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AMP and You


Accelerated Mobile Pages Project and You

Google has just released their Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, or AMP. The new mobile framework is bringing faster load times at the expense of programatic freedom. This is a good thing.

The framework proposes restrictions yet in turn creates a better document format, rather than an application platform. It is made up of three separate technical parts: AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP CDN. These three parts allow for the creation of optimized web pages that render quickly.

1. AMP HTML – A subset of HTML, it is a markup language with a very short list of custom tags and syntax restrictions, including a few “must-haves” in order for the framework to hook into a mobile site correctly.
2. AMP JS – The AMP javascript framework for mobile pages that primarily manages resource handling and asynchronous loading. NOTE: Third-party javascript is not permitted with AMP.
3. AMP CDN – This is optional, but if enabled will basically recognize which mobile pages are AMP-enabled and cache them to a cloud-based content delivery network for performance optimization.

Thank you Tony Piscotti for the breakdown.

Architecturally, AMP get rids of Javascript which removes the obstacles of slow load times, caching issues, and intrusive advertisements. The walled garden this creates forces publishers to adhere to Google’s guidelines around how a page is built and the technology used. A multitude of information technology based advertising companies are not ready to receive ads though their web platforms. This is Google’s push to continue its dominance of the online advertising business.

This dominance allows Google to push the web away from application based platforms, which favor it’s rivals, and keeps users consuming content predominantly through a web browser.

“Fast-loading pages will move further up Google’s mobile search rankings, so will be seen more often, and because more pages are being served and users are sticking around on, faster mobile sites for longer, and visiting them more frequently there is an increase in the number of ads that are able to be served and hence a payback for publishers that adopt early.”
– Jeremy Makin, vice president of sales for IBT Media EMEA

This is not bad news. Most websites are documents, not platforms. What this means is Javascript isn’t needed. So having JS in place to to implement advertisements, slideshows, etcetera, is only adding in unnecessary complexity. AMP deals with these needs by providing standard components that allow a document to have those features without needing Javascript. This is an evolution, not a revolution, just like ad-blocking in iOS9. Advertisers and content creators need to build intelligent ecosystems for their users and not in-your-face pop up ads.

“They’ve invited publishers to the mobile advertising party of the future. So far they’ve created a great guest list, but it remains to be seen how much control they exert over the dress code of the future ad formats and networks, particularly those that benefit them.”
– Kieran Bass, Roast strategy director.

Web advertising will be more effective with instantaneous interaction. Having a standardized approach to online publishing will improve loading speed and therefore the overall user experience. Which we believe will increase brand loyalty.

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