Max Prin will be speaking on AMP at Engage 2018, which will take place March 8th, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

Engage 2018 Speaker - Max Prin1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.

I am the Head of Technical SEO at Merkle, a digital marketing agency (named Large SEO Agency of the Year at the 2017 US Search Awards! Yay!). I work closely with our clients and client delivery teams on the most technical SEO topics, recommendations and implementations. I also work on developing (free) SEO tools on I studied finance and marketing and I’ve been developing websites for 8 years (mainly as a hobby). I am originally from France and now live in beautiful Bend, Oregon.

2) What are your current thoughts on AMP and where do you think it’s headed?
AMP is a fantastic concept. Page speed is a major concern, in terms of user experience (and therefore conversions) but also in terms of network infrastructure and cost of data. Since introduced in 2015, AMP has not been the most popular Google project. Web marketers and developers have been struggling finding value and justifications for adoption. As an agency, it was hard for us to push AMP to our clients that were not in the News vertical: if AMP is not a ranking factor and non-News pages are not featured more prominently in the search results, what’s the point of spending time and resources?

Things have changed, the AMP team obviously worked hard to improve the framework (adding new features and functionalities), remove limitations, facilitate implementation and validation, and maybe more importantly, to answer concerns and pushback from the industry.
With new components for e-commerce and the very recent announcement that AMP URLs as we know them (hosted on Google’s domain) will soon be removed, I believe the AMP project is headed in the right direction.

3) Are AMP pages treated different for ranking purposes?
The short answer is “No, AMP is not a ranking factor.” However, it’s a bit more complex I think: as complex as the layout and features on Google search results pages. If talking about the “10 blue links” only, then no, having an AMP URL available won’t change the ranking (it simply replaces the original URL in the same spot). The difference exists when AMP becomes a “requirement” for ranking. News outlets and recipe websites for example, need to have Accelerated Mobile Pages if they want a chance to appear in specific Google search features such as the Top stories carousel or benefit from rich results. So from a SERP features perspective, yes, AMP are treated differently for “ranking”. It’s kind of the same idea as the Featured Snippets where a URL can be number 3, or 4, or even 10 in the “10 blue links” and yet, also holds the “position 0”.

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