WASHINGTON, April 29, 2017 – We have all heard the rumors about AMPs or Accelerated Mobile Pages taking over the internet. According to the AMP Project:
“an open-source initiative aiming to make the web better for all. The project enables the creation of websites and ads that are consistently fast, beautiful and high-performing across devices and distribution platforms.”
There are quite a few reasons why AMPs are climbing up the priority list of all web wizards and apparently, but SEO might not be one of them as no one has, as of yet, identified the impact mobile page speed has on SEO (search engine optimization) and search results.
Let us see a few reasons why page speed of mobile sites is important –
- Customers do not have much time. The idea loading time for websites on mobile devices should be less than 3 seconds. Unless your website is unique, you will have a lot of user pogo-sticking back to the SERP (search engine results page) if your website is on the slower side.
- Increasing the loading speed improves the conversion rate.
- It also increases the customer retention rate. 79% of customers who are unsatisfied with their experience on your website are less likely to return.
This far, we do not see any role of SEO in the growing fascination for AMPs. Aside from making a small mention and a logo, Google is not showing any kind of preference for AMP sites as well. In this article, we will try to answer a few questions about SEO and site speed
Let’s look at the impact of SEO and site speed:
Is SEO a driving factor of the popularity of AMPs?
Earlier in 2016, Google did mention about favoring faster, responsive mobile sites viewed on smartphones and tablets. Therefore, in a way, the answer is “Yes”. Speed has been a ranking factor since 2010 and since 2016 saw an uptick of mobile surfing, page ranking will be almost completely determined by mobile site speed by the end of 2017.
We have seen several businesses that have optimized mobile page speeds under un-optimized sites in Google SRLs. Google page speed scores are NOT the only factor that is determining the rank of websites as of now and it possibly never will be.
SEMrush lists the top 1000 websites with the most organic traffic and of them, at least 93% were mobile-friendly. This is a massive upgrade from a meager 40% (mobile friendly sites) that were operational worldwide in 2015.
However, mobile friendly does not naturally translate to fast. Out of these 93% sites, only 2% scored above 90 on Google mobile speed test. The average score was around 55/100 only.
Strangely enough, studies at NYC SEO Authority show that some of these desktop sites are faster than their mobile counterparts.
Should you stop worrying about mobile page speed?
Before you just give up working on mobile page speed projects, let us tell you something. As soon as Google’s mobile-first index kicks in your site will be ranked based on mobile page optimization as well as mobile page speed. Google has already taken significant steps towards fast tracking their AMP projects. As a matter of fact, more than 70% of all searches conducted on Google are from mobile devices as of March 2017.
Before you throw those project plans and proposals in the recycle bin, let us give you a few SEO insights that may save you all the trouble –
Mobile page speed should not be a priority for web masters at this moment in time
We have already given evidence from multiple sources that tell you that mobile page speed is significant and definitely good for your website. It can also contribute to organic traffic. However, right now, there is no direct evidence that mobile speed is feeding into SEO. So keep working on that mobile page speed project or start one if you do not have one in place, but do not deprioritize other time-tested SEO tactics. Even if mobile speed becomes a key factor in ranking websites someday, other SEO factors will not be disregarded.
Even if mobile speed becomes a key factor in ranking websites someday, other SEO factors will not be disregarded.
Mobile page speed is going to become an SEO factor that determines Google ranking in very near future –
When this happens, Google is most likely to make an announcement. Websites are going to be given a clear deadline for mobile page speed optimization. If you are still unsure of the timeline, keep an eye on our blog. You should be ready to invest available resources into optimizing your native site.
Meanwhile, you can work towards better organic traffic and conversion rate by simply optimizing your native site. You should not give up on the traditional SEO tactics to attract more traffic and gain higher ground on the search engine ranks.
Sujain Thomas is an SEO and marketing expert. She has been working with NYC SEO Authority demystifying SEO and the evolution of factors that contribute towards higher ranks of websites. Keep an eye on his blog for the latest news on SEO, AMPs and algorithm changes that can affect your website rankings.