If you are in the web development and online marketing scene, you may have already caught a glimpse of the AMP acronym and wondered exactly what it means and why it is suddenly relevant to you.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are stripped down web pages specifically designed for blazing fast speeds on mobile devices. With the initiation of the open-source AMP Project, the days of waiting for those slothful ten second pages are coming to a close.

One of the best examples of AMP implementation is the Facebook newsfeed that loads content instantly as the user scrolls. Relative to regular web pages AMP loading speeds are worlds apart, even on a poor data connection.

As a Google initiative, AMP’s are going to be crucial to search engine optimization. How crucial, you ask? Beginning this week, AMP optimized news stories will appear on mobile Google search results in the first and foremost position. Combine that with the fact that there are over 1 billion smartphone users in the world, all hungry for fast loading content. The world has gone mobile, and Google rewards those who optimize for it.

However, there is a small catch to all the SEO benefits of AMP. If readers share a link to your AMP page found on Google search, it will point to Google’s cache servers instead of your site. That being said, your visitor numbers will not suffer loss unless you rely primarily on social shares to obtain traffic. Additionally, the upside to the Google cache link is the addition of more backlinks to your site, thus affording more opportunities for your site to show up on a search engine results page (SERP).

AMP’s true benefit to SEO is the visibility bump in mobile search, which now outranks desktop searches in the United States and 9 other countries. Updating a site with quality content gets your site warmed up to Google. AMP gets your site the extra benefits.

In conclusion, AMP pages are becoming increasingly critical components of SEO as mobile search queries continue to dominate across the globe. Now is the time to implement AMP on your company publications, and catch the wave to Google’s next algorithm update.