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Is AMP a Google ranking factor?

Do you think AMP has an impact on search results? AMP is an HTML framework that helps desktop-optimized websites deliver ultra-fast mobile pages. AMP was created by Google, so some claim that AMP gives pages a ranking advantage in mobile searches compared to non-AMP pages.

Google has debunked these claims and said AMP is not a ranking factor.The case is closed, right?

It's easy to say that AMP doesn't give a site a ranking advantage and keep it that way.But we can’t write it off and ignore its impact on other elements that are important to SEO.

Below is evidence on the impact of AMP on search results and how it relates to other ranking factors.

Disclaimer: AMP is a ranking factor

The saying here is simple – AMP gives a page a boost in Google search results.

AMP has been talking about ranking factors since Google introduced the technology in 2018.

why?

One reason AMP is considered a ranking factor is that Google's success as a technology is tied.

Google is responsible for creating AMP and actively encourages its use as part of a larger effort to speed up the web.

In theory, Google could increase AMP adoption by turning it into a ranking signal.

The boost in rankings is like a reward for using Google's new technology.Of course, this is unfair to any website that doesn't use AMP.

If Google were to use AMP to rank search results, you might think that would force sites to use their technology to stay relevant.

Thankfully, that's not how search works.

But AMP and SEO are not irrelevant.

Let's take a look at the evidence on how AMP affects SEO.

Evidence against AMP as a ranking factor

It's easy - Google has confirmed that AMP is not a ranking factor.Say it again.Say it again.

In Google's Advanced SEO Guidelines, the company says it uses the same signals to rank all pages, regardless of how they were developed:

"While AMP itself is not a ranking factor, speed is a ranking factor for Google Search.Google Search applies the same standards to all web pages, regardless of the technology used to build them.

This sentence touches on the things we mentioned earlier about AMP affecting other factors, such as page speed, which are confirmed ranking factors.

Sites using AMP may benefit from these other signals.

As of July 2018, page speed has been a ranking factor for mobile searches.

Because AMP is designed to load pages instantly, it can help sites send stronger ranking signals in terms of mobile page speed.

This has the potential to lead to better rankings.However, websites can generate the same signals without AMP.

Core Web Vitals

Google's core web vitals become a ranking factor when it rolls out an update to its Page Experience algorithm in June 2021.

Before the update was released, Google's communication with site owners had been that AMP could help achieve a desirable Core Web Vitals score.

"There is a good chance that AMP pages will hit the threshold.AMP is designed to provide a high-quality, user-first experience;Its original design goals are closely related to what Core Web Vitals measures today.

This means that a website built with AMP may easily meet the Web Vitals threshold.

Data released by Google shows that AMP domains are five times more likely to pass Core Web Vitals than non-AMP domains.

Passing Google's core web health threshold has the potential to improve a site's search rankings.

Again, as with the page speed ranking boost, this can be achieved without AMP.

Other SEO Benefits of AMP

AMP has come with various perks in the past that enhance how web pages appear in search results.

For example, Google's "Top Stories" carousel (which appears at the top of search results when looking for news stories) used to only accept AMP pages.

For a period of time, Top Stories eligibility was a ranking advantage unique to AMP.

That changed in June 2021 with the rollout of the Homepage experience update, which now allows non-AMP pages to appear in the Top Stories carousel.

Finally, another unique feature of AMP pages is that a lightning bolt icon appears in search results to indicate which pages provide a faster experience.

Google has removed this icon.AMP pages are now indistinguishable from regular pages in search results.

AMP as a ranking factor: our verdict

Google has confirmed multiple times that AMP is not a ranking factor for Google.

Additionally, it no longer has unique advantages that could have an impact on CTR, such as special icons and Top Stories exclusivity.

AMP can positively impact other ranking factors, such as speed, but is not a factor by itself.

Extended reading:

Is alt text a Google ranking factor?

Is Google AdSense a Google Search Ranking Factor?

Top 8 Google Ranking Factors - What Really Matters for SEO

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