Google goes over all the changes coming to the Top Stories carousel in search results when the Page Experience update rolls out in mid-June.
The information is shared on the Google Search Central YouTube channel as part of its Getting Started With Page Experience video series.
It’s been known for months that Google plans to remove AMP as a requirement for getting content featured in the Top Stories carousel. That’s still scheduled to happen as part of the Page Experience algorithm update.
This latest explainer from Google discusses the more granular details and answers any lingering questions site owners may have before the update launches.
Changes Coming to AMP & Top Stories
When Google launches the Page Experience update in mid-June, AMP will no longer be necessary for inclusion in Top Stories.
In addition, Google confirms the AMP icon will be retired and the swiping interaction will be removed from the AMP viewer.
Swiping through stories in the AMP viewer was possible because pages are loaded instantly from the AMP cache.
When other types of pages get added to the Top Stories carousel, Google will no longer be able to guarantee instant loading. To provide an optimal experience for searchers, Google will have to get rid of swiping.
It’s possible for site owners to bring the instantaneous loading of AMP pages to other types of pages through signed exchanges.
Signed exchanges let sites be prefetched safely and securely. They can also be used on AMP sites which will allow the pages to keep their original URLs.
Here’s more about what the removal of AMP pages from the Top Stories carousel means for SEOs and site owners.
What Does This Mean For Site Owners?
When Google removes AMP as a requirement for Top Stories, previously ineligible content will become eligible for inclusion.
Up until now, only pages built with AMP HTML were considered for this section. Since Google is going to be opening it up to all webpages, those limited spots will become more competitive.
Google shares these three tips for staying competitive in Top Stories:
- Publish relevant content.
- Maintain good Core Web Vitals and Page Experience scores.
- Follow Google’s guidelines.
If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to investigate how your pages are faring as far as Page Experience goes.
Check the Page Experience report in Search Console, which contains information about what actual users are experiencing when they load your site.
In the report you’ll be able to see any specific problematic URLs that need addressing.
If your content is currently featured in Top Stories, then continue to focus on publishing the same high quality content.
On top of that, pay attention to any Page Experience issues in Search Console and you’ll likely do just as well in Top Stories after the update as you are today.
Lastly, Google advises site owners that using article-specific structured data remains a requirement for inclusion in Top Stories.
That involves adding a few lines of markup which lets Google know important information about the article such as the author, the publisher, the publish date, and so on.
For more details, see the full video below: