How to use Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to rank better on mobile

One of the notable and sophisticated updates that Google has ever made for their users was the mobile friendly update early in 2015. So at least it has now become the basic recommendation to design websites with mobile friendly features for website owners. To overtake their competitors, business owners make every step deep so as to keep up with the current trend of the online world. According their efforts search engine giant Google has introduced a feature called AMP (Accelerated mobile pages) to rank better on mobile searches.

What is Google AMP?
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. Google has started it in partnership with twitter. The main purpose of it was to increase the mobile browsing speed and readability. It is the basic version of HTML consisting only essential features that were necessary to run a web page four times faster on the mobile.

Google fetches and display the valid AMP page from the cache stored in its server instantly when a user request that page from the search query. Third party applications can also cache the AMP version of your web pages and displays it rapidly when it is found relevant.

The hosted and cached versions of the AMP page will contain an attribute rel = “canonical” in the HTML that point to the original mobile page. In case if your web page is responsive it will point to that version.

How can AMP improve SEO?
Although AMP is still not considered as the major fact as a ranking factor, it has some indirect effect that improves SEO on both mobile and desktop version. Yes, AMP is not only for mobile, it is for desktop version as well. If your website is fully responsive, then Google fetches that version and calculate the quality score based on it.

How to implement Google AMP?
Implementation of AMP pages are very simple to install on the content management system that you use for your on page optimization process. It can be installed on CMS like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, concrete5, Magento & Open cart. You can implement it by making custom installation based on your needs and requirement.

Installing AMP on WordPress:
Wordpress offers a default AMP plugin. It comes in handy with better review system and more functionality. WordPress is the widely used CMS and probably it is easy to install AMP plugin into it if you prefer to use it for content management.

Login to your WordPress account and navigate to the plugin menu in the left sidebar of the dashboard. Click on add new plugin and search for the plugin by entering the name. Install and activate the plugin. Then you can access the AMP version of your pages by typing /amp at the end of the url of that particular web page.

Installing AMP on Drupal:
Drupal is free like WordPress and it offers its own AMP plugin. To install AMP plugin, go to the Drupal dashboard of your account and click Extend from the left sidebar. Then click install new module and you will get a screen like the one in the picture below,

 

Drupal install new module

 

You can either add the tar.gz url of the module or download and upload tar.gz file to install. Click modules link to find your desired plugin and it will take you to a page where you can enter the desired plugin name in the search modules field. After you hit enter, the additional tools that are required to run the plugin successfully and the url link to download will appear at the bottom of the page. Just scroll down to reach that section and copy the url and paste it in the field of install from a url of the install new module page. Once you install, you need to enable the installed plugin from the level page.

Installing AMP on Joomla:
There are multiple ways to install plugins on Joomla. Go to Extensions menu and select manager from the dropdown menu. Click install from the dropdown menu of manager. Download and upload the package zip file to install. Next enable the installed plugin. To enable it again go to extensions menu and click plugin. Search for the name and check it to enable. Check the below picture.

 

Joomla plugin install

 

Installing AMP on Concrete5:
It is bit complicated to install AMP on concrete5. You need access to your secure shell. If you don’t have proper access to secure shell then contact your hosting provider for support. Installation is based on cPanel commands.
Enter the following commands to install it.
$ cd ./packages
$ git clone git@github.com:hissy/concrete5-amp.git amp
$ cd ../
$ ./concrete/bin/concrete5 c5:package-install amp
After you complete the above steps, now you can access the following url from the dashboard which will lead you to the module setup page. Now you are given option to select the web pages that you need to activate AMP on. Save your settings and it is done.

AMP for Magento and OpenCart:
The most popular e-commerce CMS also have their own AMP module for installation.
To install, go to the download page
For Magento
For OpenCart

Validate the AMP html:
Once you have installed the plugin you need to verify the html. The best way to do it is by checking your one of the web pages in the below link.

Link takes you to the official chrome extensions page where you can add the plugin for your browser and verify it.

AMP validator for chrome browser.

If your page does not contain valid AMP html, it is still indexed by Google but only when your website is AMP only or accelerated page is canonical.

Final thoughts:
As Google not yet confirmed the mobile first index, it is a clear indication to modify website that abide by the search engines algorithm or to design responsive websites right from the beginning of the design. I have verified the AMP implementation by creating a sample blogger site which is a responsive one but not AMP implemented and still gets fetched and displayed both in desktop and mobile search results. But that’s for verification purpose only and if I go for serious and successful business in the digital world I would recommend Google’s AMP for better output.

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