Google is making big changes with their Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology. On February 13th, at a conference in Amsterdam, they announced a slew of changes to Gmail and Google search results based on AMP technology, including the addition of AMP Stories.
The two new features based on AMP technology are called AMP Stories and AMP for Email. One will be a new visual storytelling format in search results, while the other will allow developers to create their own dynamic email content.
So, what is AMP Stories? And how will it impact search engine marketing, specifically in the B2B sector?
AMP Stories and B2B Marketing
AMP Stories is similar to the stories on Snapchat or Instagram, except they will be featured in mobile search results. Publishers can create their own graphic, animation and video-heavy stories which will appear in a dedicated AMP Stories section in search results.
Google’s product manager for the AMP project, Rudy Galfi, described it as “a mobile-focused format for creating visually rich stories.”
The implementation of AMP Stories follows a broader trend that Google has been setting over the past couple of years. For some time, they’ve been implementing changes to interact more with users, such as displaying rich snippets, allowing voice searches, and showing Google My Business information, along with several other dynamic features.
They’re becoming a source of information, as opposed to a place to find other sources of information. The key distinction is that rather than being a resource that sends people to different websites, Google wants to retain more web traffic. There could be a number of reasons why they want to do this, but regardless of the intent, the trend is the same.
Whether it’s to improve the user’s experience or to boost advertising revenue, AMP Stories follows the trend of proactive search features. B2B marketers need to recognize this and plan accordingly. AMP Stories, in their current iteration, do not take readers to a website – they stay in Google’s domain.
Unlike other content, AMP Stories will probably not be a major driver of web traffic and leads, but they will be a powerful branding tool. While it’s still unclear exactly how these stories will surface in search results, they have the potential to bring significant visibility to your brand. Most stories end by showing a pop up with social sharing icons, so AMP Stories may help boost social engagement, too. This is especially true in the B2B sector, where early adopters will have a much greater opportunity, from an SEO perspective, to have their stories featured in a prominent position.
Understanding AMP Stories within the context of Google’s desire to be more interactive is important for B2B marketers. AMP Stories have many upsides, but attributing ROI may be difficult as they’re far removed from the point of lead acquisition.
B2B marketers who take a brand-centric approach to AMP Stories can create visually stunning content that ranks well in Google and gets their name in front of potential buyers.