Adobe Analytics reveals AMPs account for 7% of traffic to top US publishers. This data is accurate as of December 2016
Google has released a new API for publishers which uses machine learning to filter out hurtful comments online.
The post Google Releases Tool to Help Filter Out Hurtful Comments Online by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from the world of search marketing and beyond.
This week, Instagram Stories is draining the life from the very Snapchat feature that inspired it; publishers are losing patience with walled gardens; and paid ads may soon be coming to voice search – what does this mean for the user experience?
Ads are now a billion-dollar business for Amazon
Yesterday, Amazon released its fourth-quarter earnings report for 2016, disappointing members of Wall Street with revenue that was lower than some had estimated.
But buried within the report was data which suggested that Amazon’s efforts to become a larger player in the digital advertising world are gaining steam. Al Roberts reported on the news for ClickZ this week, and considered how much further Amazon’s ad business might be able to go.
Instagram Stories might be killing Snapchat Stories
In a painfully ironic turn of events, the much-derided Instagram knock-off of Snapchat Stories might actually be killing the original. Al Roberts reported for ClickZ on how the usage of Snapchat Stories has declined significantly since Instagram launched its own version of the feature.
— Jace Lacob (@televisionary) August 2, 2016
According to Nick Cicero, who runs creative studio and social analytics platform Delmondo, “from August to November 2016, the average unique viewers per Snapchat Story has decreased about 40%.”
Just this week, Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc. filed for an Initial Public Offering of $3 billion, setting in motion what could be the biggest tech flotation in years, and revealing surging sales as well as some significant losses. If this trend of declining interest in Snapchat’s features continues, the latter may win out over the former. But if Snap’s moves to evolve its business beyond the Snapchat app are successful, the company will soon have bigger fish to fry.
Is Facebook Instant Articles a flop for publishers?
In May 2015, Facebook launched Instant Articles, a way for publishers to create “fast, interactive articles on Facebook” – as long as they are published within Facebook’s walled garden.
Less than two years on, publishers are waking up to the fact that Instant Articles may not necessarily be the best deal for them. According to a report published by Digital Content Next, some publishers are starting to scale back their use of Instant Articles, citing restrictions on the number and kinds of ads they can incorporate into their content. This in turn is making it harder for them to drive revenue, especially in comparison to their own websites.
The report also indicates that content publishers may be losing patience with walled gardens of every kind, as Snapchat’s Discover is seen as holding “little to no short-term financial interest” to publishers.
The future of voice search, and monetising the map
Voice search is one of the biggest and potentially most revolutionary trends currently dominating the search industry, and was a major focus of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report for 2016. This is particularly true for local search, as voice searches are frequently “near me” queries carried out on a mobile device when users are out and about.
Until now, voice search has remained un-monetised; but that could all be about to change. Columnist Brian Smith took a look at how this might come about, as well as the potential pitfalls of paid voice search, over on Search Engine Land.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) initiative has gained significant traction in the past 12 months, and high-profile publishers such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Hearst are among the many companies that have adopted AMP.
According to a DoubleClick study conducted earlier this year that looked at various performance metrics of AMP pages across 150 publisher sites, the majority of publishers using AMP saw increased eCPMs.
But now, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that many publishers using AMP are seeing their AMP pages generate substantially less revenue than their non-AMP mobile pages. According to the Journal, “Multiple publishers said an AMP pageview currently generates around half as much revenue as a pageview on their full mobile websites.”
One of the reasons for the lower revenue is likely that while AMP supports around 75 different ad providers, including many of the largest, there are fewer types of ad units available.
“AMP pages rely heavily on standardized banner ad units, and don’t allow publishers to sell highly-customized ad units, sponsorships or pop-up ads as they might on their own properties,” The Wall Street Journal’s Jack Marshall explained.
Those ad units that AMP doesn’t support might make it easier for publishers to maximize their revenue, but some of them, particularly pop-ups, are the very ad units that degrade user experience.
For now, Google is satisfied with AMP’s ad capabilities and Richard Gingras, Google’s VP of news, suggests that some publishers are seeing lower ad revenue on their AMP pages because they’re not taking full advantage of AMP’s ad capabilities. That said, he acknowledged that AMP is in its early stages.
“We want to drive the ecosystem forward, but obviously these things don’t happen overnight,” Gringas stated. “The objective of AMP is to have it drive more revenue for publishers than non-AMP pages. We’re not there yet.”
AMP is probably the future, regardless of revenue considerations
Despite the fact that Google is aware that some publishers adopting AMP are generating less revenue as a result, it will likely have time to improve AMP’s capabilities. That’s because publishers by and large seem prepared to stick by AMP, even if it’s costing them money in the short term.
One reason for this is that AMP traffic is growing. According to CNN chief product officer Alex Wellen, 20% of CNN’s search traffic now goes to the news outlet’s AMP pages, and AMP traffic has increased by 80% in the past two months.
The other reason publishers are giving AMP the benefit of the doubt is that they strongly suspect Google will favor AMP pages in a big way going forward. As one publisher put it, “Publishers who are not using AMP will probably be penalized.”
Even if that doesn’t come to pass, the expectation that Google will increasingly favor AMP pages over non-AMP pages will probably remain a powerful motivator for publishers to adopt it regardless of revenue considerations.