To AMP or Not to AMP: The Pros and Cons of Going Accelerated

Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) is a form of HTML developed by Google to make mobile pages quicker. This open source project allows lightning speed loading, and AMP-coded pages appear in a carousel format at the top of search engine results.

AMP was built to help online publishers create mobile-optimized content that loads quickly across all devices. Stripped down, AMP is an alternative version of your site hosted on Google’s servers. It’s similar to Facebook’s Instant Articles, which allows publishers to host content on Facebook’s servers without requiring users to leave the platform to access it.

If you’re considering AMP, you’re in good company: brands that go the AMP route include The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Buzzfeed. However, this HTML recipe does come with a few restrictions.

According To Skyler Malley owner of Firestarter SEO out of Denver Colorado “AMP will only help your SEO, especially as it become more mainstream. The sooner you jump on the band wagon the better”.

When considering an AMP, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons:

Pros of AMP

Speed Matters

According to Richard Gingras, Google’s senior director of news and social products, although AMP does not directly affect SERPs, a page that has a similar rankings as another page will be ranked higher. Therefore, enforcing best SEO practices is still a major part of the conversion equation, but adjustments should be made.

While AMP adopters shouldn’t jump in hoping for a spike in search engine results, it can certainly make a difference if all other ranking factors are in order. Additionally, pages that get more clicks due to the fast loading speed are considered valuable to Google, and will likely get higher placement.

Mobile Is Powerful

In more than ten countries, including the United States, there are more Google searches on mobile than web. With mobile presence becoming even more prevalent and popular, businesses are going in a different direction — and so is Google. Google’s algorithms are constantly shifting. They have began focusing more on two ranking factors that are critical for a user-friendly product: speed and the mobile experience.

Analytics Loopholes

Fortunately, there are some loopholes in AMP that allow placement of analytics tags, so publishers can still track what’s happening on their mobile-optimized page. AMP comes equipped with a special analytics tag that can siphon data to pre-screened analytics providers like, Chartbeat, and Adobe. Normally, analytics tags are handled via a separate script for each provider, but AMP delivers this code via a single Javascript file.

Enforces an SEO Partnership

For businesses large and small, working with a reputable SEO team can do wonders for your website. Whether it’s an SEO company out of Denver or New York City, these agencies have the technical knowhow to get your pages where they need to be. IT also plays a major role in AMP initiatives, and spearheads implementation and maintenance. A solid agency will be able to handle the gritty IT work, help you accelerate your mobile pages while increasing your online presence, and created a tailored growth strategy. When considering AMP, this is a great opportunity to analyze your overall SEO plans.

Cons of AMP

Content Limitations

The nature of accelerated mobile pages currently leans towards online news content. Many of the top AMP contenders are news organizations. However, as the technology grows, there’s an increasing emphasis on other businesses, particularly in the ecommerce space. In September 2016, the company released a demo site demonstrating how non-news sites could take advantage of AMP benefits.

Page Restrictions

To make the page as fast as it can be, there are a handful of rules to follow. For example, you’ll need a streamlined CSS version, HMTL tags are restricted, and JavaScript is prohibited almost entirely. This means forms are restricted as well (unless you’re using iframes below the fold). Obviously, this limits what you can do and forces you to think creatively about your layout. This type of adjustment is especially difficult for businesses whose premise emphasizes interactivity and multimedia.

Google Takes The Credit

When users share links to AMP content, links are directed to Google URLs, rather than the publisher. This is a huge difference to how Google has historically tailored its search engine. And while this could change in the future, Google reps confirmed that there’s no way to simultaneously have AMP pages without utilizing Google links in the process.

Whether your website takes a hit due to these Google AMP links is debatable, but it will likely affect website traffic slightly. Because of this, publishers will need to reevaluate the layout and content on the page to ensure a smooth transition from Google’s servers to the publisher website.