Google’s push to adopt Web Stories draws comparisons to AMP, another lightweight web technology that received a similar push in its early years.
With AMP no longer receiving the support it used to, along with a lack of focus in search results, people are wondering if the Web Stories format is here to replace it.
Google search attorney John Mueller responded to one such question on Twitter from an SEO professional asking if Web Stories were the new AMP.
– Tammy Wood (@crazywoody) February 16, 2022
It’s a fair question to ask. In fact, when the Web Stories format was introduced in 2018, it was referred to as “AMP Stories.”
That’s because AMP is the underlying technology for web stories. However, there is a difference between AMP and web stories, which Mueller pointed out in his response.
The difference between AMP and web stories
Unlike AMP pages, Web Stories are not paired with an equivalent HTML page.
web stories We are HTML pages. They stand on their own, despite being built on top of the AMP framework.
“Kinda – they’re built on top of the AMP framework, but they don’t use the ‘double’ setting. If you use a tool to create them, they’re basically just HTML pages that you can link to from within your site normally.”
Web Stories can be accessed and linked like any other web page. There is no special link generated when creating a web story like there is in an AMP page.
So why compare?
The comparison between AMP and web stories can stem from a number of factors.
Google Discover has a library dedicated to web stories, which is reminiscent of the AMP circuit that existed when AMP was in its early years.
Also reminiscent of the early years of AMP is the Google support behind Web Stories.
Google has an official WordPress plugin to help publishers easily create and embed web stories on their sites.
Additionally, Google has a programmatic advertising solution for web stories that gives publishers a way to monetize them.
Recently, Google developed a way for publishers to track the performance of Web Stories in Data Studio using a Simple model.
All of this is designed to encourage more adoption of the web stories format. The more successful websites are using web stories, the more likely it is that other sites will use them as well.
Last June, Google reported that it had reached 100,000 new web stories added to its search index on a daily basis.
While that’s a big number, Google would undoubtedly like it to be higher. This is evidenced by the fact that Google Discover web stories are only supported in the United States, India, and Brazil.
Last year, Mueller stated that Google may expand its support for Web Stories if more sites start using it. So far, that hasn’t happened.
Given that the Web Stories format was introduced four years ago, the fact that it hasn’t been widely adopted isn’t necessarily a bad sign. Although that could mean we’ll see a bigger push from Google to get more sites on board.
One thing is clear – web stories don’t generate the same disdain among publishers that AMP has.
It’s possible that Google will either raise awareness of web stories, give people an easier way to create them, or both.
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