Blog : Google

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages

It’s been a year since Google introduced the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project — a collaborative initiative that substantially decreases the loading time for mobile web pages. The project focuses on minimizing the code for static content (content that doesn’t change based on user behavior) to make pages load almost instantaneously. A regular mobile page takes seven seconds on average to load, but AMP pages take less than half a second. As consumer audiences’ attention spans get shorter and shorter, the ability to deliver content immediately is a precious tool to gain loyalty.

It’s no secret that faster loading content is appealing to consumers. The desire for instant gratification is a key characteristic of young consumers that comes with the rapid growth of technology. But AMP provides just as much to content publishers as it does to mobile device users. When companies join the AMP project, it gives them the ability to guarantee fast content to their users, creating a reliability that will continue to build trust over time. Consumers come back to the brands they trust, and if they know your company gives immediate accessibility to your content, they’re likely to return.

More than that, AMP pages are prioritized by search engines. Between two identical pages — one that uses HTML and one that uses the slimmed-down AMP HTML — the AMP version will rank higher up in the search engine results.

This stripped version of HTML shows itself in a few different ways. First, it prioritizes content that needs to be loaded first so that users can begin reading content immediately. For example, the text is going to load before images appear. And to make it even faster, images won’t actually load until the user scrolls to their location on the page. AMP also loads the layout of the page in advance to keep the page from loading more content — and making the page jump around — as the user is trying to engage with the content. Lastly, AMP only allows asynchronous JavaScript to run on its pages instead of waiting for everything to load at once.

Organizations worldwide are realizing the significance of the AMP project. Earlier this month it was announced that AMP was being adopted by Yahoo Japan and two other Chinese search engines as well. Publishers that have already been using AMP for a while have reported  that AMP pages get more on-site time, higher user engagement, and better monetization. Growing support for the project suggests that this young initiative won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Programmatic Native Advertising

Programmatic Native Advertising

We’ve all had the experience of mobile pages loading almost instantly, littered with gaping holes in the text. After a few seconds, we see those holes filled by an advertisement that finally drops into place. A significant reason for this lag-time is the different file types used to create those mobile pages. Often times, when that ad finally appears, it may not quite “fit” the page.

By its very nature, mobile content has to be powerful. It needs to be nimble on delivery. To meet the needs of the mobile user experience (UX), Google created the open-source format, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Their end-purpose is to load mobile data quickly regardless of the mobile platform.

Users expect close to an immediate load, but studies show that “an alarming 77% of (mobile) publisher’s today, their web pages take more than 10 seconds to load…and the average is actually 19 seconds.” The same studies show that publisher’s “who can deliver this content in five seconds or less earn twice as much (search volume) as those at the average point.”
Paul Muret VP, Display, Video & Analytics, Google

Google announced the AMP format in December 2015; soon mobile screens were rapidly filled with new content. This covered the main content of the mobile pages. Unfortunately, the advertisements were still left dragging with a format that took longer to load, thus creating the gaping holes.

The solution was Google’s release this month of AMP for Ads. This format allows for advertising content to load at the same rate as the page content. Google also announced AMP for landing pages. This way, all mobile content is delivered seamlessly without the time gaps.

What about the mobile UX?

This technology translates to a cleaner transmission of page elements. But how do you tackle the issue of merging content, context, and UX? The answer is the Programmatic Native Advertisement in their DBM (DoubleClick Bid Manager). In short, Google has created an environment where advertisements are built from scratch to maximize each individual page load.

Before now, the artwork for a mobile ad was selected from amongst three or four established graphics previously built by a graphic artist. As an ad was called up, the best fitting graphic was chosen for that request/platform. Now, when an advertisement is requested to fill a unique audience/seller/publisher combination, the ad is crafted from scratch to fill that request. Each of the elements of those artworks is individually uploaded. The computer decides the best selection, configuration, and layout of those separate elements, relative to the audience. This programmatic approach allows for a fluid display of content across all campaigns and platforms.

Think of it this way – currently, a graphic artist may use a graphic design program to craft a polished graphic. That artwork may consist of 30 or 40 layers of visual elements. When they’re finished, a couple of polished elements are presented as options dependent upon the needs of the ad. Now imagine taking a collection of those graphic elements and tossing them all into a bowl. Programmatic Native Advertisement will select a specific cluster of those elements to create a new graphic, for each page load. The ad will be built to fill the screen, platform, size, device, all built in context to the user.

The beauty in this development is not so much the uniform data transfer rates, as it is the context in which the advertisements are experienced. The ad’s form and function will be subordinate to the mobile user experience (UX). This technology adds a unique flexibility to advertisements in the mobile universe. Gone are the days of guessing how to best craft your mobile message. If you have questions about addressing your audience, contact Colure’s development team.