There is a new type of AMP rich card carousel in mobile search results that is being launched Google. This is in addition to the Top Stories carousel that we’re used to seeing.
This new carousel appears in the main mobile results list, and showcases related articles from a single publisher. They began to appear at the end of 2016 without any major fanfare from Google.
These “single-source” AMP carousels are more likely to appear in results for popular search queries, especially when it comes to news stories. There was a search done on January 15 for “Kansas City Chiefs News” that produced four single-source AMP carousels in addition to the Top Stories carousel:
If you do a search for any big news story, more than likely you’ll get several single-source carousels in mobile search. The will appear frequently for recipe searches, like “cookie recipes.”
It seems that Google is invoking this particular AMP carousel when a publisher offers multiple AMP result with high relevance to the search term. But there isn’t a guarantee that a publisher will get a carousel for a particular query, even if relevant results are numerous. For the time being, it seems that the when and why is still a mystery.
The obvious thing is that the single-source rich card carousels are a bonus to AMP-enhanced publishers. These AMP rich cards will offer a high-impact showcase that helps publishers to stand out against competition, with better opportunity for onward engagement than a plain text link.
This approach will enable Google to thread the needle between promoting AMP and preserving the integrity of result relevance. According to Google, AMP content isn’t going to be explicitly favored in search rankings and is presumably keeping the promise. The search engine is continuing to show non-AMP content at the top of the mobile results when that content is at its most relevant.