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April 22, 2016

How Google AMP Pages Will Impact SEO

“We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant—no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.”

What Google vice-president of engineering David Besbris was describing in the Google blog post announcing AMP Pages has been something of a fantasy for mobile developers and users alike.

Anyone who uses a mobile device knows that the experience of visiting a website, reading content, and other typical Web-surfing activities is truly clunky and anything but convenient at times. The mobile Web can feel akin to accessing the Internet through a dial up modem. In February, however, Google began to change this dynamic with its Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, Project.

What is AMP?

In the words of Google, “The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an open source initiative that embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere,” as its website describes. Breaking this down to layman’s terms, this essentially means that in the Google SERPs, carousels will now be displayed which feature content from AMP-supported sites. These stories are capable of loading at lightning speed, providing a better mobile experience for everyone involved. This is what makes AMP so darn special; you can trust that pages will load instantly.

This massive upgrade to load times has publishers losing their minds. Pinterest software engineer Jon Parise stated in a recent blog post that AMP provides, “A better, faster mobile web [that] is better for everyone, including users, platforms like Pinterest, and publishers.” He also commented on the power that AMP wields by stating, “In early tests, we found that AMP pages load four times faster and use eight times less data than traditional mobile-optimized pages.” He isn’t the only one that AMP is winning over, however, as Nuzzel founder, Jonathan Abrams, noted in a Fortune interview that, “A page loads in less than half a second when Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages is enabled. Instead of taking three seconds to load the average page.” 

Additionally, major media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed, Time, and The Daily Mail are all partnering up with Google for this initiative. Noah Szubski, chief product officer at The Daily Mail, commented on the publishing war taking place between Google, Apple, and Facebook by saying, “If there’s one partner to get in bed with, it’s Google, because they’re always on the up-and-up. It’s been this collaborative approach. They respond to emails within five minutes. I have access to everyone, whether it’s leadership or engineers. You get all the tracking, you get the ability to monetize, [and] your AMP pages look the way you want them to look.”

So it seems fairly clear that on the publishing side AMP is a smash hit. Now comes the question that many dread: how will AMP pages impact SEO?

SEO Boost or Blunder?

Despite AMP having already been unleashed on the mobile SERPs, there are still many questions and opinions flying about as to how this new feature will affect keywords, page authority, organic traffic, and other vital aspects of the SEO kaleidoscope.

Simply put, AMP will affect SEO. After all, Google is diligently pushing a mobile-first initiative in which mobile-friendly websites received a rankings boost thanks to Mobilegeddon. The difference here, however, is that AMP is not a ranking factor; at least it isn’t one as of now. This was confirmed in a Google+ Hangout with Google Webmaster trend analyst John Mueller.

AMP will affect SEO in regards to impressions, clicks, user experience, and of course, speed. Speed is a crucial factor to ranking well on Google and the company reported last year that, “29 percent of Smartphone users will immediately switch to another site or app if it doesn’t satisfy their needs,” and that “. . .of those who switch, 70 percent do so because of lagging load times.”

On the clicks and impressions front, AMP pages are currently displayed in the News carousel in the SERPs. The carousel is currently located above the fold on mobile devices. This placement effectively pushes organic search results further down the page, which will ultimately lead to fewer clicks. If you are among those who are achieving stellar results with the search giant, it is time to adopt AMP if you wish to see your clicks and user engagement stats remain healthy. The carousel’s current position is set to change, however, as co-host of “This Week in Google” on TWiT, Jeff Jarvis, explained in a recent episode.

Yet no matter if AMP is a current ranking signal or not, the chances of it becoming one are relatively high as a January post which delved into the ad experience on AMP stated that, “We can’t emphasize enough that this is just the start,” and that Google is, “. . .invested for the long term.” With how heavily Google underlined the importance of mobile-friendliness with Mobilegeddon, it would come as no surprise if Google one day made AMP a ranking factor as well; possibly even as soon as its mobile update this May.

As Google pushed hard and fast with its small screen focus, the mobile-optimized features it put forth now and in the near future are sure to be heavily weighted  when it comes to ranking high in the SERPs. As far as AMP is concerned, if you are feeling any sort of resistance to adopting the uber-fast publishing component, drop it as soon as possible. AMP will only serve to benefit users of your site, readers of your content, and your seat in this ubiquitous search engine.

Do you think Google will make AMP compliance a ranking factor? How do you see this feature impacting publishers in a negative way?


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Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

24 Responses to “How Google AMP Pages Will Impact SEO

    avatar Saad says:

    Good article is written about the AMP pages and SEO impact.

    I don’t know if Google will make it a ranking factor or not but AMP will be a real headache for publishers, that is certain. In order to keep up and not lose positions they will be forced to learn everything about this new feature.

    AMP is a very valuable tool to increase your sites mobile friendliness and to improve how google views your page speed.

    Great post!

    Thank you so much!

    avatar larisa says:

    Yes in recent years more and more users are using mobile technologies and we are committed to improving their sites

    Very few webdevelopers and SEO´s are paying attention to this new update. Mobile is going to be bigger in the near future.

    avatar Nhick says:

    Would love to read some tips on how to implement amp on our site. Just hoping.

    Thanks,
    Nhick

    avatar Kelly says:

    Just another tool that Google has that will help put small business out of business. Most online businesses are not tech savvy and do not employ Webmasters to tune their websites. Bottom line Google sucks.

    avatar indomoto says:

    Thanks for sharing about AMP.
    I am trying to understand what is AMP technically.

    avatar Paul says:

    Very informative post and thanks for sharing.

    I will not drive myself crazy with this new offering from Google as I have done in the past.

    This time I will wait for the dust to settle, do my own testing as to how to implement it without losing my hair and so my viewers/readers will benefit from the changes.

    Give Google time to work out all the kinks before you decide to do anything is my advice.

    Paul

    Wow, it’s a great concept, because early days most of the peoples using mobile for searching anything online.

    avatar Aventura12 says:

    Thanks for sharing a great knowledge about the mobile views impact on SEO. Found good information. AMP will affect SEO in regards to impressions, clicks, user experience, and of course, speed. Not any others things like PR all that.

    avatar Arunraj says:

    Nice Concept and Great Tips about implement AMP on our Website.SEO nowadays very hard ,Just hoping to use this concept in the site and get some traffic from Mobile.

    Thanks Arun

    The Accelerated Mobile Pages was the need of the time and we all want to be more dynamic along with faster as well to grab the mind and movement of the users to make them more happier and satisfied from our contents. So I am glad about the progress of AMP so far.

    avatar Camellia says:

    All are saying the same thing repeatedly, but in your blog I had a chance to get some useful and unique information, I love your writing style very much, I would like to suggest your blog in my circle, so keep on updates.

    SAP training in Chennai

    I heard about this from a friend. She asked whether this AMP would affecting SEO techniques or not. And this post answered that perfectly.

    I am still wondering, do we – blog owners should implement this AMP or not?

    avatar bigboss10 says:

    I love your writing style very much. I will suggest your blog in my circles.

    Great info about how it can affect SEO. I’m about to take the plunge! I don’t see too many sites setting up AMP so I am glad to do this now!

    Us from Cooper Webdesign are very exited about AMP and think it will be great when all the remaining bugs have been fixed, so mobile users will have an advantage of receiving the content instantly.

    At this point we are running tests with to different pages regarding Google AMP. 

    avatar Rankaroo says:

    AMP pages effect site ranking.

    avatar Sandy Sudan says:

    Nice concept. Hopefully, it helps to increase the traffic from mobile.

    Excellent Article for learning a new concept. Thank you so much for the neat and clean description. Now I know the positive impact of Google AMP.

    avatar Ankeet says:

    Hi Tina,

    Thank you for sharing good info about amp and ranking factor. Yes, it will be more important single in ranking factor now, as you can see in your Google now app it is shows more amp result based on your interest.

    avatar Meja Praktek says:

    The positive impact of AMP for SEO is AMP-enabled articles will rank higher in SERPs and Paid search impressions will likely increase.

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