In 2015, when Google rolled out its mobile-friendly search engine algorithm, the SEO community went haywire about the “Mobilegeddon.” And before SEOs could settle down, another trend that created a buzz in the following year was Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP. But what is AMP? Why it is important for SEO? Are there any potential pitfalls?
In this blog, you will learn everything about Google AMP. So, let’s dive in.
What is Google AMP?
Google AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is an Open Source web component framework that allows you to seamlessly create “user-first” web experiences.
Mobile devices have revolutionized online shopping as well as how we access information today. More than half of the audiences consume a colossal amount of data on their mobile phones, compelling publishers to leverage the mobile web to reach their target readers. However, the experience is often interrupted by different loopholes – such as a website taking too long to load. This is a lost opportunity for a business, both in terms of audiences and revenues.
To address this pain point, Google rolled out an Open Source initiative named Accelerated Mobile Pages. So, what is AMP? The objective is to enhance the performance of the mobile web dramatically. The search engine giant better indexes pages that have rich media content, including graphics, images, videos, animations as well as smart ads. But at the same time, the web pages need to load fast.
Google also wants publishers to write a code that works across multiple devices and platforms so that the content appears instantly everywhere, regardless of the type of device one is using. Keeping these factors in mind, Google integrated Accelerated Mobile Pages that are created to deliver a lightning-fast experience to mobile users, along with being more engaging and easier to read.
How Does AMP Work?
Google uses it to serve relevant content quickly on mobile devices and does not require users to click through a website to see what the content is all about. It is completely different from having a mobile website, which is often indexed the same way as desktop versions. Webpages with an AMP version will appear in mobile search results as “carousels” above paid ads and organic results.
These pages are displayed in Google SERPs with a lightning bolt indicator and are typically covered under the top stories section. So, if you know what is AMP and how to use it, it can pave lucrative opportunities for publishers to outrank their competition on mobile SERPs.
And in a scenario where website loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and user-centric content are top Google search engine ranking factors, designing Accelerated Mobile Pages can be your best bet.
Does AMP Help Improved SEO Rankings?
According to Richard Gingras, senior director of news and social products at Google, AMP is not a search engine ranking factor in Google. Building Accelerated Mobile Pages does not mean it will significantly boost your search rankings, he added. All other ranking factors also need to be met at the same time.
But keeping in mind that “website loading speed matters” in improving organic SEO results, it can impact your rankings. Suppose, two pages score the same in all search engine ranking factors except speed. In that case, Google will give more emphasis to the content that loads faster because it helps improve the user experience.
Again, if an AMP-built webpage generates more clicks because it loads faster, then Google will consider it valuable to users. Hence, it is likely to rank higher in SERPs.
Conclusion: Is AMP the Future of Mobile Web?
What is AMP and whether it will revolutionize the mobile web in the coming years is still uncertain. There are some pitfalls of AMP that includes:
- Images show a lazy load functionality, i.e., they will load only when users scroll down to them
- Requires a more streamlined CSS version
However, since speed matters, AMP can gain momentum in years to come and publishers should prepare from now onwards.
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