AMP HTML to Become a Ranking Factor in 2016?

A couple of months ago Google announced the Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) Project that provides a faster mobile web experience. To understand why Google might incorporate this into its ranking algorithm, let’s look at some of the major updates over the past 5 years.

Search Engine Algorithm Update Timeline

Google tests and adjusts its algorithm at least once a day, if not more. Below are some of the larger, well known updates geared towards Usability and User Intent:


  • Panda: Penalized websites with thin content, content farms, high number of ads versus content. Updates continue to this day.


  • Penguin: Penalized low quality websites that were over optimizing and spamming keywords on their websites. Updates are on-going.
  • Page Layout: Updated their page layout algorithms to devalue sites with too much ad-space above the “fold”.


  • Hummingbird: Major algorithm update that shifted to semantic search (conversational search).


  • Pigeon: Updates to local search and moved their core search algorithm to be closer with local cues.


  • Mobile Update: In May of this year, Google rolled out mobile rankings algorithm that takes into account multiple ranking factors for mobile friendly.

With the number of searches conducted on mobile devices surpassing desktop earlier this year that this trend will continue. Something that is not lost on Google or Bing and they will be incorporating how quickly a page loads not just on desktop but mobile devices into their algorithms.

Increased Speed

With AMP comes increased speed in that it relies heavily on CSS, pre-rendering and heavy limitations on JavaScript. The AMP documentation also indicates the addition of enforcing best practices with CSS. By doing so the claim is there has been a performance improvement “between 15% and 85%”.


Based on the updates we know about from Google and how heavily the updates fall into Usability and User Intent, we will most likely see this included into the Page Speed Insights they currently provide which means at some point they will use the data as a ranking algorithm. Get up to speed (pun intended) on AMP HTML.

Sean Van Guilder About the author

Sean Van Guilder has been helping businesses get found on the internet for over 20 years. He has a 10,000 foot view of digital marketing that helps shed light on SEO as a business driver.  Sean has worn almost every digital marketing hat out there and brings strategies and tactics that have knocked the socks off of companies such as Microsoft, MSN and WONGDOODY, to name a few.  Currently, Sean is leading the SEO Practice for premier digital marketing agency, Point It, in Seattle.  Sean is a self-taught digital marketer and loves every minute of it.  When he’s not in front of a computer, he’s teasing his co-workers, playing sports, hanging with his kids, making music and collecting HO scale trains.

  • Rakesh

    Is AMP currently determines Google search ranks? Or this is just an prediction that they might be using it for ranking purpose in future…Thank you.

    February 8, 2016 at 5:24 am

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