Watch out! Here comes AMP!

Okay, if you read our article about Structured Data, and your head is still spinning, we are really sorry to have to bring this up, but there is another big project that Google is starting to push.

It is called AMP, for Accelerated Mobile Pages project.

In our previous article we mentioned the huge mess of code that makes up almost every web page on the Internet, and the method that the search engines are promoting to be able to pick out the important content from those web pages.

The problem that AMP is trying to solve, concerns what mobile devices such as phones and tablets encounter when used to visit these web pages full of bloated code.

Typical web pages will take a long time to download onto mobile phones, and often people get tired of waiting and just back out and try to find a more usable page.

The AMP project aims to speed up web pages for mobile devices in two main ways. The first is that  AMP code is restricted to a subset of the typical web page coding, and can be thought of as a stripped down version of the web pages, with no unnecessary stuff, just getting you to the CONTENT, in as simple, and straightforward a manner as possible. The second part of the AMP initiative will be discussed in another article.

It’s funny, but AMP code looks an awful lot like the html code we used to build web pages in 1997. Back then, people only had dial-up Internet access via their phone line, and a major aspect of building web pages was to make sure every component of the page was the smallest file size possible.  So, we spent many hours optimizing the photos for webpages to make them able to load as quickly as possible. That sometimes even involved cutting the images up into sections, and optimizing the sections according to what was most important. For example, let’s say we had a photo of the master chef at a restaurant, where the focal point was the person’s face, we would slice up the image so we could reduce the file size of the background scene, while keeping the chef’s face sharp and clear.

So, everything old is new again. And we will all need to get on board this new-old train if we want our web pages to show up in Google’s mobile search results.

The AMP project has very specific specifications, and we will be adding more articles on the topic, so check back soon.

For a look at what this web page looks like in AMP form, click here and then squeeze your browser down to a narrow, phone-sized width.

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