According to Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, Gary Ilyes, “Currently, AMP is not a mobile ranking factor.”
However, that “Currently” means that it is pretty likely that at some point in the future it will be used as a direct ranking factor. As reported in Search Engine Journal, Ilyes stated that Google will be expanding AMP vertices to include Google News, Google Now, Play, Newsstand, Now On Tap and it will likely expand to product pages for ecommerce sites like Amazon.
Does it matter if AMP is a ranking signal?
Not necessarily. This is because the key thing with AMP is that it improves the user experience.
Should I implement it?
Accelerated Mobile Pages are an open source initiative which aims to improve the performance of the mobile web. When you search an article on your mobile you will see a little lighting symbol. If you click on it, you will experience a faster more streamlined version of the article which downloads instantly.
A Kissmetrics survey found that 40% of users will abandon a page which takes more than 3 seconds to load, and that’s just on desktop. There are lots of other issues on mobile that can lead to abandonment, such as poor connection, poor formatting or non-mobile optimised content. With 50% of searches now taking place on mobile, Google wants to focus on improving the mobile web.
Ilyes said that AMP pages have a four times faster than average load time, with 90% of publishers seeing higher click through rates. So clearly with AMP traffic growing, it’s definitely a good time to implement AMP if you haven’t done so already.
How do you implement it?
If you go into your search console AMP results you can see how many pages you have with errors, along with recommendations for how to fix them.
So why are only 23% of SEOs currently using AMP? Because AMP strips out a lot of dynamic elements that slow down page loading time, search marketers have to do away with features they depend on for business, such as comment systems and pop-ups.