Google has been talking up Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for months, promising a February launch date for when it would start sending search traffic from Google results to pages using it. Many are no doubt wondering if utilizing AMP will give them a ranking boost. Well, Google addressed that.
Have you set up AMP for your site yet? How was the experience? Discuss.
Earlier this week, Google began showing AMP results in search results. In fact, this came a day earlier than expected and earlier than when Google actually made the announcement. We posted about it prior to the announcement, but let's take a moment and look at what Google has said since then.
The announcement came on Wednesday. Google said:
In just over four months, AMP has come a long way, with hundreds of publishers, scores of technology companies and ad-tech businesses all taking part in this joint mission to improve the mobile web for everyone. And starting today, we’ll make it easy to find AMP webpages in relevant mobile search results, giving you a lightning-fast reading experience for top stories.
Now when you search for a story or topic on Google from a mobile device, webpages created using AMP will appear when relevant in the Top Stories section of the search results page. Any story you choose to read will load blazingly fast—and it’s easy to scroll through the article without it taking forever to load or jumping all around as you read. It’s also easy to quickly flip through the search results just by swiping from one full-page AMP story to the next.
According to the company, pages built with AMP load an average of four times faster and use 10 times less data than equivalent non-AMP pages.
The company didn't mention AMP as a ranking signal in the announcement. Word around the industry was that Google would likely make it one. At launch, however, it is not. Still, that doesn't mean it won't become one.
During a recent webmaster hangout, Google's John Mueller was asked about this. Here is what he said (via Search Engine Roundtable):
AMP a ranking signal...At the moment, it's not a ranking signal. So it's obviously one way to make mobile friendly pages, so that might be an option where I've already seen some sites where they've moved their whole website to the AMP format, and obviously that's a mobile-friendly set-up, so that kind of gets that mobile-friendly boost, but just AMP itself is not something that we have as a ranking signal at the moment.
Mobile-friendly was of course announced as a ranking signal roughly a year ago. Even if AMP isn't directly a ranking signal on its own, it will naturally put you on the path of another ranking signal.
In fact, stands to reason that it will help you out beyond just mobile-friendly, but also with page speed, which Google announced as a ranking signal quite some time ago.
This week, WordPress.com sites began supporting AMP automatically, and there's a new plugin for self-hosted WordPress sites. From the WordPress.org plugin directory:
With the plugin active, all posts on your site will have dynamically generated AMP-compatible versions, accessible by appending /amp/ to the end your post URLs. For example, if your post URL is http://example.com/2016/01/01/amp-on/, you can access the AMP version at http://example.com/2016/01/01/amp-on/amp/. If you do not have pretty permalinks enabled, you can do the same thing by appending ?amp=1, i.e. http://example.com/2016/01/01/amp-on/?amp=1
Note #1: that Pages and archives are not currently supported.
Note #2: this plugin only creates AMP content but does not automatically display it to your users when they visit from a mobile device. That is handled by AMP consumers such as Google Search.
You can find an FAQ page for AMP here.
Do you intend to support AMP with your site? Do you already? Let us know in the comments.
Image via Google/AMP