Accelerated Mobile Pages | Lesson 32/34 | SEMrush Academy

Learn what not to overlook when it comes to structured data, AMP, JavaScript SEO, and mobile-first indexing.
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0:06 Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP
0:52 AMP vs. regular HTML
1:16 Two ways to build it
2:09 Use Google’s AMP Validation tool
2:28 AMP’s uses
2:57 Considerations before implementing AMP
3:34 You need to rewrite your HTML and build a new CSS
4:07 It can impact crawling, depending on the setup
5:47 SEMrush’s Site Audit report

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Google’s framework for better performance is called AMP, accelerated mobile pages. It’s kind of like a very stripped-down HTML for maximum performance, consisting of text and images only. Everything else is limited; you can not use external CSS, external JS (except for asynchronous JS) and of course no flash, or java.

It’s generally optimised for lower CPU and memory usage, also consuming less bandwidth and as a result it’s less aggressive in terms of battery lifetime. It is ultimately supposed to lead to better user experience because of its almost instant loading.

In comparison to regular HTML, it’s also important to understand that CSS can only be inlined as non-blocking, and that there are limitations in terms of its size. Further, there are different requirements for standard attributes – for example with images you need to specify width and height, which is not the case with regular HTML markup. These attributes were optional.

From a setup perspective, there are two general ways to build it. Either you create a copy of your regular article/webpage and build an additional AMP version. In this case you need to add rel-amphtml and rel-canonical to create a connection between the two URLs. Another way would be to go full AMP, that means you have only one individual URL. But in that case you’d need to roll out AMP as your stand-alone framework – so there’d be no URL duplication, but you would be fully dependant on Google’s standard and framework.

In both cases you have to rewrite your HTML, as default HTML tags are not supported anymore. The AMP Javascript library, for example, transforms the into a regular image in the background.

Whenever you build AMP, make sure you dump those URLs into Google’s AMP validation tool to make sure that your pages are validating properly. Otherwise, there is no chance for an AMP page to be shown in search results, the news box carousel, etc.

At the moment AMP is available mainly for publishing and in the recipe space. It also has been extended to e-commerce. It’s important to realise that Google is not only using AMP in regular and news search but also, in image search and recipe carrousels. On a global level AMP is being used more and more recognized – for example in China, Baidu uses MIP (which is essentially AMP with different caching and some minor changes to it).

Before you decide to implement AMP or not, here are some things to keep in mind:

AMP drives discussion and innovation, making people take the need for fast loading sites more seriously. So it essentially becomes an “agenda topic”.
It enables collaboration. Different teams/stakeholders (have to) carefully consider performance metrics, because of the limitations and restrictions that come with AMP.
It is going to create additional work – converting existing sites to AMP is not a like-for-like copy, you need to rewrite HTML and build a new CSS. You can’t rely on JS; that leads to the fact that the amount of testing that needs to be done on AMP converted sites is very demanding, and it is not easy to match the regular site and the AMP site.
It can also increase maintenance costs for you. Extending CMS capabilities to manage AMP content is expensive, and additional maintenance and development work (IT, editorial, etc.) will increase costs even further.
It can have an impact on crawling depending on which kind of setup you choose. If you add an AMP URL, it is essentially another URL for every URL you already have. Google now needs to crawl way more and eventually your very important pages will get crawled less often.

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