If you click on any link you will then visit the original URL at bbcgoodfood.com.
This is an important point about AMP pages. Any link from Google will show a google amp URL not your website URL.
This is one of the biggest criticisms of AMP.
Does Google Own AMP?
Well yes and no. The project is open source and there are a few companies committed to the project:
Here is what Google have to say about the project:
The companies involved in the project want to make the mobile web work better for all – not just for one platform, one set of technologies, or one set of publishers, or one set of advertisers. Making the project open source enables people to share and contribute their ideas and code for making the mobile web fast. We are just at the beginning of that journey and we look forward to other publishers, advertisers and technology companies joining along the way.
Notice how Apple and Facebook are not on this list. Have you guessed why? It's because they have their own version:
Both of these formats are not compatible with AMP and it's very unlikely they will ever join the group.
Yet, even though Apple does not contribute to AMP the format is still supported by the Safari browser. Browser support for AMP is good:
On the official amp.dev website they make this statement on browser support:
In general we support the latest two versions of major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Opera and UC Browser. We support desktop, phone, tablet and the web view version of these respective browsers.
Google has added the AMP project to the OpenJS Foundation. This means that the project is now governed by a community and no longer a single company. This is an important step in making AMP an open standard for the web.
Google still has dedicated staff contributing to the AMP project code.
So AMP will be interesting to watch in 2020.
Why should I use AMP?
AMP will speed up your site. After all, it's built for speed.
Google is on a mission to create instant pages offering a great user experience.
So how much faster is AMP vs HTML?
This side by side video shows the Washington Post site on mobile and compares the HTML site vs the AMP site:
Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.
As you can see in the video above the AMP page completes in half the time.
AMP takes 6.3 seconds to complete
HTML takes 11.6 seconds to complete
This test was running on a nexus 5 with a 4g connection. So AMP will speed up your site.
News sites were one of the first to adopt AMP because Google gave these sites a boost in SEO. By adding them to the “Top Stories” section of Google Search results right at the top of the search results.
Let's look at this next.
Does AMP Improve Search Rank?
Google has said that AMP is not a Google Search Ranking Factor. Yet, it is undeniable that AMP pages do very well in search.
After all, AMP does improve page speed and page speed is a search ranking factor.
There have been reports that AMP has actually reduced the ranking of a site and AMP was later removed:
If you are going to use this plugin then I would recommend that you use one of the official themes. Twenty Twenty is the most recent official theme so start with this. This is because these themes will come under the CSS restrictions.
If you are starting a new site then you can run the plugin using Standard mode.
This will mean that you do not have to maintain two sites an AMP and non-AMP site.
Wrapping Up, What is an AMP Page?
You now have an excellent understanding of what an AMP page is.
It is a special web page that is built for speed and is an initiative pushed by Google.
Although you do not get a direct rankings SEO boost from using it you can appear in special AMP sections of search. These include:
You may get an SEO boost due to page speed and web performance improvements.
It can be difficult to put in place AMP and there are many restrictions including:
You can only use 50kb of CSS
You can only use 150kb of JS
You have to use special element such as amp-img instead of img
For personalization, you are restricted to a few elements such as amp-list
If you are starting a new WordPress site then use the official AMP WordPress plugin.