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The Impact of Google AMP on Your SEO

Two years ago Google launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, which aimed to make pages load instantly on the mobile web. An AMP-only policy is unlikely, but some of the fundamentals of AMP sites are becoming essential. We all know Internet traffic on mobile devices has skyrocketed–some statistics put this number at over 52% of all traffic worldwide. For Next Level Technology and others who are passionate about attracting customers through relevant and helpful content, optimization for mobile is more than a trend. It’s fundamental. An AMP site, while it has some drawbacks, ensures that a site is speedy and mobile friendly.

So what’s the difference with Google AMP?
Google AMP runs on HTML5 and is intended to make “slimmed down” versions of websites. Not everything on the desktop version of your blog, your company site, or your online publication shows up on AMP. In essence, it is a technical standard made publicly available for any publisher to have pages load quickly on a mobile device.

Why does AMP matter to Internet marketers?
First and foremost, Google highlights AMP sites in search results, and gives AMP a more prominent place in Google News. This alone is worth a pause. But what if you don’t have a news site?

While AMP is not directly a SEO factor, speed is. If your website is not optimized for speed on mobile devices, you will lose customers. AMP ensures this speed.

Today, there are two important questions that internet marketers need to ask themselves: is my site is mobile friendly? and is my site fast? Mobile readiness and speed will most definitely affect your SEO.

What are the limitations of AMP?
As we’ve said, AMP uses fairly simple coding, and completely rules out JavaScript. You can count on AMP for words and images, but little else. Videos are clunky. Podcasts and eBooks don’t yet jive.

Also, function comes before form when it comes to responsive web design. This means that many of the flourishes and the form of the website will change. In the coming months Internet marketers may need to sacrifice some elaborate branded designs in order to ensure speed and making content of all formats readily available.

There are several other limitations to AMP. Analytics, for example. It is not possible to determine where the publisher’s page is being loaded from, and there are cookie restrictions that make visitor ID difficult. There are still a large group of users accessing the web through laptop or desktop devices, and an AMP only policy would alienate them. But the desire for fast content will not wane and mobile is now clearly more important than the desktop experience.

What’s the bottom line with AMPs?
While the future is uncertain for AMPs themselves, anything that makes for a better online experience can lead to positive metrics and more revenue. Having an AMP site is not absolutely essential, but it provides what is absolutely essential–speed and utility on mobile devices.

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