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How many times have you tried to catch up on the news while waiting online and it takes so long that you reload again (and again) in hopes that the site loads faster this time? Google (amongst others) has noticed this problem and is trying to help publishers fix that by coming up with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Some History The average weight of a mobile page has jumped over the years despite increased scrutiny on performance. These days the average web page is now 2.3MB1. Back in 2010, the average page was about 700k. So what happened? web page size Everything has increased in size: JavaScript frameworks and libraries, video, higher quality images, analytics from multiple sources, additional CSS for responsive design, and fonts for improved typography. These larger size sites ultimately have slow load times and cause users to abandon browsing some sites on mobile phones. Roughly 40% of users will cancel browsing if the site takes 3 or more seconds to load2. Creating a solution Facebook created Instant Articles in May of 2015 and one month later Apple launched News in June. Google followed suit in evolving mobile news and debuted their solution, AMP, just four months later3. While not a news-specific program, AMP focuses on the speed of digital publishing; streamlining and standardizing content that prioritizes above the fold content and first party content. Third party ads and content below the fold load in a way that is seamless to the user. The content doesn’t jump around as you are reading or scrolling. AMP reduces the frequency of animations that are not showing on the page, therefore conserving battery life. Publisher Benefits If you create a version of your content with AMP’s markup, Google will pull it into their CDN (Content Delivery Network). Ads are served on page load to ensure they’re delivered at load time - but performance is overall very good. AMP articles load four times faster than content from the originating site and consume 10 times less data4. If your content is mostly static (blogs and news articles, not richly immersive or dynamic experiences), these are the kinds of pages that will work well on AMP.  The increase in performance will lead to more engagement and traffic (as users read your content instead of leaving your site because of slow loading times - see the graphic below).   Faster is better The traffic from the CDN is considered to be a part of the publisher/content holder’s traffic - the publisher will even see some limited analytics. There’s support for paywalls as well. Content providers with paywalls include The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and The New Yorker. There’s work on a server-side paywall option to facilitate new providers. Note that Google will put your AMP articles higher in search results - it’s not a re-ranking, but Google is trying to emphasize mobile content that loads quickly. The specs encourage and enforce accessibility, thereby allowing your content to be usable by the widest possible audience. Many Uses What kinds of pages are best for your web presence? If you have information that you want to be easily searchable on Google, with faster loading times, wider audience reach, all while allowing you to control the content on Google’s cache at no cost, then consider AMP pages for your site. If you have some content that’s not solely static, that’s fine too; AMP has live content pages so you can update a page and have it refresh in real time. This might be useful for showing Campus News, live blogging an event, community news, conferences, etc. Future Focused AMP has many contributors and while it was started at Google, it is an open project unlike its predecessors. Even WordPress has an AMP plugin. The hope is that other CMS packages include AMP plugins (there are a few under development for Drupal at the time of writing). There’s support for “Buy it now”/"Add To Cart", custom CSS, social sharing, and A/B testing. Even though AMP is trying to streamline the kinds of content it caches well (with the exception of video) the hope is that content creators don’t see AMP as a limitation but another way to reach their users where they browse, and that the audience will reward them with continued loyalty and engagement down the line. AMP is a relatively new technology but one with immense promise. 1Source: http://www.wired.com/2016/04/average-webpage-now-size-original-doom/, https://www.keycdn.com/support/the-growth-of-web-page-size/ 2Source: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/ 3Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/02/everything-about-google-accelerated-mobile-pages/ 4Source: https://googleblog.blogspot.com/2016/02/amping-up-in-mobile-search.html