AMP ads are being revamped to perform better in terms of revenue.
AMP Project came to be 3 years ago at the peak of responsive design / mobile-first movement. Back then, the project had one goal: Better mobile web experience for users. While it was fairly successful at accomplishing that, publishers felt shortchanged—What’s the point of optimal UX on pages that can’t be monetized? Today, AMP ads are a lot more mindful of publishers’ revenue.
Publishers like MailOnline Advertising are implementing optimized strategies to maximize revenue on their AMP pages. After adjusting their AMP monetization strategy to include a server-side unified auction using Prebid, they saw a 6X increase in AMP revenue on their site Metro.
Another AMP partner, India Today, is seeing 23% more revenue on their AMP pages compared to non-AMP pages, despite having fewer ads on their AMP pages.
Still unconvinced? Here are some numbers about AMP impact in 2018:
- More than 31 million domains have AMP pages
- Publishers’ revenue per day through AMP pages increased 3x since last year
- $6 million per week earned via ads AdSense and AdX demand for AMP ads
There are over 100 ad networks that provide demand for AMP ads today. Additionally, AMP ads now pack the following features that make the whole project worth a look:
1. Fast Fetch Rendering, now with S2S Header Bidding
Announced in 2017, Fast Fetch is the mechanism that allows ads on AMP pages to load, on an average, 2.7 seconds faster than legacy ads. How? By letting the page make ad requests early and retrieving the ads, but only rendering them when the ad slot is in users’ view.
Fast Fetch rendering reduces latency, increases viewability, and improves the end user experience of your ads. All DoubleClick tags on AMP pages support Fast Fetch. With Fast Fetch, ads on AMP pages are fetched asynchronously, and only render when they are likely to be viewed by users.
More recently, AMP announced a feature called Real-Time Config (RTC) which allows publishers to ‘augment ad requests with first-party and third-party targeting information that’s retrieved at runtime’.
RTC allows up to 5 callouts to targeting servers for each individual ad slot, the results of which are appended to the ad request. To use RTC on your ads, the ad network you use must support RTC and Fast Fetch. [Source]
As an added bonus, RTC is integrated with Prebid Server (Prebid.org’s server-to-server header bidding offering) for ads on AMP pages. This allows publishers to access header bidding demand through AMP’s Fast Fetch capability. As Adam Leslie, Head of Commercial Operations, Metro.co.uk reported that the publisher saw a 6X increase in AMP revenue on their site after adding Prebid Server to their AMP monetization mix.
2. Render on Idle
Announced in March 2018, this feature is the ‘roided-up version of Fast Fetch. Fast Fetch renders ads that are in the first three viewports on the page. Render on Idle jacks that number up to twelve viewports.
But rendering 12 viewports worth of ads will compromise rendering of other page elements—like content. So the feature activates only when the browser is idle and no other page content is in the process of being retrieved or rendered.
In early tests with publishers using DoubleClick AMP ad tags, we’ve seen a 13% increase in impressions per page (giving Fast Fetch an overall +18% increase compared to Delayed Fetch) and 0.5% increase in clicks and viewable queries from this feature. [Source]
The feature is currently available to publishers using the DoubleClick AMP ad tag and works with demand partners that support AMP and Fast Fetch.
3. Built-in Consent Elements
Yes. Another GDPR thing.
In April and early May 2018, AMP Project released two updates that would let publishers build user controls and manage the choices via a new AMP component called <amp-consent>.
This allows publishers to:
- Determine if the user should be asked to interact with the control: By specifying a remote URL or another amp component to determine if the user will be prompted to make a choice.
- Capture the user’s consent decision: Currently, the only choices can be either “accept” or “reject”; the buttons for these can be configured. The publisher can also implement a “dismiss” action (like a “close” button), which will result in neither state being set and the user control remaining unresolved.
- Makes the user’s setting available to elements on the AMP page to modify the page’s behavior: By adding an HTML attribute, publishers can configure AMP elements to be blocked from loading if the user setting is undetermined or is in a negative state (that is, the user rejected).
This makes it possible to only load ads and/or analytics when user consent is given. Additionally, elements can be further customised by vendors to have more sophisticated behaviors that depend on the user’s setting. Check out the documentation for implementation.
DFP/AdX and AdSense support <amp-consent> publishers may choose to serve non-personalized ads to all users located in the European Economic Area (EEA), or they may choose to serve ads selectively based on consent. See the DFP help page for more info.
Bonus: AMPHTML Ads
Spoiler alert: They’re designed for all web pages, AMP or otherwise.
AMPHTML ads are “faster, lighter and more secure than standard ads”. They are built using AMP-HTML and use many of the smart components that make AMP pages fast (like <amp-analytics>).
- Faster: Up to 6x faster load time than standard ads. This is because the ads are requested earlier in the page rendering process and displayed just before the user is about to view the ad.
- Lighter: AMPHTML ads bundle commonly used ad functionality to reduce the ad’s file size. Once on the page, AMPHTML ads consume fewer resources too. For example, instead of 10 separate trackers requesting their own information in regular ads, AMPHTML ads collect all the data once and distribute it to any number of interested trackers.
- Safe from Malware: It’s impossible to spread malware with AMPHTML ads because the ads are verified before being served. Because of this, advertisers can ensure a safe user experience and positive brand perception.
And they’re flexible; AMPHTML ads are designed to work on both AMP and non-AMP web pages, across any device, in a variety of standard and creative formats (like carousel, parallax, lightbox et al).
If you’ve been disillusioned with AMP already, it’s time to take another look at it. The AMP community is directing its efforts towards making AMP ads – usual and the AMPHTML variety – perform better for users as well as publishers. Faster ads mean better viewability, which translates to increased revenue. Over a 100 vendors already support the project, so there’s no lack of demand either.
Our recommendation? Check out the quickstart guide, convert some of your best pages into AMP, start monetizing. Just remember to test and optimize.