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Fast-loading AMP Pages dominate Google’s first page results for media and news searches

News and information publishers who enable fast-loading Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for Google searches now overwhelmingly top mobile search results, suggesting holdouts are increasingly likely to lose readership and advertising revenue, new Searchmetrics research finds.

Some 78% of news-related results on the first page of mobile screens are AMP-enabled, according to Searchmetrics latest study, Ranking Factors for the Media Industry.

“This study is designed to provide advice and observations to web publications, company blogs, online news sites and other publishers who are all competing for traffic and revenue as sources of news and topical information,” said Marcus Tober, CTO and founder of Searchmetrics.

The research analyzed desktop search results on Google.com for 6,000 keyword terms relevant to the media industry (examples include Kim Kardashian, Science News, Net Neutrality and Weather NYC). The findings were compared with the company’s separate, benchmark Google ranking factors study which tracked the results from 10,000 general, high search volume keywords that apply across all industries.

Four interesting takeaways from the study are:

1) Fast-loading AMP pages comprise majority of Google’s first page for media and news searches

To analyze the popularity of AMP, Searchmetrics undertook a special investigation that tracked the mobile search results for 50 search queries that were trending on Google News. About 78% of the corresponding Google.com page one results were found to be AMP-enabled, positioned either in the standard organic search results (the familiar blue links) or in the ‘Top stories’ news boxes and carousels that Google uses to display news content more prominently in mobile results.

“With so many people now consuming news and information round the clock on mobile devices, it’s becoming more and more important for media sites to ensure an easy online experience, allowing readers to click and scroll through content quickly,” Tober said. “That’s why AMP – which displays a stripped-down, faster-loading version of web pages – was introduced and is now a growing presence in news and topical searches on mobile.”

2) Link to external sites by all means

Pages that appear in the top 20 desktop results on Google for media and news-related searches have on average 30.7 links to content on other sites. This is more than the mean rate of external links found across all industries that Searchmetrics analyzed in its benchmark study. So content creators for the various types of online media and publishers should understand that their rankings are unlikely to suffer just because they have linked to other sites. The links should add to the user experience by directing readers to credible related content or to reference sources for example.

3) Get ‘wordy’ if it adds value

Pages from online media sites that rank in the top ten desktop results on Google have on average 16% more text (around 260 additional words) than results in Searchmetrics’ wider benchmark study. Where the additional text is relevant and helps to satisfy searchers’ needs, content creators on media sites should be confident about using more words.

4) Look for ways to boost content relevance

Pages for media related results have a content relevance score which is 30% higher than in the most relevant content found in Searchmetrics benchmark study.

To download ‘Ranking Factors for the Media Industry visit: http://www.searchmetrics.com/knowledge-base/ranking-factors-media/