Accelerated Mobile pages became a thing last October.
Last fall I talked about AMP’s and how they’re pretty awesome, but maybe not quite ready for practical use on regular webpages just yet.
Coming into this year, I discussed how I thought AMP’s and site speed in general were going to be a significant focus of Google in 2016. I don’t think that I was wrong.
Since then, AMP’s have been in the industry-news quite often, and there have been some tremendous strides on the project:
- Jan 20, 2016: Google Search Console Adds AMP Error Report
- Feb 23, 2016: Live: Google Launches AMP Listings In Mobile Search Results, For Some
- Feb 24, 2016: Google’s AMP Top Stories Now Live In Mobile Search Results
- Feb 26, 2016: Google: AMP Not Yet A Search Ranking Signal
- Mar 30, 2016: Google AMP results carousel live in 12 countries
- May 4, 2016: Google updates the AMP report in the Google Search Console
- May 18, 2016: Google adds the ability to see how people find your AMP pages in Google Search Analytics reporting
- May 19, 2016: Google AMP has reached 125 million documents & is expanding to apps & recipe pages
- May 27, 2016: Google App for iOS gets AMP content & sports highlights in Now cards
- Jul 4, 2016: eBay goes AMP, sign it might break out past news?
- Aug 2, 2016: AMP breaks out of news into the main Google search results
- Aug 3, 2016: AMP pages no longer need structured data to be valid in Google Search Console
- Aug 9, 2016: Google Search Console sending AMP notifications to encourage adoption
- Aug 16, 2016: Google showing the site owner AMP implementation error warnings in search results
If you’re counting at home, that’s roughly 14 news-related articles from one of the industry’s leading sources of SEO material in only 8 months. While I can’t be 100% certain, that fact likely makes AMP’s one of the most heavily-covered and fast-moving initiatives this year.
Where Are AMP’s headed?
Well, if you believe what Google is saying, AMP’s are not going to be just a blip on the radar.
In an interview conducted by Danny Sullivan with Gary Illyes of Google at SMX Advanced in June, he said the following:
Pay attention to AMP. It’s going to be really big. Figure out with your developers how to implement it.
I for one tend to take him at his word and predict that AMP’s, which are a “nice to have” at this point, will become a table stakes strategy in the future.
At some point, Accelerated Mobile Pages won’t be just for content/articles pages and will be made more applicable for traditional webpages as well. eBay has already been testing in this space and now that a major brand has put their toes in the water, I’d wager to say other large non-news sites will as well.
Additionally, I tend to believe that at some point in the future AMP’s will be featured more heavily in SERP’s in terms of visual display as well as through enhanced rankings.
Google has already made strides in how they visually display AMP’s in traditional SERP’s. While AMP’s are not yet a ranking signal, site speed is, and it’s probably only a matter of time before AMP becomes a part of that given how hard it’s being pushed.
Why Do AMP’s represent a significant opportunity for SEO?
Bill Slawski wrote a great article yesterday entitled “Meeting the Demands of a Faster Mobile-Based Web.”
He lays out how Apple was granted a patent yesterday on Accelerated Mobile Pages and details how the industry in general (ex: Facebook with Instant Articles) is trending towards a focus on mobile user-experience and specifically the importance of speed to that experience in light of rising mobile adoption.
Speed is something that in my experience most sites do poorly, especially on mobile devices.
However, no pun intended, but it’s quickly becoming something that brands and websites can no longer ignore.
And it’s not just for SEO, or just for mobile devices. Site speed affects all channels across all devices. Poor site speed generally equals fewer happy visitors and thus, fewer conversions.
Did you know:
- A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. [KissMetrics]
- If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. [KissMetrics]
- Case Study (Walmart): For every 1 second of improvement WalMart.com experienced up to a 2% increase in conversions. [WebPerformanceToday.com]
- Case Study (Walmart): For every 100 ms of improvement, they grew incremental revenue by up to 1%, and correlated heavily with improved SEO performance. [WebPerformanceToday.com]
This represents a significant opportunity to garner more revenue across all channels, including SEO.
Additionally, in the near-term, it represents an opportunity to outperform most competitors (since most sites do it poorly) from both a conversion and potentially an SEO ranking standpoint.
Are AMP’s ready for use on non-article webpages?
Google is certainly encouraging users to test them, and eBay has already gone out on the limb to test as well.
In fact, if I had to choose which to do today, I’d focus more on improving site speed on traditional pages over implementing AMP, but AMP’s should certainly be in the discussion as a near-term SEO roadmap initiative.
As Google said, it’s going to be big, and I tend to believe them!
As an SEO, you’re probably not doing your clients justice if you’re not steering them towards improving site speed and planning for AMP’s long-term.
Note: I’d encourage everyone to read the section on AMPProject.org detailing how AMP speeds up performance and follow https://amphtml.wordpress.com for updates.
What do you think?
Image credit: AMProject.org