An SEO professional was having a problem with a website migration.
Approximately three months ago, they did a website migration to a new domain. All they did really was clone the entire website.
They also took the internal and external links and updated them to the new URL.
Basically, they enabled all of these on the new domain.
They also disabled AMP. However, their AMP articles were ranking quite consistently. The SEO professional disabled it because they did not like AMP and it gave them too much trouble. The short of it is, they did not want to use AMP anymore.
However, AMP is not needed for a site to be included in top stories right now.
So they were wondering why their new domain is not ranked in Google top stories. They want to add to that as well: they do rank on Google’s first page. Their main keywords are on top, around number one and number two.
Their articles are also shown in the Google News app and on Google Discovery. So they have strong authority for their main keyword.
What they don’t understand is why they are not being displayed in Google’s top stories and if there is something critical they are doing wrong.
John Mueller explained that, while it’s hard to say, if they’re doing a domain migration and switching off AMP at the same time, especially on top stories, then it’s possible that the magnitude of changes are very confusing to Google.
However, from his perspective, it sounds like everything is being picked up.
He then went on to explain that Top Stories, in particular, is an organic search feature. It’s not something a site gets “just because they deserve it.”
It’s more so that Google tries to figure out what should be showing in a top story section.
Sometimes this can be individual sites, or individual types of articles, and other times this could be even less.
What he would recommend doing here is giving Google more time to understand the changes that have taken place.
Also, to double-check their settings for page experience. When Google turned that off, they basically said “for a page with a very good page experience score, they can appear in Google’s Top Stories as well.”
It’s not a situation where they would take any kind of page and show it in top stories, but rather, they use the page experience score as a ranking factor to determine what they actually show in the Top Stories section.
This happens at approximately the 34:59 mark in the video.