The last piece to the Page Experience update will be live soon and will change how Google News displays web content. Whenever that is – it’s coming later than expected – it can be marked as the day the door opens for non-adopters of the accelerated mobile pages (AMP) framework.
In a recent email sent out to publishers, Google said its news aggregator service would cease pushing AMP articles alone on the app and news.google.com feeds. Instead, both AMP and non-AMP content will be featured depending on overall page performance. This shift will mirror what is already happening to the Top Stories section of mobile Search.
What’s happening is that Google has decided user access to newsworthy content should not be limited by its AMP requirements. In particular, it will be a welcome boost for publishers who did not use AMP in the past. Still, the point is that both content formats can win as long as they follow Page Experience guidelines and service policies, of course. AMP and non-AMP – good, old standard HTML – web pages will be on an equal footing, Google News visibility-wise. And their increased competitiveness on the feeds will now come down to delivering a better user experience (UX) than their counterparts.
Publishers don’t have to enable anything to be a part of the rollout. However, expect that functionality like rendering article text provided in an RSS feed will be removed while tracking and measuring Google News data will stay the same.
But why aim for a top spot on Google News, anyway? Well, there’s a good chance of generating more traffic if your headlines rank high on people’s feeds. It means you’re churning out content that is fresh, relevant, interesting and original. With the pending lifting of AMP restrictions and proper fine-tuning, your pages can finally gain an edge and reach Google News users even if you’re not a fan of the framework.
For publishers that continue to use AMP, don’t think all your efforts will end in vain. Who can stop you from putting your AMP stories out there if you believe they can provide users with a richer mobile experience? Sure, Google can. But right now, it is not stopping you altogether. It just won’t show this version over the opposite anymore, irrespective of ranking signals.
It’s also notable how some top site owners decommissioned AMP ahead of the switch. The reason? It’s different for each publisher, but one found their AMP-powered content had no significant impact on their traffic. AMP ads restrictions and errors even lowered their mobile digital ad revenue. A study by Chartbeat, together with The Daily Beast, also showed only 1 in 3 publishers could see clear statistical evidence of a traffic increase with AMP. In any case, your stand on AMP is at least worth a rethink.
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