Google AMP – The Changing Face of Mobile SEO

Around 68% of US adults use a smartphone to access the internet. In spite of such a fast expanding access to mobile internet, mobile SEO has remained comparatively traditional.
Speed is important for any online business, small or large. It has been observed that, mobile users are more impatient as compared to desktop users. According to a study done by Google, 40% of users leave websites that have loading time more than 3 seconds, and an average mobile page loads in 8 seconds. Thus, companies from all parts of the world are eager to enhance the responsiveness as well as the functionality of their mobile websites.
Google AMP

(Image via Arcalea)

In order to make the mobile web more mobile-friendly, Google, along with platforms, content creators, and publishers, developed the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project. AMP pages have very less loading time and are four times faster than a regular web page. This greatly enhances mobile user experience. This is one of the major advantages of AMP, and perhaps the major impact that it will have on mobile SEO.
Since the launch of Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm update, Google AMP is a big news. Mobilegeddon was an important update in mobile SEO, which affected a number of mobile websites and impacted page’s search rankings on mobile devices and pages in all languages. This update was one of the major updates to have a huge level of impact on the mobile user experience and the functionality of mobile pages as well.
Advantages of AMP:

  • Helps to complete an online order faster, thus making future purchases easier
  • Improves loyalty and brand awareness by allowing users to consume more content
  • Helps to connect with audience through micro-moments
  • Encouraging users to view more content, resulting in higher effective cost per mille (eCPM) and ad loads.

Does AMP Affect Mobile Search Rankings?
One of the biggest and most common question on every SEO and marketer’s mind is how does AMP affects mobile search rankings. Though Google has yet to state to what point it will affect rankings, John Mueller, who is Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google, affirmed that AMP is yet not a ranking factor. But, seeing that page speed and load time are at present main ranking factors, we can presume that AMP possibly will be featured in Google’s mobile update later on in this month.
Should You Implement AMP?
So, here is the most asked question – Should I implement AMP or not? AMP is still quite fresh and it needs some work to be implemented in a proper way. The execution phase could require resources, perhaps need a developer, and does not work very well within several existing content management systems. Thus, websites, businesses, and content types may have a different timeline to advance in the AMP direction.
Sooner or later, Google will favour AMP sites over other sites in search results. That will be taken as a boon for search engine optimizers who now have an entirely new set of recommendations to make to their clients. This is completely consistent with Google’s earlier policies of favoring websites that load fast.