Why Accelerated Mobile Pages Are Exploding Outside of Google

With several popular distribution apps now linking to AMP content, columnist Barb Palser notes that the format is showing outside of Google search. Here is what we know:

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) standard was designed to bring the fast-loading, clean experience of native apps to the open web. With the largest publishers now producing AMP versions of their content, distribution platforms and other referrers are starting to experiment with AMP as an alternative to standard outbound links and app web views.

The chart below is produced by Relay Media and shows top non-Google referral sources over the past five months:


Google still represents about 80 percent of total AMP referral sessions, with another 8 percent categorized as “(direct) / (none)” in Google Analytics. Identifiable non-Google sources represent around 10 percent of total referral sessions. It’s a modest number, but growing in number and volume.

Pinterest is another big supporter of AMP. Pinterest generally doesn’t send a lot of traffic to news-focused publishers, but might appear as a top referrer for the type of lifestyle content that is popular there.

It’s easy for any referrer to find AMP pages instead of standard mobile pages, since each AMP-enabled web page has a header tag pointing to its AMP URL. Instead of loading a slower mobile web page with intrusive ads and pop-ups, apps can load the reliably fast and clean AMP page. Here’s how AMPs appear in LinkedIn’s app:

In this example, the LinkedIn app is displaying a Google-validated and cached AMP.

Other apps link to AMPs transparently. A publisher would need to monitor their analytics — or notice that the linked page is AMP — to know it’s happening. Here’s the experience of clicking through an AMP link in Flipboard’s app:

 

What It Means to You

If you are a publisher, it means that distribution platforms and other referrers will probably continue to explore AMP as an efficient and user-friendly mobile content standard. This activity is still very new, but publishers should monitor their analytics and ensure their AMPs are optimized for engagement and monetization.

If you are not a publisher, it means you will be enjoying fast mobile pages more often :-).

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