Google Analytics Support for Accelerated Mobile Pages

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April 29, 2016 2:33 pm | Published by Tieece Gordon

The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) now has support for Google Analytics. This essentially means that measurements and data accrued through AMP is now easier to view and work with than it was when AMP was first launched as an open source specification. The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project site is: https://www.ampproject.org/.

What is AMP?

AMP HTML is a subset of HTML for authoring content pages such as news articles in a way that guarantees certain baseline performance characteristics. AMP allows developers to build web pages of static content that will render quickly. AMP in action consists of three different parts; AMP HTML, AMP JS, Google AMP Cache.

The Google backed, open source initiative, focuses on delivering validated AMP pages to mobile users. AMP pages are cached in Google’s AMP cache, which allows them to be served even more quickly. This aims to provide end users with an improved experience. Full details relating to the AMP project are available here: https://www.ampproject.org/docs/get_started/about-amp.html

AMP Analytics

Much like AMP itself, AMP Analytics has been created as part of the open source prooject. The component, , is configurable with Google Analytics parameters to monitor stats such as page views. It can also work in tandem with global event listeners to identify when specific actions, such as button presses and click through, are taken. It’s because of this that custom action detecting JavaScript isn’t required – it’s simply a case of defining actions, which trigger hits and leaving the rest to AMP. Developer documentation is available via Google Developers resource here: https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/amp-analytics/ and further references here: https://www.ampproject.org/docs/reference/extended/amp-analytics.html.

What Functionality is Available with AMP Analytics?

AMP is very much in its infancy and as time passes, there’s undoubtedly going further developments made to its impressive list of features. For the time being though, not all of the features and functionality you’d expect to find in Google Analytics is fully incorporated. New features will be added over the course of time so anticipate seeing the full range of Analytics functionality in the future.

On the bright side, metrics and data that is essentially the core components of Google Analytics are present, including:

  • Domain, page title and path data
  • Client ID
  • Unique page views
  • Visitor time zone
  • User agent
  • Event data

What Needs to Be Done Differently?

AMP requires a different Analytics tag to other page versions and it may be a good idea to use a completely separate Google Analytics property to differentiate between AMP HTML and standard HTML pages being served to the end user. Further Analytics configuration information is available here: https://www.ampproject.org/docs/guides/analytics_amp.html.

The usual analytics.js should be replaced with .amp.html which is reserved for the sole use of Accelerated Mobile Pages. There are a couple of non-negotiable requirements you need to adhere to in order to take advantage of near instant page speed.

  • Use the .amp.html tag on mobile pages
  • Inform users of Analytics’ efforts to collate and use data and provide a choice to opt-out. This can be done by linking to Google’s terms and conditions pages or relaying the facts onsite.

Working with AMP

So if you are already using AMP, or plan to do so in the future, the fact that there is Analytics support will probably make it all the more appealing.

Whilst AMP may not be a direct factor in Google’s ranking algorithms, page speed certainly is, so you may also receive an indirect, positive impact to organic rankings, although this is yet to be confirmed by Google. Ultimately though, improving page speed for the end user, especially those on mobile devices using less than adequate mobile data networks can deliver a much better user experience and access information.

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