IOS11 AMP URLs: Canonical URLs given priority, extending to AMP pages

James Taylor | September 27th 2017

IOS11 will be using canonical URLs with shared AMP content

The news that publishers have been waiting for has arrived: AMP URLs have now been given the iOS11 treatment, with only canonical URLs being used when content is being shared. This means that publishers don’t have to worry about how their content will display when shared, especially if the AMP URL is shared from a mobile device and viewed on a desktop or larger platform.

Why is sharing AMP with non-canonical URLs an issue?

Many publishers and sites will optimise for AMP, but spend little to no time in making sure their AMP pages are consistent with site-wide branding.

The issue is that users may not recognise or trust a stripped-back version of what they expect a site to be, leaving the site for no good reason other than branding and perceived trust.

If you are a publisher, adding the canonical version of the URL to your AMP pages means that if your article is shared on mobile and pasted into a browser, and you canonicalise to the original desktop version, only the original desktop version will be shown.

How can publishers use this to get ahead in the SERPs?

As a publisher, blogger, affiliate or eCommerce store looking to make the most of AMP, the canonical prioritisation in iOS11 means that the content that is published on your site will only display in the form you want it to. Whilst search engines will still prioritise AMP pages for mobile users, this is great news for mobile to desktop transitions, as the correct version of the page will be displayed.

As a PushON prediction, AMP optimised pages and conical usage may follow either of these two trends:

  • Several AMP posts will be published, to canonicalise back to a primary desktop article
  • Publishers will invest in design and optimisation for their existing AMP layouts, with self-referring canonicals on individual posts.

Either way, this will be an interesting phenomenon to track going forwards. With AMP clearly going nowhere, optimisation and design of AMP pages site-wide should be considered a priority for all sites, with both the mobile index pending and further iOS 11 AMP developments occurring frequently.