Starting February 1 2018, Google will begin penalising sites that use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) as teaser pages. A new policy states that all content on an AMP must be comparable to the original content on the canonical page. If Google spots an AMP that doesn’t display the same key content as the original page, Google will direct users to the original page instead of the AMP.
AMPs that fail to adhere to Google’s new policy will not be considered for search features that require AMP, which includes features outside of organic search. Publishers who ignore the new policy will receive a manual action notification in the search console, and they will be given a chance to fix the issue if they want to have their AMPs featured in search again.
This switch has been made to give searchers a better user experience. When AMP technology was introduced two years ago, the goal was to give searchers access to full-length content at the fastest speed possible, but now some publishers are using AMPs as teasers that lead searchers to their original page. This is slowing down the user experience, as searchers need to click through twice.
Google has stressed that the change will not affect the organic search ranking of the AMP. However, publishers who are guilty of presenting snippets of content in the AMP should consider their next move, especially if they want to show up in features that require AMP. Publishers can also decide to leave the AMP as is, as the AMP will maintain its organic search ranking. A third option is to decide that AMPs aren’t worth the effort and quit them altogether – but this is not advised since Google may decide to make AMPs a ranking signal when they roll out their mobile-first index.
6 December 2017