Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) has been around for a while now. It’s basically a system which allows publishers to create mobile-friendly content, ensuring that your website loads quickly and performs well across all devices. Google recently announced that they are making some changes to how they enforce their policy on content parity with Google AMP.
It seems that some websites are using Google AMP pages to display noticeably different content to that which is on the main version of the page on their website. This is unacceptable for Google. They are now requiring that the AMP page content is comparable to the original (canonical) page content.
Google has made these changes due to the massive success of AMP, with over 25 million domains now using the AMP format. Google claim that the rapid growth puts a sense of responsibility on the company, and that they must ensure their users still receive the great content consumption experience that they always get with Google results.
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What’s worried Google is the fact that some publishers are using AMP to display a separate version of their content. This is not what AMP is for. AMP is designed to speed up your main page and make it more mobile-friendly. This means that both your AMP and your original page should have equivalent content.
There are also a small number of cases where AMP are being used as teaser pages, providing a short amount of content and requiring the user clicks through to view the full article. This defies the point of using AMP in the first place, as the user will first have to visit the AMP and then click through again to view the full article on the original site. This is not good for user experience.
What Will Google AMP Do If These Requirements Are Broken?
Google has said that if they encounter an AMP which doesn’t contain the same critical content as the original page, then they will simply direct the user to the original page, bypassing the AMP. It has no effect on Search Engine ranking, but those original pages will not benefit from Search features which require AMP. These features include things such as the Top Stories carousel.
If Google find a page on your website which doesn’t abide by these new requirements, then they will notify you with a manual action message via Google Search Console. You will then be given a chance to fix the issue and have your AMP pages being served in Search results once again.
Google hopes that these changes will ensure that publishers and webmasters continue to maintain content parity between their original pages and their AMP pages.