Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) were introduced in February 2016, but have recently benefited from several updates from Google.
The purpose of AMP is to speed up the delivery of static content. This project, backed by Google, is an open-source coding standard primarily for publishers. It was started to support the growth in mobile search and traffic, which has overtaken desktop.
If AMP is a new concept to you, you can read our full explanation of AMP here. This post will focus on the latest AMP updates from Google, and why you should now be embracing AMP, if you aren’t already.
Latest AMP Updates
There have been four major new updates to Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project recently:
- Google is bringing new types of content to AMP, including recipes, and there are plans to support many other content types soon. Google is also experimenting with combining rich snippet cards with AMP, providing a rich and fast experience for mobile. (Source)
- Shiny new features have been added for AMP users, including ways to add navigational menus to an AMP page, expandable and collapsible content, and integrated social sharing CTAs. Also, you can now vary your content based on user factors such as referrer, for a more targeted experience. If you’re eager to try out these new features, read more here.
- AMP is now available on Google’s iOS and Android search apps, as confirmed by Richard Gingras
- Analytics for AMP has been added to the Search Console. It is available in the Search Analytics Report under Search Traffic. This will only be available if you have AMP pages live on your website:
A Note on Getting AMP Pages Indexed
You can also find an AMP report in Search Console underneath ‘Search Appearance’ which is useful for spotting and fixing errors. If you can’t see any data in Search Console but have recently implemented AMP, you might have to wait a while before Google will display the data after it has been crawled. You could try using the Fetch as Google tool to try and speed up this process:
It is also worth noting that Google’s guidelines state the following:
“Wondering how Google will find your AMP pages? Google will index AMP pages if other pages link to them or reference them.”
This can essentially be achieved by linking your AMP page to it’s relevant non-AMP page as the guidelines explain. If you have pages that do not have a non-AMP version then you must ensure you have good internal linking on that page to other indexed pages on your website.
Should I Be Using AMP Yet?
There is an increasingly compelling list of reasons as to why you should now be seriously considering using AMP, especially if you are publishing a lot of content on your website. According to Richard Gingras, there are now 125+ million indexed AMP documents from more than 640 thousand domains.
We previously recommended getting ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing AMP, but we’re now moving towards a place where AMP is becoming commonplace. The latest updates show that Google is placing continued importance on this project.
With more content types and features added, as well as better Analytics reporting, the project is moving out of the realms of a BETA phase, and into an established tool for content marketing and SEO.
Additionally, Google is aligning AMP with other important aspects that we deal with in SEO, such as Schema markup and rich snippet cards. This will provide new ways to get your content ranking in the SERPs.
Added Benefits of Using AMP
One of the biggest benefits is that AMP has been designed to be consistently fast. This provides a rich and improved user experience for visitors and helps webmasters to improve their page load speed, which is one of the most critical ranking factors.
If you know your website still needs work in terms of being mobile-friendly, using AMP will allow your content to benefit from faster page speeds and a potential boost in ranking while your developers work on website improvements.
It’s not just for publishers either. The project is now seeing eCommerce developers embracing AMP, too.
What About Paid Ads on AMP?
There are also reports of very favourable statistics for ads on AMP pages, compared to non-AMP pages. For example, they are seeing higher click-through-rates (CTR) and effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPMs). Though this is still early days, if you’re running display network campaigns it is certainly something to consider and have on the radar.
We will continue to see updates and improvements for this project. In the meantime, we would recommend exploring how you can use AMP to ensure your content is being found by your mobile audience, and delivering it to them quickly and effectively.
AMP is easy to implement, particularly if you are using WordPress, as it’s simply a case of installing and activating a plugin. But if you’re not using WordPress, now is the time to speak to your front-end developer in order to create AMP versions of your content.
- Here’s the AMP project website which has lots of further reading
- Need help checking your AMP pages? Here’s a handy AMP validator and also a Chrome extension validator
- Want to see all of the technical requirements? Find them here
- A very detailed post about everything AMP related
- AMP plugins for WordPress & Joomla
- If you need to hard-code your AMP pages rather than use a plugin, here’s a step-by-step guide
- Google’s Search Guidelines for AMP pages