Content Marketing Blog

What Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project means for content marketers

Google said this week that its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project would be live early in the new year, which should be good news for content marketers.

Content marketing campaigns live or die on user experience. The best piece of content you’ve ever created immediately loses its value if it is ugly, slow and difficult to navigate, so anything that promises to give content marketers more control over what the end user sees and hears will be welcomed.

News of Google’s AMP initiative first broke in September. Since then, Google has started building relationships with publishers, developers and ad networks and has now shared a bit more information about its progress.

“Speed and user experience. This is the mantra of the AMP Project as we seek to make the web fast and compelling. Speed is also the byword in the project’s growth and progress,” Google said in a post on AMP’s official blog.

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The company said it had been working with traditional news providers including The BBC, The New York Times and Newscorp. It has built a 4,500-strong developer community and has the support of leading analytics companies and ad networks.

“As an open-source initiative, the AMP Project is open to ad partners across the industry who adopt the spec, and we’re seeing incredible momentum from the ecosystem,” Google said.

Open source alternative to Facebook Instant Articles

The “open-source” element of AMP sets it apart from Facebook’s Instant Articles, which was launched in May of this year.

Instant Articles is a partnership between Facebook and nine leading publishers that will see those publishers provide high-value content exclusively for the Facebook environment.

For Facebook this provides a great opportunity to strengthen its position as a publisher of quality content from well-known brands and, more importantly, keeps users on Facebook rather than sending them off to external sites.

Facebook’s users get a smoother, quicker and more consistent experience when accessing content, particularly on mobile devices, and the publishers get access to a potential audience of 1.49 billion people.

Facebook also offers help with selling ads on Instant Articles, which is something the world’s largest social network is pretty good at, bringing in something like USD $16 billion a year from advertising.

Google’s AMP initiative will not be restricted to a select group of big brands and it won’t put content behind a log-in. As the early reports suggested, there is no role for Google+ in this project. Instead, AMP will provide a technical framework that any publisher can use to help improve the mobile experience of their target audience.

Why this matters to content marketers

Content marketers would have looked on enviously when Facebook unveiled Instant Articles. The chance to get your best content presented on neatly-designed pages, fully-optimised for mobile devices with quick load times and a consistent look-and-feel is something anyone running a content marketing campaign would immediately put their hand up for.

But, for now at least, only the likes of BuzzFeed, The Guardian or NBC can get in on Instant Articles. While that might change in the future, most content marketers are out in the cold for now.

With Google’s AMP you don’t need to be a major publisher to get involved. Agencies and in-house teams using original, quality content to market brands should be able to use AMP to deliver an improved user experience on mobile devices.

As more and more online time shifts to mobile devices optimising for mobile will have an increasingly significant impact on traffic and conversions. Google has been a strong advocate of mobile optimisation, with AMP coming on the back of changes to its search algorithm earlier this year that gave a major boost to mobile-friendly sites.