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.
AMP has become a bigger part of the mix at The Verge, representing 14 percent of its traffic in September, according to its editor, Nilay Patel. One multi-title publisher, which didn’t want to share its results publicly, said its AMP pages are loading 95 percent faster and bounce rate is more than 50 percent lower than regular mobile search pages, “which is insane,” a top exec there said.