A Guide to AMP

The AMP Project: 

What is an AMP page?

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google-backed project designed to have pages load quickly on mobile devices.

The AMP Project defines itself "as an open-source library that provides a straightforward way to create web pages that are compelling, smooth and load near instantaneously for users". Additionally defined as building "on existing skill sets and frameworks to create web pages".

Designed as a mobile-friendly website page format as an open standard for any publisher and operates via a content delivery network ( CDN ) This Google spawned initiative is open source, meaning anyone can share contributions to assist evolvement of the project. Last Fall, its definition stated development was "to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web".

The AMP Project was developed to improve and enhance user experience by reducing page load time on mobile devices. The primary objective allows instant page load containing rich content like images, videos and animations. Considered an innovative mobile index designed for mobile -- meaning the mobile index will prevail on mobile devices -- instead of standard desktop version.

Originally, AMP tagged pages were developed to compete with Facebook Instant Articles, with initial usage mostly for news carousel results, however, AMP evolvement now scatters results through organic search.

Other casual definition views AMP as stripped down HTML copies of existing web content offering quicker load times than standard HTML5 documents. AMP can reduce additional CSS requests.

Benefits of AMP includes faster webpage load times by as much a second of total load speed, that enables AMP caching. AMP documents can also be pulled from the AMP library directly off its original server. Another benefit is the ability to customize AMP pages.

Who should adopt AMP?

AMP caching offers improved rapid speeds and is favored by Google search results (get certified as a Digital Marketing Professional and understand AMP affects), though growing-pain dilemmas still includes click accuracy. AMP works only if users click on the AMP version of a webpage versus standard page version. Though studies indicate an AMP library can reduce the number of server requests to retrieve a document, however the AMP version is not always served if not implemented correctly.

AMP can be beneficial for publishers because of mobile search, though developmental progress still craft easy access to implement AMP with WordPress -- otherwise other standards still prevail. Development strategy however, should soon include customized AMP documents for user-friendly SEO strategy.

The Google AMP Project: better and faster search

The AMP Project was launched by Google in October 2015 following discussions with partners at the European Digital News Initiative and other global news publishers and tech firms with the comprehensive goal of improving mobile web performance.

AMP being an acronym for Accelerated Mobile Page also included iconic social collaborators from Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and WordPress.

The first AMP pages emerged in February 2016 as Google displayed AMP launch versions of mobile search webpages with a restricted focus on "Top Stories" segment.

Developmental timeline major milestones:

  • February 2016: The official Google launch of the AMP Project
  • September 2016: AMP content linking begins, as Microsoft proclaims support amid Bing apps for Android and IOS
  • February 2017: Adobe reports AMP pages accounted for 7% of all web traffic of top US publishers
  • May 2017: Google reports published usage of AMP pages at 900K with estimates of more than two billion AMP pages published globally.
  • June 2017: Twitter begins linking AMP content from its iOS and Android apps
  • February 2018: AMP Stories are introduced.
  • September 2018: Microsoft launches its own Bing AMP viewer and AMP cache
  • December 2018: The official WordPress Plugin is released


The AMP Project has been led by Malte Ubl, a senior Google staff engineer engaged with other Javascript infrastructure projects.

Although the Project has generally hailed as genius, however amid industry criticisms. Controversy arose around the core theme of quickened page load, since the AMP Project uses cache of pages hosted by Google ( and also currently by CloudFlare ) Essentially meaning Google dominance. Amid industry criticism, the AMP Project announced reforms last Fall, introducing a technical steering committee staffed by firms invested in its project development while indicating "…end goal of not having any company sit on more than a third of the seats.”   Additionally, the Project will create an advisory board as stewardship and eventually plans a foundation.

Despite any industry grumbling, the Project has accrued worthy reviews and performance metrics. Visionary hopes are the Project will gather more support from leading industry presence, as well as wider open source community.

Hundreds of top publishers are embracing the AMP Project for all news and blog related content, while industry reports estimate domain usage of AMP surpassed 31 million last year, and as SEO continues its mobile surge, the AMP adoption rate should accelerate. 

Fast-Forward to Future Proof: The Google AMP Project

Quick. Quicker. Quickest.

Leave it to Google innovation to conjure and create the AMP Project designed to ramp up more rapid mobile page speed.

Basically, AMP speeds up webpage load times by as much aa a second of total load speed that then enables AMP caching. AMP content can also be pulled from its library directly from the original server that must contain AMP HTML and AMP JS.

An industry study proved AMP cache made Pinterest nearly 40% faster. Some of the speed criteria was:

  • The critical rendering path flowed smoother
  • Extensions and embeds don't block rendering page layout.
  • All CSS is inline with the HTML document with no extra round-up time
  • CSS is allowed to 50 kilobytes, AMP allows 50K characters of inline CSS
  • Fonts require no HTML
  • Intelligent resource priorities optimizes downloads so more essential resourses download first
  • Google AMP cache is a proxy based CDN that validates AMP content

The Future is AMP

The adoption rate is accelerating as SEO surges to mobile screens.

AMP pages can be customized utilizing Google Search Console or HTML. Webmasters can make AMP code more trackable and can update AMP cache by using the “update-cache” request.

A few examples of how to customize an AMP HTML document.

  • amp-pixel: tracking pixel
  • amp-analytics: analytics tracking
  • amp-animation: add animations
  • amp-access: paywall access
  • amp-dynamic-CSS-classes: dynamic CSS elements
  • amp-iframe: display an iframe
  • js tag implementation allows for events tracking across Google Ads and Search

Any organization or webmaster can build features that will work on AMP pages, provided there is compliance with the AMP Project specifications. In February 2017, Google also announced parity as essential - meaning it will require the content of canonical pages and those displayed via AMP be substantially the same

AMP Benefits

Benefits of AMP includes faster webpage load times by as much a second of total load speed, that enables AMP caching. AMP documents can also be pulled from the AMP library directly off its original server. Another benefit is the ability to customize AMP pages.

Other user-friendly benefits include:

  • Growth in traffic and SEO ranking. Improving the browsing experience especially on mobile.
  • Low bounce rate and more on-site time because the experience is fast, easy and user-friendly, while providing better visualization
  • Increased visibility since mobile pages now indicate AMP pages with a lightning bolt icon next to a listing meta-title on the SERP.
  • Potential for increased ad views because the HTML is coded to enhance the overall usability of banners and images.
  • Higher click-through rate being featured on Google Top Stories
  • AMP pages organization makes for a cleaner mobile viewing experience with flexible layout and aesthetic proportions
  • Improved visitor tracking with tags available for Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager.
  • Getting started is as simple as a Word Press download.

According to industry reports, CNBC reported a 75% decrease in mobile page load time for AMP Pages, while Gizmodo reported that AMP pages loaded three times faster than non-AMP pages. Another case study features the lifestyle page Thrillist converting to realize a 70% improvement in organic search traffic to their website – 50% of which was attributed to the AMP implementation. 

The AMP Project

The Google AMP Project: quicker, faster better versus industry criticism

Learn how to plan for AMP by becoming a Certified Digital Marketing Professional

How-to stop being frustrated by slow page loads and learn to admire Google industry dominance. The basic function of the AMP Project is serving cached copies of valid content published to the web and reducing page load time on mobile devices.

AMP pages are basically stripped down HTML copies of existing webpage content with quicker load times than standard HTML5 documents. Websites can serve AMP pages by implementing the rel=amphtml tag into their HTML.

AMP code pages should contain a three-step AMP configuration.

  • HTML: stripped down standards, but with unique markup of traditional code with unique tags.
  • CDN: Content Delivery Network designed to cache content configured to AMP code spontaneously.
  • JS: Javascript. A language architecture used to enhance HTML pages and commonly embedded in HTML code, and used to fetch resources at AMP pages.

Speed is greatly increased since AMP reduces excessive CSS requests and eliminates bulky photos. Webpage load times quicken as much as a second of total load speed enabling AMP caching. Google leverages such tasking by preloading AMP content using a single iFrame in the background of a search results page. Although the AMP speed can be resourceful, it cannot HTML, images or fonts larger than 12MB

To advantage the Google AMP Cache, an AMP URL must be accessed directly from the cache using the AMP Cache URL format.

Designed to be user-friendly each time, AMP Cache is accessed, the content is automatically updated and having exceptional benefits for user-friendly SEO. Although content cannot be halted from being cached, with AMP usage -- content becomes available to be cached by third parties.

Google recommends search engines process cache links according to its guidelines and also suggests reverse DNS lookup to define requests.

Some getting started with AMP resources:

Request an AMP URL via:

POST https://acceleratedmobilepageurl.googleapis.com/v1/ampUrls:batchGet

As many as 50 URLs as payload can be listed in the request body:

{"urls": [



Requested URLs are not required to be in canonical forms.

All requests need to include a development key via X-Authorization header (X-Goog-Api-Key: YOUR-DEVELOPER-KEY)

Or check with Authorization for setup instructions.

Example using curl:

curl -i -s -k -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -H "X-Goog-Api-Key: " -d "{urls: ['https://am

To replace URLs with AMP URLs

The batchGet method returns the AMP URL mapping in JSON

When relocating AMP file location on a server, set up redirects from old locations to new locations. The Google AMP Cache follows redirects when resolving AMP URLs.

For more info: https://developers.google.com/amp/cache/use-amp-url


Updating AMP content

Use the update-cache request to update and remove content from the Google AMP Cache.

The update-cache request requires the domain owner to sign the requests with an RSA key and to serve the matching public key from a standard URL on the origin domain.

Any currently cached version of a document can be flushed by issuing a signed request to the AMP Cache. The update-cache request is called at this address:


The update-cache request requires the following parameters and values and advisable to consult Google guidelines.

  • The AMP Cache hostname (ampproject.org) is excluded from the signature to allow submitting the same signed request to multiple AMP Cache operators.
  • For signature verification, you must serve the public RSA key at a fixed location.
  • The public key must not be roboted.
  • The URL must be HTTPS.
  • The domain must be the exact domain wished to update.
  • The key must be published in PEM format and serve the key with the content-type "text/plain".
  • The AMP Cache always fetches the public key from the same domain of the request, regardless of the domain specified by the document.

For more info: https://developers.google.com/amp/cache/update-cache

Integrating AMP content

Consult Google Guidelines for AMP Cache URLs

  • in web applications
  • in iOS applications
  • in Android applications

For more info: https://developers.google.com/amp/cache/integrate-amp