How Publisher Opt-Out on Google’s AMP Affects Marketers

More and more publishers are looking to ditch a Google technology that had been touted as a way to speed up mobile web page downloads and make them look better on smartphone screens. Moving away from Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) may give marketers more flexibility in the types of advertising they buy from publishers.

Vox Media, BuzzFeed’s Complex Networks, and BDG, publisher of Bustle and other sites, have begun testing or evaluating whether to ditch AMP and use their own methods of creating web pages optimized for mobile viewing. first reported the Wall Street Journal. Publishers would not be the first to leave AMP after the Washington Post last year.

“Publishers have learned the hard way that ceding control of traffic, audience and monetization to conflicting platforms like Google and Facebook isn’t a smart strategy,” said Adam Berkowitz, chief of staff at the LiveIntent marketing platform, to Marketing Dive via email. “Fortunately, that is changing. Over the past two years in particular, we’ve seen more and more publishers take back control.”

In October 2015, Google introduced AMP as part of a larger initiative to speed up web browsing on mobile devices. The company planned to implement a system to prioritize mobile-optimized web pages, but after several delays, it introduced a method for evaluating mobile usability in its search rankings last year. The change meant publishers didn’t have to create separate AMP versions of web pages in order to appear more prominently in search results.

At the same time, AMP has also sparked controversy, with Google being charged in an unredacted version of a lawsuit filed by state attorneys general for several types of anticompetitive activity. The lawsuit alleges that AMP pages make it harder for publishers to sell ad space programmatically outside of Google’s ad exchange, and that the company has delayed load times for non-AMP pages. Google denied the claims as false or misleading.

“You want everything to look superlative”

Amid these conflicting claims about AMP, marketers buying digital ad space need to consider how their brands appear to consumers online. Their display ads may not show on web pages that are not optimized for mobile viewing.

“Marketers obviously care about user experience. They don’t want their ad associated with content that is boring, distracting, bulky, slow to load,” said Mike Woosley, COO of the platform. -Lotame data management form, in an interview. . “If you’re Anheuser-Busch, you just want everything to be superlative.”

“Publishers have learned the hard way that ceding control of traffic, audience and monetization to conflicting platforms like Google and Facebook is not a smart strategy.”

Adam Berkowitz

Chief of Staff, LiveIntent

It’s possible that more publishers will abandon AMP due to monetization concerns and other unmitigated suspicions of Google, which plays a dominant role in how online advertising is sold through automated auctions. Some media executives have said that non-AMP pages can generate 20% more ad revenue than AMP pages, the Journal reported.

“It was pretty obvious to publishers early on that this was a Trojan horse for Google to prioritize their ad monetization products over others,” said Thomas Anderson, chief development officer of the market at Emodo, the advertising platform owned by mobile technology giant Ericsson. “They didn’t make it easy as a third party SSP [sell-side platform] to work in AMP and few people have done much monetization of it.”

5G construction brings faster mobile speed

AMP could become less necessary with the construction of 5G networks that have more bandwidth to deliver rich media content like video, games, and augmented reality (AR) experiences. As mobile carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile upgrade their networks and more consumers replace their phones with 5G-capable models, marketers will be less concerned about slow downloads and downloads. abandoned web pages. Advertisers will still face the challenges of targeting mobile ads as Google adopts stricter policies on data sharing and consumer privacy.

“With everything going on right now with cookies and the deprecation of mobile advertising IDs, it’s an interesting thought experiment to think about what really needs to be built as an app versus a website,” said said Anderson. “Progressive Web Apps have the potential to recapture market share from the app space as they continue to gain traction.”

He cited the online game Wordle, which became a viral sensation and was bought this year by The New York Times, as an example of the popularity of progressive web applications (PWAs).

AMP will disappear from the Internet as Adobe’s Flash platform for multimedia content did before it, Lotame’s Woosley predicts. Although Google is continually introducing new technologies, the company has also removed or replaced several products such as its social network Google+ or the instant messaging application Hangouts.

“Digital execution technology is constantly improving, and now that publishers have a few years of experience and a better handle on impact and numbers,” he said. “It’s no surprise these guys are coming up with their own solutions and workarounds…and voting with their feet.”