Google Search Console AMP Filter Only Shows Top Stories
That means that when Google brought AMP to the core mobile results, expanding it from the initial launch of just showing it in the top stories section/carousel, that the Search Analytics report doesn’t count those AMP pages outside of the top stories section.
John said “the AMP filter’s currently for Top Stories; check your URL patterns for the full picture.”
AMP Improves User Experience
After announcing last week this change would be coming soon, Google is now officially rolling out AMP pages in organic search results around the world.
Google has been working to make the web faster for everyone with the introduction of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology. In February, Google doubled down on its support for AMP by including a ‘Top Stories’ carousel consisting entirely of pages developed with AMP technology.
In August, Google hinted at what its next step will be with respect to Accelerated Mobile Pages. Google said it would be including AMP pages in the regular set of organic search results — today that is a reality.
What Does This Mean For Publishers?
When people are searching on a mobile device, Google search results will automatically default to displaying the AMP version of a page (if one is available). This change means a significant amount of new exposure for AMP pages; possibly leading to more traffic, revenue, and so forth.
For publishers who are not yet using AMP, today’s change puts the pressure on them to adopt the technology. To be clear, AMP itself is not a ranking signal. However, page load time is certainly factored in when ranking content.
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With the average load time of AMP pages being less than one second, this gives them a competitive advantage over pages coded in regular HTML. Today, the average page coded in HTML takes an average of 19 seconds to load over 3G connections, and uses 10 times as much data.
Here’s more information about how AMP can affect SEO.
What Does This Mean for Searchers?
This update is sure to save people time when searching on Google with their mobile device. If searching over a cellular connection, it could save on data as well. This means people getting to what they want on the web faster than ever before.
Searchers will also have more immediate access to AMP pages than they did previously. Before, only a fraction of the AMP pages published to the web would show up in Google’s ‘top stories’ carousel. Now, all 600 million AMP documents in Google’s index will be discoverable (232 locales and 104 languages).
What is the Future of AMP?
I had the opportunity to speak with Rudy Galfi, lead product manager for AMP at Google, about this development and what he sees as the future for AMP.
Galfi says searchers are already developing a preference for clicking on links with the AMP lightning bolt logo, and he expects this trend to continue. When first launched, AMP was being adopted primarily by news publishers. Galfi made it clear AMP is not designed just for news publishers, and there’s a place for AMP in any vertical. Travel, cooking, shopping sites and more are all beginning to use the technology.
Eventually there may come a time when developers code sites purely in AMP without having any other version available. The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project website is an example of this. Before going all-in with AMP, Galfi suggests site owners take a hard look at whether or not they’ll be able to accomplish everything they need to do with just an AMP site. Learn more about what it means to make your content AMP-friendly and see if it makes sense for your website.
Overall, Google is not only thrilled with the adoption rate from publishers so far, but with companies coming together around a common cause. For example, you have rival Bing surfacing AMP content on its mobile apps. Content management systems, such as WordPress, are developing easier ways for people to publish AMP content.
When asked for some hard number projections for the future, Galfi was reluctant to divulge exact figures, but does expect to see continued success and adoption of AMP technology.
Want to learn more about implementing AMP for your brand? Join us in NYC for SEJ Summit on November 2nd, 2016.
Two months ago, the internet blew up over Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). And, just when you thought you passed the Structured Data Testing tool and implemented your AMP HTML file extensions perfectly, you realize your AMP pages are not showing up in the search results.
Are you asking: Where are my AMP pages in the search results? Does AMP happen in real-time? Or, does it take a few hours for Google to index your AMP pages?
Well, take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Yep, the SEJ team is right there with you.
In true early adopter fashion, SEJ launched our AMP pages on March 29. Since the launch, we have seen traffic to our AMP pages spike from 50 to 700 sessions. High-fives all around!
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As you can see below in our breakdown of AMP traffic, the majority of our traffic is coming from play.google.com/newsstand.
However, when we search in the search results, our AMP pages are nowhere to be found. Sound familiar? Others are having the same issue.
So, it’s no wonder that only 25% of SEO professionals have taken steps to implement AMP. And, while there may be more legwork involved in creating AMP pages, Google has created a new problem: With countless hours spent, it’s hard to know when and where your AMP pages exist in the SERPs.
To help you cut through the noise, we’re going to share our experience here at SEJ. But, first, let’s give you some insight on how we assembled our AMP pages at SEJ.
For implementing AMP, Vahan Petrosyan, our lead developer here at SEJ, used the following plugins:
But, you will likely need a little more than a plugin if you want to implement AMP. Here is what Vahan had to say about using plugins alone:
“Simple installation of plugins gives only standard and limited functionality of customizing posts. I did custom development using that plugins actions hooks and modified standard look for our AMP pages. We modified styles, added slide menu from right using pure CSS3 techniques, sticky share buttons,and modified Google Analytics default tracking code in order to include custom dimensions and event tracking such as share buttons, menu items clicks,etc.”
Here are screenshots of the sleek reading experience on mobile:
We’re excited about the new look and interested to see how it affects traffic.
Where are My Google AMP Pages?
Restructuring your mobile website to cater to Google’s new features is just part of the job description when you launch a website, right? But as we’ve come to learn, the theory “build it and they come” isn’t so true. Based on our experience at SEJ, Google AMP pages are not real-time. Since we launched our AMP pages on March 29, 2016, we have not seen them in the search results even though we’re getting traffic to our site from AMP pages. We noticed an uptick in traffic 9 days after launched our AMP pages. So, essentially it took Google 9 days to index our AMP pages.
The SEJ team reached out to Gary Illyes to confirm this. Gary stated in arecent interview with SEJ,
“In general the same applies on AMP results as on normal web results: we have to crawl and index the page in order to show a result for it. Depending on the site this can take from a few minutes to days, but most of the time it’s pretty fast.”
One theory: While Google’s AMP pages are being praised as the fairy godmother to all the small businesses in Internet land, you may not see an immediate boost if you’re not first to implement. I’m noticing a large amount of the bigger publishers (mainly brands that partnered with Google in their beta testing) for AMP seemingly get first dibs in the Google search results carousel.
Now, with Google News featuring up to 14 pieces of AMP content from publishers that have already launched their AMP pages, it’s going to continue to be a race to see who gets their first. This could potentially hurt smaller businesses.
Another theory: Google will only display news articles. These news articles will only show up in the AMP carousel if Google views content as recent news for the topic you’re searching for. The AMP carousel is a Top Stories carousel so perhaps your news articles are newsworthy enough for the carousel. Google will only display Article, NewsArticle, and BlogPosting schema types into the carousel at this time.
“The format itself is open to anyone who’d like to speed up their sites, it’s not limited to only one kind of site. Currently, we’re testing AMP results with a limited set of publishers, but we’re exploring ways to show AMP results from more sites.”
Also, Google does not guarantee your articles will show in the AMP carousel. It depends on the searcher’s search query and Google’s algorithms of whether or not they display your content, even if you’ve passed the data structuring test and validated your AMP pages.
“AMP pages, just like normal webpages, can be accessed in many ways: from bookmarks, from search results, directly from the browser, an so on. If I know that a site is AMP enabled, I will very likely stick the “/amp” to the end of the URLs on the site, and so the publisher will likely see a direct visit in their tracking software. This is not necessarily what’s happening to SEJ, but that’s my best guess.”
What’s Next for AMP?
For publishers, we simply wait. AMP pages are newbies to the SEO game. They are still trying to figure out where and how they fit into this crowded space. As Google continues to adapt and evolve their algorithm, the time and money invested will be worth it.
It’s 2016 and it’s hard to believe that browsing the web on a mobile phone can still feel so slow with users abandoning sites that just don’t load quickly. To us — and many in the industry — it was clear that something needed to change. That was why we started working with the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, an open source initiative to improve the mobile web experience for everyone.
Less than six months ago, we started sending people to AMP pages in the “Top stories” section of the Google Search Results page on mobile phones. Since then, we’ve seen incredible global adoption of AMP that has gone beyond the news industry to include e-commerce, entertainment, travel, recipe sites and so on. To date we have more than 150 million AMP docs in our index, with over 4 million new ones being added every week. As a result, today we’re sharing an early preview of our expanded AMP support across the entire search results page –not just the “Top stories” section.
To clarify, this is not a ranking change for sites. As a result of the growth of AMP beyond publishers, we wanted to make it easier for people to access this faster experience. The preview shows an experience where web results that that have AMP versions are labeled with . When you tap on these results, you will be directed to the corresponding AMP page within the AMP viewer.
Try it out for yourself on your mobile device by navigating to g.co/ampdemo. Once you’re in the demo, search for something like “french toast recipe” or music lyrics by your favorite artist to experience how AMP can provide a speedier reading experience on the mobile web. The “Who” page on AMPProject.org has a flavor of some of the sites already creating AMP content.
We’re starting with a preview to get feedback from users, developers and sites so that we can create a better Search experience when we make this feature more broadly available later this year. In addition, we want to give everyone who might be interested in “AMPing up” their content enough time to learn how to implement AMP and to see how their content appears in the demo. And beyond developing AMP pages, we invite everyone to get involved and contribute to the AMP Project.
We can’t wait to hear from you as we work together to speed up the web. And as always, if you have any questions, please visit our webmaster forums.
For mobile search results Google is giving preference to AMP certified pages so users can expect lightning fast load times and not have to wait for links that take too long time to open, especially when loading web pages built for desk top users. Google claims that these pages “load four times faster and use 10 times less data than traditional pages.” The content loads on the Google search page itself rather than Google redirecting the user to third-party website.
More than half of Google searches occur on mobile
Searches from mobile devices have become the most important growth driver for Google (GOOG). Mobile searches account for more than half of the total Google searches and the numbers continue to increase rapidly. As Google continues investing to grow its mobile search business, such an initiatives amplify the need for businesses to prepare for the mobile evolution and get their web pages AMP ready.
Mobile Devices Increasingly Indispensable to Consumers
Last year, Google’s search and advertising tools generated $165 billion for companies in the U.S, as mobile devices become increasingly indispensable to consumers. “The shift to mobile is no longer a change on the horizon,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president for Ads and Commerce at Google, speaking at the October 2015 press briefing. “It’s here.”
3 out of 4 Visit Your Store and 28% Result in a Purchase
Three out of every four people who search for something nearby using their smartphone end up visiting a store within a day, and 28 percent of those searches result in a purchase.
If your business as a physical location and you want to grow, then it’s extremely important that you make it ridiculously easy for people to find you online when they pull out their smartphone to search for what you sell.
Looking to understand how you can get better results, connect with Mike Raganold at 613-799-4367 or email email@example.com.
GOOGLE Reports 77% of Mobile Searches Lead to Action
75% of conversions happen within one hour. This increases the pressure of businesses to be found in mobile search. How people conduct searches on their mobile phone means tactics to get views and clicks might differ to those used for desktop Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Mobile Search Results are Significantly Different than Desktop
The way website listings are presented, the decrease in available screen size means that there is a very limited number of listings that are immediately visible to searchers, and competition for top spots can be fierce.
SEARCH has come a long way since Google started in 1998.
How information can completely transform people’s lives and empower them to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life everyday.
Google’s Search Boss Talks Surviving and Thriving in an App World (Full Video)
Amit Singhal, the longtime head of the Google’s powerhouse search operation discussed this as well as competition with Amazon, Pinterest and others at last week’s Code/Mobile conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Here’s the full video of the session with Singhal andRe/code Executive Editor Kara Swisher.
Consider this. Everyday 3.4 Million People Get Their Hands on a New SMART PHONE
Winning Views and Clicks from Searchers
Where on the mobile SERP do searchers look and click the most? How does this differ to desktop searchers?
The #1 organic listing still captures the most click activity, it just takes 87% longer for it to be first seen on a mobile compared to a desktop.
As discovered in the desktop study, being the #1 top organic listing is not always necessary to garner clicks, and certain factors will draw views and clicks to 2nd, 3rd and 4th organic listing. However, being above the 4th organic listing, whether in an organic, local, knowledge graph, paid position etc., is critical – less than two-thirds of tasks resulted in a scroll down, and 92.6% of all clicks were above the 4th organic listing. Across the entire study, only 7.4% of clicks were below the 4th organic listing, vs. 16% on a desktop.
Online publishers may see a decline in mobile traffic Publishers rely on high numbers of unique visitors to their sites. This mobile study has shown that fewer and fewer clicks are going to listings below the top 4, leaving less opportunity for publishers to drive traffic to their sites. Publishers in particular must take mobile SEO extremely seriously.
Mobile Screen Real Estate is Extremely Valuable
You have two ways to try and earn as much of that real estate. Paid search and mobile SEO. Although paid search cannot guarantee you will always appear at the top of the results, a good paid search campaign can definitely help capture more clicks.
Focus on optimizing your site for mobile devices. Invest in putting as much relevant content into your SERP listing and use available tools such as Schema to ensure that your listings stands
out on the screen, increasing the likelihood of
Treat Mobile and Desktop Differently
Many businesses do not realize the importance of optimizing their sites specifically for mobile – all too often they take a one-size fits all approach, resulting in ranking lower on a mobile than on a desktop. Track mobile ranking separately so that you can optimize specifically for mobile, depending on the results you are seeing.
When it comes to smartphones, if anything, it is more important than ever to optimize for all the new features, if they are relevant to your business. People searching on their mobile devices are likely to be on the go, with less time for a thorough search, and so they are more likely to click on a listing higher up, and it doesn’t even have to exactly match their search intent, although the chances of capturing a click are greater if it does.
Google Makes Mobile Search More Visual
Googling on your phone is becoming a more visual experience than what you’re used to. It’s sort of an evolved version of those search results that come with small images and a short sample of the text for the web page. Expect to see a carousel right on top of the results page that can scroll sideways.
Does the need for scrolling negatively or positively impact the views and clicks that listings further down the page receive?
How important is the location of a listing on the SERP to win views and clicks from searchers?
What can advertisers do to ensure their Google listings are seen and clicked on a mobile SERP?
Desktop vs. Mobile – Google SERPs
Mobile internet usage continues to rise, with more than 60% of people in the US and Canada using the internet via their mobile in 2015, as reported by eMarketer.
There are differences in the way searches are conducted on a phone compared to a desktop which is not surprising given the differences between the two mediums.
99% of people looked at the top organic listing vs. 83% on a desktop
75% of page clicks were to the top 4 organic listings vs. 60% on a desktop
4.95s until the first organic listing was clicked — 31% faster than the average across the entire study
Mobile SERP featuring multiple elements in addition to SERPs with organic listings only
57% of page clicks were to the top 4 organic listings vs. 75% on organic-only pages
It’s extremely difficult to earn a first place organic ranking.
Very few SERPs include organic listings only (under 15% in our study), Take advantage of the fact that other elements are presented above the organic listings where over 35% of the page clicks on mobile were won.
Consider paid text ads if you’re looking to improve website traffic, or optimize for local searches if appropriate, rather
than focusing all efforts on ranking #1 in the organic listings.
How can I optimize my mobile website?
Optimize Titles and Meta Descriptions
Remember you are dealing with a reduced space, so ensure your most important information is at the very beginning of page tiles and description, and include priority keywords in the body of the website content.
Speed up loading times as much as possible
Websites with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) might result in higher ranking, once these pages are integrated into Google’s search engine in February 2016. Although not confirmed by Google, the company did reiterate the importance of page speed and the need to improve page load times, of which AMP is one way to achieve this.
Do not use large images. Reduce them to a size that is manageable on a standard mobile device.
According to a 2015 Searchmetrics report, top-ranking mobile results contain an average of fewer than four images per page. Avoid Flash as not all devices are compatible and it can take several seconds to properly load.
Optimize For Local Search
Mobile users are more likely to be on-the-go and searching locally for a business or service.
Create landing pages for each location you have and include the target town or city in page titles and descriptions, plus the service you offer.
Content is a significant driver of rankings for mobile results. Include plenty of unique, relevant local content, with local keywords and phrases.
Ensure your site is listed and accurate on directories. YellowPages.ca (YP.ca) for example, is a listing hub in Canada that feeds many 3rd party websites. When the information on your business is consistent and matches a verified citation site page (e.g.,YP.ca profile page) Google sees the business as trustworthy and ranks accordingly. This is why the accuracy of your directory listings have become important to local SEO.
How can I ensure my website is mobile friendly?
In April 2015, Google made “mobile-friendliness” a significant ranking factor, indicating on the SERP if a page is mobile-friendly. Prior to this update from Google, mobile ranking results were usually tied to desktop ranking results. Not sure if pages on your site are mobile friendly? Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Testing Tool to find out.
A mobile-friendly website can influence ranking on a mobile SERP. There are three options in order to make a site “mobile–friendly” – Responsive design, dynamic serving, and distinct URLS. The solution that requires the least change is responsive design (one site that adjusts depending on whether it’s accessed from a desktop or mobile), as the other two options require a separate, mobile version of your site. A responsive design simplifies the user experience, as well as allowing Google to complete a quicker, and more thorough analysis if your site, making it easier to index these pages. The loading time on a responsive site can, however, be longer, which can have an impact on ranking.
3 Major Causes Slowing the Mobile Web Today
Beacons, Third Party Java Script and Analytics Code have been identified as three major factors causing slowdowns on the mobile web today.
*STAR RATINGS ON MOBILE
24.1% of page clicks were captured by a listing with a star rating.
Although the findings for star ratings on a mobile device are inconclusive, if a business has star ratings, it should correctly mark up their listings to include these in the listing to try and stand out from those that don’t, maximizing the chances of being noticed and clicked on by searchers.
Where we see the biggest differences between a mobile search and a desktop search is when we break out each of the features or elements on the search engine results page. It’s much more useful for advertisers to understand how their organic listings will be affected by these other elements, and what they can do to ensure their brand or listings are still seen and clicked on by searchers.
SPONSORED TEXT LISTINGS
Top paid ads on a mobile captured significantly more views and clicks than on a desktop due to the positioning of the ad, and where the participants’ eyes are naturally focused when the page loads. The top paid listings on a mobile take up the majority of the available screen space and the eye cannot be drawn to the organic listings without physically scrolling down.
The top sponsored paid text ad is seen by the majority of searchers (91%), but there is enough time between it being seen, and clicked on (5.95 seconds on average), for other listings to capture the click if they are more relevant. In that time, participants viewed other listings, and scrolled down and back up the page.
Adjust ad creative for different keyword searches.
For example, instead of bidding on “TVs” in an AdWords campaign, expand the keywords, and instead, bid on “TV reviews” and have ad messaging specifically for searchers in research mode. However, if bidding on more relevant keywords is too expensive, or results in a significant decline in traffic, consider reverting back to broader keywords, if you can afford them, as traffic will still be driven to your site (but watch bounce rates, an indication of irrelevancy – you don’t just want clicks, you want qualified traffic, and conversions).
2 Sponsored Text Ads Best Results
The most favourable scenario for sponsored listings and organic listings alike is when there are 2 ads on the SERP. In these cases there were, on average, 18.3% of page clicks to the top sponsored ad, and 37.9% to the top organic listing.
When 3 sponsored ads were shown, they captured a combined 24% of page clicks on average, and the top 2 organic listings captured significantly less clicks compared to when only 1 or 2 paid ads were shown. This is because when 3 ads are on the page, it guarantees that no organic listings will be visible without scrolling.
As three ads become more common, businesses must be prepared to see a drop in traffic from organic listings, and perhaps consider increasing their investments in paid search, as they are likely to see an increase in ad impressions, and will be able to capture clicks at a lower CPC than was possible when there were only 2 ad spots available.
Additionally, with more opportunity to appear on the first screen of the SERP, sponsored advertising can also be seen as a branding opportunity in a highly visible position.
In some cases, one sponsored ad by itself took up almost the entire available screen space. On average, across all ads like these, the click through rate was 19.7% which was 30.5% higher than the average for the top sponsored listing across the study.
When an extended sponsored ad is in the top spot
19.7% clicked Sponsored ad #1
4.1% clicked Sponsored ad #2
29.3% clicked Organic listing #1
15.6% clicked Organic listing #2
According to Google, “AdWords shows one or more extensions with your ad when it calculates that the extension (or combination of extensions) will improve your campaign performance, and when your Ad Rank is high enough for it to appear.
Adding an extension won’t guarantee that it will show with your ad, but you can keep track of when your extensions are appearing on the Ad extensions tab.”
In some cases, AdWords will add extensions automatically when it predicts that they’ll improve your ad’s performance. Ad extension performance can be tracked in your AdWords account.
Paid ads for non-branded searches
It’s trickier with non-branded searches as it can be difficult to ensure your ad meets the intent of the searcher, which our desktop study showed was important to capture clicks and views.
You’re renovating your rec room and want to get a new big screen TV. You’re not sure what kind to get and want to read some reviews. Use Google to find reviews of big screen TVs. LG has a branded top sponsored ad. However, the search was not for a brand, or even for a TV – it was for TV reviews. The searcher is in the research stage, but LG’s ad is targeting the searcher who is ready to buy, therefore the CTR is no doubt going to be lower. However, a lot of brands intentionally pay for these type of queries because it can be lower cost than branded search terms, and provide brand visibility.
When a knowledge graph is viewable on the mobile SERP, it generally fills the entire visible screen space requiring a scroll down to view the listings below, and this is reflected in the engagement with the organic listings.
In our desktop study, 5 tasks revealed a top knowledge graph, and 4 a side knowledge panel, and we compared how searchers interacted with the results based on the relevancy of the knowledge graph. The difference between desktop and mobile is that, where a knowledge panel on a desktop would appear to the right of the results, on a mobile device, this panel becomes a key feature at the top of the page.
When the same study was replicated on a mobile device, 7 SERPs showed a knowledge graph at the very top of the SERP, and 2 knowledge graphs appeared below the top organic or top sponsored listing.
SEARCH RESULTS: How to build a knowledge graph
A knowledge graph on mobile has the potential to capture a significant amount of attention away from the organic listings, as with SERPs on a desktop.
Knowledge Graph Captures All Attention
The major difference between a knowledge graph on a desktop vs. a mobile phone is that scrolling is required on a phone to see organic listings. The searcher’s eyes cannot be drawn to the top organic listing from what they see out of their peripheral vision, making it much harder for organic listings to win clicks from searchers.
95% Bypassed Map for Listings on Mobile
One could have assumed that, as was the case with the knowledge graph, the map would have received the majority of clicks on a mobile device given its prominent position. But that was not the case. It appears that the map did little to attract views or clicks (capturing only 4.9% of page clicks on average), and instead, searchers moved straight to the local listings or organic listings.
Yoast Says AMP it
Google is giving prime real estate to AMP pages in mobile search results, and if you don’t have AMP on your site, you’re not getting any of that traffic.
Meta Tag Resources
Here are some sites that will help you learn more about meta tags, how they work, and why you should or shouldn’t use them.
- Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking
- UC Berkeley’s Guide to Search Engines
- Search Engine Watch’s How to Use HTML Meta Tags
- WebDeveloper’s Back to Basics: Meta Tags
- W3 Organization’s Global Structure of an HTML Document and Meta Tags
- header.php code and tutorial outputs the correct robots, googlebot, and msnbot meta depending on page, single, home, archive.
- Meta Tags for SEO- A Complete Guide
Most of us don’t give much thought to where or how we’re viewed on mobile compared to desktop. I typically use my iPhone for local searches alone, save my more in-depth searches for my laptop (ditto for my weekend Pinterest binges), and I usually end up hitting Pocket for reading whenever I have time on whatever device (which is probably why I end up not reading articles 53% of the time).
But, it turns out, I’m one of the few that operate glued to my laptop. Google says more than 50% of searches globally happen on mobile. Whether you’re onboard with Google AMP or not, one thing is certain: Consumers want speed. Will you catch-up?