SEO Insights – How Fast are AMP Pages?

by | Aug 20, 2019 | 0 comments

Are AMP Pages Good For SEO?

I’m sure you already know but AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. We already know that page loading speed is important, in fact, super important, for how a website performs in Google Search. If we are looking to Search Engine Optimise (SEO) a website, fast loading pages are critical. But how much faster are AMP Pages compared to a regular page?

AMP vs non-AMP Speed Comparison – Set up

I recently wrote a blog article about how to set up a domain redirect on AWS Route 53 – That links to the non-AMP version of the article. There is also an AMP version of the page. This article isn’t particularly resource-hungry but does include a number of screenshots.

Using Google Page Speed Insights I tested both versions of the page. Please note the following;

  • I was not using any WordPress caching or speed optimisation plug-ins for the non-AMP version of the page
  • To set up AMP I am using the AMP WordPress Plugin – The Official AMP Plugin for WordPress
  • My WordPress site uses the Divi theme
  • My site is hosted on Amazon Lightsail

AMP vs non-AMP PageSpeed Insights Results – Mobile

Non-AMP version of the page

PageSpeed-Insights-Mobile-non-amp-version

AMP version of the page

PageSpeed-Insights-Mobile-amp-version

Summary of AMP vs non-AMP PageSpeed Results

It’s pretty clear that the AMP page is significantly faster than the non-AMP page. In fact, it’s dramatically faster. Obviously, there are numerous WordPress plugins and optimisation tools that would speed up the non-AMP page but it would not be anywhere near as fast as the AMP page.

The Mobile vs Desktop Page Speed Challenge

Making mobile pages fast (vs their desktop counterparts) is extremely challenging. From experience, it’s just not possible to make a page that’s fast on desktop, equally fast on mobile – at least not when testing using Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool. To make this point clear, here are the desktop results of the page we were testing above;

 

PageSpeed-Insights-Desktop-non-amp-version

The same page loads significantly faster on desktop than on mobile according to Google’s tool. This is typical of any page that you are likely to test.

Implications for Search Engine Optimisation

Page loading speeds are critical for good search engine rankings. It’s also extremely hard to make a page that’s fast on desktop, fast on mobile without making a mobile-specific page. There are lots of plugins to optimise a WordPress website but none will get you a page that’s as fast as a native AMP page. Plus you won’t get the benefit of having the AMP version of your page potentially ranking well in search for mobile users. That’s where AMP is extremely useful. If you are using WordPress along with the AMP plugin, creating an AMP version of your posts (or pages as well if set up accordingly) is extremely worthwhile. The AMP plugin creates a version of the page with /amp/ on the end of the URL. Once you’ve published your article simply head over to your Google Search Console and request indexing on both version of the new page.

 

Like with almost everything SEO related, the devil is in the detail.