Google: AMP will override app deep links for the foreseeable future

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At SMX East yesterday, Adam Greenberg, head of Global Product Partnerships at Google, gave a talk about AMP. He said during the question and answer time that AMP pages will override app deep links for the “foreseeable future.”

Last week, we covered how when Google began rolling out AMP to the core mobile results, Google quietly added to their changelog that AMP pages will trump app deep links. In short, that means when a user installs an app of a publisher, does a search on the mobile phone where the app resides and clicks on a link within the Google mobile results that could lead to the app opening up, instead, Google will show the AMP page — not the content within the app the user installed.

Google has made several large pushes with App Indexing through the years. These were incentives to get developers to add deep links and App Indexing to their apps — such as installing apps from the mobile results, app indexing support for iOS apps, a ranking boost for deploying app indexing, Google Search Console reporting and so much more.

But now, if your website has both deployed app indexing and AMP, your app indexing won’t be doing much for you to drive more visits to your native iOS or Android app.

Google told us they “have found that AMP helps us deliver” on a better user experience “because it is consistently fast and reliable.” Google added, “AMP uses 10x less data than a non-AMP page.” Google told us that “people really like AMP” and are “more likely to click on a result when it’s presented in AMP format versus non-AMP.”

Google also told us that they “support both approaches,” but “with AMP — and the ability to deliver a result on Google Search in a median time of less than a second — we know we can provide that reliable and consistently fast experience.”

Personally, as a publisher who has deployed virtually everything Google has asked developers to deploy — from specialized Google Custom Search features to authorship, app indexing, AMP, mobile-friendly, HTTPS and more — I find this a bit discouraging, to say the least.

I think if a user has downloaded the app, keeps the app on their device and consumes content within the app, that user would prefer seeing the content within the publisher’s app versus on a lightweight AMP page. But Google clearly disagrees with my personal opinion on this matter.

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