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8 things you need to know about Google AMP

James A. Martin | July 7, 2016
The next big thing in SEO is AMP, or Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages. Search pros break down AMP and share insights on what you need to know to stay ahead of the curve.

"It's a bit like going back to the early days of HTML websites, so it may not allow your fancy branded design the way you're used to doing it or give you all the functionality you're used to having on your pages," Enge says. "Effectively, you're starting your site design over again, but this time you make site speed one of the top two or three requirements. "

Another downside is that when readers share links to AMP content that they clicked on through a Google search, the links point to Google.com URLs, rather than to the content developers' sites, as pointed out by Wired.com earlier this year. This change could negatively impact content developers' site traffic, according to Mike Kisseberth, chief revenue officer of digital content and services firm Purch.

AMP "creates a potential challenge on the analytics side, as it's impossible to be 100 percent sure where a publisher's content will be loaded from, as well as complications with visitor identification due to tight cookie restrictions," says Paulsen.

(For more on the potential complexities of AMP deployments, reach eBay's blog post on the topic.)

7. What role does IT play in AMP? 

HTML code and programming are involved in AMP initiatives, so the IT department must be involved, according to Moskalensky. "IT needs to work with others for content creation and planning, but the actual implementation and maintenance would need to be done by IT either within the company or by a freelance company hired to do the job."

IT "will likely play a big role in adopting the AMP standard because there are some behind-the-scenes prerequisites they'll need to help with," Robinson says. "For example, depending on the chosen configuration, a server admin may need to set up additional sub-domains or install secure certificates. There will likely be some coordination with any CDN vendor. Most of the work can be handled by developers from there, but there's definitely a bit of technical work involved."

8. Is AMP really the future of the mobile web? 

The reality is that AMP's future is still uncertain. "AMP potentially has big implications for the mobile web, but it all depends on whether it becomes widely adopted as a standard," says Robinson. "Not everything Google pushes for gains traction. Google pushed for adoption of Authorship markup, for example, which required publishers to implement code changes and encourage their writers to set up and connect Google+ accounts. But Authorship markup is now irrelevant and some publishers feel like they were sent on a wild goose chase."  

AMP "may stand a better chance at becoming a widely adopted standard since it's less proprietary than alternatives, like Facebook Instant Articles or Apple News," Robinson says. "As a result, publishers may be more willing to develop AMPs. That combined with the resources Google has put into promoting AMP as a new mobile standard mean it should be given a serious look."

 

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