AMP is essentially a component framework that has been brought to the market by Google. Its ultimate aim is to pivot a website to be extremely rapid and user-centric, the end output is a lean website that loads fast on all devices. AMP can be deployed on ads, emails and other arenas but for the purpose of assessing SEO, we’ll just go through the web elements here.
There are several ways to test AMP on your website, the first is a Google built testing tool, which looks at websites on a page by page basis. To address AMP issues on a full site basis, a more recommended approach would be to use crawling software such as SEMRush. What SEMRush identifies are key issues around HTML formatting, styling issues and templating issues, boxing recommendations up in a digestible format, and pointing at specific issues.
Directly, no – Google will not improve your overalls favorability for rankings just by deploying AMP on your website. There are benefits to incorporating AMP, such as improving loading speed which is a ranking factor, there is also Google Caching and additional prominence in search engine results that act as a perk too. If AMP can increase your website speed and user experience, this can help drive your organic performance indirectly, as a standalone technology, Google has confirmed it is not a ranking factor at the time of writing this answer.
With AMP being a framework, there is a methodology to how it’s deployed onto your site. This includes mandatory fields, tags and libraries – if you deviate away from the framework it can trigger problems and the site can lose the ability to be classed as AMP-friendly. I recommend SEMRush for auditing AMP sites, mainly due to the comprehensive auditing that takes place – with each element being run through the framework to ensure compliance on a site-wide and page by page basis.
Additional points when it comes to AMP.
- Unfortunately the total amount of websites running AMP is less than 0.1%, according to W3 data from April 2020, meaning it is not currently classed as a wide-spread deployment.
- AMP is mainly developed for mobile devices, supporting people with poor signal or enhancing experience overall for mobile device users. This is important to remember as Google now crawls your website as a mobile crawler.
- AMP can compromise dynamic functionality, it’s more whittling away excessive code and with this approach can cause some feature loss, especially with websites that rely on dynamic functions. It is ideal for static content however, I’d recommend it for these types of site – anything else would be case by case at this stage.
- AMP is not a brand new technology so has had significant field testing and scrutiny. There was certainly a large buzz within the industry when first launched but has seemed to dip away over the years.