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eBay AMPs Mobile Pages For eCommerce With Help From Google

One of eBay's focuses this year is to take advantage of structured data and machine learning that would give marketplace visitors a better experience while searching and buying products. The company began the transformation on the mobile Web, where it's seeing the most growth, followed by desktop.

eBay said it has begun to implement Google's open source initiative, Accelerated Mobile Pages, to speed mobile Web pages on users' mobile devices. The company has optimized about eight million pages on the technology.

"We have not linked all of them from our regular (non-AMP) pages yet," explains Senthil Padmanabhan, an engineer for mobile and open source at eBay. "This step is waiting on a few pending tasks to be completed."

For now, eBay has enabled the browsing experience only on the mobile Web. In the next couple of weeks, the desktop Web experience will also launch, per Padmanabhan.

The challenges were mostly related to user activity tracking, as well as launching an eBay page into production. Global header/footer, site speed beacon kit, experimentation library, and the analytics modules typically require some sort of JavaScript, which disqualifies them from being used in the AMP version and adds complexity to the development, Padmanabhan wrote.

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Engineers had to develop new infrastructures and each needed to go through strict guidelines to meet AMP standards.

Padmanabhan also listed what worked well, and how it became a method for implementing best practices for building mobile Web pages.

Using best practices even made non-AMP pages become faster. "We were already following some of them, but adoption was scattered across various teams, each having its own preference," he said. "This initiative helped us consolidate the list and incorporate these best practices as a part of our regular development life cycle itself. This made our approach towards AMP more organic, rather than a forced function."

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