Google Changing AMP Policy, Sites to Now Remain Similar to their Full Counterparts

By | 18th November 2017

The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) is an open source initiative to allow website publishers to publish a quicker loading version of their website for mobile devices. Typically, it is a very stripped down version of the website, with minimal stylistic changes and only the bare minimum on the page required. It does not affect how websites index on Google’s search engine and is only a “strong” suggestion by Google that websites implement it.

Because of abuse of the system by some websites, Google are now changing their policy on how it’s enforced. Previously, there weren’t many rules on how the content should be displayed on the AMP website counterparts. Now, however, Google has had to start implementing new rules because of some websites.

As said previously, AMP sites are meant to be faster loading versions of their full site counterparts. However, some websites modified this to force users to visit the full page to continue reading the article they were on. This was possibly done for ad revenue or site engagement reasons.

Google have now enforced that AMP sites have to have nearly the same content as their fully fledged counterparts, and this will take effect from 1st February 2018. This is to prevent the so called “teaser pages” and will likely be effective in doing so. If websites are still caught abusing this, the affected links will be removed from the search results of Google’s search index, which is a rather strong reaction that will seriously force websites to reconsider their own decision.

This is one of the first changes Google has made to AMP or its policies since it came out. Google does point out, however, that of the over 25 million domains registered using AMP at this point, only a very small number of cases are abusing the system in the above manner. It seems likely that this is just a precautionary measure to prevent teaser pages from becoming the norm, rather than reactionary where this has already become an epidemic.

Source: Google Webmaster Central Blog