It's another day and after reading this new update you may be saying – is it replica week? Just recently we watched as Instagram replicated the infamous Snapchat feature and now we are seeing the roll out of something Google has replicated from Facebook. Oh it's all happening now!
Google has released an update on their AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) just yesterday, which affects all mobile search results. This move matches ever so well with the Instant Articles feature used on Facebook for mobile users. So what does this mean? Look at it this way, if you search via Google for a product and there is an AMP version available, Google will host the search results within Google instead of redirecting your search to the website that created the content you are searching for.
You have seen this before and probably didn't pay it much attention, so here's a reminder below. This allows mobile search results to pop-up in a carousel style format so you can swipe through with ease, with much faster loading time on your mobile device. Check out how it works here (only on mobiles).
When this feature was released in February, it was specifically for publishers to push content, but the new update means this feature will take lead in all mobile searches over the results to a publishers website. I know what you're thinking – what does this mean for my website results on Google? Don't worry I'm getting to that.
Mobile phones are leading the way for content consumption and it's obvious why – we use our phone to do much more than we did 10 years ago. With the ability to keep up to date on social media, while also sending emails and researching anything of interest on one device, so it only makes sense that it takes precedence over our trusty laptop. With AMP leading the way for mobile search, Google wants to speed up our search results by keeping all results on their platform. This means much faster loading time and less data consumption, which can only be a plus.
Although we are seeing bits and bobs here and there as we search on our mobile, the entire feature is set to roll out in autumn. Just in time for all our Christmas shopping and painful searches for the perfect gift.
This feature is amazing, but what does it mean for your website? Well, it's a little bit of a kick in the teeth all over again as publishers settled into the changes Facebook made with their articles, now Google has thrown all the balls out of our basket again. Although they did state that AMP does not mean Google will disregard other search results, but it will result in better placement for users and of course greater click through as it will be more prominent. The algorithm used for search results will take the loading speed and friendliness of AMP into consideration, which means your search rank may decrease and you may have to use AMP to avoid falling lower and lower in the search results.
Queue race to get the ball rolling – marketers at the ready!
All well and good for the marketers, but what will this mean for developers? Well, they may now need to create an AMP supported page as well as a Facebook Instant Articles page and of course good ole HTML. Phew...
In the end of it all, most publishers probably won't make a move to create an AMP responsive page, but they may really, really consider how it will affect their search results as Google results crawl above theirs. The thing is, as Google and Facebook make a move that affects the position of everyone, it is only a matter of time before we follow suit to hold onto our ranking. Now that Google has stepped into the same box as Facebook, what's next? It's almost like inception – a search engine has now started to push through their own results – that benefits them and not the customers who use their platform to drive more traffic to their website. Tricky, but let's see how it all plays out.