Pubcon 2016 Takeaway – Google Is Serious About Mobile

While attending Pubcon 2016 in Las Vegas, I heard a ton of great sessions and met lots of people smarter than me (always a good measure of whether you’re in the right place or not). During the 4-day conference we had a keynote from Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst at Google. He had a lot to say, but his comments on mobile stood out to me.

What’s The Big Deal With AMP?

If you haven’t heard about it, AMP stands for Advanced Mobile Pages and is a technology Google is behind to speed up mobile pages. Here’s a full article if you need a refresh.

The short, short version is that AMP is a way to create extremely fast versions of your pages. There is a WordPress plugin if that’s your platform, but otherwise it will take some work on your side. However, it allows you to do it on a page by page basis.

So if you are incredulous about the benefits of making your site more mobile-friendly then you can test out a few of your most important pages with AMP and see how it helps you.

How Does AMP Help?


First, we’ll start with this disclaimer:

Of course Google is going to say this lest every SEO in the world immediately floods them with AMP pages. However, we need to look deeper.

The Mobile Index vs The Desktop Index

Right now, Google ranks mobile pages based on desktop signals. Effectively the index is desktop first. However, Gary mentioned that in the near future they’ll be flipping to a mobile-first index. This has the potential to lose some ranking signals, but they’ll still be indexing desktop. However, the mobile index will be the most fresh index and desktop will be secondary.

What Does It Mean For You?

We’ve known for awhile that mobile was the future. Right now 65% of digital media is consumed via a mobile device, so you could say the future is now.

Google wants to maintain their position, so they’re going to deliver search results that deliver the best possible results to users on mobile devices. This makes perfect sense because who does a user blame when they click a link and it goes to a site that is crappy? Yep, Google.

So it’s time to make things happen with your site/content to make it mobile-friendly. Google is getting behind AMP so that’s a way to start without doing a full mobile-friendly site redesign (though that’s what you’ll eventually want to do). Doing so will get you some preferential display on the SERPs and likely a higher CTR as users learn those pages are the best mobile pages.

What do you think of these changes? We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments!