AMPs in a mobile-first world

By Agata Bowden | 04 Feb 2018

Mobile optimisation has been on our agenda for a long time now, and has been a hot topic since the first Mobilegeddon algorithm update in April 2015. Since then, Google has taken significant steps to improve mobile user experience (UX).

The growth of mobile-first

Last year, Google announced its mobile-first index, and in December started transitioning a small number of sites to it. But it's likely to be some time until the mobile-first index is rolled out in full  - in June 2017, Google's Gary Illyes stated that it'll probably take a few years before "we reach an index that is only mobile-first".

This means that if your site currently passes Google's official mobile friendly test, it shouldn't have any trouble ranking, although it's worth keeping in mind that this is a minimum standard requirement for mobile optimisation.

Getting started: Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)

You can go above and beyond basic mobile friendliness by converting your site to accelerated mobile pages (AMPs), which have been a topic of discussion in the SEO world for some time as they're garnering decent visibility within the search engine results pages (SERP). But we're not seeing as many of them as we might expect one year on since they were introduced. Having said that, following Google's recent announcement on a solution to the longstanding AMP cache URL display problem, and on the new AMP status reports in the search console, SEOs might be more encouraged to adopt them.

There's no doubt that AMPs have their merits, given that faster webpages generally improve bounce rate and lead to higher conversion rates and dwell time. So, 'AMPing' your webpages in a world that's hungry for instant, easily available information is worth considering.

Plus AMP articles are favoured by Google, and even have their own top stories carousel at the top of organic searches to encourage more publishers to use AMP. This amounts to increased SERP real estate for high ranking webpages and can dramatically increase organic search click-through rate (CTR).

There's been a lot of speculation - and not just between SEOs - with regards to the increased role AMPs are going to play in the upcoming switch to Google's mobile-first algorithm. While some see it as a minor ranking signal, others believe that Google's recent announcements only prove that AMPs are high on its agenda (and so should be on ours, arguably!).