Google has been pushing mobile friendly websites in search for several years now, and last year it started to show signs of some favouritism to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). The latest news from America is that Google is now starting to push AMP harder in the organic search results, and this can only mean one thing – Google’s early tests have proven that AMP is good for users, so Google is now encouraging webmasters to adopt it to ensure that they don’t lag behind.
WHAT IS AMP?
Many people oppose AMP, because they feel that it could mark an end to “web design” as we know it, with all websites becoming bland platforms designed to operate on mobile. But, there is no doubt that Internet usage is now firmly centred on mobile devices, and desktop computers are in massive decline, with much of the younger generation choosing to only use mobiles and tablets.
GOOGLE’S LATEST AMP UPDATE
Google first started showing AMP information pages within a separate carousel on mobile search, but the Google Webmasters Central Blog reported earlier this month that Google will start to show AMP pages across the mobile search results.
A date has not been given yet, but the full integration of AMP sites into the standard mobile search is expected very soon, and Google has launched a test site to allow you to see what it looks like. This could be a came changer in corporate SEO, as business sites are increasingly being accessed over mobile.
When searching, Google Search will display a small lightning symbol next to sites that provide an AMP version. Once users are familiar with AMP results, it is highly likely that people will start to click on these results rather than standard HTML pages, simply because it guarantees faster loading pages with greatly reduced bandwidth costs.
DO WE NEED AMP?
For anybody with a good smartphone and a 3G/4G mobile Internet service, AMP may seem a little late. Seven years ago it would have been extremely useful, but today, good responsible mobile pages load very quickly, so how useful is it?
Well, from our tests, we can say that AMP is important. In recent years the quality of web content has increased and many sites provides long and detailed information. However, such pages are often overburdened with bloated code, adverts, large images and other features that do slow them down – some pages still take in excess of 20 seconds to fully load over 3G. AMP means that the pages will load quickly, even when they contain several thousand words, and this means that longer articles may start to become more appealing to mobile users.
TIME TO UPGRADE TO AMP?
Last year, we felt that AMP was just a gimmick, but with this change, there is a now a very strong case for including AMP on your site. Whether you are writing a blog, have a business website with product and service pages, or running a busy digital magazine, it is likely that you will need AMP if you wish to achieve optimal performance in Google Search.
For advice on adding AMP to your current website, contact FSE Digital today – we’ll carry out an SEO audit for your site to determine the best way to improve your search positions before determining if you need AMP.