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Google AMP Evolves To Tackle E-commerce

Google has made some changes to the SERPS by adapting AMP for e-commerce. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and is basically content that is mobile optimized, fast and can be loaded instantly.

According to Google, AMP ‘is an open source initiative that embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere.’ It’s an initiative by Google to try and improve our experience of the mobile web, and also stay ahead of Facebook’s Instant Articles.

If you are still on the fence as to whether you should make your content AMP compliant, these recent changes just might tip you over the edge. Initially, AMP was made for improving news and blog content, but it’s quickly infiltrating other aspects of the SERPS.

Due to the fact that it makes consuming content on mobiles fast and easy, it’s only natural that it would benefit other areas such as e-commerce and travel. AMP results appear under the first result in a carousel, so they are likely to snatch up a lot of traffic.

What are the key changes?

Something often shown to impact conversion rates in e-commerce is page speed, so AMP will be able to make pages faster, which hopefully means more conversions. When AMP first emerged, Google suggested that at some point it would be used in e-commerce, and this is finally happening. From the 22nd of August 2016, the AMP platform now enables the option to build aspects of e-commerce sites, such as product and category pages.

Now, Google will display AMP pages in the search results. It’s important to note that this update does not affect rankings (yet), although site speed, which AMP is focused on, could have an impact on your rankings and over time it could be argued Google will favour sites running AMP as they will be the most mobile friendly.

Unfortunately, AMP pages currently aren’t very adaptable, as there is a lack of customization. Perhaps in time this will change, but we suspect Google won’t want to move away from AMP pages that look like a Google Search feature.

Richard Gingras, Google’s head of news and social products explains, ‘This is a very big step forward simply in terms of the amount of traffic we will now see going to AMP files — by far the biggest so far, in terms of increasing overall AMP adoption and traffic.’ He claims these updates will help to ‘make the web great again.’

According to Google, 85% of results are mobile friendly, which is a high enough proportion to get rid of the ‘mobile friendly’ tag so that search results end up looking cleaner and easier to digest.

What does this mean for e-commerce?

Want to know how AMP will be developing over the next few months? Check out the proposed timeline with upcoming changes here. E-commerce giant Ebay have most definitely got on board, they recently added a whopping 8 million sales pages to AMP, showing the impact it can have on e-commerce sites.

Google says that ‘AMP is a natural fit for e-commerce because AMP makes webpages fast, and fast pages help with purchase conversions.’ If you want to see what sort of results are coming up with AMP searches, click this link and perform a search from a mobile device.

AMP blog

Implementing AMP may not be a straightforward process, but brands who make the effort to do so may start to get the benefits ahead of their competitors. The web is constantly adapting and something people will always want is fast, relevant information, and that’s what AMP serves up on a platter for hungry e-commerce shoppers, and with Ebay jumping on board, and actually be shown within search results it starts to make things very interesting.