check out AMP Project’s list of required markup that your AMP HTML page “must” have.

AMP JS: A JavaScript framework for mobile pages. For the most part, it manages resource handling and asynchronous loading. It should be noted that third-party JavaScript is not permitted with AMP.

AMP CDN: An optional Content Delivery Network, it will take your AMP-enabled pages, cache them and automatically make some performance optimizations.

Google has clearly made this a priority, by adding AMP errors to their Search Console, adding an AMP Section to their Structured Data Google Developer Docs, and creating a News Carousel only for AMP-enabled content.  Currently AMP is only for News publishers, but Google has hinted that AMP content may appear in other parts of Google search.

Additional Reading:

Google Gives Update on Crawling JavaScript Sites and Progressive Web Apps – For the technical folks, this is a great article on Google’s current position on a number of items including AJAX, #’s in URL’s, and more.

Google to boost mobile-friendly algorithm this May – Google said the update will happen “beginning in May,” and it “increases the effect of the [mobile-friendly] ranking signal.”