Google AMP: Coming to your search results early next year

It’s been just a month and a half since the world got its first taste of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a technology from Google that aims to speed up the web. By embracing AMP, and following its rules, you can enjoy a performance boost to your web pages that will download in a fraction of the time than without. The demos and case studies are pretty impressive.

The main technologies behind AMP are free CDNs, a proxy, a restricted set of HTML primitives, and some JavaScript magic to make the page feel faster e.g. pre-rendering above-the-fold content. It also enforces up-front sizing so that the page doesn’t need to be re-flowed repeatedly. Basically, as a web author, you’re not allowed to include any web technologies that might slow down the experience.

Of course, if you’re doing things right anyway, and your pages load quickly, then maybe you don’t need AMP.

Or… maybe you do! The AMP team just announced (oddly enough on an unbranded free wordpress.com blog) that starting early next year AMP pages will be fed into your search results. What this means is not entirely clear. One thing for sure, however, is that with this announcement coming so soon after the initial launch of AMP, Google is really going to push this technology.

Will AMP pages be favoured over their non-AMP counterparts? Google doesn’t say this exactly. But we all know that Google has put a lot of emphasis on performance over the past few years, and everyone knows that speed—or page load time—is used as a ranking signal in its search algorithm. AMP pages are faster, so it follows that they will rank higher than slower non-AMP competitor pages, everything else being equal.

If you’re worried about the speed of your website hurting your search rankings, then you may have fallen behind on your web performance homework! You don’t necessarily need AMP, but it’s definitely one way to speed up your website. Here are some links to help you catch up:

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