Google Ditches AMP Badge In Search; Will It Matter? [Survey]

The upcoming Google Page Experience Update has been probably the most common matters within the search engine marketing neighborhood prior to now yr, as a result of its emphasis on optimizing Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics.

But there are another facets of the replace that haven’t obtained as a lot visibility, comparable to what Google plans to do with AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages.

In this column, you’ll be taught extra about upcoming adjustments to AMP, notably round Google’s deprecation of the AMP icon.

Does the AMP icon improve CTR and what does the common searcher consider the badge once they see it within the SERPs, anyway?

I’ll share outcomes from a current survey on what customers actually consider the AMP icon, with commentary on what it might imply when it’s taken away.

Let’s begin with a little bit of useful background for context.

Google is Removing the AMP Requirement for Top Stories

In May of 2020, Google introduced that as a part of the Page Experience Update (now launching in mid-June), AMP will now not be a requirement for websites to rank within the Top Stories carousel on cell gadgets.


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This will develop the eligibility of web sites not utilizing AMP to have the ability to seem in that SERP function.

The Top Stories carousel is of essentially the most coveted spots within the search outcomes for writer websites to rank, given the big quantity of natural visitors that flows via there.

This side of the Page Experience Update is welcome information for a lot of publishers who’ve been skeptical of adopting AMP in addition to those that have averted utilizing it as a result of unfavourable impacts on promoting income and/or the quantity of labor required to keep up compliant AMP URLs.

In idea, eradicating the AMP requirement for Top Stories on cell might additionally end in many extra websites rating in Top Stories, on condition that there’ll now not be a technical barrier to entry.

However, the remaining necessities for rating in Top Stories are strict.

According to Google News knowledgeable John Shehata, these are among the rating elements that assist websites to seem in Top Stories:


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  • Overall authoritativeness of the publication.
  • A transparent give attention to entities within the headlines and content material.
  • Topical authority of the publication (i.e., sports activities, native information).
  • Trustworthiness (credible authors, factual integrity).
  • Citations and buzz (hyperlinks and social media shares).
  • Article click-through price.

Google patent knowledgeable Bill Slawski additionally wrote a radical article final yr a couple of patent Google was granted in March of 2019 known as Automated News Digest.

In this patent, Google explains the way it assigns “Importance Scores” to pages, which then determines how these pages are ranked in Top Stories.

The elements that contribute to a information story’s Importance Score largely resemble the above suggestions made by Shehata, comparable to recency, social shares, and the authority of the publication and the writer.

For websites hoping to capitalize on the expanded eligibility of Top Stories rankings, the above suggestions will proceed to be vital.

However, AMP now not serving as a technical requirement for rating in Top Stories on cell gadgets doesn’t suggest that web page efficiency gained’t be an vital rating issue for this SERP function.

It’s probably that Core Web Vitals will play an vital position within the rankings of Top Stories content material, maybe much more so than in the remainder of the search outcomes.

This is very true if some publishers proceed utilizing AMP, which provides Core Web Vitals efficiency metrics that may be tough to compete with for non-AMP URLs.

Google Deprecating the AMP Icon

When Google recently announced that the Page Experience replace could be postponed to mid-June, they also snuck in a new detail associated to AMP:

“Additionally, we’ll now not present the AMP badge icon to point AMP content material. You can count on this modification to return to our merchandise because the web page expertise replace begins to roll out in mid-June. We’ll proceed to take a look at different methods to assist determine content material with an incredible web page expertise, and we’ll hold you up to date when there’s extra to share.”

I assumed this portion of the announcement was fascinating, though a lot of the different news-focused search engine marketing professionals I spoke to stated one thing alongside the strains of, “It gained’t matter; nobody pays consideration to the AMP badge.”


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This is a query I’ve been questioning about for years. Do customers care concerning the AMP badge?

As digital entrepreneurs, we all know what the badge symbolizes and subsequently could also be extra vulnerable to click on on it consequently.

However, as with many ways in which search engine marketing execs navigate the SERPs, this habits will not be essentially reflective of the common consumer.

Does the AMP Badge Increase Click-Through Rate (CTR)?

The most vital research executed thus far to reply the query of whether or not utilizing AMP improves a web page’s CTR is this 2019 study executed by Perficient Digital. Here are the outcomes of the research:

Overall, 22 of the 26 web sites (77%) skilled natural search features on cell. Other areas of enchancment embrace SERP impressions and SERP click-through charges. A abstract of the outcomes throughout all 26 websites is as follows:

  • 27.1% improve in natural visitors.
  • 33.8% improve in SERP impressions.
  • 15.3% greater SERP click-through charges.

According to this research, AMP undoubtedly will increase click-through charges. Despite many search engine marketing professionals believing that the looks of an AMP badge alongside an article has no impression on CTR as a result of most customers don’t know what the badge does, the outcomes of this research didn’t shock me.


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Similar to different wealthy outcome options comparable to star scores, timestamps, picture thumbnails, and sitelinks, the presence of a particular ‘badge’ alongside an natural outcome could possibly be sufficient to extend CTRs, even when customers don’t absolutely perceive what it means.

An Updated Analysis: AMP’s Impact on CTR Using Client Data

My search engine marketing crew at Amsive Digital works with quite a few writer purchasers, and considered one of them lately experimented with turning AMP on and off for a 2-week interval.

I used to be in a position to make use of this information to investigate the efficiency of the identical articles with and with out AMP enabled.

I managed for place by gathering CTR information solely when the article was rating in the identical place with AMP turned on or off.

I additionally filtered by outcomes utilizing the AMP Non-Rich Result filter in Google Search Console.

(These outcomes present up within the 10 blue hyperlinks, with the one distinction being that the lightning daring badge is displayed.)


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I in contrast the 2 weeks throughout which the articles have been AMP-enabled to the 2 prior weeks when AMP was not getting used. I additionally filtered the outcomes to cell gadgets solely.

Client URLs are redacted

Among the 186 articles analyzed, the CTR improved by 11.9%, on common, with AMP enabled.

Although it’s believed that AMP has no impression on CTRs as a result of most customers don’t know what the AMP badge means, each the Perficient research and my mini-analysis proved that the presence of the AMP badge can enhance CTR by at the least 11%.


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Next, I needed to dig into whether or not it’s true that the majority customers don’t know what the AMP badge is or does.

What Does the Average User Think About the AMP Badge in Search Results?

To get a deeper understanding of whether or not the common consumer even is aware of what the AMP ‘lightning bolt’ icon symbolizes, I performed a small survey utilizing Mturk, to keep away from the outcomes being skewed amongst digital advertising and marketing professionals. There have been 250 respondants.

Disclaimers: This survey makes use of a small pattern measurement and, in fact, customers’ responses about how they use Google don’t at all times align with how they are going to truly behave when clicking on the search outcomes.

However, on condition that we don’t get entry to this information straight from Google, I assumed it could be fascinating to see what the common consumer believes concerning the position of the AMP icon in search outcomes.

AMP Survey Results:

1. Do You Know What the AMP Lightning Bolt Indicates within the Search Results?

This query was introduced with 4 visible examples of articles displaying the AMP lightning bolt badge, with the badge circled.

Do you know what the AMP lightning bolt indicates in search results?

Fifty-four p.c of respondents indicated that they knew what the AMP badge means in search outcomes.


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2. For Those Who Answered “Yes” to the Above Question, What Does the AMP Lightning Bolt Icon Indicate within the Search Results?

This query put the customers’ information to the take a look at – amongst those that believed they knew what the AMP icon does, solely 34% answered accurately that AMP serves a stripped-down model of a web page that hundreds extra rapidly (the far-left column).

Interestingly, a big proportion (32%) of respondents thought the lightning bolt indicated that the content material was lately up to date, and 22% thought AMP interprets the web page content material.

In different phrases, a a lot greater proportion of respondents received this reply mistaken than they did proper.


What does the amp lightning bolt indicate in search results?

3. Are You More Likely to Click on a Search Result That Has an AMP Lightning Bolt Icon Displayed on It Than One Without It?

This query had no pictures or visible cues about what the AMP lightning bolt appears like within the search outcomes.

Google Ditches AMP Badge In Search; Will It Matter? [Survey]

Interestingly, a robust majority of respondents indicated that the presence of an AMP lightning bolt would improve the probability of them clicking on that outcome.


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But once more, this query was not introduced with any visible cues and survey responses will not be the identical as precise search habits.

It’s attainable customers aren’t absolutely conscious of how they work together with search outcomes.

To add to that, as proven within the query above, most respondents don’t even seem to completely perceive the aim of the AMP badge.

4. Does the Grey AMP Lightning Bolt Icon Displayed Below (third Result) Have Any Impact on Your Desire to Click on Any of the Search Results?

For the subsequent query, respondents got a visible instance of an AMP outcome in comparison with two non-AMP ends in the SERP to see whether or not their response could be any totally different.

See the screenshot under for reference.

does the grey AMP lighting bolt icon displayed below (3rd result) have any impact on your desire to click on any of the search results

Perhaps unsurprisingly, respondents answered in a different way than their earlier solutions once they have been introduced with a real-life instance of AMP within the search outcomes.


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There was no clear winner when it comes to whether or not the AMP badge made customers need to click on on that outcome extra, maybe as a result of they realized that there are different elements that contribute to the click-through price, comparable to the pictures, headlines, descriptions, and timestamps additionally displayed.

Respondents may additionally have preferences in the direction of sure publications that would additionally impression CTR.

5. If You Are More Likely to Click on Results With the AMP Icon, Why Do You Prefer Clicking on These Results? Select All That Apply.

if you are more likely to click on results with amp icon

This was a extra simple query by which the consumer might choose a number of choices about why the AMP icon is interesting to them.


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Of course, not all of those solutions will not be fully right or relevant to all AMP pages, but it surely was fascinating to see how customers responded.

The majority indicated that they like AMP due to the higher UX of AMP pages and their quick load occasions, which is in keeping with the overall mission of the AMP project.

Will It Matter That Google Is Taking the AMP Badge Away?

While survey information will not be fully dependable, there are some indications within the above responses that customers did admire the presence of an AMP badge to point that pages would load extra rapidly and in any other case current a greater expertise.

Furthermore, the research by Perficient, in addition to my evaluation of current consumer information, each point out that the AMP badge can improve CTR by wherever from 11.9% – 15.3%. 

This might trigger some upcoming fluctuations in CTR and visitors for websites which have traditionally benefitted from that elevated CTR stemming from the AMP badge.

Google has indicated that it could experiment with different badges and labels to point when a web page can have expertise,


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Perhaps we gained’t miss the AMP badge an excessive amount of when it results in the lengthy checklist of issues Google has deprecated over time.

More Resources:

Image Credits

In-post pictures 2-4, 6-7: Amsive Digital
All screenshots taken by writer, May 2021

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