Unless an asteroid hits the Earth before February 2016, there’s no stopping the integration of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) with Google Search. Word is out that the leading search engine plans to begin sending traffic to webpages in this format early next year, which means those who adopt it may gain a bit of ranking boost (eventually) just for supporting AMP.
As we all know, speed turns out to be industry’s theme for 2016; and there’s no better way to achieve it than cutting the load time of webpages to a tolerable level. Facebook started it with Instant Articles, then Google wanted to develop a similar project to significantly improve user experience on Search.
One of the project’s prominent supporters, Pinterest, ran a test and found that AMP-enabled pages load four times faster and utilize only 1/8 of data used by conventional mobile pages.
Despite its noble purpose, some can’t help but raise an eyebrow about the real motivations behind the development of AMP.
Bias in Search Rankings
One way or another, AMP would definitely affect the digital marketing industry, especially when it comes to SEO. While Google and other supporters bill the project as the answer to painfully long webpage load time, those who wouldn’t adopt fear there might be consequences organically.
That’s not far from reality because the leader of the AMP Project is Google no less. The company might even label AMPed pages with the word “fast” as a way of recommendation, like they did with mobile-friendly sites.
Google’s Rudy Galfi, however, is quick to kill any suspicion when asked if the company would prioritize these fast-loading pages in the search results. He clarified that while webpage load time is one of critical ranking factors, the content’s overall quality also carries weight.
Monopoly of Ads
Contrary to popular belief, the advertising arena is not exclusive to Google’s AdSense and DoubleClick. The fact that the project receives overflowing support from different advertisers should be an indication that the tech giant would keep the gate open.
Google, of course, still controls the guidelines. The top search engine wants to load core site content first before advertisements and place ad size limitations to prevent compromising page-load time.
Google “The Dictator”?
For the longest time, Google has the loudest voice on the web, but not all would ever be comfortable seeing the company in the driver’s seat. Even though AMP is an open-source project (which encourages third-party involvement), Aram Zucker-Scharff, a tech consultant to media outlets, has questioned the search engine’s role in deciding how to display and distribute news content.
In an interview with Digiday, he’s troubled by how Google constantly drafts the rules. In addition, Zucker-Scharff doesn’t buy the fact that the AMP is developed to resolve speed problems, wherein the very ad server of Google slows down news pages.
Whether Google is heavily self-serving or not, site owners and webmasters basically have no choice but to go with the current—with or without reservations. Otherwise, everybody risks not being seen.
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