After announcing last week this change would be coming soon, Google is now officially rolling out AMP pages in organic search results around the world.
Google has been working to make the web faster for everyone with the introduction of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology. In February, Google doubled down on its support for AMP by including a ‘Top Stories’ carousel consisting entirely of pages developed with AMP technology.
In August, Google hinted at what its next step will be with respect to Accelerated Mobile Pages. Google said it would be including AMP pages in the regular set of organic search results — today that is a reality.
What Does This Mean For Publishers?
When people are searching on a mobile device, Google search results will automatically default to displaying the AMP version of a page (if one is available). This change means a significant amount of new exposure for AMP pages; possibly leading to more traffic, revenue, and so forth.
For publishers who are not yet using AMP, today’s change puts the pressure on them to adopt the technology. To be clear, AMP itself is not a ranking signal. However, page load time is certainly factored in when ranking content.
With the average load time of AMP pages being less than one second, this gives them a competitive advantage over pages coded in regular HTML. Today, the average page coded in HTML takes an average of 19 seconds to load over 3G connections, and uses 10 times as much data.
Here’s more information about how AMP can affect SEO.
What Does This Mean for Searchers?
This update is sure to save people time when searching on Google with their mobile device. If searching over a cellular connection, it could save on data as well. This means people getting to what they want on the web faster than ever before.
Searchers will also have more immediate access to AMP pages than they did previously. Before, only a fraction of the AMP pages published to the web would show up in Google’s ‘top stories’ carousel. Now, all 600 million AMP documents in Google’s index will be discoverable (232 locales and 104 languages).
What is the Future of AMP?
I had the opportunity to speak with Rudy Galfi, lead product manager for AMP at Google, about this development and what he sees as the future for AMP.
Galfi says searchers are already developing a preference for clicking on links with the AMP lightning bolt logo, and he expects this trend to continue. When first launched, AMP was being adopted primarily by news publishers. Galfi made it clear AMP is not designed just for news publishers, and there’s a place for AMP in any vertical. Travel, cooking, shopping sites and more are all beginning to use the technology.
Eventually there may come a time when developers code sites purely in AMP without having any other version available. The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project website is an example of this. Before going all-in with AMP, Galfi suggests site owners take a hard look at whether or not they’ll be able to accomplish everything they need to do with just an AMP site. Learn more about what it means to make your content AMP-friendly and see if it makes sense for your website.
Overall, Google is not only thrilled with the adoption rate from publishers so far, but with companies coming together around a common cause. For example, you have rival Bing surfacing AMP content on its mobile apps. Content management systems, such as WordPress, are developing easier ways for people to publish AMP content.
When asked for some hard number projections for the future, Galfi was reluctant to divulge exact figures, but does expect to see continued success and adoption of AMP technology.