What is an AMP Validator and How Does it Work?

To anybody running a webpage, getting noticed is an existential matter. Whether your goal is to promote your business, sell yourself, or publish great content, you need to be sure your webpage is findable, even though it is one of billions. One strategy for making that happen is adopting the latest publishing technologies. To facilitate this, a clever page owner will ensure that their content is available through those technologies using a tool like an AMP validator. What, though, is an AMP validator, and how does it work?

AMP is short for an “Accelerated Mobile Page.” AMP is designed by Google as a way to get web articles to load faster on mobile devices such as cell phones, and, since 2017, over half of all website traffic has been through mobile. For that reason, AMP is mostly employed by publishers looking to get their content picked up by the search giant.

Google not only controls the popular Android phone operating system, but has designed AMP to be easy to use. AMP is an open-source software library. Anybody can build a web page that integrates AMP. Because AMP pages are cached in Google servers, they load faster for somebody using the Google web browser Chrome, Android, or the Google search engine. A huge amount of web traffic flows through Google via mobile and via desktop, so developing a webpage that utilizes AMP will help you be part of that environment.

A web page built using AMP is built with three different interlocking pieces. The first two are AMP HTML and AMP Javascript, slightly-restricted versions of familiar programming languages. These versions of HTML and Javascript are designed for lightweight development. AMP only uses asynchronous Javascript, and AMP HTML sizes pictures, banners, and other resources statistically. Finally, all of your website’s information is stored on a Google AMP cache. When your website is AMP-enabled, a visitor who finds your content via the Google search engine or one of many Google apps will access Google’s server to view your website, rather than your webpage’s server.

How does an AMP validator play into all of this? Designers use an AMP validator to see if a website built for Google AMP has been properly set up. If the webpage is not properly set up, there are several problems that could arise. The page may have a menu that refuses to function, it may not have social media “share” buttons, and it may even lack important features such as comments and purchase links. These so-called “content mismatch errors” are usually the result of using code that falls outside of Google’s guidelines. Without an AMP validator, it is more difficult to track down and root out these errors.

An AMP validator works by checking your webpage’s code against Google’s specifications. Because AMP uses its own format for both HTML and Javascript, developers commonly make mistakes while developing a website for AMP. An AMP validator will determine if your page is ready for AMP or not. The AMP validator will cross-reference your website both with Google’s library and the Google AMP application programming interface. If it returns a negative result, that means that you will have to review your code. Once your website launches, you will need to link the AMP and any potential non-AMP pages together, so that a future Google result will show both to a mobile user. Once your AMP site is successfully set up, your users will be able to enjoy a faster, smoother experience for mobile, which can translate to big attention gains. How do you get noticed? There is no one answer to the question, but an AMP page is a good place to start.