The recent announcement by Google, regarding the display of AMP pages in their standard searches, has given rise to various questions as to how this change would impact SEO. Google already displays AMP pages in its Top Stories section, so that mobile users may quickly access news articles on the go. This expansion will allow the tablet and smartphone users to have an all round smoother browsing experience because AMP pages tend to load approximately 4 times faster than mobile optimized web pages. There are various speculations regarding whether creating an AMP version of a website will boost its SEO rankings, here are some important insights on the subject:
What Is AMP?
Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is an open source coding standard that allows website publishers to create a lightweight version of their web pages. These stripped down AMP pages not only load much faster than the regular desktop and mobile optimized variants but also use approximately 8 times lesser data. This makes AMP pages way more suitable when the users are accessing the internet on mobile devices, or in the case of slow internet connections. This is why renowned platforms such as Twitter, WordPress, and Google support AMP, to cater to the requirements of their mobile users. In 2016, Google started displaying AMP pages in its Top Stories section but the expansion to its general search results will definitely bring AMP pages to the forefront.
Are There Any SEO Benefits Of AMP?
As per official reports, Google has stated that an AMP version of the website will not help in boosting the rank of the page; however, SEO consultants believe that there are certain hidden benefits of switching to AMP. If a website is largely viewed on mobile devices, then introducing an AMP version will reduce the bounce rate. Moreover, 40 percent of the users are known to click away if a web page does not load within 3 seconds. If your competitors create an AMP page and you don’t, chances are that users will prefer to visit these faster loading sites and you may notice a hit in the traffic generated by your website. Therefore, if your website relies on the traffic comprising of mobile users, you may notice some benefits of switching to AMP.
Is It Worth Making The Switch To AMP?
Although there are some predicted benefits of switching to AMP, whether or not they apply to your website depends on the nature of the content. If customers identify your website with its excellent graphics and design, then perhaps the move to AMP might not be a smart one. AMP essentially strips down the content and may negatively impact the look and feel of the web pages, thereby ruining the customer experience. On the other hand, if your website publishes a lot of text content, and is primarily known for its articles, then switching to AMP will most probably reduce your bounce rate on mobile devices. Businesses that focus on creativity and stunning visual effects may not benefit as much from the switch as websites that publish news articles, technical content etc.
Depending on the target audience for your website, and the desired visual impact that you wish to create, AMP pages may or not provide you with better SEO rankings. If a lot of users access your website on smartphones and tablets, and if you are satisfied with the lightweight design, then chances are that switching to AMP might be beneficial for you from an SEO perspective.