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 AdExchanger

The Sell Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Doug Llewellyn, chief operating officer at Purch. 

Digital publishers are worried about how publishing platforms meant to speed up mobile load times, such as Google’s AMP, Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple’s News, will impact their bottom lines during a period of already-declining ad revenues. A quick look back at some recent history shows why. 

First, publishers saw Facebook cut down their referral traffic in favor of keeping readers within its app and site. Then it launched a mobile publishing platform that promised the traffic back, but at a fraction of the ad revenue and the users would stay within Facebook’s domain. Next, it introduced Instant Articles as a faster-loading alternative to mobile web browsers. 

Sensing an opportunity, Apple and Google recently jumped in with their own platforms aimed specifically at mobile users. While there has been and continues to be some panic within the industry as revenues fall, we need to keep the bigger picture in mind. 

Relying strictly on an ad-supported publishing model is today about as realistic for a publisher as preventing digital piracy once was for the CD-based record industry. As that industry learned, new paths to monetization are always possible as long as the underlying demand for a quality product remains. Restricting access to one platform or another is not generally feasible in the long term.

Read the full article here: http://adexchanger.com/the-sell-sider/instant-articles-friend-foe-publishers/

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