Recently, in a Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout (9th April 2020), John Muller explained the do’s and don’ts of choosing a URL structure for AMP page when he was asked if Google has any preference for a certain type of URL structure for AMP pages.
In the live question-answer session, a site owner asked “I was wondering if there’s any best practice for the URL structure of AMP pages. If you use a sub-domain or a folder in the upper level you can have a better possibility for analyzing different tools.
But I was wondering if there’s any benefit for Google if you put your AMP pages under the root domain instead of a sub-domain or parameters.”
In his response, Muller replied that the only thing that Google is concerned about with regards to the URL of AMP pages is that they must be all on the same domain. If the AMP URLs are all on the same domain, it will be acceptable by Google.
In his own words, “From Google’s point of view, I think the only criteria that is critical for AMP pages is that it has to be in the same domain. So, if you have it in the subdomain or a sub-directory, all of that is perfectly fine.”
If having all on the same domain is everything that matters to Google, what should the site owners do?
Mueller advised that the site owners should go with the URL structure that works best with their current setup. He also included, the URL structure should be as following:
- Easy to Monitor
- Easy to Track
- Easy to Maintain
- Comfortable with the Server
Optimizing the AMP URLs with specific optimization techniques can be nothing but a waste of time and money. Any kind of Google tweak is not going to make a big difference.
However, one thing that the site owner should consider is, they should not change their URL structure too often. As the site owner, you should choose one keyword and maintain it for as long as possible. Changing the structure often can make Google confused, and it has to reprocess all your URLs, which might affect your ranking negatively.
In Mueller’s word “The other thing I would watch out for with these alternate URLs is that you don’t change the patterns too often. So, ideally, if you pick something like a sub-directory or a sub-domain then try to keep that for as long as you can.
It’s not quite the same as if you change your primary URLs with regards to search, but any time you change URLs in general then we kind of have to reprocess that.
If you’re changing the alternate URLs that are associated with every page on your site then that means we have to process a lot of URLs to kind of understand that new setup. So, pick a sub-domain, or sub-directory, or parameters if you want. Whatever works best for you. And try to keep that set up, ideally, for the long run.”
John Mueller also included when it comes to NoFollow links, it would be happening from the URLs that were being crawled with those match the ones that the site masters tend to. If there’s something weird happening with those parameter URLs, this is just because of Googlebot being super curious.
Recently in January, Google released product features in the U.S Search results and opened up the merchant account for unpaid users as well. Is there any advantage?
For the non-U.S businesses, the Merchant Center is something that you can use regardless of whether you’re using kind of the paid part of product search or not. So, that might be something to check out. He describes that over time, we end up expanding that to other regions, other countries and other languages. It’s more like a practical nature that we need to test on a small scale first before we open things up for everyone.
Mueller’s advice is to take a look at them and think about how they might make sense for your site, even if you’re not in the US, you can implement something that takes advantage of features like that.
We believe, Mueller’s advice is going to help all the webmasters. If you are a site owner and want your site to be mobile-friendly, following Mueller’s advice religiously can keep you in the good book of Google and make a big difference.