Apparently, no more than a week ago, when browsing Google News from a mobile device, just about 30% of the results were AMP. But, on January 29, AMP results increased up to 70%.

Is this event marking the beginning of a new trend for SEO? It’s probably too early to tell, but it’s better to be ready.

What is AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)?

First announced by Google in October 2015, AMP basically translates to web pages stripped down of most of the “eye-candy” that makes them heavy, slow to load.

In an increasingly mobile-oriented world, page loading speed is more important every day.

So, the AMP Project‘s main purpose is to make mobile content available as fast as possible. It has been shown that about 40% of Mobile users leave a web page if its loading time is more than 3 seconds.

You can see that this is bad both for the user, who won’t see your content, and for you, because you will have lost a potential meaningful visit.

Test AMP search results with the demo provided by Google itself. Visit from your mobile device.

If you talk to publishers about this, you will probably get them interested!

What is the difference between AMP and mobile-friendly pages?

If you are one of our customers, you already know how much we are focusing on building mobile-friendly websites. Then, you may be wondering: is AMP different?

A quick example, took from this article on the BBC News website (AMP version here).

Responsive vs AMP example

The one on the left, is an example of non-AMP responsive design. You can see the header, the menu, the search box and other elements appearing.

On the right, instead, there is the AMP version of the same page, stripped down to mostly the actual images and content.

Even if AMP are indeed mobile-friendly pages, their difference lies in the amount of code used in the page itself.

A non-AMP mobile friendly page will most likely have code that makes animations, scrolling effects and popups appear on the screen. AMP pages get rid of that, without compromising the actual content: images, videos and text are left untouched.

Quoting Google itself: “We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously”. So, it is worth noting that AMP does not necessarily mean no Ads.

AMP and non-AMP version of the same page can currently co-exist without causing Duplicate Content issues. Make sure that the AMP versions your pages have a rel=canonical tag that links to the non-AMP ones.

Is AMP going to be used as a Ranking Signal?

Again, it’s probably early to tell. It’s worth mentioning that back in February 2016, in a Google Webmaster Central Hangout, John Mueller said that AMP was not yet a Ranking Signal.

Still, considering the sudden growth of AMP results in Google News, and the fact that Google has been placing mobile experience first for a long time now, then it’s easy to imagine that it could happen. We’ll stay on the watch for any change.

Also, Search Engine Journal collected insights from SEO professionals around the world, some of which are keeping their eyes on what kind of importance Google may give to AMP in 2017.

What it is sure is that AMP is great for SEO in general. If you build AMP pages, you will basically build:

Mobile-friendliness, Page Speed and User Experience are indeed Ranking Signals!

Also, with AMP in mind, you may end up writing better content, since you would have to pay far less attention about the layout.

How to setup AMP pages (on WordPress)

If your website is built using WordPress as a CMS, then to setup a basic AMP on your website we suggest you to install two plugins: AMP by Automattic and AMP for WP by Ahmed and Mohammed Kaludi.

Once you installed them, you can access to them under the same panel, located in Dashboard > AMP

AMP WordPress Plugin Dashboard

From this page, you can help yourself through the provided links to learn how to setup AMP properly.

Be sure to always have the latest WordPress version installed and also always perform a backup of your website before installing plugins.

How to setup AMP pages (on non-WordPress websites)

If you are not using WordPress, the best place to get started is the Guide provided by the AMP Project itself.

Need help to setup AMP for your website?

If you don’t have time to setup AMP on your own, or just need some help, contact us: Handyweb can help!

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