"AMP for Ads" Makes Mobile Faster... and More Profitable

Rich OrdAdvertising

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Googles Paul Muret, VP, Display, video & Analytics at Google, says that Google's research shows that the average mobile site takes 19 seconds to load. If however, through optimization you can get your site to load within 5 seconds or less, Google estimates that you can earn twice as much revenue than those at the 19 second average.

"Think about that for a minute," said Muret in a post on the DoubleClick Publisher Blog this week. "That’s a long time! Not only is this frustrating for users but it’s also a huge missed opportunity for publishers."

A web surfers sensitivity to website speed have gone up significantly in the last few years. In a recent study of google.com search, the Google team found that every four hundred millisecond delay in delivering search results resulted in a half point drop in overall search volume. "It's about the time it takes to blink and on mobile the situation is even more important," commented Muret in a talk at the DoubleClick Leadership Summit earlier this week. "Creating a great user experience necessarily means making it super fast, but an alarming 77% percent of publishers today, their web pages take more than 10 seconds to load, and the average is actually 19 seconds."

AMP for Ads

Google's main initiative to make the mobile web faster is a the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP), launched last Fall, which is an open sourced global community of publishers and other tech companies. Google's analysis shows that mobile web pages that use AMP HTML load four times faster and use 10 times less data on average than non-AMP mobile web pages. Over 145 million AMP pages have been created so far from 640,000 demands. Google sees AMP as a first step because it only covers publisher content, but not the ads, which means opening a web page still involves "much slower loading javascript bundles."

At the DoubleClick conference Muret announced AMP for Ads, a new initiative to incorporate AMP technology into the ads themselves in order to make the entire mobile experience faster. In an example that Paul Muret gave the Washington Post, which is an early adopter of AMP and AMP for Ads, instead of the ad taking 4 seconds longer to load than the publishers content, with AMP for Ads it loads seamlessly at the same time as the mobile page content.

AMP for Landing Pages

Google announced "AMP for Landing Pages" to make the click-through fast as well. This much speedier experience is likely to significantly increase conversions for mobile marketers.

"Making experiences fast is the first step, but they also need to be really well integrated into their environments into the context that they sit in," said Muret. "If ads are not integrated well it can lead to ad blindness, or worse, annoyance and ad blocking. As an industry we need to come together and think about creating better ads for all of our users."

Muret believes that good integration starts with native advertising. He said that we need the ads to really fit into the context of experience.

DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM)

If you are a DoubleClick user this will be of interest to you, Muret announced programmatic native in DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) which "brings the power of native to all advertisers to be able to run programmatically at scale across all their campaigns instead of delivering arbitrary of rectangles of content all over the place." He said that advertiser's can create asset bundles that can include headlines, images, and colors that are "dynamically fit to the form and function of the page it's on." This should make for a much more integrated experience which Google hopes will result in less ad blindness, less blocking and more clicks!

Google's DoubleClick also wants to make sure that there is enough inventory for these dynamic programmatic ads. That's why Muret also announced that DoubleClick was expanding their support for native and Double-Click for Publishers to include ALL app and web content and ALL deal types, programmatic and reservations. What this means for DoubleClick is that they now offer full coverage of the massive shift to native advertising.

Muret noted that DoubleClick's new technology, in a test with eBay, caused a 3 times increase in user engagement compare to eBay's normal non-native ads.

Programmatic Video

Video is the future of internet advertising without a doubt, and of course DoubleClick and Google are on top of this trend. Muret said that an amazing 85% of "Ad Age Top 100 Advertisers" have already bought programmatic video ads on DoubleClick Bid Manager. More importantly, they are seeing a 550% increase in programmatic video revenue from TV & media companies year over year.

Google, like many other tech media companies, is at the forefront of the video advertising revolution that has been long predicted, but is now finally happening. One of the key trends is multi-device viewing which Google sees as an opportunity to deliver video ads in even more places while users seamlessly move back and forth between different content formats.

"Over 90% of people use multiple devices sequentially to accomplish a task,"said Meghan Lee, Agency Development Manager for Google AdWords. "Adwords advertisers are used to a very simple and clear way of measurement and they have that same expectation on mobile."

Outstream Video

Muret also announced a new product from DoubleClick, Outstream Video, which is for non-video content. "For advertisers this means getting additional reach with the power of sight, sound and motion," Muret told the conference audience. "For publishers this means tapping into TV budgets and driving yield even when the the content is more traditional."

Outstream Video ads are served outside of a video player, often between paragraphs of text, typically without sound. According to Google, interstitials, native, and in-feed are types of outstream video. An example of outstream video ads is the autoplay silent video on Facebook, for instance.

VR & AR Ads

Google is also very aware of another massive disruption and opportunity in digital advertising, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Research by Digi-Capital predicts that VR and AR will be a $150 billion industry by 2020. The study forecasts that AR (augmented reality), a less intense experience, will take the lion’s share around $120 billion and VR $30 billion.

Virtual Reality is a technology that can be very disruptive in that it has the potential to impact how we live and what we do and from a marketers perspective it opens up a whole new world.

"Obviously virtual reality and augmented reality are coming are are here and are being incorporated," said Muret. "Rest assured we are going to be your partner in delivering those experiences as we get those built into our advertising system."

"The promise of VR is what the industry calls "presence"—the feeling that you're really somewhere else," commmented Aaron Luber, who is in charge of Google and YouTube partnerships.

TrueView Discovery Ads

A prelude to true VR and AR is already here, 360-degree TrueView ads, which Muret announced they are now making them available to all advertisers. YouTube is king of 360-degree videos, of which uploads of 360-degree videos are growing and have doubled over the past three months, according to Luber.

Google announced, just yesterday, that they were changing the name of "TrueView in-display ads" to "TrueView Discovery Ads." They didn't stop with just the name change though, they also made significant enhancements to the product, TrueView Discovery Ads will now appear on mobile search results.

They've also made TrueView Discovery Ads more relevant on search results pages and are being used across the full inventory of YouTube videos, which Google says has increased ad click-through by 11%.

With TrueView Discovery Ads, your videos can be discovered across YouTube, YouTube search results, video watch pages and on the YouTube homepage, no matter what device you're on," commented Josh Rubel, Head of Brand Product Strategy at YouTube, in a promo video for TrueView. "Users initiate the ad by simply clicking your video, which takes them right to your videos watch page. By bringing the user to your channel environment, the level of engagement and activity... subscribes, shares, and additional views is impressive."

Rich Ord