Will AMP Speed up Mobile Browsing?

AMP is the brainchild of Google. The search giant launched this initiative on February 24th with the objective of speeding up the internet browsing experience on smartphones and tablets. According to Google, AMP will lead to 85 percent faster web browsing experience. That is a tall claim and a lot of people are still skeptical.

WHAT IS AMP?

AMP is basically a lightweight open-source HTML framework developed by Google in collaboration with some other companies. Using this framework, developers can create lightweight web pages that load fast on any device.

AMP uses ordinary HTML but with some extra features and some restrictions. Google claims that AMP web pages load 85% faster than non-AMP web pages on 3G mobile internet connections. A slow connection does not help anyone. It annoys the user who has to wait a long time for the content to load. And if the content fails to load, the publisher doesn’t get the traffic on their content or the ads they use to support their site. No one wins. The user could perhaps block the ads to speed up page loading times. Then the publisher becomes the biggest loser. Publishing companies monetize their content through advertisements. If no one sees those ads, they won’t be able to produce more content. Again, no one wins. By launching AMP, Google hopes to turn these no-win situations to win-win situations for all the parties involved. Google claims that publishers who use AMP will be able to show ads and interactive content with no real impact on the speed. This will actually make such content more palatable to users.

HOW AMP WORKS

AMP gives publishers the option to have their content cached on Google’s servers. Google has superfast servers spread across the world. So Google can serve content much faster than a small publisher who hosts their content on slow servers. When you click on a listing in Google’s search results, you are going to that website. But if you click on an AMP link from the SERP, Google won’t direct you to the publisher’s site. Instead, they will show you the content they cached. Since you will be staying on Google, the whole experience will be faster. AMP also places several restrictions on HTML with the objective of speeding up browsing.

If you have ever tried to view web pages on a mobile device, you would know how slow and frustrating the experience is. But things are changing, thanks to the advent of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project. AMP is a Google supported open source project. It enables publishers to produce mobile optimized content and deliver it instantly on all platforms.

AMP HTML does not support the use of forms. It does not support JavaScript either. However, developers can use a special JavaScript library provided by Google. Some CSS styles that are related to animations are also forbidden. On the plus side, developers will be able to show photos and videos. Some HTML elements too have changed. For example, instead of the tag, AMP uses the tag. AMP images load only after other pieces of content on the site. As a result, users can start reading the content before the images appear on the page.

AMP certainly looks promising. And if it manages to deliver on its promises, mobile browsing will change for the better.

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