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Google Publishers: Accelerated Mobile Pages a Success So Far

Google publishers are embracing AMP, but some have questions; plus, niche publishing on Facebook and a glimpse at a top-tier social media strategy in action

When it comes to Google, publishers are always ready to devote resources to maximize its promise, as they should be. The search and digital services giant operates with greater transparency than most, and its reach is unsurpassed. Plus, the analytics are more advanced.

And this was all before Accelerated Mobile Pages, which launched late last month.

Now, with AMP, digital magazines and other publishers are even more excited to partner with Google, which is offering much faster loading potential on posts and articles in an effort to take a bite out of Facebook Instant Articles.

Digiday takes a closer look at AMP, so let’s start the week right there!

Google, Publishers on the Same Page With AMP

Google’s open-source answer to Facebook Instant Articles, Accelerated Mobile Pages, has launched, and the response from digital publishers has been largely positive, Digiday reports. Early adopters included top digital publishers like Daily Mail, Mic, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

“In the five months since Google announced AMP, publishers have been working to ensure their own content would be AMP-compliant and making sure they could implement the third-party ad and measurement companies they work with. Paywalled publishers had to work with Google to make sure their paywalls would be seamlessly integrated into AMP pages,” Lucia Moses writes.

“Initially, there were concerns that in paring down Web pages to make them load faster, AMP would strip mobile Web publishers of the design elements that keep their brands distinctive. On the other hand, as an open-source code, AMP can be used by publishers to adapt elements they want for their AMP pages. So The Atlantic recreated its ‘most popular’ list, which is an important traffic driver. Daily Mail recreated a photo gallery so it could keep publishing the photo-heavy stories that it’s known for.”

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Questions Remain for Some AMP Google Publishers

Still, despite their initial enthusiasm for AMP from Google, Digiday reports that publishers have a handful of reservations – mainly involving monetization, video capability, cost, and speed.

“Another unknown: Whether the speed advantage of AMP will make up for the loss of advertising per page. In tests, Google said it cut load time by 85 percent. But publishers also have been taking steps on their own to reduce their page load time. Publishers like Purch will want to see if people coming to their AMP pages end up visiting more pages and spend more time on site because pages load faster,” Moses writes in another article on Google publishers.

“And whether Google plays favorites with publishers who use AMP is the overarching question on everyone’s mind; Google says it will treat everyone equally, but it’s long said that speed is a criteria in ranking search results. When it announced AMP, Google showed off a carousel of articles in search results, which has people like Kate Harris, director of product at the Times wondering how users would interact with the articles in the carousel and how important that will be from an engagement standpoint.”

Using Facebook for Niche Publishing Strategy

BuzzFeed has upward of 90 Facebook pages that match up roughly with its verticals, Digiday reports, and The Huffington Post is following suit when it comes to enthusiast audience development, Digiday reports, realizing that one page won’t cut it for some digital publishers.

“This is a tool that lets us cultivate a more engaged audience. You’re going to reach more people who are going to have an interest in what that page is about,” HuffPo Global Social Media Editor Ethan Klapper told Ricardo Bilton.

“The main page has become like a secondary homepage, almost.”

A Day in the Life of the Economist’s Social Editor

Neat new feature series in Digiday called “Day in the Life,” which spotlights a typical work cycle for, say, a digital editor, publishing executives, and other staff. This edition centers on Economist Assistant Community Editor Adam Smith.

It’s a fun read, and we appreciate the nods to the importance of repurposing content and how it fits into a social media strategy.

“Denise emails our team with an informal report of the content that performed well over the weekend. Our photo album of pictures and red Economist quote images on the subject of last week’s huge gravitational waves story soared on social (the story itself is cosmic),” Smith writes.

“I take a quick look through the most popular tweets from @TheEconomist over the past week or two, and choose some to recycle. As it happens, our piece on Jack Dorsey’s failure to turn Twitter’s business around is among our most popular at the moment.”

Google publishers, how have your experiences with AMP compared with your experience on Facebook? Let us know in the comments!

To read more about Google publishers and other news, visit Digiday.

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