Since its launch in 2015, many publishers have adopted Accelerated Mobile Pages for the loading speed benefit they provide. However, some sites are using AMP as teaser pages that require a second click to view a full article. To combat this, Google Search is adopting a content parity requirement next year.
Many publishers offer content as both a canonical version for desktop and an AMP version on mobile. To Google, the “ideal scenario” is content parity across both these versions. However, that is not always the case, with some misusing AMP pages as teasers.
In a small number of cases, AMP pages are used as teaser pages which create a particularly bad user experience since they only contain minimal content. In these instances, users have to click twice to get to the real content.
Such a page might include only the first few lines of an article and then feature a “read more” button at the end that takes users to the full page.
To combat this double-clicking experience, Google will be enforcing a close parity requirement between AMP and canonical pages. Pages that want to be included in Search results as AMP and other related functionality, like Top Stories, have to abide by these rules:
Where we find that an AMP page doesn’t contain the same critical content as its non-AMP equivalent, we will direct our users to the non-AMP page. This does not affect Search ranking. However, these pages will not be considered for Search features that require AMP, such as the Top Stories carousel with AMP.
This enforcement comes into effect on February 1st of next year, with Google notifying webmasters through the Search console when these disparities occur.