Technology

An extra bonus from using Google AMP pages

Person looking at a smartphone. CC0 Public Domain

Google introduced the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) format for websites to speed up the performance of web pages on mobile devices.

In itself, that is a good thing (and something you can read more about in the piece I did for our Digital Inspiration email newsletter at work). Mobile performance is something easy to neglect for people who manage websites primarily from desktops in a day job. Google’s mobile compatibility tool was, and still is, one easy way of keeping on top of the broad necessities of running a website that will work for modern internet users (i.e. users who heavy on mobile).

The AMP format is the next step up from that and, for example, for WordPress users is pretty easily enabled via plugins.

But there’s one neat little bonus if you do this, courtesy of Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools as was). This provides you with a list of AMP formatting errors, such as when one of your pages has an embedded feature which the AMP plugin cannot render in a compatible way. The Gravity Forms I use on my own site for email sign ups, for example, are not AMP compatible so Google Search Console lists an AMP error for each page with one of the forms.

The bonus? That these AMP formatting errors often include other, easily fixable, mistakes. For example, if there was an error adding a link to a page with the initial h omitted from http… then this will trigger an AMP formatting error – but in fixing it you not only fix the AMP format for that page, you also fix an error which was affecting all website visitors.

That is a handy extra bonus, and all done for free without having to pay for any site auditing tool to check the formatting of your site.

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