Google has recently launched a brand new form of AMP rich card carousel that appears in search results for mobile devices. This is, of course, along with the Top Stories carousel that is normally seen.
This new AMP carousel appears within the main results list and showcases single publisher related articles. This all started toward the end of 2016. We shall currently call them single-source carousels. They will most likely appear for popular searches, especially for news stories. For example, on July 12th, a search performed for “Houston Astros News” brought up two single-source AMP carousels, apart from the regular Top Stories carousel.
More than likely, you can perform a search for virtually any story that is considered “huge news” and you are probably going to get several of these new carousels from single publishers in your mobile results. They will likely appear quite regularly for food searches, such as “cookie recipes”.
The search engine giant seems to be using single-source AMP carousels when a single publisher is offering several highly relevant AMP results to the search query. Of course, there is never a guarantee if a publisher is going to get a carousel for any specific query regardless if there are plenty of related results. The story behind these carousels is still – and may always be – a mystery.
However, the one thing that is clear is that these single-source carousels are important for AMP-qualified publishers. Publishers must vie for the top two spots for the Top Stories carousel; however, with the single-source carousel, it belongs to a single publisher. The AMP rich cards provide publishers with a very high-impact gallery that can help them have a leg up on their competition, which provides them with higher engagement opportunities. Even scrolling through a single-source scrolling is beneficial for publishers.
Google has previously said that AMP content is not going to be favored in rankings and has apparently kept to that. Currently, Google maintains the most relevant non-AMP content near the top of search results, but Google will still highlight AMP content and invite searchers to interact with AMP rich cards.
In the meantime, the growing audience that the AMP content is bringing will allow Google to receive supplementary engagement figures to advise user interfaces and improvements in the future. When it comes to publishers of high-density AMP groupings, such as news, it is obvious that is getting harder to stay away from AMP because Google is offering too much incentive for publishers who decide to get their feet wet.