This article about AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) in the SEO section of Search Engine Land helps explain what Google is doing about errors in the AMP.
With AMP expanding to the core mobile results in the future, it is good to know that invalid structured data is no longer a make it or break it rule for making your AMP pages show up in the search results.
Google has updated the Google Search Console AMP error reports starting on April 1st, according to this page to “downgrade” both the “missing structured data” and “invalid structured data” errors from pure errors that invalidate your AMP pages to just “informational notes” that do not invalidate your AMP pages.
Some AMP pages may see a drop in errors reported. This is because the “missing structured data” and “invalid structured data” issues have been downgraded from errors to informational notes. This downgrading was done because an AMP page no longer needs a structured data element to appear in search results.
Of course, structured data is important to jazz up the interface and show better in the top news carousel, although this is a small fraction of the Google search. But with AMP support coming to core mobile search, it is not a requirement to show up in the ‘ten blue links’.
So, with most people even being aware that this was ever an issue, it is now gone. Google has a unique way of making miniscule rules and regulations into something enormously important whenever they decide to stop punishing websites for these tinky little infractions. Big deal, but thanks Google.
What action should you take right now? Do nothing! Why? We’ve been checking on search engine rankings and here’s the result of this observation. AMP plays an important role for news aggregators like online newspapers. Example of these are Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times and Huffington Post. These information sources churn our massive numbers of web pages every day. They are also in a highly competitive field.
In industries and market niches where adding large numbers of blog posts are important for both site visitor experience (also known as UI) and for rankings, then AMP is very important. Other industries and market niches, where extensive blogging is not standard, then it is not so important. However, if one site in a local area is providing AMP properly, that site can see significant uptick in rankings on Mobile devices for the Google search engine. This is particularly true if competitors’ websites are not providing AMP.
The crucial point here is that AMP can be a tie breaker for Mobile rankings on Google. Apparently Google wants to reward AMP efforts and will forgive other structural errors. Some of this new impetus certainly comes from the technical issues involved in creating AMP from existing pages. AMP is generated by using automation, no one is building these pages manually, it would take far too much time. The automation efforts often create proper code for the visible page, but are unable to add structured data properly.
The automated generation of AMP is also complicated by the fact that the page code is HTML. This creates issues for sites using WordPress or other dynamic CMS system. The HTML pages just don’t behave as well with WordPress plugins. Since WordPress plugins are used to generate the AMP HTML, this is a real roadblock. The plugins currently in use do not have the Structured Data features built in. Attempting to add structured data after the pages are created has proven to be difficult.
Google is now giving all website owners a big kings X on the issue of structured data in AMP. As AMP generators improve and properly add structured data, Google may revisit this issue and fold it into the ranking algorithm. Your take-away here is this:
If AMP is important for your website: Continue searching for an AMP plugin that will correctly add structured data.
If AMP is not important: Don’t be concerned, at some point AMP will be integrated into web development in WordPress themes.
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