Before Google rolled out a substantial AMP update in August 2016 it only had a limited reach, and it had absolutely no impact on SERPS. At the time, it was only showing in the “Top Stories” section – this was before Google rolled out the unique carousel they use now.
The August update changed things, however. After, AMP successfully showed up in organic search results, and today they are more widely visible.
Naturally, that means AMP is a pretty big deal for content marketers and creators. That’s why a lot of sites – including some of the biggest names in the business – are rolling out AMP for their channels.
You’d be forgiven for wondering why it matters, however. Namely, because Google has said multiple times that AMP will not be a contributing factor in SERPS. If it’s not going to help your ranking and bring in more traffic, why bother with it?
After reading this, you’ll understand that way thinking is only half right.
Mobile users are browsing from out in the world, so they want to get in and out quickly – meaning they need consistent performance.
AMP Has No Bearing on Conventional SERPS Traffic
AMP – or the Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative – is designed to improve browsing for users on mobile. See, the Google team kickstarted the project because they felt mobile pages were largely unoptimized and performed terribly. AMP cuts down on all the excess page elements to make pages load faster.
In fact, when you click on an AMP-enabled page in search results, it loads instantly on mobile. For all intents and purposes, it really does change the game.
So, it’s a slippery slope if you decide against adopting the new strategy. Why?
Although it doesn’t directly affect desktop traffic, nor does it improve search rankings, it can actually improve traffic across the board. How you ask? Because mobile users are quick to leave a site that performs badly. Nearly half of all web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they will leave if it takes longer than 3 seconds.
Not to mention, they’re browsing from out in the world, so when they visit a site on a mobile device they want to get in and out quickly – as quickly as possible.
By adopting AMP for your mobile users, you are providing them a fully optimized experience. In time, you’ll come to find that mobile users even prefer the new AMP style pages to traditional ones. That’s a big deal, and whether you like it or not, it can have a bearing on mobile traffic.
Is There a Penalty for Ignoring AMP?
Year on year mobile visitor traffic is on the rise for pretty much everyone right now. This is largely due to an increase in mobile usage, but it also has to do with the AMP adoption that Google has rolled out for SERPs.
You probably won’t see a huge impact on desktop traffic ratings or results, but if you don’t convert your mobile version to AMP soon, those numbers will eventually drop off.
Despite claiming that AMP has no bearing on search result listings, Google is pushing the new initiative in a big way. You could even say they’re cramming it down everyone’s throat, though let’s be honest, mobile has needed something like this for a long time. It should effectively normalize the space and make it a better more efficient experience for everyone.
To top it all off, if you don’t want to adopt AMP then really, you shouldn’t see any hits to your SEO rankings. That said, there’s no guarantee Google won’t flip-flop later and start factoring AMP results into SEO.
But there’s always the positive; your mobile traffic should get a nice little boost if and when you decide to implement it.
What are your thoughts on the Accelerated Mobile Pages project? Are there any creators out there who have a valid argument for not adopting this new initiative?