Will AMP Be a Ranking Factor?

A large percentage of all search happens on mobile devices, but actually a pretty marginal portion of that activity actually happens on mobile browsers. With mobile apps offering a faster, more streamlined user experience that minimizes the intrusion of ads, people just don’t see the need to launch Google or Yahoo! or Bing on their iPhones and Androids. But the Internet, more specifically, search engine giants, are fighting to take back a lion’s share of mobile search traffic by providing a better user experience delivered by AMP, open-source standards for faster loading mobile web pages and ads.

What Is AMP?

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is a set of web development standards cooperatively created by Google, Twitter and WordPress that are available to all website developers so that web pages (including ads and images) consistently load faster.

AMP is a three-part framework that involves:

  • AMP HTML—standard hypertext markup language (HTML) with restrictions
  • AMP JS—Java Script framework to manage asynchronous page element loading that does not allow third-party Java Script handling.
  • AMP CDN—a content delivery network that caches AMPed pages

To those in the web development community, a set of open standards that promises to improve mobile performance and be rewarded by the search engine giants is an exciting development. Before AMP, developers face the unenviable task of selecting (or coding) a proprietary scheme or set of standards for mobile platform optimization that may or may not work and may or may not make any difference to mobile SEO.

Will AMP Affect SEO?

Google is placing an emphasis on mobile friendliness, so very likely, yes, AMP will soon become a clear ranking factor (to date, Google has made no announcement about such a change to its search algorithm). AMPed pages have been seen in mobile search results since early 2016, and conformity to AMP standards is likely going to affect SEO performance on any device in the near future.

How Do You Implement AMP?

You have two options when implementing AMP:

  1. Partial AMP

If your website is already fully-built, you may create select AMPed pages (essentially duplicates of existing pages that conform to AMP standards)

  1. AMP from the ground-up

If you are creating a website from scratch, you can build the entire website using AMP standards so that every page’s CSS conforms to AMP restrictions, every image is custom tagged, etc.

SonicSEO.com is already working on implementing AMP to our clients’ websites. If you would like an update about which pages have been selected for mobile enhancement and what AMP implementation means for you, please contact us.