August 17, 2017 | Design | by Alexian Chiavegato

Google recognizes that speed isn’t the only factor in a great mobile experience

Just over a decade ago, the first iPhone and Android devices were released. The arrival of these phones signaled the beginning of a new era in content delivery—and the prospect of improved ad revenue for those with the foresight to see the potential of this new tech. The road to the fast-loading mobile pages of today has been a long one. As smartphones and network infrastructure began to accommodate for faster speeds, our browsing habits quickly adapted in tandem and optimal speed has become a critical factor for publishers and audiences alike.

Despite this demand for optimal speed, unresponsive and heavy mobile websites continue to slow down mobile browsing and stop devices from realizing their full potential. To remedy this, Google launched the AMP Project almost two years ago. The project enables mobile pages constructed around light “AMP HTML” to load up to four times faster. These improved load times allow publishers to leverage the quick delivery of their content within Google.com, and the acquisition benefits that the search engine offers. However, some publishers believed that AMP fell short in other areas.

Google has announced an update to their AMP project to remedy some of those shortcomings. This is great news for publishers, as the update will roll out new features that tackle the issues that have troubled content creators. This is not AMP’s first update, though. The platform has undergone several changes in the past to address publisher needs, from fixing the AMP URL to allow pages to load with publisher links, to embedding video ads.

But what changes will the new AMP update bring? Let’s take a look.

Improved Ad Integration

The latest update plans to improve ad integration with the intention of increasing advertising revenues for publishers. An article on the AMP Project website explains that the ad format includes a new feature called RTC, or “real time config”, which gives publishers access to cookie-based and audience information, which will offer better ad targeting, and ultimately better monetization.

Better Analytics

In an effort to address some of the issues surrounding unclear metrics, the update will provide better analytics in several areas, including videos, e-commerce sites, and event triggers. Improved video-specific analytics will give publishers access to behavioral trends for events like play and pause on AMP videos.

Upgraded Customization

The next update will also give publishers more freedom to customize their AMP pages. In the beginning, the AMP project placed function over form, meaning that faster load speeds were prioritized over design and publishers had just a few layout options. Google is attempting to address the concern around uniformity by issuing new design templates that help mobile sites to stand out from the crowd. The new AMP Bind feature will give publishers the opportunity to create and customize pages with interactive elements like sorting and filtering, offering search results without reloading the page, and carousel slide indicators.

These improvements to the AMP project could spell great news for publishers looking to increase control over their content. Improved targeting options, more transparent analytics, and new design templates might help sway publishers who are still on the fence about implementing AMP pages. Several areas of the update are currently available for experimental use, and Google is reliant upon publishers voicing their opinions in order to continue improving the platform.