Before we evaluate the pros and cons of Google AMP, we need to understand it. Unless we understand it, we will not be able to determine the logic and its advantages & disadvantages.
So What is AMP?
AMP is an online format for publishing content. Google was behind the invention of this technology since it has been obsessed with user experience right from the start. The search engine giant introduced the platform back on 24th February 2016.
The online publishing experts consider it a response from the search engine joint to the Facebook’s product Instant Articles. The use of HTML technology with bare minimum elements of a web page improves the loading speed. Thus, achieving outstanding user experience by taking almost no time in loading content.
Users are increasingly becoming more demanding. Therefore, online publishers need to think about implementing Google AMP into their websites seriously.
Let us have the advantages and disadvantages of AMP.
Pros of Google AMP
Incredible Page Load Speed Times
Yes, the page load speed times are impressive. You may not think of it as a big deal. But if you have a website with audiences from all income levels, you will find AMP pretty useful. No matter how sluggish the internet connection, your visitors will be able to see the content load fast. Therefore, it may help you reduce bounce rate, something which goes up for slow loading websites.
Given Preference in Search Results
As already mentioned Google loves user experience. If Google users are not happy with the result it just served them; it will drop that from the searches. Therefore, slow pages are not only annoying for the end users, but search engines also do not like to serve pages that take too much in loading.
Minimal Changes Required
The bare minimum layout does not need a lot of change. Any company with tech-savvy development team can implement them. Therefore, you may find it not that hard to have AMP on your web pages. Consider the improvement that it will bring to your site.
Ultimate User Experience
A website that quickly loads gives you an edge. Users can quickly load it and read the content on it. It is something that non-AMP websites severely lack. Therefore, upload speed time will improve the overall traffic statistics of your site.
Cons of Google AMP Pages
Minimalist Layout Cuts Out Critical Design Elements
News agencies thrive on advertisement revenues. Popup banners are vital for some websites that they may use as a call to action item. A stripped version of the site may not be a good idea for these internet business models. There are many design elements not there for them which they need to earn from their internet business model.
Smaller Organizations May Struggle in Implementation
It may sound abysmally simple for some to implement Google AMP. But, let us not forget about the small internet companies. If you talk to a small business entrepreneur, some of them may think of it as gibberish or an alien language. Even if they appreciate the need to implement it, still they would need someone to implement it for them. Therefore, in such cases, it can be a technically daunting task for a few.
Some Content Types May Not Work Well with Google AMP
Consider the publishers who publish their videos. They rely on some software to upload visual content. The Google AMP may not support a typical type of visual content. So it may sound fancy to have the accelerated mobile pages implemented. The company’s management may also be wanting to do it. But they may not be able to use it as it may compromise on their business interests.
The Carousel Layout May Change
Jeff Jarvis of Google hinted at the change in the carousel layout in Feb of this year. Therefore, it is not easy for companies to keep investing in website development. Not every company with a website has in-house resources to take care of such matters on urgent basis whenever there is a change in AMP.
How to Test if Your Page is AMP?
There are different methods with which you can validate your AMP Pages. Let us have a look at these different ways.
The Use of Command Line Tool
One other method of validating accelerated mobile pages is the use of HTML validator command line tool. You need to install the tool for AMP HTML validator command line.
You can also use the NPM packages for validating the accelerated mobile pages. These packages come in handy for validation of the web pages.
You can access the AMP validator using the toolbar of your browser. Once you browse your AMP page, it will let you know about its validity. You can see the different visual indications.
There is an AMP web interface. You can go to this interface to insert your URL. There is an interactive editor through which you can make changes to make it comply with the requirements.
Browser Developer Cache
The developer console with AMP JS Library also comes with the validator. You can use this developer cache tool for validation.
Adding the Google Analytics to the Accelerated Mobile Pages
It is important to track how the content of your accelerated mobile pages performs. You can use the element amp-analytics for monitoring user interactions with your pages. The platform comes with a by-default support for Google Analytics.