Don’t think so, Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, stated during his SEJ Summit Chicago appearance that, “Currently, AMP is not a mobile ranking factor.
But you like it or not , there is an high likelihood that google will drive #AMP one day as an ranking signal, specially after google announced its Mobile First Index update to be expected anytime this year. We’ve been hearing a lot about mobile-first indexing lately, as the latest development in Google’s ever-continuing efforts to make the web more mobile-friendly and reflect user behavior trends.
Mobile-first indexing is exactly what it sounds like. It just means that the mobile version of your website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index, and the baseline for how they determine rankings. If you monitor crawlbot traffic to your site, you may see an increase in traffic from Smartphone Googlebot, and the cached versions of pages will usually be the mobile version of the page.
It’s called “mobile-first” because it’s not a mobile-only index: for instance, if a site doesn’t have a mobile-friendly version, the desktop site can still be included in the index. But the lack of a mobile-friendly experience could impact negatively on the rankings of that site, and a site with a better mobile experience would potentially receive a rankings boost even for searchers on a desktop.
We can easily see that AMP-optimized news stories will now appear at the top of Google’s mobile search results for a relevant query. So even though Google is hesitant to describe AMP capability as an SEO ranking factor in and of itself, AMP pages get sent straight to the top of the page, which is precisely what makes people care about ranking factors in the first place. Also, unlike Instant Articles or Apple News, Google’s AMP pages will be open source, which means the source code will be made freely available and can be contributed to, redistributed or modified by anyone.
Plus, improved speed naturally leads to improved user experience. As users get used to choosing web pages from the AMP carousel, they’ll be delighted with the immediate reward of a lag-free mobile experience. According to early reports, these content templates will improve 15%-85% of load times. Considering mobile users typically abandon pages that take longer than three seconds to load — 15% is impactful, 85% is monumental.
SEO for both mobile and desktop has always been a game of subtlety and long-term effort, not quick fixes. AMP pages, like all web pages, need to be built with a holistic approach towards delivering genuine value to users and doing so quickly (on their devices).
In a nutshell, while google Hesitates to describe AMP web pages to have an impact on SEO rankings, this will be one of the prominent factors that will drive Mobile rankings moving forward.