Back in October last year, Google announced their Accelerated Mobile Pages Project to improve the speed when using the internet on mobile devices. Google have also been increasing mobile ranking signals over the last few years and now both responsive and dedicated mobile websites are now common place and essential for any online business.
Whilst the growth of smartphones may be reaching a plateau, nine years after the first smartphone was launched, there are now 81% of UK adults and 91% of 18–44-year-olds owning a smartphone.
Therefore it’s not surprising that Google wants to improve the ability to search for and use websites on mobile devices which deliver fast and friendly mobile content. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are taking mobile viewing another big step forward.
Using AMP HTML we now have the ability to build light-weight web pages to deliver a superfast mobile experience which is now available to everyone. Validated AMP pages are cached in Google’s AMP cache which means that they load around four times faster and use eight times less data than traditional mobile optimised pages.
Google has now launched an AMP testing tool within Search Console which you can find here https://search.google.com/search-console/amp, just enter an url and view a live preview of the AMP page and structured data errors. The new testing tool is available on mobile too and analyses any published AMP page you have in real time, looking at the validity of the AMP markup.
Websites serving large amounts of content such as the Guardian for example, are using AMP pages, and if a web page listed in Google’s search results has a valid AMP version, Search can direct mobile users to the cached AMP.
Google also announced last week that they plan to create a separate mobile index which will become the primary Google index with the desktop index being not quite as up-to-date. This could happen within the next few months which means if your website is not mobile friendly you could be losing out on traffic.
With websites now built for desktop, mobile and mobile apps, AMP pages look set to be a definite talking point in 2017. We all know that as users, if a page takes more than a few seconds to load we’ll go elsewhere and Google is determined to continue to build a better mobile user experience.
We think it’s fairly easy to predict that 2017 is going to be another big year for mobile in digital marketing after all half of all searches now happen on mobile.