What is AMP?
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a project designed to improve mobile user experience by speeding up webpages on mobile devices.
Google then caches these AMP pages, speeding the whole process up further, so the information can be quickly and easily accessed, without having to visit the actual required site.
When was it introduced?
AMP pages have been appearing in the ‘Top Stories’ section of Google search results, since February 2016, however, only a fraction of these were actually getting found by searchers. Until now.
As of September 2016, AMPs now show across the entire organic search results pages, along with other non-AMP pages. This means that when a webpage has an AMP version available, Google will swap out the non-AMP version and display the AMP version instead. These pages are indicated by a small lightning bolt icon and AMP tag.
What affect will AMPs have on organic search results?
Google has emphasised that this update and being AMP enabled is not intended to lead to ranking change for sites – pages will still be ranked as they normally would, Google is simply just highlighting which pages provide a faster end-to-end user experience. However, this in itself may indirectly affect rankings, as page-load speed and mobile-friendliness are both ranking factors.
It is also likely that as searchers become more familiar with AMP and how it works, the click-through rate to an AMP page may naturally increase – particularly if the other results are non-AMP pages.
If there is no AMP version available, Google will still continue to show the mobile-friendly version of the page over the desktop one.
Why are they important?
Initially designed for the news industry, AMPs are now being published by e-commerce, entertainment, travel and recipe sites at a rate of 4.2 million AMPs per week. Whilst, Google also revealed that there are more than 600 million AMPlified pages in the search results. Now is definitely the time to AMP up your site’s content!
Want to know more about how you can optimise your webpages and increase your usability? Get in touch!