Google AMP – Ongoing Informational Article (Last Update 9-12-16)
We try to stay at the top of optimization techniques when it comes to web design and development. Recently Google’s new AMP initiative got high priority for us to research and test.
After reading about the benefits, usage, and restrictions of Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages Project) on a variety of websites we realized something unique. As of the writing of this article, there isn’t a Google AMP tutorial on a site that is actually optimized by Google AMP. That was discouraging and also a first. Typically there is at least one author practicing what they preach. Finding this odd it encouraged us to do some testing to find out if Google AMP is really worth integrating this early or if there still a better way.
Interesting Google AMP Fact:
It’s important to note that AMP pages in the mobile search results do not receive an additional ranking boost. Google currently has the mobile-friendly ranking boost, and because AMP pages are mobile-friendly, they receive the same ranking boost. — Moz.com
Conclusion: While Google AMP is a great idea, currently it is too simplified. Standard website optimization and specifically mobile-friendly optimization is still the way to go to get good performance and search rankings in Google. Our plan is to continue to optimize our Genesis Framework Design & Development projects manually without the use of Google AMP until it supports more features and websites using it are achieving better results.
Example: Here is a site that we ran through Google’s PageSpeed. The first image is the page optimized by Google AMP (this page is served to mobile devices). The second is the same page without the optimization process of Google AMP (this is the page served to non-mobile devices).
Since we’re advocates of the concept behind Google AMP this speed result was discouraging. What it shows is only a 10 point increase to a 69/100. That’s not very “amped”.
Here is an example of a site we manually optimized for PageSpeed:
** The only error and reason for a non-100% speed is something distributed from Google and has to be corrected on their end.
When Google makes any improvement it’s exciting. It can also be a little tougher than it’s worth to be an early adopter. We recommend taking a look at what they are striving to simplify and see if there is a solution that may take a little more work but have a better or similar outcome. This may also allow for more flexibility and have a stronger shelf-life. We’ve found that efforts like Google AMP will either shed their shortcomings and support more standard features as they develop or not be supported at all.
Here’s where Google AMP is currently at in regards to its shortcomings:
- Doesn’t support contact forms (we have one on every page of this site and many of our clients have a newsletter signup).
- You need to have a WordPress theme essentially stripped down to little to no aesthetic design.
- It disallows a TON of very useful and established methods of web design.
- Current certain ad networks and sites have special Google AMP privileges.
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