Why having AMP is vital if you want to be found on Google News for mobile
Think about how many Google searches you have made over the past seven days. It’s probably well into double figures at the very minimum, unless of course you are having a “detox” week away from all electronic devices. But in any given week in which you are fully connected to the web, Google has become an almost essential tool.
Now consider how many of those searches were done via mobile, as opposed to desktop. We’d be willing to bet that the majority were from your phone, rather than the computer. It is testament to how significant mobile is becoming, and as we enter 2017 the importance of functioning effectively on handheld devices is growing rapidly.
Google are now doing their bit to push for mobile-first, and recent measures have shown that in order to be relevant in future search results, it is imperative for websites to implement AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Without it, sites risk being left behind.
So what exactly is AMP?
Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source project that encourages web publishers to create mobile-optimised websites and content. The goal is forward the shift from desktop to mobile and put handheld devices at the forefront of new content.
With mobile becoming more dominant with every passing month, Google has identified that it needs to tap into this and so has sought to provide mobile users with the best possible experience. This includes pages on mobile loading instantly, rather than at a staggered pace that so often happens when a desktop-optimised page is loaded on a phone.
AMP slices off those costly extra seconds of waiting
The difference between AMP sites and those without can be huge; indeed the average loading time of content for those with is 0.7 seconds, compared to the 22 seconds of those that are not AMP-coded, according to SearchEngineLand. As Google’s own AMP Manager Rudy Galfi rightly points out, those 22 seconds are “the time it takes for you to leave the site and never come back.”
Google has been hinting at a shift towards mobile since 2015 and as well as looking to deliver mobile-first indexing, it has also changed its algorithms to prioritise mobile-friendly sites in its rankings.
You need AMP if you want to be noticed on Google
Gone are the days when strong content and the right kind of SEO management would be enough to ensure that you are found at the top of the results pages for relevant searches on Google News. It appears that it is now necessary to have AMP.
Indeed, a report issued by RankRanger in early 2017 found that AMP mobile results in Google News have more than doubled over the course of a single week. From these findings, it is clear that Google is now encouraging websites to use AMP and, in turn, is punishing those who don’t.
Being on the first results page can be make or break
We all know the importance of being one of the top search results. For such small margins, the impact can be huge, particularly for a website that may deal in what can be considered current topics and is looking to grow.
Frankly, not being on the first page of Google’s results almost means you have failed before you’ve even started. Whilst this may sound harsh, the statistics back it up. After all, websites on the first page of Google enjoy 91.5% of its traffic, whilst second and third pages struggle on 4.8% and 1.1% respectively.
Get on board before it’s too late
By being AMP-compatible, you are increasing your chances of making it on to the first page of results hugely. However, it is also important to get in on this now before it is too late. Google have dropped more than a few hints over the past couple of years that the direction they are looking to take is down the mobile path.
These hints have become less subtle recently, and the creation of mobile-first index is the clearest sign yet that mobile over desktop is the future. You don’t want to get left behind.
By getting one step ahead of the competition, you can ensure that you are well-placed and already set up for when Google starts to really put mobile at the forefront. Doing so after the event will leave you already lagging behind competitors, and in the cold and ruthless world of the internet, that could spell disaster.
Sites who take on a mindset of being “optimise for desktop”, rather than the previously more common “optimise for mobile”, are set to be the big winners of this.