How do top digital publishers (in the world) use Google AMP articles successfully?
Most online publishers are using AMP to improve mobile user experience, with some also noting improvements in Google search engine placement. While many are seeing success with drastically decreased mobile page load times and increased click-through rates, some publishers are worried about low monetization rates for pages using AMP, less user-data from AMP pages/ads, and loss of brand-recognition. Below are six official case studies of global online publishers using AMP, as well as one rental service, and some more limited statistics from additional publishers.
Google’s AMP project is an open-source project that enables its websites and advertisements to be consistently fast and perform well across devices and platforms. It has shown a great impact on ad earnings, user experiences, and search engine optimization (SEO) for many publishers. Major online publishers have generally expressed positive views, having seen traffic increases directly associated with AMP, in large part due to the incredible increase in loading speed for their articles. Without AMP, the average load time for mobile web pages is 5.3 seconds, which decreases to just 1.4 seconds with the Google service. AMP has also been proven to offer benefits in SEO to both large publishers and smaller ones. In fact, in only one year, AMP pages have risen in search results on Google’s Top Pages from 25% in 2016 to 50% worldwide in February 2017, and 68% in the US alone.
Another boon to publishers is the time users spend on their pages. Without Google AMP, standard mobile pages average around 35.6 seconds of time spent on each. With AMP, that time span rises to 48.2 seconds. As well, click through rates have risen, which is evidenced by Vanity Fair’s traffic increasing from 5.9% to 10.3% with the implementation of AMP.
In the US, almost 35% of publishers have implemented AMP pages, higher than any other country. Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Netherlands are close behind, with numbers in the low 30% range. Brazil has the lowest implementation rate of any country that has been studied, with almost 25% of its publishers using AMP at least some of the time.
There are some mistakes made in the implementation of AMP, with the average mistake rate being in the 70% range across the studied countries. Some of these include HTML errors, style and layout issues, and invalid or missing URLs. Another concern that some publishers are discussing includes the loss of ad revenue using AMP. The platform relies on banner advertisements and doesn’t currently allow much room for customization. It is also more difficult to collect user-data from AMP pages, has low monetization rates, and there are suggestions of a loss of brand recognition.
The Washington Post uses AMP with the specific intent of improving user experience on mobile devices by decreasing load time. The Post states it has seen an 88% improvement in loading times over their traditional mobile website, with a new average of 400 milliseconds. Their users are secure in the knowledge that their articles will be downloaded quickly with the use of AMP, which is great for reader retention as well. The number of return readers has jumped from 51% to 63% since the use of AMP began.
Similarly, Slate has put AMP’s services into practice in order to improve the mobile experience. The publisher has “seen a 44% increase in monthly unique visitors from Google searches and a 73% increase in visits per monthly unique user." On top of that, Slate has seen that work efficiency has improved immensely since they began using AMP, estimating around $85,000 saved annually in development resources because they are using AMP documents for their new Android application.
Wired began using AMP to increase readership of 24 years worth of archived articles, as well as improve mobile experience, and to be eligible for the Google Ad Carousel. "Average click through rates from search results improved by 25%. Click through rates on ads in AMP stories increased by 63%." Wired has plans of adding more of their content, such as liveblogs and high impact stories, to AMP in the future.
Media giant CNBC has used AMP primarily to improve its mobile user experience. It has seen load times through AMP average 1.23 seconds and has seen a 22% increase in users returning to their mobile search within one week of their first use. The company has expressed awe at the ease in which the AMP format is adopted, and how quickly it worked to boost speed and traffic.
Gizmodo is a global design, technology, and science fiction blog that has used AMP to improve their mobile experience for users. "As of September Gizmodo has published over 24,000 AMP pages and is receiving 100k visits to those pages daily.” Gizmodo states that their pages load three times faster with the use of AMP, and has attracted new readers. In fact, more than 80% of their AMP driven traffic consists of new users. Social media impressions have also increased by half since it began to use AMP.
Across Spain, Latin America, and the US, Terra is the largest online media source. They, like most companies on this list, began using AMP to improve their mobile user’s experience. Beginning with Brazil, Terra claims the initial results are “impressive,” having seen their pages load two times faster than their traditional counterparts. This has led to users spending twice the length of time on AMP pages. Terra has begun to build “advertising solutions into its AMP pages, which drove an increase in clicks and clickthrough rates.” In the first two months, there was a 3,175% increase in total clicks via AMP pages and a 33% increase in click-through rates.
NoBroker is an Indian company for apartment rentals. This is included to show that publishers aren’t the only companies that are benefiting from the use of Google’s AMP project. The company has seen an “18% decrease in bounce rate,” 25% more registrations via 10% more page views, and a whopping “77% increase in the number of connections between renters and tenants.”
Google's AMP project is being implemented in many countries across the world. One of the major factors for the use of AMP is the positive effects on mobile user experience via faster load times.