Google pushes mobile video ad format for faster downloads
- Google introduced several new features for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), its mobile format that hosts web content within search results to speed up download times, according to a report by Bloomberg. Video ads can now be integrated into mobile web pages using Google's ad server DoubleClick.
- The AMP push is Google's latest effort to recapture web traffic that has migrated over to mobile apps like Facebook as smartphones become the dominant way to consume online content and increasingly video. Google, which once limited ads inside of AMP pages, said more than 2 billion AMP pages are now on about 900,000 domains.
- The company's new video offering, announced last week at the Google I/O developer conference, seeks to convince publishers to optimize their content for its search program. Publishers using AMP, which include The New York Times, were previously required to integrate with third-party companies to run video ads on their websites.
Google faces threats on several fronts, from the proliferation of ad blockers and the migration of online audiences to mobile apps to criticism that the company has too much control over the internet and actively dissuades web users from visiting other websites. Last month, Google faced pushback on a plan to disable some interruptive ad types in its Chrome browser, with regulatory groups citing anti-competitive concerns. Google claimed the speed and new formats under AMP will improve ad rates for publishers. Google's display business is predicted to grow to $5.24 billion this year while its share of the display market will drop to 12.5%, according to researcher eMarketer.
Facebook, whose share of the display ad market is estimated to reach 39% this year, has a fast-loading format called Instant Articles that's had a rocky relationship with publishers. The Guardian newspaper stopped using Instant Articles last month while also pulling out of Apple News, though the publication still uses Google AMP.
Google is also expanding the number of e-commerce pages that are using the AMP format. Last year, eBay first introduced AMP support on about 15 million pages and is now rolling out even more. The latest AMP-optimized pages include all product pages with a specific focus on adding name brands. The pages are intended to give eBay users more targeted results to product searches, according to TechCrunch.