By Lucia Moses

If some publishers are cooling on Facebook Instant Articles, they’re becoming hot and heavy with Google AMP, the search engine’s answer to Instant Articles.

In February, Google rolled out AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, on mobile search results in Google News. Publishers scrambled to adopt Google’s open-source code on their pages because search still drives close to 40 percent of referral traffic overall, and they know that as their audiences shift to mobile, having fast mobile pages can only help them get surfaced by Google’s algorithm.

“We love it,” said Ben Robinson, Thrillist’s editorial director. Thrillist is getting 15 percent of its search traffic from AMP, boosting its search traffic by more than a third, which he called “exciting,” given the company is more lifestyle than news. At news-heavy USA Today Network, AMP is generating 12 percent of all mobile page views, said Michael Kuntz, svp of digital there.

So although Instant Articles is a new channel, AMP is fast becoming the de facto mobile web, so publishers have little choice but to get on board. “You really need access to that audience,” said John Potter, CTO of Purch.

Read the full article here: http://digiday.com/publishers/publishers-excited-google-amp-traffic-wonder-revenue-will-follow/

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By Lucia Moses

Google is just days away from launching Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), its fast-loading mobile pages initiative for publishers. And while many big publishers seem to be on board and welcome the idea of the open-source code designed to make their pages load faster, AMP has an unfinished quality to it, so there are still unanswered questions about it. Here are four of their main concerns:

Monetization
The biggest question is how well publishers will be able to monetize their AMP pages. Publishers need every competitive edge they can get on mobile, where for many sites, upwards of half their audience is. People on the go have little patience for slow-loading sites. AMP is basically open-source code that strips down Web pages so they load faster on mobile devices, and it’s freely available to any publisher to implement.

Google took pains to make sure publishers could keep their paywalls, which is important to a small core of them, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. But AMP doesn’t support header bidding, which is an important way for publishers to increase the yield they get from programmatic advertising. Header bidding is “very important in raising our yield 10 to 20 percent,” said John Potter, CTO of Purch, a network of tech sites. “The fact that AMP doesn’t support that means we’ll see any gains from header bidding drop.”

Read the full article here: http://digiday.com/publishers/4-unanswered-questions-google-amp-fast-loading-mobile-initiative/

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