Google Accelerated Mobile Pages, also known as Google AMP, is a relatively new framework by Google that focuses on mobile content. When you follow this open-source standard, your website page content loads immediately on mobile platforms for the best quality mobile user experience. With more web users using mobile devices to surf than desktop, it’s an important item to consider. So how does this work, why does it matter and is it worth the time to implement on your websites?
An AMP web page is a static, simplified version of your web page that doesn't have resource-intensive elements on it. When a mobile user clicks on an AMP result, the article loads right away rather than going through a lengthy loading process. While you host the page yourself, you can also take advantage of Google's AMP Cache and third-party providers to cache and distribute the page for better load times.
Google's search engine ranking algorithm has made many mobile-centric changes over the past two years, so staying on its good side by catering to your mobile visitors is a good idea for ranking well. Google is also highlighting AMP pages in some results, which gives your content greater visibility with this audience. They're also marked in the search results, which can help you stand out from competitors that aren't using AMP.
You also provide a better user experience overall for mobile visitors to your site. The majority of your market has smartphones in their pockets, and they're doing a lot of reading on their devices. Your primary website may have a responsive design that adapts to the size of the screen, but the smartphone still has to render all of the visual elements on the page, supported scripts and other resource and data-intensive features. With AMP, all they need to do is load up the particular page without anything that's going to kill your page speed or their data limits.
You do need to take some time to implement AMP on your site, but your content management system or a good web developer may make this an easy and hands-free task for you. For example, WordPress has an AMP plugin that serves up this content without a lot of hands-on work. Other sites simply need a developer to implement the AMP protocols once and it will be done and ready.
Whether now is the time to implement it will be up to you. You can join in early and get a headstart on the competition or you can wait and follow suit in due time.