Google's AMP listing on mobile SERP
Eagle-eyed searchers may have noticed that Google has begun including handy links to optimised versions of mobile pages created with Accelerated Mobile Pages – an open source initiative the company is throwing its weight behind. The AMP project has the tough task of making content load faster – providing a stronger mobile experience for on-the-go users.

Google is pushing hard to get AMP adopted across the web, and they’re doing well so far. Automattic is adding support to WordPress, Pinterest is getting involved, Twitter has pledged support, and we’re now seeing AMP-friendly articles popping up from Buzzfeed, The Guardian, BBC News and several others. The reason all of these companies are getting on board is pretty simple: speed.

Will AMP make your site faster?

Here’s the honest answer: probably, but there’s no guarantee.

That’s because the counter question is: “faster than what, exactly?”

If we’re talking about a media-heavy site with standard optimisation? Probably.

If we’re talking about a site with a minimalistic design and advanced optimisation? Unlikely.

The truth is, there is no magic bullet with AMP.

If you keep up to date with the absolute cutting edge and have a high level of insight on how to make a site perform well, then AMP may not help you at all. In fact, it’s possible to even see losses in certain circumstances, though that may well change as the project evolves.

As with most things related to Google, it’s a good idea to get to grips with new developments early because you never know when or how their existence might influence performance. It’s entirely possible that sites using AMP will set the bar for speed and performance requirements expected by Google for excelling at search.

The answer to the question above, it seems, depends not just on the technical considerations of your site, but also on the practical needs of your business.

If you make the decisions on how your site is built, AMP may make your site faster if:

  • You’re using enough rich media to benefit from the optimised loading process.
  • You would prefer to have AMP guide your processes rather than handling everything manually.

At the same time, if it is within your power to optimise your site, you may get results just as good or possibly even better by using your own optimisation methods, as long as they are comparable to AMP.

If you don’t make the decisions on how your site is built, AMP may make your site faster if:

  • It allows you to convince those around you to approve implementation.

Ultimately, AMP provides a method to make your site faster. You don’t necessarily have to use method offered by Google, but if you do want to adopt a convenient approach, AMP may be the best choice out there for you.

It’s a relatively new project, so it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on it as it evolves. What it means for your search rankings could change at absolutely any time, as could the requirements of using AMP, or its overall performance.

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