The Importance of AMP In the Era Of Fast Internet
AMP essentially improves user experience, while making sure that website owners are getting higher conversion rates and lower bounce rates
It was an evening during the summers of 2003, a warm humid day with the monsoons around in Delhi. Standing on my balcony, I was yelling at the top of my lungs trying to communicate with the cable guy on the terrace installing my first broadband connection. I was all of 14 and the installation guy had no idea when I told him that his router was not forwarding my ICMP requests. Jargons aside, that was the first time I did not have to wait 5-10 minutes for a decent webpage to load on my browser and boy, was I happy! No more quarrels at home for keeping the phone line busy for hours while using dial-up connection. Even then the best my broadband could do was 256kbps, we've come a long way from there but internet speeds, especially in third-world countries, have perpetually been a sad state of affairs. Thankfully, this is changing now thanks to technological advancements, both online and offline.
One such advancement sits at the center of the internet speed revolution: Accelerated Mobile Pages.
Internet Speeds are Constantly Improving
We are currently using 4G and 5G technologies and 10G technology is already being described as the future of super-fast Internet. This constant improvement in Internet speeds is further complemented by the mass adoption of smartphones all over the world. Almost every activity that you can perform on a desktop can be done through smartphones.
It was predicted back in 2019 that 72.6 pr cent of users will be using smartphones for accessing the web by 2025. As of today, about 54 per cent of the global population is already using mobile Internet.
Therefore, it's easy to understand why the telecom industry is dedicated towards making the Web faster for mobile devices.
But solving the Internet speed issues is only the first step. Key stakeholders in the Internet industry also need to step up which means faster browsers built on the expectations of great user experience.
The great news is that this has been implemented before time, thanks to tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, etc. But Google owns the majority of the web browser market share. Google has been on the forefront of delivering excellent user experience through constant technical updates. One of these is the very well-known Accelerated Mobile Pages.
Launched in 2016, what AMP pages essentially do is remove unnecessary code from web pages, helping users get instant access to the content they're looking for. Fast browsing speed combined with excellent user experience has led to AMP growth since its inception.
How AMP Improves the Internet
In simple terms, the AMP Project aims to make mobile pages lighter which eventually makes them faster. AMP does so by ensuring that pages are mobile-friendly, which means no unnecessary video buffering or popups, etc. The HTML is stripped down to the basics and the resulting page is lightweight with a page load speed of less than one second, according to Google. In addition to making mobile pages faster and lighter, AMP also promises improved visibility on Google search results.
So, AMP essentially improves user experience, while making sure that website owners are getting higher conversion rates and lower bounce rates. The pace at which things move today, a slow website can only mean that the user most likely won't stay, on top of which, the chances of them returning to the page become even lower.
While all of that is absolutely true, the reality is that publishers are wary of trying out AMP. Publishers often complain that AMP causes slow loading of ads, leading to decreased revenue. Due to this, a lot of publishers don't go through the hassle of implementing AMP.
But this couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, publishers lack the right technical knowledge for using AMP pages correctly. It's understandable because AMP is a relatively new technology.
But this intimidation on publishers' parts has led to a slower growth of AMP than it should have been. Because AMP pages are so great for users, they should have become the norm. Rather, they are still in the adoption stage, primarily due to publishers' reservations about how to earn revenue through ad inventory on AMP pages.
In order to address this issue, Google then launched AMP ads.
AMP Ads for AMP Pages
Much like AMP pages, AMP ads are defined as faster and lighter. These ads load up to 6 times faster than standard ads and have a reduced file size. Most importantly, AMP ads allow publishers to leverage server-to-server header bidding.
Also noteworthy is the fact that video ad serving is optimized for AMP pages now. We can all agree that video advertising is constantly being hailed as the next big trend in the digital advertising industry. In fact, I believe it already is?
But there's no denying that serving video ads can cause your page load speed to slow down. However, now that AMP has a solution in place that allows outstream and in-stream video ads, publishers and advertisers alike can breathe a sigh of relief.
Google definitely seems to be trying hard to ensure that web pages are optimized to provide the best user experience. AMP and AMP ads are certainly steps that have been taken in that direction. Both of these solutions are aimed towards making the Internet experience better for users. As more and more publishers are being encouraged to adopt such solutions, the digital advertising industry can match the pace at which the Internet is evolving.