This past week Google revealed big news for publishers using or considering using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology for their content. On that same topic, Google has started actively encouraging site owners to create more AMP pages. Google has also clearly defined how it records certain metrics in Search Console, and organic results for restaurant searches may never look the same again.
Full details about these top headlines are included in this week’s recap of search marketing news.
Google Says AMP Pages Will Be Shown in Organic Results
Accelerated Mobile Pages is a technology that was announced in October 2015 with the intent to speed up the mobile web. By using AMP HTML, pages can be coded so they load instantly when clicked on from a search results page. Up until now, AMP pages have only been served in search results via a “Top Stories” carousel which sits at the top of search results pages for trending news topics. That’s about to change.
Non-news publishers are using AMP technology too and they deserve to show up in organic searches as well. That’s why Google has announced plans to start serving AMP pages in the regular set of organic search results (the blue links). AMP pages will still be designated by the familiar lightning bolt icon, so they easily stand out against non-AMP competitors. With the knowledge that Google is about to send more traffic to AMP pages, this may be the extra encouragement needed for site owners to adopt AMP technology. At the very least, it justifies the efforts of sites utilizing AMP HTML thus far.
Just to be clear, the AMP news carousel will still exist, but it will now coexist with the indexation of AMP pages in organic search. There was no date given as to when Google will be implementing this change, it was only said that it’s in the works and still in the developer preview stage for now.
Google Encouraging Site Owners to Create More AMP Pages
Following the news that AMP pages will soon be getting more exposure in organic search results, Google has started sending alerts to site owners encouraging them to create more AMP pages.
The exact message from Google reads:
Google has detected that your site has many pages that may benefit from being served as AMP pages. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are HTML pages that are optimized to load fast on mobile devices. Learn more about AMP benefits in the resources below. Valid AMP pages on your site will be eligible to be shown in search results and receive special badging in search results.
Google then links out to various resources to help make your content AMP-compatible, including pages with general information about AMPs, resources to learn how to create AMP pages, and an AMP verification tool.
If you receive one of these messages, there’s no cause for concern if there is no AMP-compatible content on your site at the moment. It’s just Google providing a friendly reminder.
Google Explains ‘Impressions’, ‘Positions’, and ‘Clicks’
Google Search Console provides a ton of valuable data on your website, but at times the amount of data can be overwhelming. On top of that, Google hasn’t always been the most transparent when it comes to explaining exactly what each of the metrics means. That’s why the company released a new help document this past week to better explain how it records a few of the primary metrics in Search Console.
In the ‘Search Analytics’ section of Search Console, there are three values to pay attention to: ‘Impressions’, ‘Positions’, and ‘Clicks’. In the help document, Google goes on to explain how it records each of those metrics. We will briefly summarize it for you here:
- Impressions: An impression is recorded whenever a clickable URL to a page on your website appears in the search results pages.
- Positions: Google counts positions in organic search from top to bottom on the left-hand side of the page, regardless of what type of search elements are being served. For example, a search may deliver a quick answer box at the top, followed by a news carousel, followed by organic blue links. The position of each of those elements will be recorded based on the order they appear.
- Clicks: Anytime a user clicks on something that leads them to a page outside of Google, it is recorded as one click. If the link the user clicks on redirects them somewhere else, then the page the user eventually lands on will get credit for the click.
In very basic terms, that’s how Google defines impressions, positions, and clicks.
Google Makes a Change to Restaurant Searches
Restaurateurs and bar owners are going to want to pay attention to Google’s new change to food and drink searches. Getting more reviews of your establishment and its fare is going to become more crucial than it once was. Now, when conducting food and drink searches, Google will surface critic reviews from reputable sources such as Zagat and Michelin. Google will prioritize the critic reviews over traditional organic results. In addition, Google will also link out to articles in which the location you’re looking at has been mentioned as being one of the best in class.
You may even have to go to page two or three before getting the usual set of “blue links” search results. Whether or not this will benefit either searchers or restaurants/bars remains to be seen. However, it’s safe to say that the most highly reviewed and frequently mentioned establishments now have an even greater advantage in organic search.
Wrapping it Up
AMP pages will soon be making their debut in Google’s organic search results, which has led to the company encouraging site owners to create more AMP-compatible content. Google has clearly defined how some of the top metrics in Search Console are being recorded, and Google’s change to restaurant searches is set to benefit the most highly reviewed locations.
If you have any questions or concerns about this week’s updates, we are always available for questions. Just leave a comment below and we will be sure to respond.