Staying Ahead with SEO: A Look at Google AMP

 
 

This is the first SEO topic I'm covering in 2017, so I thought it fitting to let you know of Google's new(ish) nugget that not many folks are taking advantage of yet:  Google AMP.  In this post, I'll go over what it is and what to expect in terms of SEO.

Google AMP

What is Google AMP?

google-amp-badge

Google AMP is an open source, mobile publishing format spearheaded by Google and it's purpose comes down to improving user experience.

It's well known that users typically leave a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. So Google wants to give their mobile users a FAST experience, instantaneous even.  With this format, it's accomplished by:

  • lightweight coding
  • caching

The Google AMP format basically strips your web page down to 'bare-bones'.  It's a little like going on the whole 30 diet - except for HTML.  Script limits, streamlined CSS, images are lazy-loaded.  

Below you'll see an example of a blog post in desktop view vs. Google AMP format.  You'll see in the Google AMP format, there is no navigation, no sidebar, no Instagram feed, no email form, no pop-ups (not that I have one on my site). It's basically, just the content of my blog post with my company name.   

Blog Post in Regular View
Blog post in Google AMP format

WHAT DOES GOOGLE AMP HAVE TO DO WITH SEO?

First announced in October 2015, it is has been pushed throughout 2016.  For news publishers, it's already been an SEO boost as Google AMP formats gets preferred treatment of the "Top Stories" image carousel results.  

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 3.20.51 PM.png

But what's in it for us?  As of Sept. 20, 2016 Google rolled out the AMP label to indicate which pages load as fast as possible.  But is it currently a ranking factor?

No.

We don't know if this a force to be reckoned with yet, but if you care about your SEO, you should definitely get your feet wet.  

Taking a look at Google AMP's roadmap gives us some pretty significant insight as to what's being prioritized and seeing e-commerce analytics and payments there makes me wonder when Shopify shop owners will be able to easily add AMP to their shops.

How can I tell if my website is AMP enabled?

Chrome AMP Validator

Chrome AMP Validator

The easiest way is to use the Chrome AMP Validator:  

Once the extension is enabled, if you visit any website you will see 1 of four statuses in your toolbar: 

Grey - This means you don't have an AMP format available.

Blue - This means there is an AMP format available.

Red - This means your AMP format has errors.

Green - This means your AMP format is valid.


In conclusion, I do think we will be seeing Google AMP ranking factors in the future so now is the time to prepare for it.  Remember, early adopters typically get the best boost!

Let me know if you have any questions on this,  and if you're ready to get started - start here:

For Wordpress users:  AMP for WP (plugin) 

For Squarespace users:  Using AMP with Squarespace