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Adsense/AMP

Is now the time?

     
11:06 pm on Jul 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm looking off into the horizon, trying to anticipate what I should be doing now to help to insure that things continue to go well for my website, both in terms of Adsense and Google Search.

I realize that the Mobile First index will come out sometime. I was under the impression that their goal was that this would be a "quality-neutral" change. My site is already responsive, so I'm hoping for the best on that.

I'm under the impression that page speed may become more of a ranking factor in the future. And then I'm wondering if it's anticipated that beyond just speed Google will give a boost to AMP pages, just because they are in AMP format.

What are most publishers here doing?
1) Improving page speed independently of AMP.
2) Embracing AMP.

I'm unclear how implementing AMP might affect Adsense revenue? (Does it affect the type of ads shown, available inventory, do most publishers experience an income drop, ect...)

Is AMP still a wait and see issue or is now the time?
12:19 am on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We're past the wait and see on AMP. AMP pages are topping the SERP, especially in Mobile (which will soon be the default as you said.)

I think many just use the AMP pages as doorways to the site, meaning just the top pages are AMP.

Not sure about Adsense revenue & available inventory.
1:51 am on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As I stated in the past about AMP, the benefit is getting your pages included into Google's cache. The first page seen by the user will be from the cache and not your server. Then any additional clicks will take the user to your server. So the goal is really to get the user to your site for the first impression, after that first impression you could easily stick with standard html, js, ajax etc...

The one challenge I have found with AMP and Adsense is that the pages load very fast but not the ads. So one needs to be careful with the ad placements. If one puts an ad-unit at the top of the page where there is little content and mostly navigation and H1 tags one risks that the users scroll right passed the ad without ever seeing it.
3:21 pm on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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AMP pages are topping the SERP

Many (large) publishers have jumped on the bandwagon, so you'll frequently see AMP results, but that doesn't mean AMP content is getting any sort of boost. Besides, the difference between AMP and a well-optimized "regular" page can be very minimal; to the extent that it wouldn't make sense to differentiate between the two. And AMP is definitely not a quality signal.
4:42 pm on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We're going to test it with some (but not all) pages; I keep going back and forth between being excited about it, and not trusting it. Every time I make up my mind to do it, then I read some compelling reason not to. But the only way to know for sure is to test. I'll probably prioritize improving my rich snippets and voice search results over AMP though.
7:16 pm on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As some of the larger publishers head in this direction, I believe now is a good time. I am extra careful about following fads or be the early adapters. With AMP being more recognized and adapted, I will start heading in this direction as well. But I will still be only 1 foot in, and only enable on AMP on traffic are that are harder to win.

AMP does have a lot less $ generating potential due to its limitation, lack of ad formats, ease of passback abilities, etc. In terms of traffic, it's only good as doorway pages. Quality content doorways that is.

One thing I notice is that AMP traffic will almost replace all of regular mobile traffic once you have it enabled. Google will almost always prefer the AMP version. It's bad if you count on your mobile page views on the regular version with different types of native ads, AMP takes all of that away. But if visitors can funnel through the AMP entry point, onto other areas of your site, than that can be an overall gain.

AMP is really brand recognition, itself is not a quality signal, but it does generate non-direct correlated quality signals like speed or ctr value from visitors who look for amp sites.

So pure AMP w/ adsense? Probably not. AMP for the goal of traffic generation which in terms make more money in the overall, probably yeah. But if adsense is the only monetization channel, AMP is probably not a bad idea. At least I would at this point in time.
8:20 pm on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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AMP pages are topping the SERP
Many (large) publishers have jumped on the bandwagon, so you'll frequently see AMP results, but that doesn't mean AMP content is getting any sort of boost
Thanks robzilla. I wasn't implying there was a boost, only answering the question to whether AMP is a now or later consideration.
We're past the wait and see on AMP
12:09 pm on July 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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AMP pages on my sites are not converting well, CPC is low and bounce rate is too high.

Some of the AMP sites I visit , AMP pages are actually much heavier than regular pages (youtube, facebook, twitter, & all others scripts in header).

Frankly I don't see the point of AMP, Google should be pushing fast loading responsive sites.
1:42 pm on July 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Every time I make up my mind to do it, then I read some compelling reason not to.


I'm with you on this one netmeg, and after all, for my incredibly fast, flat html pages, I don't believe it's my sites that slows anything down, AdSense is always the last thing to appear, and I try to test mine on 2, 2.5, 3 and 4G, I even have people testing them in the middle of nowhere China and India with no issues :-)
4:03 pm on July 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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"Frankly I don't see the point of AMP, Google should be pushing fast loading responsive sites."

I agree. I see greater long-term value for users, Google and publishers through truly responsive sites.

And there's next-to-no-action on the AMP topic in the dedicated WebmasterWorld forums here - that tells me something about how many publishers actually care about it right now.
12:19 am on July 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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should an entire site converted to amp? Instead of just adding amp pages?
1:22 am on July 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I just created a site entirely in amp, well almost. But the site was very basic in terms of functionality. The reason was that is was going to be more work to create a non-amp page for each page and there was no need since I was able to do everything I needed with amp. So if you have a very basic site, like a simple blog then amp only can work, but if you need any type of more elaborate functionality, then I would not do it.

Remember the amp is only intended for the landing page, once a user has landed the benefit compared to properly optimized web-page are negligible, but the constraints are not.
8:04 pm on July 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I will not be going AMP - ever. It's another gimmick that will pass over. We run over 200 sites, all of which load quickly.

We tried AMP on one site, it was a total disaster and wrecked our adsense/affiliate revenue stream and reduced sales by 70% for the one month trial we did. We switched back to a fast html site template and our revenue climbed again. You may as well turn off your ads or give up hope of selling anything on an AMP ecommerce site.

A fast responsive site does not need AMP. Use SSD hosting, optimise the code, compress the code, tweak and tweak again - avoid gimmicks and templates and plugins.

Users appreciate fast sites. AMP is way too restrictive, limited monetization etc...
1:04 am on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The only thing slowing down my responsive site is.... AdSense. So AMP is not on my radar and I feel it's not needed.
1:51 am on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The point of amp is not to speed up your site (that is simply a side effect) the point is to be included in the Google's AMP cache.

So the real question is, is there a benefit to getting your site cached?

AMP is way too restrictive, limited monetization etc...

That is the point. This whole AMP thing is in response to Facebook's walled garden approach to the web. With this AMP is walling off a part of the web for themselves. The goal is to keep users within the Google eco-system as much as possible, creating seamless interface between the SERPS and the websites.
2:05 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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And there's next-to-no-action on the AMP topic in the dedicated WebmasterWorld forums here - that tells me something about how many publishers actually care about it right now


I run Drupal sites, which of course has an AMP module. Drupal.org says 1,765 websites use the module (the module itself has been downloaded less than 25,000 times). Drupal.org says there are 1.13 million Drupal sites.
2:12 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The point of amp is not to speed up your site (that is simply a side effect) the point is to be included in the Google's AMP cache.
So the real question is, is there a benefit to getting your site cached?


That would be a big part of my original question. Do I need to be serving pages in AMP format for the sake of being graced by Google (as in retaining my SERP standings). I realize that that's not the case now but I wonder about the (possibly even near-term) future.

I don't fully understand it but yes, I was under the impression that a part of the AMP play was to get and retain more user activity on Google controlled aspects of the web, hence there would be a benefit in participating.

Might it boil down to:
1) Serving AMP pages affects Adsense income.
2) But not serving AMP pages means less traffic, thus less Adsense income.
4:55 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think that's the toughest call. As AMP entries replace the actual entries on the mobile SERP. There is no good way to actually A/B test the effect of the implementation.

I think all boils down to public perception down the line. Will users proactively skip out other entries on the SERP and instead opt for the AMP enabled ones? If people's habit gradually shifts to those amp preferred CTR's. Then I guess it will mean less traffic due to visitors opting for competitor's AMP content instead. But if Google can't make that happen, then AMP will most likely be a experimental flop. It's not the first time that google has flopped something before.

I would personally make those calls on a per site basis against competitors.

I have personally focused effort on increase page serving speed as much as possible. Server upgrades, cache, and delivery networks.

While embracing and started testing AMP on selected sites, especially sites that are time sensitive.
7:17 pm on Aug 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I heard a speaker at a conference last week named Mike King. When I got home I Googled around to see if I could find him on any podcasts.
I did (Search Talk Live, 1/10/17). In that podcast he specifically discusses the "need" to switch to amp. As a reason to switch, he mentions a statement by Googler Paul "somebody" (a bigshot in the AMP project) who says Google has trouble measuring the speed of websites.
I Googled around to confirm this and yes, Paul Bakaus (a Google AMP developer) specifically discusses Google's difficulties in measuring website speed in a podcast put out by Lullabot (a Drupal development company, 5/4/2017, around minute mark 19 to 20).

That suggests that at a time when when page speed is an important ranking factor (if ever), it could be that two websites that have identical performance characteristics (one AMP and the other not) might be treated differently. The AMP website, by nature of being AMP, would get the bump. The other possibly not because Google would have no way of documenting its fast performance.
8:21 am on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have been severely hit by Google for two months. Upgraded my site and my Adsense dropped by 2/3rds (apparently that amount of traffic suddenly became invalid...and my mobile was slow)...and you know, you can't argue with Google, because they are unaccountable.

Anyway, due to her telling me my mobile was slow, I switched to AMP, and there has been ZERO difference in regards to traffic or earnings (admittedly only switched recently), but I am going to stick with it, I like it. My pages load really fast. I am now using Wordpress and there's plugins for Adsense (one you can choose how often an ad shows per words...200,250,300 etc). I do think Google will start to focus more on AMP and speed, and at the moment 90% of my competitors haven't switched, so maybe that will give me a headstart. It can't get any worse than it already is.
11:46 am on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Browndog are all your pages in the AMP cache? What does the GSC AMP report say?
8:47 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, what's GSC?

As I have said, Google have decided to slash my earnings by 2/3rds for two months, which has financially ruined us. Yesterday, my AS was the lowest it has been in a decade. Higher % ads per 1,000 (which makes sense, the ads load faster), more clicks, but my RPM really low.

Out of 11,000 visitors yesterday, 7,500 were mobile, 2,400 were desktop and 1,000 tablet. By filtering my traffic by searching for 'amp', I can see that 5,300 or 42% were on AMP. Mind you, Google Adsense told me that the only 'real' reporting was Adsense and not Analytics. Out of those numbers I made less than mid $xx

I've had to hand my site over to an Ezoic type business, because Google refuse to tell me why the've decided 2/3rds of my traffic are suddenly invalid. I will leave it up to them to decide what to do.

It is a good experience, but not if it affects earnings.
9:34 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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GSC is Google Search Console (what used to be Webmaster Tools)
10:01 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@browndog GSC == google Search Console
Yesterday, my AS was the lowest it has been in a decade.

Something is up with Adsense everybody is complaining about low CPC / CTR / Coverage since August 6th today being the worst thus far. Here are three active threads discussing the issue in various forms.
[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]
12:31 am on Aug 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Mine is down by 2/3rds, and Adsense said it was due to a drop in valid mobile traffic, now they're saying it's invalid clicks on desktop and told me which ad units. Those two units have so much white space around them an elephant would be able to avoid clicking on the ads.

I am completely losing my trust in them.
4:02 pm on Aug 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Invalid clicks doesn't just mean your ads are too close to your content.
6:18 am on Aug 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I shifted almost all pages to AMP last year (ie AMP is the only version served - there isn't a non-AMP version). Observations:

The Googlebot is directly affected by the loading speed of your pages. If you make your pages faster to load, your crawl budget goes up, and the freshness of your website in Google's index goes up. I cut the page loading time by a factor of four recently (i.e. pages were 4 times faster to load); and this made the Googlebot crawl four times more pages. This means, in most cases, you appear higher in Google (since your pages are fresher and Google rewards freshness with a higher placing). Appearing higher in Google means more visits to your website, which means AdSense revenue goes up.

AMP can hep with site speed - it is a good tool in ensuring a quickly rendering page. It is one tool in your kitbag to ensure a faster-loading website. Effective caching in CDNs, like Cloudfront, may have a much higher effect. So will optimising images, ensuring that your website is GZIPped, and all that other stuff.

AMP takes a lot of the headache out of producing responsive images and responsive AdSense code. It is a damn nuisance to initially code for, but it well worth the hassle. Writing a website from scratch to be entirely in AMP is really quick, and there is little that AMP can't do (though you'll find yourself jumping a few hurdles to get there). It isn't just a basic template. You can achieve almost anything you can with a standard HTML5 page - in terms of code or layout.

My advice, if you code your own website and are retrofitting AMP, is to have a switch that you can set in your template for "this is in AMP", and then go through different types of page templates progressively switching it on. Even now, some of my pages aren't in AMP because the effort in AMPifying them is too great for the amount of traffic they produce.

AMP should result in higher ad revenue from AdSense: your pages will load faster, the Googlebot will love you more, and Google rewards page speed as a key indicator. It should give you better visibility for your ads, which results in more revenue, since pages load faster (and responsive ad sizes deliver better-performing ads). It should give you more page impressions, since your visitors will look at more pages because your site is quicker to respond; and that means more money too. (And for one naysayer above in this thread - yes, the AMP libraries are big, but they cache on your device and thus are only loaded once: and because they're always loaded from Google, they'll be in your cache if you've already visited an AMP-enabled website this session anyway).

In short, I'd heartily recommend AMP - proper AMP, not AMP sub-pages - for your website.
 

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