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Are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Good for SEO in 2023

Do you remember when Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) back in 2015? According to Wikipedia:

“It (AMP) was originally created by Google as a competitor to Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News.[3] AMP is optimized for mobile web browsing and intended to help webpages load faster”

AMP was all the rage. Businesses that didn’t jump on the AMP train were going to suffer and get left behind in the mobile search engine rankings. Or were they?

Fast forward to 2023, and Sterling Sky decided that we wanted to test what impact AMP was having on business websites seven years later. Keep reading to find out what we discovered.

We had a criminal attorney that had AMP set up on their website. Here are a few things that we discovered.

  1. Goals from mobile in Google Analytics weren’t tracking
  2. AMP removed all features that made the site look good amp makes sites ugly
  3. Changes we made to the site were not getting indexed (thus making no impact on ranking). This is because Google is indexing the mobile/AMP site, but the changes are being made on the main site. So you now effectively have two versions of the website with different contentamp version of website

What Did We Do to Fix This?

We got rid of AMP.

What Happened When We Got Rid Of AMP?

Rankings:

Organic rankings for “Near Me” queries improved dramatically.

amp and near me rankings

Traffic:

After we got rid of AMP, overall traffic to the website dropped. Most of the traffic was lost on blogs that lost rankings but weren’t converting traffic to leads. One of the reasons that the blogs lost rankings is because they had some code-heavy objects and videos near the top of the page. With AMP-enabled, the video and other widgets were removed from the page.

The blogs also had a huge sidebar that was removed with AMP. Once AMP was removed, the sidebar was crawled and rankings dropped.

amp traffic

However, and this is very important, most of the core pages, such as the homepage, saw an increase in traffic and conversions.

Conversions:

Overall conversions after removing AMP were up over 4%. This is because the pages look way better with all of the page features and styling added back in after removing AMP.

So What?

If you are running into challenges getting pages on a website to rank and convert, check to see if the issue could be related to the AMP setup.

If you decide that removing AMP makes sense, consider doing the following:

  1. Remove the sidebar on blogs
  2. Make sure your blogs are up-to-date
  3. Fix core vitals issues

Have you had positive or negative experiences with AMP? Let us know in the comments.

 

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Colan Nielsen

Colan started in the local SEO world back in 2010 and is also deemed a product expert by Google as a Top Contributor on the Google My Business Forum. He is a contributor to Moz’s famous Local Search Ranking Factors survey and is a former Google MapMaker Regional Lead. Read Colan's full bio here.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Re: Discovery #3: Why were the alternate versions of the page in sync? One would think that edits to the non-amp page would auto-update the amp version simultaneously. Was this an AMP plugin (and if so which) or a manually coded amp alternate?

  2. This is really quite infuriating! I can clearly remember setting aside time in the middle of several hectic projects in order to learn all about AMP and jump on the bandwagon – because Google issued the edict that informed us that we’d basically never get another mobile lead as long as we lived if we didn’t convert to it. And then when they decide that they’re done with their flavor of the week fad, we’re all left holding the bag. Thank you guys for doing the analytics work and showing us all what a waste of time AMP is/was!

    1. Yeah, I usually like to be aware of things Google suggests but never jump at doing or implementing things solely based on that for this very reason. I remember how much we all though “mobilegeddon” was gonna change the SERPs and it barely made a difference.

  3. Interesting case study on the impact of removing AMP. Emphasizes the importance of evaluating the specific needs and performance of your site to determine if AMP aligns with your goals.

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