Google To Crack Down on AMP Spammers

What’s this about?

In a continuation of the traditional cat & mouse game of search, Google is about to put a stop to those sites which put teaser content up on AMP pages, rather than the same content as the canonical URL.

Oddly, they are giving three month’s notice of the change.

Possibly this is because some of the offenders are their new best mates, the big news publishers. Money talks, eh?

Read more in this extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates 17th November 2017.

#SEO #SEONews #AMP #webspam #CanonicalURLs #SERP


Google To Crack Down on AMP Spammers

Key Issues Summary:

  • In a long-foreshadowed crackdown, Google will start penalising sites where the AMP content does not have “content parity” with the canonical URL.
  • This will come into effect in February 2018, giving naughty news publishers plenty of time to adjust.
  • This is not an alteration of their ranking policy, although the net effect is that websites wil wildly different AMP / canonical content will no longer rank.
  • This is to deal with publishers who are only giving “teaser” content on their AMP pages.
  • It will be interesting to see if Google chooses not to rank the canonical, or if it wants the canonical in preference to the AMP version.

Google To Crack Down on AMP Spammers

Key Actions To Take:

  1. Review your AMP content. It should be at content parity with the canonical URL.
  2. This effectively means that the same content should be available on the AMP URL as on the canonical URL
  3. You should modify any AMP pages which use a “teaser” style of content to allow full content on the page.
  4. You have nearly three months to action this, so get on with it.
  5. Click here to contact me to discuss how to use AMP pages properly to rank in organic search.

Insights & Discussion:

Clearly, Google is feeling slightly abused by news publishers, who in turn feel abused by Google. Some of them have been creating AMP pages which only have a couple of paragraphs of content before enticing the user to click to the website, or elsewhere.

This is clearly an abuse of the intent of AMP.

Google must be feeling confident that publishers will not abandon AMP in droves as a result, or that the problem is not widespread enough that their listings will be severely impacted by not displaying these pages.

The (rare) advanced notification must mean that there are some major publishers who are doing this, who are likely to need appropriate time to retool their output. You can also imagine Google is saying “hey guys, we’ve done a lot for you recently….”.

One of the really interesting things to see will be whether Google replaces offending AMP URLs with the canonical page, or whether the canonical page will be prevented from listing. As they say it is not a ranking policy change, you’d imagine the canonical URL will be shown.

More Information:

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TL;DR

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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