AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a project introduced by Google last year. Initially designed for news results and ‘top stories’, AMP’s capabilities have recently expanded into main search results. Available to any digital publisher, AMP is an open standard that enables pages to load quickly on mobile devices.

In terms of what mobile search users will experience, pages that are AMP optimized will display the AMP lightning bolt in search results, indicating that the page and it’s content is available in a mobile format, rather than just mobile-friendly. It’s clear that AMP will help mobile users find and view desired information with a higher level of ease and satisfaction. When searching and landing on the results page, users can choose to click through to AMP optimized sites. When clicked, content on those pages will load instantaneously in a pre-rendered, above the fold structure.

Though page rankings are not expected to be changed by AMP, it’s estimated that the average AMP page loads more than four times faster than a page that is not AMP optimized. Currently, many mobile non AMP sites are bogged down with ads that are slow to load, making the experience cumbersome. According to Google, load times on AMP pages are under one second, which measures anywhere from a 15 to 85% improvement in load time from a non AMP page – which has proven to be a crucial component in whether a user will abandon or remain on a page and overall user experience.

The benefits of AMP implementation extend to site owners as well. AMP simplifies many development processes with regard to JavaScript, HTML and CSS allowing for a pared-down page inclusive of only the necessary content. The streamlined content template is open-source, named AMP HTML.

Even if a non-AMP page is at the top of SEO rankings on an organic search, if a site is not AMP optimized, it will be pushed down on the results page as all AMP pages will appear at the top of search results, pushing all other results down. This will naturally result in a decrease in clicks to the non-AMP pages.

Along with responsive web design, optimizing pages for AMP search is currently one of the most impactful moves a site owner can make. With mobile usage on the rise at a daily rate, pages that are developed for AMP will bring increased traffic and a high return on the investment of becoming AMP compliant.