Tired of clicking on an article only for it to load slowly – look for the lightning bolt.

We’ve all done it. Clicked a link for an article that sounds interesting only to have it load so slowly it’s not worth the time to wait. This is particularly painful if you are on your phone or tablet. Wouldn’t it be great if we could know before clicking on a link that it’s going to load smoothly and in a timely manner? Well, good news, I have a solution.

I’m used to writing articles for website owners, designers or developers, but this one is for everybody. I want to introduce you to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP is a project by non other than Google, but it’s open source which means it’s accessible to anyone and is actually being built by any developer willing to contribute. It’s a framework designed to deliver extremely fast content for mobile.

Look for the Lightning Bolt

The AMP icon is a little lightning bolt, you may have actually seen it, but not known what it was. It pops up on an article in search results on mobile or in the upper right on an article linked within Facebook. These images were taken from my phone, the first from Facebook and the second of a Google search on Kansas City.

AMP logo on article about Kansas City Zoo  AMP logo in mobile screenshot of a search for Kansas City

 

This means that the site has AMP and that the linked page will load quickly with all of the same content available on desktop, but without the lag. So click with confidence and enjoy your reading.

Accelerated Mobile Pages For Site Owners

I said this article was for everyone, but I can’t help but comment on what this means for my typical audience. If you don’t already have AMP available on your website you might want to consider it. Google is taking page load times and responsive usability into account when ranking search results. Articles utilizing AMP are not only given preference within the order of organic search results, as seen in the screen capture above, they are shown in a carousel with images. No other organic search result will get that level of billing from Google. These results are more common when searching for widely used phrases like “Kansas City” and will yield several results, but less common phrases may present a unique opportunity to have your page highlighted above some other organic results. If you’d like to know more about using AMP on your website, I’d love to help you out. Start the conversation.

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