On May 28th, Google announced a new Page Experience Update. Not only that, Google will no longer be requiring AMP for the mobile version of the Top Stories section in Google search. This isn’t to happen until 2021, but it’s important to know that the page experience is going to be an important factor when determining what content will be displayed in the Top Stories section.
According to Google back in 2016, only AMP pages that could be displayed in the Google mobile version of the top stories in Search. But recently, the search engine allowed some local news providers for COVID-19 related stories bypass this requirement.
Once this Page Experience goes live next year, Google won’t require AMP for the top stories news section. Just make sure the pages on your website do well in terms of the Page Experience scores.
Even when this does go live, AMP can and will be displayed in the Google Top Stories section after this update. Rudy Galfi of Google said that most of the AMP pages already perform very well across all the page experience factors. If you don’t have AMP, then those pages will begin ranking well in Top Stories.
Google wrote “when we roll out the page experience ranking update, we will also update the eligibility criteria for the Top Stories experience. AMP will no longer be necessary for stories to be featured in Top Stories on mobile; it will be open to any page.”
Google added, “alongside this change, page experience will become a ranking factor in Top Stories, in addition to the many factors assessed. As before, pages must meet the Google News content policies to be eligible. Site owners who currently publish pages as AMP, or with an AMP version, will see no change in behavior – the AMP version will be what’s linked from Top Stories.”