Is Google AMP Worth It?
AMP is a web framework by Google for building landing pages that render almost instantly. AMP pages make use of simplified code, caching, and other advantages to serve fast-loading versions of your content in search results. These faster loading times and improved usability can drive higher conversions and increased click through rates.
As with every new technology or platform, there are pros and cons to AMP that should be considered before implementing. In this post we’ll go over some of the strengths and weaknesses of AMP.
PROs of Google AMP
Pros of AMP include:
- Allows your web pages to be rendered instantly from search results. According to the AMP Project, AMP can lead to 3x faster mobile loading times.
- Significant potential increases in traffic and CTRs. Case studies have shown that AMP can lead to upwards of 6x more overall traffic and a 63% increase in click-through rates on AMP pages.
- AMP content is indicated by an AMP icon (gray lightning bolt) in results, signaling to users that the content will have superior loading times.
- High visibility in search results for certain content types. If you’re a news publisher, your content can be featured in the carousel in Google News results.
- The framework is open-sourced and free to use. AMP can be implemented on a variety of websites and CMSs, including WordPress, Drupal and more.
- AMP Stories, a tool within the AMP framework for creating engaging, fast-loading visual content in search results, gives publishers a creative tool for increasing engagement.
- The AMP framework is versatile. It can be used to build websites, ads, emails and AMP Stories.
- Implementation is relatively easy. AMP HTML is basically a pared down version of HTML with web components, and the documentation for getting started with AMP is straightforward. A developer may be needed to implement and test AMP.
CONs of Google AMP
Cons of AMP include:
- For non-news content that already has fast loading times, the switch to AMP may not produce drastic click-through rate or traffic increases. This may make the time/cost of learning and developing AMP not worth it for smaller website owners.
- AMP content appears very similar from site to site, and the simplified presentation will likely change aesthetics of your website that make it stand out. In some cases, the cleaner/simplified look may be a marked improvement.
- AMP could adversely affect your conversions. Some publishers have reported lower conversions and higher bounce rates after switching to AMP. (While others have reported significant improvements to both).
- Initially, there were concerns among security experts that Google lended credibility (by adding the google.com domain to the site URL) to potentially spammy content. Another concern is that hackers could misuse the platform to create fake landing pages that appear real due to the way Google initially displayed content origin URLs. Google has since addressed these issues and each AMP page indicates the original source of the content.
- Some developers have hesitated to adopt the platform for fear that it will be deprecated or become obsolete, as other platforms by Google have in the past.
- Some developers have taken issue with what they view as the “anti-competitive” nature of Google caching and preloading AMP pages, which is the core reason the sites load almost instantly. There is an argument that this gives your web pages an “unfair” advantage over non-AMP pages.
The AMP framework is an open-source initiative that is free and open for everyone to use. The near-instant loading times and potential traffic and CTR improvements are major selling points, especially if you’re publishing news, industry blogs, or experiencing issues with content loading times. There are also some drawbacks to the platform, and implementing AMP may not be the right solution for your specific web strategy.
To learn more about the framework, to get help deciding whether AMP is right for you, or to hire a team to help you develop and implement AMP, please get in touch with us today!