Google: AMP Pages May Contain More Ads Than HTML Pages
SEO specialists comply with the search engine’s recommendations to maintain parity between AMP and canonical HTML webpages. Google’s John Mueller, however, said that organic SEO specialists should know that this recommendation is not applicable to advertisements.
He discussed the matter in a recent Google Search Central SEO hangout episode. Christian Kunz, a website owner, asked if any problems would arise should the AMP version differ slightly from the canonical HTML version – in his case, there is a small ad present in the AMP version while the HTML page does not have one.
Kunz brought this up because, in 2017, Google required that all content present in AMP webpages should match their HTML versions. The search engine giant implemented this rule so that AMP pages would no longer be used as mere “teaser” pages for their HTML counterparts.
In the past, searchers would be redirected to an AMP page that only contains about a paragraph or two of content. Then, they would need to click through a link if they wanted to view the complete HTML page, which is not the most ideal user experience.
According to Google’s documentation, they say that AMP was introduced to significantly better a website’s performance and deliver a fast and consistent content consumption experience. Therefore, they advised the SEO community to keep close parity between AMP and canonical page for those who want to have their webpages displayed as AMPs in Google Search.
If they find an AMP page that does not have the same content as their HTML webpages, they will redirect the reader to a non-AMP page. Although it does not have any effect on their search ranking, it will prevent the page from being shown in search features that need AMP like the Top Stories carousel with AMP.
This led most businesses and webmasters to believe that if they were to use AMP pages, they have to ensure that it matches their canonical HTML counterparts. But what SEO specialists should be asking is whether these requirements are strict or not, to the point where even the number of ads must match.
Mueller responded by saying that it is perfectly fine if an AMP page contains ad units that are not present on their HTML canonical page. He did say, however, that both pages should still be the same in terms of photos and content. However, there are some things that do not necessarily need to be similar, like monetisation. From this answer, the SEO community can infer that Google’s requirements are not too strict when it comes to ads.
Moreover, Mueller said that SEOs and webmasters can have dynamic ads within a normal HTML page, and it does not really matter where they place the ad unit. This shows that it is totally fine with Google to display ads on AMP pages even though their canonical HTML pages do not have one, and vice versa.
It is also worth noting that the Top Stories carousel will be able to feature more than just AMP pages. The new Page Experience update will be rolling out soon in May, and by then, Google will allow the Top Stories carousel to feature regular HTML pages, provided that they meet the new Core Web Vitals requirements.
There could be requirements from Google that most businesses and site owners may find confusing, just like AMP and HTML canonical pages. If you find yourself in this situation, then it is best to work with an organic SEO specialist like Position1SEO.
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