As if there’s not enough to do, racing around and tweaking your websites’ code to pander to Google’s needs, there’s now the AMP Project from Big G.
Announced yesterday on the official Google blog, AMP is the Accelerated Mobile Pages project. The aim of the AMP project is to improve delivery of content on mobile devices. The basis of the latest crusade is that publishers use open-source AMP-HTML to markup their content and this speeds up delivery, hopefully by instantaneously downloading content to mobile devices. Behind this all appears to be some sort of Content Distribution Network (CDN) that Google say can be used at no cost.
Already the search giant is saying that 30 publishers have signed up to the project with such luminaries as Twitter, WordPress, Adobe Analytics and LinkedIn.
In addition to these big name publishers, Google says that its own products will roll out AMP HTML pages, citing Google News as a future user.
My Thoughts on the AMP Project?
As per usual Google is saying jump and we need to ask “how high?”. I’ve found that managing websites is a big enough job as it is with having to monitor and maintain every aspect flagged up in Google Search Console (Formerly Webmaster Tools) so this is another dog whistle from the search giant. Ultimately this is user-focused, ensuring that consumers get the content they want quickly but this puts the onus
Ultimately this is a user-focused initiative, ensuring that consumers get the content they want quickly. But it does put the onus on publishers to re-jig their code, so the user gets a better experience and the provider has to do all the heavy lifting.
My concern over this is, as with many things SERPs-related, is that only the big boys will have the resources to deploy AMP HTML. For now at least. I’ve no doubt that, as AMP becomes more accessible and easier to deploy, it will be picked up my medium-sized and then smaller publishers. But, as always, the early adopters, who have already had a headstart from discussions with Google, will already be developing AMP powered pages and being first to market with their offerings. If Google gives preference to AMP-HTML content, then this gives the big boys the chance to dominate the SERPs yet again.
This really comes as no surprise because this is the latest in a string of “mobile first” initiatives from Mountain View. The recent rush started back in November last year when Google issued A Serious Sign That Your Site Should be Mobile Friendly. Then we were all given 54 Days to be Mobile Friendly resulting in a load of chatter about Mobilegeddon on the 21st April deadline.
Already we’ve got the official AMP Project website and a Git Repo of the code. There’s more than enough there to keep digital marketers and coders busy, so this is quite a big can of worms that Google has opened up.
It will be interesting to see how far this is taken up as, to recode everything will be a big job for many providers. But let’s see if there are WordPress plugins, AMP-only platform releases etc. I have a feeling it could be a while before I bother to make and AMP-HTML changes myself, as there is very little spare time for the pet projects and getting to the top of the SERPs will only encourage more work, if you know what I mean 😉