When Google released an update about mobile-first indexing, it made it clear that the update was meant to be aligned with the rising trend that mobile devices are now a more popular medium when using search engines.
With the development of accelerated mobile pages (AMP) that provide better experience, webmasters can now make their websites suit to this newly-adopted standards, making their websites load much faster to visitors using smartphones.
But as with any changes Google makes, such site speed or secured http as announced recently, many of us make quick speculation that this new update could be another layer of Google’s ever-changing ranking factor.
Thankfully we get definitive answers to clear the air. Google’s John Mueller has previously mentioned that AMP is not a ranking factor on a Google Hangout session, but further affirmed his earlier statement via Twitter, replying to a question.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) January 25, 2017
According to One important thing to note is that what Google looks for is the official/canonical URL version of your website (see video here). This means if your canonical URL is the AMP version, that’s the one Google evaluates. Otherwise, it’s the non-AMP pages. If you earlier declare AMP version is the official page URL of the site and later disable serving AMP, we’d expect Google would revert back to the non-AMP version to judge page quality.
After personally implementing AMP into one of my websites late December, I can see improvement in organic traffic in the past four weeks. While Google sees this as non-factor in ranking pages, perhaps the “flash” symbol that sits next to the search engine result listing assures a visitor that he or she gets a better usability experience. But the site has to be ranked prominently before getting that attention so it’s a bit catch-22.