Google’s been extolling the virtues of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for months leading up to the February 2016 launch, which has now taken place, arriving a little earlier than expected. In the meantime, webmasters have been wondering if they’ll benefit from a search ranking boost, as AMP results are now displayed in mobile search results for news stories.
Despite Google saying back in December 2015 that AMP might become a ranking factor, the latest announcement contradicts the initial indication. In a Google+ hangout on Wednesday 24th February, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller categorically said that AMP isn’t a ranking signal by itself at the moment
In the hour-long hangout, Mueller praised AMP’s achievements, saying that the service had come a long way in little more than 4 months, with scores of publishers, ad-tech businesses and technology companies all using the new service to provide a better user experience when it comes to the mobile web.
Google has pledged to make sure AMP pages are easy to find when a user performs a relevant mobile search. AMP pages display in a carousel on the Top Stories area of the results page. Scrolling through articles is now a super-smooth process and choosing a story to read is a positive experience. To the delight of mobile users, the AMP page now loads as fast as lightening!
However, the latest news about AMP not carrying any significance for search rankings on it’s own, must be causing a little concern for those who’ve already moved lock, stock and barrel over to AMP format. By way of reassurance, being ‘mobile-friendly’ along with page speed have already been announced as ranking factors in Google, so if AMP alone doesn’t carry any weight, it could still pave the way for a strong position on the results page.
John Muller concluded that AMP may very well be a ranking factor in the future. With that, webmasters will just have to sit tight and wait for further updates on the subject from Google.