Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages Is Inflating Traffic Metrics

What is Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

AMP is a Google-backed project designed as an open-source initiative for any publisher to have pages load quickly on mobile devices. AMP provides a great user experience across several platforms.

Google AMPs are intended to speed up page load times on the mobile web, by shedding a lot of the design and advertising elements that slow the normal website down. Google AMP pages are marked in its search results pages with a small lightning bolt image.google's-accelerated-mobile-pages-1

In-depth - Why AMP is inflating traffic metrics?

Christian Oliveira, SEO consultant, recognized an issue with using Google AMP and how it will likely inflate your Google Analytics and other metrics. The issue was first spotted on his blog.

In fact, it is responsible for falsely inflating traffic several times more than is real. Christian found that a single visitor to your website, running on Google's AMP, can be reported as four unique visitors.

Also, when a visitor moves away from an AMP page to another page in the same website, but not on Google's AMP or mobile page format, the analytics tool registers a person leaving the website, Christian said.

The issue occurs because Google is rendering a publisher's content on AMP pages, rather than the publisher itself, which creates a problem with analytics services.

When a visitor navigates from an AMP page to a regular page in the same website, that causes a new session to be generated, even though technically it is the same session. The cookies on the AMP pages and publisher pages don't match up, creating duplicate users/sessions within the analytics tool. Due to this, the bounce rate will appear higher than normal when AMP pages are involved, because new sessions are generated as described above. It seems as if users are leaving site quickly when they are not. Page views per session will appear lower when an AMP person moves from an AMP page to a regular page in a single session. Visitors who come to an AMP page from search (e.g. Google Search) and then go to another page will appear in the analytics report as if they are new visitors coming from referral traffic, rather than Google Search.

 

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