Login is restricted to DCN Publisher Members. If you are a DCN Member and don't have an account, register here.

Digital Content Next logo


InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Breaking down Google’s AMP rollout for publishers

December 21, 2015 | By Todd Krizelman, CEO – MediaRadar@ToddKrizelman

Google’s dominant hold over mobile (and desktop) search means that anytime it makes an announcement that can potentially influence how often and the format in which consumers see your content, it’s best to pay attention. Of course, the immediate impact isn’t always clear.

Most recently, Google unveiled its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, and there are a few key things publishers should know about it.

What is Google AMP?
Google AMP permits faster mobile websites by loading the text and images first, leaving JavaScript to load last. It aims to improve the individual’s mobile browsing experience but also that of the publisher, relying on critical ad dollars.

The search behemoth wrote: “Publishers around the world use the mobile web to reach these readers, but the experience can often leave a lot to be desired. Every time a webpage takes too long to load, they lose a reader—and the opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions.”

Mobile advertising is beginning to break records as more and more companies ride this digital wave that shows no signs of losing speed. Advertisers placed a dramatic total of 10,137 mobile ads alone in the third quarter, according to MediaRadar’s findings. Advertisers, of course, are following the consumer whose preference more and more is to pick up that phone or other mobile device to rapidly consume the immense amount of diverse content available at all hours.

What are the benefits?
Google is nudging us toward faster load times. There’s no doubt that consumers will appreciate the quickened, less frustrating mobile experience, which will potentially keep them more engaged with you or your advertiser’s content.

It’s also a clear victory for mobile users who today tolerate slow loading times. And what about for publishers who choose to adopt Google AMP? Your websites will be prioritized in Google search results, leading to an increase in traffic and higher consumption on site.

What are the concerns?
Publishers should consider a few details before jumping in:

  • Your existing technology to deliver ads may not be compatible with AMP’s construction. Google has stated that adopting other vendor technology is possible, but its plan for doing so has not yet been released.
  • There is a general increased dependency on Google and all of its related ad tech if publishers adopt AMP. It’s important to deliberate over whether this is the right path for your organization.
  • Google noted that it wants AMP to “support a comprehensive range of ad formats, ad networks and technologies. Any sites using AMP HTML will retain their choice of ad networks, as well as any formats that don’t detract from the user experience.” That last portion, as well as Google’s point that it wants to deliver “compelling” ads provides the technology company with significant discretionary freedom to demerit ads not deemed worthy.

Google admits that AMP, like most of its “projects,” is still in its early stages and is not a final line in the sand by any means. It has marked this initiative as an open-source project, seeking widespread adoption rather than a limited run. So, publishers should not feel troubled by the arrival of AMP. Google is clearly welcoming publisher participation. By staying involved, publishers and media companies can play a hand in the result of this product.

Todd Krizelman is Co-Founder and CEO of MediaRadar (@MediaRadar). Growing up near the epicenter of technological innovation in Palo Alto, California encouraged him to become an entrepreneur and co-found of one of the world’s first social media sites, theGlobe.com. Krizelman also held leadership positions at Bertelsmann’s Gruner + Jahr and Random House. With his expertise in ad sales and innovation, Krizelman joined veteran web architect, Jesse Keller, to found MediaRadar in 2007.

Liked this article?

Subscribe to the InContext newsletter to get insights like this delivered to your inbox every week.