Google in February launched their Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) offering.
Aiming to right the wrong of the slow user experience on mobile devices Google has created an open source initiative to provide a mechanism for mobile sites to load faster and provide an app like user experience in terms of speed. They have also been working with a number of organisations since the initiative was announced late last year and, therefore have had a wide range of publishers delivering their AMP compliant versions as part of the new service.
A similar activity was also undertaken by Facebook under the title of Instant Article in mid 2015 to again improve the experience for users on the most rapid growth channel for content consumption, Mobile Devices, with traffic now averaging around 40% for mobile vs desktop a lot of focus has been placed on this channel. The advantage for organisations is that now that this approach has already been tried by Facebook and has been available for nearly a year, there are some initial indicators available on viability of approach. Based on current market feed back sites using instant article have been reporting seeing improved stickiness and an increase in visits. This does reinforce the fact held by many that by improving the user experience in a meaningful way users will engage more. The question will be how this translates to revenue generation.
Back to AMP, with one of the key benefits being optimised delivery to mobile, for those who have an AMP version of their site this means quicker loading with speeds quoted as up to 85% faster than traditional mobile sites. This also means potential higher rankings for AMP enabled sites in search results as speed is a key metric for SEO. Another feature being provided is the introduction of headline images and titles for listing results, again boosting the prominence of the sites. For those without AMP sites the impact to traffic for one of the key delivery channels will potentially be high.
With all the benefits though, comes a price and that is the limitation of certain features, some of which may be revenue affecting. These include non support for interstitials Ad pages or page takeovers as well as limitations on custom code being added to AMP pages. Where does this leave revenue generation? Well traditional embedded ads are still available and function as expected so there is limited impact there. Looking at other revenue opportunities Paywall integration is also supported, so for those whose technology is integrated and available there is an alternative. With the added fact that with the user experience greatly improved this may, if done correctly become a real viable addition to a paid content strategy or provide one for those without.
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