Does AMP Affect SEO?

seo amp does it help improve or affect performance

Last Updated on 27 October 2020 by Lukasz Zelezny

SEO Guide for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Now you can listen transcript of this article

Google is known to launch new updates every day. In this fast-growing internet world, bloggers, content creators, and others need to optimize their mobile pages. Mobile devices gather a significant percentage of Google’s web traffic.

So, by optimizing your site for mobile users, you are opening to a diverse audience. One downside that many sites owners experience is the webpages have a long load time on mobile, thus diminishing the user’s experience.

Does AMP affect SEO?

AMP makes pages loading faster. There are multiple other benefits to having AMP-rendered pages like:

  • Enhances User Experience
  • Improved Server Performance
  • AMP Only Search Features
  • AMP Lightning Icon
  • Increased Conversion Rate
  • GDPR Compliance

So, what is the solution?

AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages – is an open source framework that was introduced by Google And Twitter to make super-fast mobile pages. It is important to optimize your web pages for mobile users as they are now spending the majority of time browsing the web either on their smartphone or on the tablet. So, if the mobile browser pages do not load quickly it can discourage the user and you may lose your potential customer.

According to data by KISSmetrics, a one second delay in web page speed can decrease conversions by 7 percent and if it takes more than 3 seconds for a web page to load, 40 percent of users will abandon the page.

AMP is a perfect solution to all the above problems and should become part of your mobile content strategy. Now, with google introducing mobile-first indexing, AMP has become a vital part of SEO. This article will explain in detail what is AMP, why and how it developed, how it works, is amp important for SEO, benefits, what is AMP for SEO and how you can make AMP work on your website.

What is AMP in SEO?

AMP is an open-source framework that was originally created by Google on October 7, 2015. The Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Project was created as a response to Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News.

The idea behind the AMP project was that Google wants the same algorithm and code to work across multiple platforms and devices, whether its phone, tablet or any other mobile device that people are using. Since the outset of AMP, numerous international news portals have been involved with this project.

The Guardian (UK), The Washington Post and Buzzfeed (US), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Die Zeit (Germany), and El Pais (Spain) are some of the first websites implementing SEO AMP. Twitter and LinkedIn have also been involved in the AMP as the technology partners.

In simple terms, AMP is basically a stripped-down HTML page which restricts features from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

When you integrate AMP to your pages, you are putting speed and readability as your top priority over anything else because of which AMP forces you to use a streamlined version of CSS and Javasrcript is not allowed at all instead of which it provides you with an off-the-shelf Javascript library. AMP pages do not have a lot of stuff for a more complex user experience Google AMP is available for everyone to use and can find the HTML source code on their GitHub page.

Today, almost every large online portal is using AMP in SEO. They have recognized the great advantages of quick loading of mobile websites. With the help of the right codes and plugins, you can also use AMP for your website.

When to use AMP?

The AMP framework often forces digital marketers to ask themselves “When should l use AMP” or “Do AMP pages convert better than non-AMP pages?”. Mentioned below are some common cases where AMP is used.

  1. When mobile devices are the major source of your traffic – Over the period of 10 years (2009-2018), as per the data collected by Statcounter, the market share of mobile users have increased to 54% whereas the share of desktop users declined to 46.If the majority of your website’s traffic comes from mobile, then catering to the needs of the mobile web users is more important than ever before. The AMP project was created because of shifting patterns of users from desktop to mobiles. AMP is perfect to optimize mobile-first strategy and amp in SEO help in attracting and retaining mobile traffic with better page performance.So, AMP must be on your radar to enhance user experience and to stay ahead of the competition in the market.
  2. To increase your page load speed – Primary goal of AMP framework is to improve mobile page load speed. Websites that have AMP enabled, load almost in just tenths of the second whereas normal pages take on an average 22 seconds to load.
  3. When your bounce rate is high – According to digital marketing experts, you only have 3 seconds to capture the interest of the visitors who clicked in the link to visit your website. If your page takes more than 3 seconds to load, as much as 53% of visitors will bounce from the page and 79% will abandon the site.AMP is crucial for a website because an increase in page load speed improves overall usability and engagement, which eventually convinces users to be on your website longer.

Integrating the AMP Plugin

To input the AMP plugin, you have to select an alternative format for all your webpages. The selected format should align with the specifications of your AMP standard. This shows that you are AMP-optimized, and non-AMP still exists together with the non-optimized versions.

This AMP plugin interferes with the HTML code tag manager and eliminates any aspects that might cause slow loading. Note that if some of your pages are inclusive of JavaScript, it will not be rendered to one of your AMPs.

The AMP requirements are documented very well and easy to access but might require some development resources to implement.

Fortunately enough, AMP extensions for reputable Content Management Systems, for instance, WordPress are all over, hence AMP plugin implementation is made quick and easy. With these extensions, you can include some videos onto your page.

During the implementation, it is vital to maintain specifications and ensure the AMP-rendered pages are validated before publishing. After finishing the publishing process, it is wise to run the pages through the Google AMP testing tool.

Furthermore, ensure your site has a Google Search Console verification. Now, you can receive Google’s feedback upon your AMP integration.

With AMP-rendered pages, forms are not accepted. Distinguish your regular sites from the AMP-optimized ones for search engine convenience.

The custom fonts should be specially loaded to create a better user experience. To avoid funny-looking photos on your page, you should state the required height and state. When installing the AMP plugin, the key factors are readability, speed, and not share-ability.

Besides, most share buttons are created by JavaScript, hence and not all might display correctly.

Integrating AMP to your WordPress site can be done in just 5 minutes. All you need to do is follow the few simple steps mentioned below:

  • Start by installing the AMP WordPress Plugin by Automattic
  • Now, activate the plugin. What it will do is append amp to all your pages, but it will not redirect mobile visitors to your amp pages.
  • After installing the plugin, the next step is editing your .htaccess file by using any FTP program.
  • Now, you can check if your AMP pages are working by pasting the code mentioned below in your .htaccess file.
RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/amp$ [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} (android|blackberry|googlebot-mobile|iemobile|iphone|ipod|#opera mobile|palmos|webos) [NC]

RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9-]+)([/]*)$ https://yourdomain.com/$1/amp [L,R=302]

Lastly, you must edit the CSS to make your AMP pages look and feel like your site. You can make the change in the CSS using FTP by going to your wp-content -> plugins -> amp -> template.php

 According to Tom Anthony and Will Critchlow of British Whiteboard Friday, there is a defined explanation of how the AMP plugin can work and how to make your mobile pages AMP-optimized.

How Important is AMP for SEO?

Various players, such as marketers, and webmasters, set out to analyze this matter. Their research shows that AMP has a significant impact on a website’s mobile search engine ranking.

To sum it up, unlike non-AMP websites, the AMP-optimized ones score better rankings and efficiently attract and convert leads from new customers.  

Pros and Cons of AMP

Pros of AMPs in SEO

One fact is that there’s a strong correlation between page views, loading speed, and mobile search engine rankings.

  • Enhances User Experience – Having a fast-loading page is the secret to capturing massive mobile traffic. Content is essential, but if the visitors cannot access it, it is useless.
  • Improved Server Performance – AMP can reduce stress on the server if your websites receive lots of traffic from mobile devices.
  • AMP Only Search Features – Google search result reserve places for AMP only pages and is now displaying results in organic listing symbols.This enhanced browser visibility is especially perfect for content marketers. News publishers can deliver articles using AMP, that will grant access to the carousel of news stories that is placed on the top of Google mobile search results.
  • AMP Lightning Icon – In the SERPS, pages that are using AMP have a lightning icon next to their title. It is believed that this will help to increase the clickthrough rate of pages as visitors will prefer AMP pages over the standard results knowing that it will provide a more enhanced user experience.
  • Increased Conversion Rate – According to a report released by Akamai Technologies in 2017, it was claimed that a 100 millisecond delay in load time could reduce the conversion rates by 7%. Although there is no direct SEO benefit, there are no digital marketers that do not want to gain an advantage in converting visitors to customers.
  • GDPR(The General Data Protection Regulation) Compliance – Complying with European law is a nightmare for every digital marketer. Although this benefit is also not directly related to the SEO of a website, it is worth mentioning.The new component in AMP enables publishers to implement controls that capture user’s decisions and make user’s settings available to the AMP page so as to modify the page’s behavior as a result.
  • Improved SEO Rankings – There is a robust correlation between conversion rate and speed. A lot is expected from AMP, but Google is yet to make it a ranking factor.

Cons of AMPs in SEO

  • Limited Functionality – The AMP integration guidelines are too strict. For this reason, it is hard to achieve all the functionality of a regular site. This factor limits especially constrained high-functionality websites, for example, eCommerce; hence AMP is not recommendable for such sites.
  • Hard to Track – SEO AMP pages are hard to track as the platform does not automatically work with analytics tools like google analytics. Not being able to track is one of the biggest hindrances to an SEO campaign.Although it is possible to track your AMP pages using Google Analytics, for which google even has provided developer guidance. But the whole process is tedious, and many marketers are not aware that they need to do that separately and suffer a drop in website traffic upon implementing AMP.
  • Google Is in Much Control – With AMP, you are limiting yourself to when and how you will showcase your content. In such a case, Google will probably prefer to serve their interests first, which might not go well with most site owners.
  • Limiting Ads – A considerable number of sites generate revenue from the ads. Currently, AMP only offers limited support for ad displays.

AMP Is Not All!

If you invest so much on Google, then you should include SEO AMP into your mobile content strategy. The AMP is a sign that Google focuses on its users and employees. Google is taking a closer look at search engine optimization users, and it is about time you also did. AMP makes your webpage load faster, but does AMP help with SEO?

Having an AMP-optimized site is a plus, not a guarantee to being successful with Google. Having eye-catchy, relevant, and comprehensive content is the key to score those high Google rankings and generate leads.

In conclusion, Mobile traffic makes up more than 50% of the world’s total web traffic. Accelerated Mobile Pages are an excellent way to capture this vast audience.

 

What Are Google AMP Pages?

To make the digital market better for publishers, Google introduced the AMP project on Feb. 24, 2016. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an initiative to improve the user's mobile browser experience. Google wants to make pages easy for developers to implement, permit monetization, and embrace the open web. This project aimed to improve the performance of web pages dramatically for the benefits of the publishers. When an AMP page is accessible, it can be featured on mobile search as part of rich results and carousels.

An open-source approach is adopted by the AMP project, which allows publishers to produce top-notch content with the added benefit of shared components for improved performance. Publishers want people to relish the great journalism they create everywhere, so stories or content produced in Italy can be loaded in an instant across the globe in, say, India. That means distribution across all kinds of devices and platforms is vital, but that too, with instant loading time. Google AMP integrates with the website's many channels, like Search, AMP Cache, and Analytics. Also, if you are able to assimilate with Google's channels, you can monetize the AMP HTML framework with Google's ad suite (Ads, AdSense, and Ad Manager). Ads help create fund free services and content on the web. A comprehensive range of Ad networks, formats, and technologies is supported by Google AMP. To maintain optimal user experience, sites that use AMP HTML would be able to retain their selection of Ad networks and formats. What’s AMP? AMP is an initiative by Google to improve web page browsing and intended to help webpages load faster. Page Speed became a ranking factor for mobile pages in July of 2018, and AMP was launched to satisfy the website's need for speed. AMP promises to form mobile browsing up to 85% faster.

AMP makes all elements of a web page load at the same time. This varies from a non-AMP web page feature of assets loading one by one. AMP pages don't permit any custom JavaScript that could interrupt that simultaneous loading time. AMP utilizes iFrames, which doesn't inhibit the main page from rendering and only allows asynchronous JavaScript. AMP might have some JavaScript in the background, but they are designed very cautiously to make sure they don't make the performance slow. Through a mixture of optimizations and restrictions for HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, AMP pages load quite rapidly. In place of author-written JavaScript, AMP-specific elements ensure speed and compatibility both. The increase in page speed has resulted from above-the-fold prioritization, specific AMP caches, and pre-rendering. Also, the use of small files and media and a few resource requests from the server adds further speed improvements.

In AMP, all external images or site frames must state their size in the HTML, so the browser sees how much it will be loaded before the download begins. This allows AMP to load all of the page content without having to wait for other resources to download. This is called "static layouting" and is a critical element of AMP. Who Would Be Benefited The Most With AMP? AMP will benefit the publishers the most. Since it is designed to optimize the web page’s speed, publishers can draw benefits from AMP in several ways.

Monetization
Google is investigating with the integration of tools that will allow publishers to find new potential subscribers and enhance articles in search that were previously penalized due to being behind paywalls. This would be a powerful decision that allows publishers to explore new revenue streams when traditional ad revenues may be wavering for some publishers. Another way distributer adapts is by the use of Ads. AMP likewise attempts to help the scope of advertisement organizations, arrangements, and advances. The objective is to convey quick promotions while permitting the substance to look great and catch the watcher's eye. This should assist sponsors with expanding their impact and improve ROI on advertisement spend.

Expanded percievability for Publishers Indexed lists will plainly show AMP images in green. The consideration of these images could see navigate rates improve for these pages as query items won't just stand apart more yet clients will begin to search for AMP pages as they look for faster stacking occasions.

What's more, Google SERPs have additionally begun to show AMP content inside visually dominating carousels that incorporate large pictures. This will normally draw the client's consideration, and any substance inside these merry go rounds ought to get a critical lift in rush hour gridlock for the hunt terms pointed out alongside the substance present on the AMP page.

How does Google AMP affect SEO?

Google AMP can affect SEO positively and negatively, as well. It can work as a companion with SEO, and it can hinder SEO too. AMP can help SEO with the help of its speed-boosting element, which is what makes AMP special. This feature can amplify the features of SEO if used correctly. Server performance is also upgraded through using AMP. If you receive a lot of traffic from mobile devices to your website, AMP pages can decrease your servers’ strain. AMP Stories was announced in early 2018 to generate more engagement with users. Google Google's AMP Stores are a content format designed to provide publishers with new storytelling choices. The format is a swipeable, image-rich experience that delivers content swiftly in bite-sized chunks. Although not as widely utilized as initially thought, AMP Stories have the potential to increase search engine visibility with early examples from Google showing the Stories directly in the SERPs.

While AMP is not a direct search engine factor, speed is. Speed is an important element of search engine ranking. As a result, AMP will impact SEO majorly if your website is not up to the standard when it comes to speed. When it comes to SEO, for example, there is a possibility for two sites to rank similarly. However, the one with the most speed would obtain precedence. This is an example of how speed might affect SEO rankings. Concisely speaking, AMP is all about boosting speed and making the content of all formats readily accessible for the user to engage with rapidly.

How Important is AMP for SEO?

AMP is important for SEO because instead of demanding your group to figure out your page’s specialized elements, it endorses your content through a current page setting that is meant to build speed and reduce stacking time on smartphones. Every article will be looked through the lens of a stripped-down HTML standard page, promptly accessible to users in a circular arrangement, clearly included at the highest point of most versatile search pages.

While AMP pages advance the responsive user experience, it can likewise be a great advantage for your overall marketing and SEO strategy. The most important reason for using AMP content as an SEO help is because these pages will appear on the Google News Carousels.

Taking that into account, being included as an AMP page suggests more consideration over the search engine. You can be certain that as an ever-increasing number of organizations join in to allocate their content digitally, the more vital it will be for you to be on the AMP arrange to become more visible.

Stacking time is a vital point in affecting anyone's SERP positioning. Apart from it, your ordinary smartphone user won't wait for more than six seconds for a page to stack. As a result, what you need is a page that takes hardly 1-2 seconds to load. Note that the higher you will rank, the more visible your content will become. Not only will it speed up your visitors’ remaining on your page for more but also help in lessening your overall bounce rate.