Does Google AMP Affect Local SEO?

Written by: Jason Bayless | February 25, 2017

In this world of instant gratification that we live in, it’s only become natural for people to expect things now. That bleeds into the online world as well when it comes to the near-inmstant loading of webpages. As you might expect, this is no longer something that simply looks like a good idea. It’s the natural order of things. With something called Google AMP, we’re seeing pages load nearly instantly while cutting down on the amount of data used.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at Google’s accelerated mobile pages project and in the process figure out how this will actually affect local SEO. Let’s get started with what accelerated mobile pages is.

What is accelerated mobile pages?

The Google AMP project is an open source initiative that believes that content creators can create said content once and then have it load instantly anywhere else. For instance, you might have noticed this in the carousel of site listings that will pop up if you search for a news term. These carousel sites are loading via AMP. This is also done with Google’s Twitter search results.

In early tests, it was found that AMP pages were loading four times faster and using eight times less data than ordinary pages. A site on AMP will load in less than half a second while the norm is three seconds.

We’re living in a golden age of digital innovations right now that are changing the way we live our lives. Google, Facebook, and Apple are continuing to innovate in nearly every way in order to provide better user experiences and ultimately increase their customer base.

Google actually estimates that 40 percent of users will abandon a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. With mobile pages sometimes taking as long as eight seconds to load, this has become a real problem. A problem, Google believes, that can be solved with AMP.

Getting technical.

So you know that Google AMP makes pages load faster. That’s good, but how does it do this? What exactly is it?

What AMP does is require developers to strip their markup in order to create simpler pages for an overall simpler website. Those pages are then given an added boost in Google’s mobile search.

Is Google AMP really that much faster than mobile?

Yes, it really is. The way it’s accomplishing this feat is to cut way down on HTML design and get down to brass tacks with showing a site on minimal terms. Javascript is also cut so that the site can load in about 100 milliseconds. When compared to the several seconds that your average page takes to load, this can be a remarkable difference.

How will Google AMP affect organic search results?

There are a lot of questions out there as to how AMP affects the organic search results by simply existing. The one thing that remains true is that AMP is not a ranking factor at all.

While it’s not a ranking factor, the fact remains that Google AMP will affect clicks, user experience, and overall web page design. Especially when you consider that these AMP sites are currently showing up first in the carousel results, it’s a win-win for everyone that Google AMP is really taking off the way it has so far.

SEO is a bit of a Wild West zone when it comes down to it. You never know what works, what doesn’t, and all the rules are up in the air. What works today might not work tomorrow. Because of all of this, it behooves small business owners to keep abreast of all the latest changes when it comes to the world of SEO.

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it should be enough to get you oriented in the world of SEO and Google AMP so that you can understand where this is going in the future.