First there was plain Mobile Friendly. Google announced they would prioritize websites in mobile search results if the sites were optimized to be “mobile friendly”. This was essentially defined as a website having responsive design, with large easy buttons to press on a mobile device.
The algorithm update, dubbed “Mobilegeddon” by many SEO circles, launched in April 21, 2015. Across the internet companies scrambled to hurriedly update or sometimes even redesign their websites in order to stay competitive on mobile searches.
Google more or less left it at that for a short while. A few months later in October 2015, Google introduced a new way to even further improve mobile web pages, Accelerated Mobile Pages. Joining an open-source initiative with a handful of publishers and technology companies, they were at the beginning stages of discussions and development, collaborating to design and build these AMP pages. Google described the goal of AMP pages, “which aims to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web.”
Yesterday, on February 24, 2016 Google brought the AMP pages up again, this time strongly hinting to another algorithm update that prioritizes websites with AMP pages on relevant mobile searches. “And starting today, we’ll make it easy to find AMP webpages in relevant mobile search results, giving you a lightning-fast reading experience for top stories.” Currently this is primarily for publishing and content sites, however Google hopes to eventually evolve even eCommerce pages to AMP web pages.