Google is taking Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) beyond the “Top Stories” and into the main organic mobile search results. Today the company has announced a developer preview (g.co/ampdemo), with a general Google.com roll out to follow in the near future.
What this means is that mobile search users will soon start to content in search results with the AMP lightning bolt logo, indicating the content is formatted in the mobile format.
I spoke with Google’s VP of Engineering David Besbris yesterday about the move. He told me that AMP pages will not receive a ranking preference — though load time and page speed are mobile ranking factors. He explained, however, that where there are two identical pages, one AMP and one mobile-friendly, Google will serve the AMP page.
In February, Google introduced AMP content into the Top Stories carousel in mobile results. Besbris indicated that there are now more than 150 million AMP documents in the google index and roughly 4 million being added weekly. Though it was initially adopted by news publishers, Google said that a wide range of non-news publishers and brands have now embraced AMP, including eBay, Fandango, Reddit, Flipkart, TripAdvisor, Disney, Food Network and many others.
I asked Besbris about consumer response to AMP and whether there was any recognition or preference for these pages. He said it’s still early and “consumer awareness was not well established.” Google is hoping to rectify that and expose more people to AMP and its benefits with this move.
Among the benefits of AMP that Google is promoting are the following:
- On average 4x faster, 10x less data compared to non-AMP; under 1 second median load time for an AMP page
- 90 percent of AMP publishers experience higher CTR
- 80 percent of AMP publishers experience higher ad viewability
Google sees the open-source AMP initiative as a way to boost the mobile web and to deal with consumer objections to aspects of the mobile user experience (e.g., slow pages, annoying ad formats). AMP competes with Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News; however it has expanded well beyond news into other categories including e-commerce.
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Author: Greg Sterling