Google is taking Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) beyond the “Top Stories” and into the main organic mobile search results. Today the company has announced a developer preview (g.co/ampdemo), with a general Google.com roll out to follow in the near future.
What this means is that mobile search users will soon start to content in search results with the AMP lightning bolt logo, indicating the content is available in the mobile format — comparable to “mobile friendly.”
I spoke with Google’s VP of Engineering David Besbris yesterday. He told me that AMP pages will not receive a ranking boost, though Google has suggested in the past load time and page speed are (or will become) mobile ranking factors. Besbris explained, however, that where there are two identical pages, one AMP and one mobile-friendly, Google will serve the AMP page.
In February, Google introduced AMP content into the Top Stories carousel in mobile results. Since AMP’s introduction last year, Besbris indicated that there are now more than 150 million AMP documents in Google’s index with roughly 4 million being added weekly.
Though it was initially adopted by news publishers, Google said that a wide range of non-news publishers have now embraced AMP, including eBay, Fandango, Reddit, Flipkart, TripAdvisor, Disney, Food Network and many others.
I asked Besbris about consumer response to AMP and whether there was any preference for AMP pages. He said it’s still early and explained that consumer awareness was “not well established.” Google is hoping to rectify that and expose more people to AMP and its benefits. Among those benefits are the following:
Google sees the open-source AMP initiative as a way to boost the mobile web (and search) and to deal with consumer objections to aspects of the mobile user experience, such as slow-loading pages and annoying ad formats. AMP competes with Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News; however it has expanded well beyond news into other categories including e-commerce.
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