AMP’ing up Website Speed for Mobiles

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an initiative to improve page load times for mobile devices.

What is AMP ?

AMP aims to strip away some of the coding complexities – especially JavaScript – that have evolved to provide sophisticated web page functionality to provide leaner HTML which loads much quicker.  The project is a work in progress, and yet to finalise how it will address a full range of current website functions such as eCommerce etc.

Page Load Speeds and Google ranking

Page load times are a key requirement on mobile devices where connection speeds vary with access to signal.  Page load speed is also a Google ranking factor.

It seems inevitable that Google – one of the AMP initiative partners – will provide ranking preference to AMP compliant pages either on the basis of:

  • detection of AMP compliant coding or
  • the improved page load speed afforded by AMP compliance

What does AMP mean for your business?

So as a business owner interested in attracting mobile visitors, the evolvement of AMP is something you and your web developer should keep a very close eye on. Early AMP adopters are likely to gain Google ranking advantages which will translate into business opportunities.

AMP Compliance Frenzy?

After the recent panic to ensure websites were ‘Mobile Compliant’ for Google’s underwhelming Mobilegeddon release in April, I can see there will be another round of web development frenzy to make sites AMP compliant to maintain or improve online commercial traction.

AMP Deployment Timing

The AMP project is clearly still evolving but there is already a Javascript replacement so I assume (somewhat naively perhaps) that simple (ie non-ecommerce) sites can be recoded to take advantage of the AMP project.

AMP and WordPress

WordPress, the world’s most popular website system have announced they are supporting AMP. If AMP can be easily deployed in WordPress it will significantly strengthen WordPress’ CMS domination.

Reading:

Google is crushing Keyword Networks with Doorway Page Update

SEO Doorway is now shutJust to keep you on your toes while you are sorting out Google’s upcoming Mobile Usability update, they’ve also announced an impending update to target ‘Doorway pages‘ – Its been a busy month at Google that’s for sure!

Doorway Pages/Site is an ageing SEO strategy where your site was at the centre of a network of keyword focussed websites each feeding visitors for a particular search term into the central ‘mothership’ site.  Worked a treat in its day, but apparently not for much longer…

Read more:

Don’t get punished by Google.

Google targets a guest blog network

In the latest stage of Google’s evolution into the ‘Internet Police’, Matt Cutts from Google’s Web Spam Team announced that they have targeted a large ‘Guest Blog Network’ for not playing to their rules.

So its official now, Guest Blogging is yet another high risk activity that you should avoid if you want your website to rank successfully in Google.  Ann Smarty, owner of the affected site has this to say about it. Undoubtedly this will have an impact on the commercial viability of this business, and I feel for her because her case seems genuine.

Beyond this though, what does that mean for business folks, who at least in part depend on their websites for sales leads ?
Here’s selection of things that Google now considers ‘naughty’ and may indiscriminately cripple your website’s ability to generate online sales leads if it finds them in your site:

Paid Ad Links
A ‘technically naive’ online advert, including unsolicited ones that you don’t even know about.
Be very careful with ads and anything that can be misconstrued as an ad eg advertorials etc
The acknowledgement of your support on the local kids club site might be killing your sales leads…

Poor quality back links
From backlinkers who either don’t care or don’t know or both.
Again these can be links that you didn’t initiate or condone.
Backlink quality is critical since Penguin 5, Oct 2013.

Over-optimization
Obsessively and unnaturally repeated keywords throughout the site known as ‘keyword stuffing’.

Internal errors
Google wants your site to give visitor’s a good experience.
Broken pages, links and images aren’t consistent with this.

Hidden links & text
You can’t hide stuff from Google to gain a benefit. Don’t even try.
In fact any ‘deceptive’ characteristics in your site wont bode well.

Website performance
Poorly coded sites, a slow web server, overweight images and more will impact user experience and so your ranking.
If your website is unreliable – it goes down, or fails regularly this will hurt you too.

Too much advertising
Too many ads displayed on your site, particularly at the top of the page (ie ‘above the fold’) will cost you more than you gain.

Copied and/or ‘Thin Content’
Text borrowed from other sites will just land you in hot water with Google, as will pages that don’t provide any real value for visitors.
Write your own, or invest in a good copywriter.
Your investment will pay for itself in online leads.

Hacked website
Yes – if your site is hacked and Google finds it they will put a scary notice in your site’s search result, and a scarier page if you try to visit that site.
Expect to drop in rankings or even disappear.
Oh, prospects aren’t going to risk visiting your site either anyway…

Poor mobile pages
Google will judge your site’s ability to provide a good experience to mobile users too.
This are a growing portion of searchers, and predicted to out-strip desktop searchers very soon.
Clearly Google wants to particularly look after mobile searchers – it’s a growth segment for them.

Guest Blogging
Don’t respond to emails asking to put guest blogs in your site.
Treat them like they came from Nigeria.