New Google AMP Warning “Image size smaller than recommended

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 (this is my emphasis – there are more rules!):

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

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 about to the size of your publisher logo, and other images in your page.

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.

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).

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.

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!).

2 comments

    1. Hi Bob,

      According to the documentation and my anecdotal experience, it does not. BUT a comment someone left above suggested this was not the case. I have non 16:9 aspect ratio images which passed, but note I do tend to use standard-ish sizes on my and my client sites.

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