Staying current with the latest search engine updates is the only way to survive in the constantly changing world of SEO and SEM. And late in 2015, Google released news that accelerated mobile pages would become a ranking signal that, in part, determine a website’s overall ranking in the SERPs. However, there are many benefits of AMP’s past the immediate SEO value. Internet users all around the world want instant gratification, and your website needs to respond and deliver information as fast as technologically possible. Let’s take a closer look at what AMP’s are, how they work, and what they do.
Why Are AMPs So Important?
As we all know, smartphones and mobile devices typically don’t have Internet connections with the large amount of raw bandwidth that most of our laptops and desktop computers have. As such, it can take much longer for a page to load on a smartphone than it would on a desktop computer. Unfortunately, slow load times are a nuisance that can drive masses of traffic away from your website and cause your bounce rate to increase dramatically.
These days, Google is receiving a larger percentage of queries from mobile devices than ever before. In order to accommodate the vast oceans of users who access websites from their mobile devices, your website should already accommodate mobile users. However, there is a new, exciting way to significantly increase page load times on mobile devices – enter accelerated mobile pages.
They were first introduced back in October of 2015, and they’re essentially a way that developers can ensure that their websites load more quickly on mobile devices.
Are AMPs a Current Ranking Factor?
AMPs are not currently a ranking signal, but that will likely change in the near future. Instead of twiddling your thumbs until they do become a ranking signal, prudent web developers and administrators should do everything in their power to update their sites. It’s just a necessary evil of staying current, and there are ancillary benefits, as well (as we’ll discuss next).
Every new update to the Google algorithm provides an opportunity to outperform the competition. Too many websites are behind the times, though, struggling to keep up with the latest changes. To better prepare for the future, it is advisable to implement AMPs so that as soon as they go live as a ranking signal, your website will be miles ahead of your competitors. Remember the dastardly Penguin updates that turned the SEO world upside down overnight? The lesson to be learned from that update is that you need to do everything in your power to align your SEO strategy with Google’s plans for the future.
While we don’t expect AMPs to massively disrupt current website rankings any time soon, but you can bet money that there are going to be winners and losers when all is said and done. Which would you rather be?
If They Don’t Count for SEO Value Yet, Can I Ignore Them?
A lot of people seem to think that they only value from new developments in search engines only derives from increased SEO value. This line of thinking causes many people to miss opportunities that could put them one step ahead of the competition. The honest truth is that there are two reasons SEOs and website developers should be interested in AMPs.
The first reason is that they improve the user experience. Anyone who has tracked Google’s updates to their search engine algorithm over the years understands that the overarching goal of Google is to constantly improve and refine their users’ experience. As such, it should be your organization’s goal as well. Faster page load times may not seem like a big deal, but they are a critical component of modern, streamlined, and efficient websites. After all, haven’t you ever closed a webpage that was so slow (usually because of spammy ads and poor design) that it left your head pounding and your blood boiling?
Secondly, there is the SEO value to consider as well. Even though it’s true that SEOs don’t understand exactly how heavily each ranking factor is weighted, you can be darn sure that you need to take advantage of every single ranking factor possible to gain an edge over the competition.
How Do I Set Up My Site for AMP?
If you're using WordPress, I highly recommend you get the free AMP plugin from Automattic - the company that builds WordPress. It's a quick and seamless installation. We've already installed it for all of our clients.
Keeping your website up to date is imperative to any online marketing strategy. There’s just one problem. Most businesses are too busy with their day to day activities, the operation of their business, and trying to grow their company to be concerned with every facet of SEO. If this holds true for your business, it would be highly advantageous to reach out to a qualified and experienced SEO and online marketing professional. Not only can they save you boatloads of time so you can focus on running and growing your business, but they’ll also help you to see around corners so that your website is prepared for future changes.