Google AMP has been considering one of the key points to get featured on the Google top stories. But the situation has changed now. Recently, Google announced that AMP will no longer be required to get the top position on SERP.
Is it alarming to anyone? No. As a matter of fact, the top position has now become open to everyone. That means now you too can fight for Google’s top position without specifically optimizing your page for Google AMP.
That’s cool, right? Well, you just need to make sure that you have followed the right way to be featured on Google’s top stories. And in this blog, we are going to talk about how to get the top position on SERP without using AMP. So, keep reading to know the pro tips that actually work.
Google AMP for WordPress Is No Longer Required to Rank on Top Stories
This may seem surprising to many of you and even unbelievable. However, it’s true that Google AMP will no longer be a factor to get a higher ranking on search engines. Google made this announcement on April 19, 2021, and it’s supposed to be activated from mid-June of 2021. Here is the statement that Google has declared:
Using the AMP format is no longer required and that any page, irrespective of its Core Web Vitals score or page experience status, will be eligible to appear in the Top Stories carousel.
As Google AMP is now dead, so Google won’t show the AMP badge anymore. They made another statement on this point. Here it is:
Additionally, we will no longer show the AMP badge icon to indicate AMP content. You can expect this change to come to our products as the page experience update begins to roll out in mid-June
You might be wondering why Google has made this decision. Well, let us explain it from our point of view.
Why Did Google Make This Change?
Do you recall what was the reaction among the WordPress/SEO community after the Google AMP was introduced? It was never welcomed. Rather, it was controversial from the day it was introduced and received a big push back. But Google stuck to its decision for years.
AMP put Google in control of the web and of what a website can be. Google put itself in between the visitor and the site. It took control and independence away from sites that felt forced to use Google AMP. This made many of us frustrated.
And it may have played a role to bring this decision down.
Now all the sites have a choice. If you want higher rankings and more traffic from search engines, you need to optimize your site for a better, more performant, and faster user experience. Google AMP is no longer a requirement to create a fast-loading website.
Google Still Supports AMP
Google AMP pages can and will still be displayed in the Google Top Stories section after this update.
Google noted that it will continue to support AMP after this change rolls out, and will continue to link to AMP pages when available.
The top stories section can still include AMP pages, but it won’t only include AMP pages.
So, if you have AMP optimized page, keep that page as it is. However, if you are about to create a new page or content, you don’t need to make it AMP optimized.
Pro Tips to Get Featured on Google Top Stories
Your site can be faster than AMP, without even optimizing it for Google AMP. Specially if you use WordPress. You just need to follow the right procedures to create a blazing fast website.
And as per the Google May Update, page experience will play a vital role to get featured on the Google top stories. Regardless to say, a fast-loading web page is the main requirement to improve page experience.
There are a few metrics that you should follow to get featured on Google top stories.
1. Create a Fast Loading Website
There is no alternative to prepare a fast-loading website.
According to Google, your website should load in two seconds or less. Any longer and visitors start to lose interest.
A slow-loading website faces a huge traffic drop. That ultimately causes a poor bounce rate. And a site that has a poor bounce rate won’t be treated well by Google.
- If page load time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds, the bounce rate increases 32%.
- If page load time increases from 1 second to 6 seconds, the bounce rate increases by 106%.
Not only the visitors, but Google itself also doesn’t prioritize slow-loading websites. So, if you want to get featured on Google top stories, make sure that you have a blazing fast website that loads instantly.
2. Use Structured Data to Markup Your Articles
Google’s top stories section works like a container that includes articles, live blogs, and videos. And what helps Google understand the content on the page is the required structured data. Here is an example to make thing clear:
- Heading 1
- Heading 2 (subtype of Heading 1)
- Heading 3 (subtype of Heading 1)
- Heading 4 (subtype of Heading 3)
- Heading 5 (subtype of Heading 3)
- Heading 6 (subtype of Heading 1)
You should follow this markup style if you want to get featured on Google’s top stories.
3. Ensure E.A.T
E.A.T means Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It measures the capability of a specific author, source, or page to provide authentic value to the search engine’s user.
Expertise: You need to be an expert in your field. Expertise means you need to show the skill while creating the Main Content (MC) so that Google can trust your website.
Authoritativeness: You need to show that you have the authoritativeness on your content. And you can get this from the expertise of your writers or yourself. That means your content needs to be unique and valuable. The website also needs to have content that are related to each other.
Trustworthiness: You need to show your users that they can trust your website. Trustworthiness is especially important for eCommerce websites that ask users for their credit card information. Everything about your site should make users feel safe while they’re visiting. As a starting point, you should immediately implement an SSL certificate on your site.
Google wants to give its users the best possible experience. Before anything else, this means giving them a set of results that can offer real value and can be trusted.
4. Produce Unique, Original, and Helpful Content
When you’re creating content, you need to ensure that it’s gonna be helpful for your audience. Otherwise, your site will face a tremendous bounce rate as your audience will leave the site as soon as they find out the content is useless.
Your content should not only be helpful but is also should be unique and original. Copying the content from others and publishing it to your site can’t be a smart move. Instead, there is a chance that you would face Google penalties for doing such unethical tasks.