Google AMP: Everything You Need to Know

December 5, 2017

 

1. Intro

2. What is AMP?

3. The most recent AMP updates

4. How important is AMP

5. Which businesses should consider AMP as a must have?

6. Does AMP affect website ranking?

7. Conclusion

 

 

Introduction

As our online mobile video consumption has reached new heights, Google has begun to prioritize sites that utilize Accelerated Mobile Pages to improve performance for mobile users. In February 2016 Google launched the AMP project, and accommodated AMP content into their searches, standing above regular HTML pages on mobile devices.

The rationale is that AMP content loads much faster than standard HTML pages, and thus provides a higher speed of service for mobile users. However, the rising prominence of AMP has left many companies concerned over perceived challenges with regard to search rankings.

 

 

 

What is AMP?

In a nutshell, the Google AMP project is designed to speed up the delivery of mobile content through efficient coding known as AMP HTML. AMP loads much quicker than regular HTML pages and can be pre-rendered in Google Search. In order to create an AMP version of a page, developers use CSS to streamline their content and omit certain HTML tags. AMP HTML, AMP JS and AMP cache are the core components of the format.

The result is content that loads much faster than standard HTML pages. The speed at which the content loads is particularly useful for content publishers looking to connect with mobile users. However, any site using AMP will need both an identical HTML and AMP HTML page in order to be acknowledged by Google. At this point, your content will be shown in Google search results as a cached version of the article hosted on your site.

Google is in the process of caching AMP content for free, so that content can be circulated, mirrored and delivered to users more promptly. Once AMP versions are created, sitemasters will have both a HTML and AMP HTML version constructed on their domain. The idea is that users will be able to read articles without visiting a website directly.

 

The Most Recent AMP Updates

recent-amp-updates

 

Google recently announced a series of updates for AMP to ensure that mobile users are being adequately supported. One of the main changes was that of content parity, where from February 1st 2018, AMP page content will need to be “comparable to the original canonical” content. This means that content publishers will need to replicate HTML pages into the AMP HTML format.

The Google blog explains, “In the ideal scenario, both these pages have equivalent content leading the user to get the same content”, the only difference being that users get a “faster and smoother experience via AMP”. The idea is to stop content providers making AMP pages that don't match the content on the original page. This requires a greater level of content consistency across the board. Many companies have been using AMP pages as “teaser pages” which contain brief content.

When an AMP page doesn't match the canonical content on a site, Google will direct users to the non-AMP page. This won't affect the search ranking of a site but will be excluded from “search features that require AMP” like Top Stories, for example. Those not complying with current AMP guidelines will be notified with a manual action message so that they can make the necessary changes.

 

How Important is AMP?

Google is using AMP as a way to funnel content to mobile devices without users having to load up the source website to view the original content. In short, AMP allows users to view content without clicking through to a site. Pages with an alternative AMP version are much more friendly to mobile users and will thus be prioritized and shown above pages that don't. This means AMP content helps to increase traffic and revenue growth.

The importance of AMP varies according to the nature of the site in question. If your site is content-driven, and users are coming to read articles on your blog, then AMP is a great way to boost your standing in Google's mobile results. Producing an AMP version of your web content will situate your site above other sites that don't have AMP HTML pages.

 

Which Businesses Should Consider AMP as a Must Have?

Whilst many businesses should consider the merits of AMP, none should embrace it more than content publishers. For content creators and bloggers looking to share articles and blogs, AMP offers a great way to connect to users on mobile devices and a way to boost your search engine presence. For example

, a mobile user would be able to view a blog post without having to click through to your site. If you're working through a CMS like WordPress, it's a good idea to embrace AMP as early as possible to get a high degree visibility for your content (platforms like WP have an AMP plugin to help you along the way).

AMP is a must have because Google will prioritize your content which will increase your traffic and revenue. Publishers with AMP content will have their work shown above regular search results and other news. Of course you'll need to have AMP pages that replicate your standard HTML pages in order for Google to recognize your mobile friendliness.

 

Does AMP Affect Website Ranking?

Does-AMP-Affect-Website-Ranking

 

When AMP was originally introduced in 2016, many publishers were concerned about the effects on their search engine rankings. Sites that spent years refining their SEO standing were fearful that they would lose out once AMP content became more popular. Even though AMP provides a search advantage, it doesn't directly factor in the ranking of your site.

However, the prominence of AMP content on Google search means that you'll get more clicks, which will then affect your SEO ranking. When it comes to broader SEO concerns, mobile-friendliness is considered to be an important ranking factor and AMP will help this indirectly. Though AMP doesn't directly affect the ranking of your site, operating a site that's friendly to mobile users does.

 

Conclusion

Whilst there's no need to be alarmed if you don't have AMP pages live on your site, it's a good idea to create some if you're looking to expand your mobile reach. Producing content that loads faster for mobile users not only increases their standard of experience, but develops your search presence as well. Though AMP pages will not directly boost your search engine rankings, your content will still be more visible than standard HTML pages.

If you want to ensure your site is optimized for AMP content, it's a good idea to seek professional help. At Zfort Group, we are specialists in AMP optimization and will be able to ensure that your content is visible in Google search. Our expert team has helped many clients to boost their search engine presence, and remains up to date with all AMP updates released by the Google team. If you'd like us to help you with AMP optimization, contact us today so we can discuss your unique requirements.

 

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