Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years or managed to blag a ticket to Mars, then you’ll know that the mobile web is growing fast. However mobile web, for all the fancy-pants posturing of Kevin Bacon, is still slower than desktop, so how can you still get the latest news, fast?
More people use mobile phones and tablets to view the web than desktops, and the numbers are growing. It’s obvious, as you walk to work I bet you’re head-down in your mobile phone, as is everyone else around you.
But there are problems.
The mobile web, using the mobile network is still much slower than your wireless at home.
Yes, Kevin Bacon is lying to you.
They call it mobile broadband, but even 4G is lacking, it’s just not as fast as your home or office network.
However, lots of websites have now been super-sized beyond belief. When you visit most news sites now, you’re presented with a visual assault of videos, audio, and animation. Pop-ups everywhere and graphics all over the place. The web is bloated.
It’s OK when we’re sat at home. We have large monitors, a mouse, and lots of free bandwidth, but on a mobile phone we have limited connection speed and a fiddly screen to navigate.
So we need an answer, and that answer appears to be in the form of AMP pages.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Page, and it’s a project aimed at creating pages that are extremely lightweight and fast to load.
The reason it’s so fast is because a lot of the tags that make up a page are stripped out, you just can’t use them on an AMP page. It’s just for readability, nothing fancy.
It goes further, though. These pages are also cached in Google easily. So, it collects the information, saves it to its vast mega-brain of storage and when someone wants to view your great article, it displays it without visiting your site. Even faster.
How do I get AMPed then?
If you’re a WordPress user then you’re in luck.
As with pretty much everything these days, someone has created a plugin to exploit this lovely new technology, and here it is:
With this plugin enabled, you create your standard blog post and and an AMP version is created automatically which you can see by appending ‘/amp’ to the end of the post URL.
Here’s an example:
Here’s the speed test for that page:
And here’s the AMP version:
Super speedy? Yes?
Configuring your AMP Plugin
Of course, when you install a new plugin, you need to configure it don’t you?
Well, not with this one. It’s done. Not a thing to configure.
But What’s the Point?
Google loves speed. It’s a speed demon. It’s like the Jeremy Clarkson of speed, except it won’t punch you in the face if you don’t give it steak.
It loves speed so much it will promote pages that are fast above those that are slow.
That’s right; speed is a ranking factor.
If you have a faster site than your competitor, the chances are it will rank better than theirs.
At the moment, AMP pages only appear in a carousel at the top of the mobile results, if you’re lucky. Because Google is a cruel master, it will tend only to display high-quality results from top news resources, you probably won’t have a chance of appearing, but that’s about to change.
Towards the end of the year, AMP results will begin to appear in mobile organic results. This means your blog post might appear when people search using their phone or tablet.
This is a good thing.
WOW! How do I get the good stuff??
It’s easy. Just install that plugin above and go. It’s done. It’s the easiest tip we’ve ever given.
Unless, of course, you don’t have WordPress. I guess there had to be one.
There will obviously be solutions for those of you without WordPress, and we’re testing some right now. As soon as they’re released, we’ll give you the low down.