Mobile technology has done little to improve patience levels for those growing up in a digital world, says Steven Wyer. Now, the head of Nashville’s Third Coast Interactive, a multifaceted digital branding agency, explains how site owners are appeasing content consumers who don’t have time to wait on traditional load speeds.
Q: What is AMP?
Steven Wyer: AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. These are pages that have essentially been coded using a scaled down (and therefore faster) version of HTML.
Q: How quickly has this technology grown?
Steven Wyer: In December of 2016, AMP accounted for about 7% of all web page views; it’s grown to double digits by now and continues to grow monthly. AMP equates to about 50% of some publisher’s mobile content views.
Q: How do consumers find this accelerated content?
Steven Wyer: Usually through Google searches of trending headlines.
Q: What types of stories initiate spikes in AMP views?
Steven Wyer: Celebrity deaths, presidential news, civil unrest stories…things that people want to keep tabs on throughout the day.
Q: Why is immediate access so important for mobile viewers?
Steven Wyer: Mobile is a platform that demands immediacy. No one wants to hold their phone for 20 or 30 seconds while a page loads. It’s simply not convenient for mobile users.
Q: How does Google direct searchers to AMP content when a story begins to trend?
Steven Wyer: Google features top breaking stories in a new carousel, which displays a headline, image, timestamp, and source.
Q: Are AMP pages relevant to local content?
Steven Wyer: Not so much as national interest stories, but for things like road closures and traffic accidents, AMP can be useful.
Q: How can publishers leverage AMP to their advantage?
Steven Wyer: Publishers should take measures to ensure their top viewed stories are loading quickly and smoothly. This offers an opportunity to satisfy users’ need for readily available information. Adversely, slow loading pages may damage a content publisher’s reputation.
Q: What are some ways that AMP content is beneficial, besides satisfying impatient curiosity?
Steven Wyer: In times of emergency, such as during a weather-related evacuation, AMP pages can be a real asset to the public, helping people find safe shelter, traffic updates, and evacuation routes.
Q: Should publishers convert all pages to AMP?
Steven Wyer: Not necessarily. I would say to focus on high-interest stories involving time-relevant content. Sports, celebrity news, and other viral content are key pages for AMP.
Q: Does utilizing AMP pages cost more than standard-loading pages?
Steven Wyer: As of right now, Google-viewed AMP pages are served from the search engine’s CDM, meaning Google pays to deliver the code and images in a readable format to viewers. That being said, AMP pages may affect bandwidth bills when viral content consumption is high.