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What Impact Does Google AMP Have On SEO? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

What Impact Does Google AMP Have On SEO? Here's Everything You Need To Know

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Accelerated Mobile Pages (aka Google AMP), is an open source initiative backed by Google that helps publishers design mobile-friendly pages that load instantly on mobile devices.

On Feburary 24, 2016, Google officially integrated Accelerated Mobile Page results into its mobile search results. The webpages making use of AMP coding appear within special places in the SERP with a special AMP lightning indication.

Here is a screen shot from my iPhone 6 showing the AMP icon in the Google SERP:

Google AMP Screen

This new algorithm has given priority to speed on mobile devices.

Marketers need to be aware of the affects that Google AMP will more than likely have on their website ranking as well as other areas of their marketing efforts.

The more you understand the impact that AMP can have on your business the better. Speed appears to be an area that ranks high with users and Google is looking to maximize this fact with the creation of AMP. However, there are key things that all marketers should be aware of when it comes to Google AMP.

But first…

What is Google AMP?

AMP is basically HTML 5. A simple form of code that allows web publishers to create pages that load in a few seconds, a vast improvement over loading times that can be upward of 22 seconds, which often increase bounce rate.

Technically, AMP is an open source project developed to create mobile-optimized content that loads instantly on all devices. This includes videos, images, and all forms of content that will load instantaneously.

The key to AMP’s speed is powered by JavaScript and the fact that styling can be customized using CSS3. Plus the pages are cached, which is a core reason for AMPs speedy delivery of content.

Why is AMP significant to marketers?

This need for speed has given birth to Google’s AMP project, which will impact SEO as well as other areas.

Marketers who want to stay on top of their game should note that AMP will be a viable part of their marketing strategy, because it will impact SEO as well as their marketing efforts. Marketers need to know that Google prioritizes AMP in search results. This alone is substantial.

AMP is following closely behind the push for Google’s mobile-responsive websites. This is a wave that’s sure to continue its upward climb.

How will Google AMP affect SEO?

Although AMP is not a direct search engine factor, speed is. Speed is an important component of search engine ranking. As a result, AMP will impact SEO significantly if your website is not up to par when it comes to speed. For example, two sites could rank similarly when it came to SEO, however, the one with the most speed would receive precedence.

This is a clear example of how speed can affect SEO rankings. Succinctly speaking, AMP is all about boosting speed and making content of all formats readily available for the user to engage with instantaneously. The current question all marketers should be asking themselves is two-fold.

Is my website mobile friendly and does it pass the speed test?

The limitations of Google AMP

Marketers need to understand that AMP’s main purpose is to make content readily available to users on demand and on any device. However, this comes at a cost. Because AMP is based on HTML 5, which is rather basic. All the bells and whistles that you currently have on your website may not work with AMP. You can count on speed for basic content, videos, and graphics, however more advanced code is not yet compatible with AMP. This is because AMP restricts how you can code your page. This is part of its speed ingredient.

You must use AMP-supplied JavaScript and it’s limited in what it can do. Plus, if you want to use forms you must use iframes. Clearly, there are still many challenges.

How will these Google AMP limitations impact marketers?

Because AMP is basic, sophisticated branded designs and extensive functionality will be compromised on your website.

In essence, you are compromising functionality and design and making speed the top priority, if you elect to use AMP.

Another consideration is the fact that any user that shares links that were accessed via a Google search will have to contend with the fact that the links will send them to Google.com URL and not the marketer’s site. This can impact site traffic for marketers.

How will AMP impact analytics?

The accuracy of analytics will be a challenge for AMP users as well, because it’s not possible to determine where a publisher’s content will be loaded from. In addition, cookie restrictions make visitor identification difficult.

Once you consider these factors, tracking your marketing efforts could prove a little difficult, or at least uncertain when using AMP.

What is the future of Google AMP?

Although AMP is already showing great promise, its future is uncertain. The success of AMP will depend largely on how popular it becomes and this can only be measured by the number of people that use it on their websites. Of course, it will become standard if enough people implement it.

As a result, the question still remains. Is AMP the future of the mobile web?

So far the future is looking good for AMP because it delivers something that ranks high with most users, speed. Add this to the fact that Google has invested a great deal of resources into implementing AMP and marketers can expect to see results if they choose to use it, especially if speed was an issue for them previously.

Because AMP is still in its infancy, time will bring about improvements. And despite its limitations, it could be something you choose integrate into your web presence to maintain and possibly increase your website ranking, particularly if speed is an issue.

Guest Author: I’m Mercy Livingstone, Marketing Manager at Dot Com Infoway with over 8+ years of experience in Digital Marketing. Dot Com Infoway is a multinational web development & digital marketing agency, we have the potential and experience to deliver your business needs.

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