February is getting closer, and you know what that means. Google announced last month that in late February, it would begin sending traffic to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) from Google Search.
Have you looked into setting up AMP yet? If yes, how has the experience been? If no, do you plan to? Let us know in the comments.
Just in case you're not up to speed, in October, Google announced Accelerated Mobile Pages, a new open source project, which is basically its answer to Facebook's Instant Articles. Like Instant Articles, the purpose of the project is to enable web pages to load more quickly on mobile devices. As you know, improving mobile search results has been a major priority at Google for some time.
The project utilizes a new open framework called AMP HTML, which is built on existing web technologies, and is aimed at letting websites build light-weight pages. A number of other Internet players have been on board with AMP, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress.com, ChartBeat, Parse.ly, and Adobe Analytics, which are all integrating AMP HTML Pages.
Google has counted site speed as a ranking signal for years, so it stands to reason that AMP will help in that regard, but Google talked a little about this at an event last month. Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land reported: http://searchengineland.com/google-amp-coming-rank-fast-238046
From the event, two important tidbits: AMP pages may get a ranking boost and perhaps a "fast" label designation, similar to how Google shows labels for mobile-friendly pages. Both points are speculative however.
Google discussed mobile page speed as an existing ranking factor (there's debate about how much of a factor). Since AMP improves load time and page speed, publishers that have AMP pages will likely be prioritized in search results. Google didn't confirm this explicitly but reiterated the importance of page speed. AMP is likely to be the most accessible way to improve page load times.