New Google AMP Warning “Image size smaller than recommended size”

If you’re running AMP for fast loading pages on the mobile web (and, if you’re not, you should give it a try, it’s awesome!), you maybe got a notification in Search Console (AKA Google Webmaster Tools) that “Image size smaller than recommended size” for some or all of your AMP content.

Certainly this is happening across sites I work on right now.

There’s a page here at Google which describes the following things (my emphasis!):

Rules for Images in AMP

  • Only a marked-up image that directly belongs to the article should be specified.
  • Images should be at least 1200 pixels wide.
  • Every page must contain at least one image (whether or not you include markup). Google will pick the best image to display in Search results based on the aspect ratio and resolution.

There are other rules, but these are likely to be relevant with this warning: you need to have at least 1 image, and those that you do serve need to be a minimum of 1200px wide.

That image should “belong to the article” – which is to say, don’t use a placeholder or not relevant picture, try to use the correct picture for the article, and one which is in the dimensions specified.

A 1200px wide image

In case you were wondering what a 1200px wide image looks like, here is the AMP logo:

Official AMP logo – this image is 1200px wide!

Other Image Rules in AMP

There are also rules pertaining to the size of your publisher logo, and other images in your page. In particular, a thing a lot of people do, is use SVG logos – don’t do this in AMP, it’s against the guidelines, see below.

For example: From here.

AMP logo guidelines

The following guidelines apply to logos for all AMP pages, including AMP stories.

  • The file must be a raster file, such as .jpg.png, or .gif. Don’t use vector files, such as .svg or .eps.
  • Don’t use animation.
  • The graphic part of the logo should be legible on the background color.

The following guidelines apply to logos used for general AMP pages, not AMP stories. There are different logo requirements for AMP stories.

  • The logo must be a rectangle, not a square.
  • The logo should fit in a 60x600px rectangle, and either be exactly 60px high (preferred), or exactly 600px wide. For example, 450x45px would not be acceptable, even though it fits within the 600x60px rectangle.

This is a very specific and some might say peculiar size, but doubtless it probably caught out many webmasters.

How to Resolve this error in WordPress with the AMP plugin?

These warnings have started to show up over the past day or so (correct 15 Jan 2019) in Google Search Console.

It is worth noting Google handles warnings and errors differently. Warnings, while they should be heeded, are not likely to impact the indexing of your page. Errors, on the other hand, particularly AMP errors, should be addressed immediately.

In any case, the usual way to resolve this issue is to make sure the Featured image for the post in question is at least 1200 px wide – that is to say the original image file (even if you display a smaller version).

This may be slightly laborious, but setting the featured image for a larger one in the relevant post, should resolve this issue. Remember you may need to clear caches, if you have any caching on your site, before asking Google to check the AMP page again.

Also note that this AMP validation tool here @ Google itself, will not flag this warning, which is not so helpful, so you will have to use the Search Console tool for this. Fix 1 blog post, confirm this is your issue, then hit the others in order of importance. Or leave the warning and await a new version of the AMP plugin, which may well address handling “too small” images natively (there’s an issue on this in Github here).

If it does not, then you may have another issue happening, or another image in your markup. Check the code in AMP (feel free to leave a comment below!).

About Robin Scott

I'm Robin Scott, a WordPress Consultant and WooCommerce expert developer who, along with three other people, runs a business called Silicon Dales Ltd remotely, from a base in the North of the UK. I enjoy using my talents for programming to track and interpret sporting, political or retail data - and therefore you'll see me posting some content in these spaces in this, my personal website. If you're interested to talk about leveraging this for your business (in sport, entertainment, retail, etc) please contact me.

11 thoughts on “New Google AMP Warning “Image size smaller than recommended size””

  1. thanks for the infor .. but what is the solution now ..i got the same message last night .. will i have to upload the images once again or what ?? please clarify it

  2. Please note I can confirm that changing the featured image for your post to be an image of greater than 1200px in width (which otherwise complies with the rules in this post) definitely does remove all these warnings. I’ve tested this and it works.

    • I have tested a post with a 1300×1865 image an warning still here. So “… at least 1200x and W x H > 800.000…” is not enougth. Perhaps the aspect ratio is required too?

  3. Just in case someone mistakes the action item from this post to be to take the above 1200px AMP logo image to be used as the featured image: please don’t do this. Using a generic 1200px image would violate these requirements:

    “Only a marked-up image that directly belongs to the article should be specified.”
    “Images must represent the marked up content.”

    While GSC will have difficulty validating this requirement since it requires some artificial intelligence, but I think it would a good bet to assume that Google will introduce the AI to make sure the image matches the content in the future. At that point, using such a generic image would again be flagged as a warning.

    • Yeah 100% – don’t do that 🙂 – I have added a sentence or two to double down on the “use the article image” notion (don’t just put any picture in to satisfy the size requirement!!).

      I mean to say replace the image with one which complies with the guidelines by physically editing the image in the post.

      Also AMP pages must have an image. This is something I think should be pointed out plenty as well.

  4. Hi Bob,
    Since March Core update, i lost a lot of my AMP trafic, but had no impact on non-AMP trafic. I had something like 18k pages with image warning, 1k error and 5k ok pages. I wondered if these warnings had an impact and still have some questions :
    does these warnings impact AMP pages in SERPs according to you ? I mean, for a query and 2 sites bringing similar answers, will Google priorise site without any warning regarding image size ? Or does warnings have no impact at all and are just meant to be as the futur errors popping in months ? Other questions : does the 1200px image has to be the marked-up one ?


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