AMP Comes to Google Image Search Results

AMP Comes to Google Image Search Results
Jan 03, 2017

Recently Google started showing AMP results in its Google image search on mobile devices. Images on AMP pages are displayed with the icon and the word “AMP”, and on clicking the title one is directed to AMP version of the web page it appears on. It is next big thing in SEO (search engine optimization).

Users today expect mobile websites to load super fast. The reality is that it can often take several seconds. It is no surprise that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. To reduce the time, content takes to get to a user’s mobile device Google has started working on the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, an open source initiative to improve the mobile web experience for everyone.

Accelerated Mobile Pages are HTML pages that employ various technical approaches to prioritize speed and bring faster experience for users by loading content almost instantaneously. AMP HTML has restrictions to ensure reliable performance, and extensions for building rich content.  If any image is displayed on an AMP page, Google will show the AMP URL, alongside the notable AMP icon, in the image search results on mobile.

However, at the moment when browsing the images within the search results, there’s no way of telling which images, if any, are on an AMP page until you click on the image. After Google expands the image one can see additional information, including the lightning bolt icon, and “AMP” before the title of the site. 

Google wants to give web surfers rapid search results, but they have some serious competition in today’s time. So if they can offer superior speed for their content through AMP in their search results, they will be able to maintain more market share. Also, Google wants to keep people on the mobile web. While Google has five of the nine most-installed mobile apps, the reality is that their market share is far less certain there. The main drawback of AMP is limitations it imposes on how you can code your pages in significant ways to increase speed. So it may not allow fancy branded design or give all the functionality users used to have on their pages.

Although in the long time sites that create AMP pages will have expanded exposure across the entire Google Mobile Search results page, like e-commerce, entertainment, travel, recipe sites and many more. Site publishers can serve their own ads through AMP, although there are restrictions on sizes and placements.

Google already shows AMP results in the core mobile search results and in the top stories for the latest news articles at the top of the search engine results page. However, the fact that it is now also in image search results means that AMP is likely grow into other areas of Google.

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