AMP Cache Updates

The following was originally posted on the Google Developers Blog by John Coiner, Software Engineer, Google.

Today we are announcing a change to the domain scheme of the Google AMP Cache. Beginning soon, the Google AMP Cache will serve each site from its own subdomain of https://cdn.ampproject.org. This change will allow content served from the Google AMP Cache to be protected by the fundamental security model of the web: the HTML5 origin.

No immediate changes are required for most publishers of AMP documents. However, to benefit from the additional security, it is recommended that all AMP publishers update their CORS implementation in preparation for the new Google AMP Cache URL scheme. The Google AMP Cache will continue to support existing URLs, but those URLs will eventually redirect to the new URL scheme.

How subdomain names will be created on the Google AMP Cache

The subdomains created by the Google AMP Cache will be human-readable when character limits and technical specs allow, and will closely resemble the publisher’s own domain.

When possible, the Google AMP Cache will create each subdomain by first converting the AMP document domain from IDN (punycode) to UTF-8. Every “-” (dash) will be replaced with “–“(2 dashes) and every “.” (dot) will be replaced with a “-” (dash). For example, pub.com will map to pub-com.cdn.ampproject.org. Where technical limitations prevent a human readable subdomain, a one-way hash will be used instead.

Updates needed for hosts and service providers with remote endpoints

Due to the changes described above, CORS endpoints will begin seeing requests with new origins. The following updates will be required:

  • Expand request acceptance to the new subdomain: Sites that currently only accept CORS requests from https://cdn.ampproject.org and the publisher’s own origins must update their systems to accept requests from https://%5Bpub-com].cdn.ampproject.org, https://cdn.ampproject.org, and the AMP publisher’s own origins.
  • Tighten request acceptance for security: Sites that currently accept CORS requests from https://*.ampproject.org as described in the AMP spec, can improve security by restricting acceptance to requests from https://%5Bpub-com].cdn.ampproject.org, https://cdn.ampproject.org, and the AMP publisher’s own origins. Support for https://*.ampproject.org is no longer necessary.
  • Support for new subdomain pattern by ads, analytics, and other technology providers: Service providers such as analytics and ads vendors that have a CORS endpoint will also need to ensure that their systems accept requests from the Google AMP Cache’s subdomains (e.g.https://ampbyexample-com.cdn.ampproject.org), in addition to their own hosts.

Retrieving the Google AMP Cache URL

For platforms that display AMP documents and serve from the Google AMP Cache, the best way to retrieve Google AMP Cache URLs is to continue using the Google AMP Cache URL API. The Google AMP Cache URL API will be updated in Q1 2017 to return the new cache URL scheme that includes the subdomain.

You can use an interactive tool to find the Google AMP Cache subdomain generated for each site over at ampbyexample.com.

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Timing

Google Search is planning to begin using the new URL scheme as soon as possible and is monitoring sites’ compatibility. In addition, we will be reaching out to impacted parties, and we will make available a developer testing sandbox prior to launching to ensure a smooth transition.

AMP Cache Updates

Teads brings AMP’d mobile video inventory to premium publishers

Editor’s note: The following was originally posted on Teads’ Blog by Eric Shih, Global Senior Vice President of Business Development

Video has more power to engage, educate, and entertain than any other medium. But it needs to be done right, especially when used as an advertising tool. A successful video ad brings the needs of the user, brand, and publisher into alignment. It’s useful, not intrusive. Complementary, not distracting. It needs to be viewable, high-quality, and of course, mobile-optimized.

This mobile-first approach led us to become one of the first ad technology companies to join the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, an open-source initiative to build a better, faster mobile web for everybody. The AMP HTML format empowers publishers to easily create mobile-optimized content that loads in a flash, offering a great user experience on every screen and platform. For technology companies like Teads, the AMP Project offers the opportunity to participate in a growing performance-based ecosystem as an advertising platform for a faster web.

As the inventor of outstream video advertising and the leading video advertising marketplace in the world, according to comScore, we knew it was important to follow the latest developments in technology. For us, that meant adapting our products to work with AMP HTML. This included updating our pioneering inRead format, which opens up vast quantities of premium video inventory by placing ads within the heart of editorial content. Instead of expanding into view and then collapsing away as the user scrolls, the video would always remain open in AMP HTML, ensuring a consistent page layout and seamless reading experience.

The updated format worked great, and it still had the advantage of being viewable while remaining subject to user control. Results were so positive, in fact, that we adopted AMP HTML’s behavior everywhere our ads appear – on desktop, mobile web, and in mobile apps.

Like us, many of our exclusive publisher partners have been part of the AMP Project since the very beginning. Now nearly 100 of them are telling great stories and sharing important ideas on fast-loading pages that meet users’ need for speed. These include Trinity Mirror, L’Express, Ouest-France, Público, Rodale, and Mashable, to name just a few.

“AMP HTML delivers our most optimal mobile browsing experience,” Amir Malik, programmatic director for Trinity Mirror, told us. “Being able to marry this with native video advertising allows us to not only make revenue from the fastest-growing area of digital but to do so while respecting our users.”

Along with these publishers, we’ve been delighted to see that video ads perform significantly better on AMP’d pages than on the traditional mobile web. Completion rates are 15% higher, clickthrough rates have jumped by 200%, and our ads appear 18% more frequently. This tells us that faster performance and relevant, respectful ads don’t just prevent abandonment and ad blocking — they also increase engagement.

If you’ve ever waited impatiently for your favorite site to load, only to watch an annoying pop-up take over your smartphone screen, you can probably understand why user engagement decreases. That type of experience doesn’t unlock the full potential of video advertising. We need a better approach, and the AMP Project is central to Teads’ mission of providing one.

Posted by Eric Shih, Global Senior Vice President of Business Development

Teads brings AMP’d mobile video inventory to premium publishers

AMP Roadmap Update for Mid-Q4 2016

We’ve just published updates to the AMP Roadmap.You can find it on the AMP Project website, and read a summary across the focus areas below.

Format

We recently launched form support with <amp-form>. With this feature you can now implement a product color picker on an e-commerce detail page, an email field to capture newsletter signups, or an interactive poll to engage readers within an article.

You can now also use <amp-app-banner> to drive installs of native apps from AMPs, as well as deep-link directly to native app content for users who have already installed your app.

In addition, we’ve launched a number of enhancements to advance first-class support of progressive web apps (PWAs) in AMP. These steps enable building PWA experiences using the AMP content format, and you can learn more about this in a recent talk at Chrome Dev Summit and by checking out a sample app built in React here.

We’re working on a number of enhancements to immersive media in AMP. First, we’ve rolled out support for an enhanced video experience, including muted autoplay support. We continued work on the improved <amp-lightbox> experience. We’re also implementing support for displaying images linked to a thumbnail carousel, which will help support e-commerce product pages.

Finally, we have two projects we hope will make it easier to implement AMP, and easier to extend its interactive capabilities. To help developers quickly create well-styled AMPs out of the box, we’re developing a collection of quick-start sample code. This will include copy-and-paste templates for common page elements like menus and hero images, as well as full page templates for basic use-cases. To extend AMPs interactive capabilities, we’re working on a mechanism to bind element behavior to user actions.

Analytics

So far in Q4 we have prioritized adding deeper analytics support for two AMP elements.

The “slides” version of <amp-carousel> now supports triggers and variables that enable tracking when the user navigates between slides in the carousel. and amp-form.

The recently launched amp-form feature is gaining analytics support as well. We are adding triggers that will allow tracking of when forms are successfully submitted or submitted in error, and this should launch and be available soon.

Implementation on a share tracking feature is underway and nearing completion. Our backlog also includes enhancements to support additional video analytics and e-commerce analytics.

Ads

Since our last update, we launched the flying carpet ad format (guarded by an experiment flag), and are making  UX improvements to sticky ads.

We are continuing to work on UX improvements for all ads in AMP, which include features like consistent ad labeling while the ad is loading and default placeholders and fallbacks (in order to avoid “blank rectangles” on AMP pages).

The A4A (AMP4Ads) team is continuing to ramp up ad delivery of AMP format creatives by supported ad servers. Publishers like The Washington Post and Vox Media have begun testing these new creatives. A4A ads will be available for wider consumption in Q1 but we welcome your feedback in the meantime on GitHub.

Access

The work for server-side amp-access functionality has been completed and has entered an alpha testing phase.

Looking ahead, we’ve started implementing some support for a delegated sign-in experience, and further exploration and implementation will continue on this project.

* * *

Thanks to the AMP development community for your work and feedback. As always, please let us know if you have any issues or feature requests.

Posted by Rudy Galfi, Product Manager, AMP Project

AMP Roadmap Update for Mid-Q4 2016

Forms now supported in AMP

We’ve just launched support for forms in AMP HTML. With the “amp-form” extension, the <form> element and its related elements like <input> can be used to build forms within AMP documents. This enables building experiences ranging from a product color picker on an e-commerce detail page to an email field to capture newsletter signups to an interactive poll to engage readers within an article.

Regular navigation and XHR (XMLHttpRequest, aka Ajax) form submissions are both supported, but consult the documentation for more details on implementation requirements. In addition, amp-form exposes several features to improve the experience of filling in forms:

  • Use the “on” attribute to change the page when the form is submitted, or to change the page depending on whether the form was submitted successfully or with errors.
  • Annotate fields upon submission by using templated response rendering. Use this feature to give contextual feedback on what’s wrong with field input.
  • Style fields based on validation status using CSS pseudo-classes to provide users with real-time feedback on whether their input is valid.
form-error
An example of templated response rendering. Once the form is submitted (in this case, with an error) you can return a response with a helpful message.

To get started, check out the documentation and examples at AMP By Example.

We want to hear from you about additional features that would be useful, as we are planning to expand functionality of forms soon. For example, custom validation is now available as an experimental feature (“amp-form-custom-validations”). Further validation support and conditional behaviors are just two examples of enhancements that we are tracking on the AMP Roadmap.

With this initial set of form support, we’re looking forward to seeing all of the great form-enabled experiences that developers build.

Posted by Rudy Galfi, Product Manager, AMP Project

Forms now supported in AMP

Do more with ads on AMP

Over a year has passed since the AMP Project first launched with the vision of making mobile web experiences faster and better for everybody. From the very beginning, we’ve maintained that the AMP project would support publishers’ existing business models while creating new monetization opportunities. With regards to advertising, this meant giving publishers the flexibility to use the current technology and systems they’re used to, and evolving user-first mobile web initiatives like AMP for Ads (A4A).

With a growing number of publishers embracing the speed of AMP,  today we’re addressing some of the ways in which we’re helping you do more with ads on AMP.

Serve ads from more than 70+ ad tech providers

Keeping with the open source nature of the project, more than 70+ advertising technology providers have already integrated with AMP. And that list is only growing. Existing tags that are delivered via a supported ad server also work in AMP.  So, you can serve ads from both directly-sold campaigns as well as third-party ad networks and exchanges so long as they have support for AMP.

Keep 100% of the ad revenue

AMP is an open source project. It does not take a revenue share. AMP is not an advertising service provider or intermediary, and publishers can monetize AMP pages the same way you monetize HTML pages, keeping 100% of the revenue you earn based on negotiated rates with ad providers.

Choose the advertising experience on your pages

You can choose to serve any number of ads per page to serve in locations that works best for your content,  including the first viewport. Just remember that regular ads in AMP load after the primary content. So, unless you’re loading the lightning fast A4A ads, we recommend placing the first ad below the first viewpoint to optimize for viewability and user experience.

Take advantage of video ad support

AMP currently supports 13 different video players, ranging from Brightcove to Teads, all of which can serve video ads. If you want to use a video player that is not natively supported in AMP, place the video player inside amp-iframe. Learn more.

Differentiate yourself with rich and custom ad formats

AMP accommodates a large variety of ad formats by default, ranging from publisher custom ad units to IAB standard outstream video and in-feed native ads. We value publisher choice and support efforts to create proprietary ad formats. For example, with responsive layouts in AMP, you can offer advertisers custom ads that can dynamically span the entire width of the mobile device. Learn more about how you can adapt your ads strategy for AMP.

Maximize revenue with interchangeable ad slots

In September 2016, both YieldMo and DoubleClick announced support for multi-size ad requests on AMP pages. With this launch, you can optimize yield by allowing multiple ad creative sizes to compete for each ad slot, capturing the most advertiser demand possible on AMP pages while still protecting the user’s experience.

Plan ahead with a view into AMP’s roadmap

Transparency is important to the success of any open source project and is a key value for AMP. Accordingly, we started publishing the AMP roadmap publicly nearly 6 months ago, including milestones for ads. These roadmaps are accompanied with bi-quarterly status updates and you can also see all AMP releases here.

Over 700,000 domains have published AMP pages and a good many are monetizing them with ads. Early studies suggest that ads on AMP are more viewable and engaging than ads on non-AMP mobile pages. That’s because with AMP,  you don’t have to choose between good user experiences and monetization opportunities. When balanced and optimized, you can have both.

Reach out — we’re eager to hear your suggestions and feedback to make sure that AMP pays off for everyone.

Posted by Vamsee Jasti, Product Manager, AMP Project

 

Do more with ads on AMP

AMP: A year in review

A lot can happen in a year when people unite around a common cause.  In the case of the open source Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, that means improving the mobile web for everyone. That’s a tall order in a world dominated by nearly 7 billion small screens, but as we celebrate the first anniversary of AMP we are making headway.  

From day one, a key focus for AMP has been speed.  It is arguably one of the most frustrating things about the mobile web — borne out by recent Google research that shows that 53% of people will leave a site that fails to load in three seconds or less. That’s the worst of all worlds for users, businesses, publishers, websites and the mobile web as a whole.

To date the AMP project has been a story about momentum. This is clear in everything from the pace of releases of the open source code to the number of participants embracing the AMP format:

So just how is that speed translating for publishers and websites that have AMP’d up their content?   Well, among news publishers, the first to get on board with AMP, there are a number of case studies that highlight some real benefits when content loads fast:

  • Washington Post — 23% increase in mobile search users who return within 7 days
  • Slate — 44% increase in monthly unique visitors and a 73% increase in visits per monthly unique visitor
  • Gizmodo — 80% of Gizmodo’s traffic from AMP pages is new traffic, 50% increase in impressions
  • Wired —  25% increase in click through rates from search results, with CTR on ads in AMP stories up by 63%.
  • Relay Media — in the last 30 days alone has converted over 2.5 million AMP pages for publishers like The Daily Dot, Hearst Television and The Miami Herald which says mobile users who start with an AMP article spend 10% more time than those who land on regular mobile pages.

There is little doubt that faster is better when it comes to content.  Not surprisingly, the same is true for ads.  A DoubleClick study earlier this year comparing ad performance on AMP and non-AMP mobile pages across 150 publishers found that:

  • 80%+ of the publishers realized higher viewability rates
  • 90%+ of the publishers drove greater engagement with higher CTRs
  • The majority of the publishers saw higher eCPMs (Impact and proportion of lift varies by region and how optimized the non-AMP sites are)

And in this case study, one of Europe’s biggest native advertising platforms, plista, conducted its own experiment among premium publishers like n-tv.de, faz.net, abendzeitung.de, and golem.de to measure AMP’s impact on web app widget speed and profitability.

  • For one publisher, CTRs were 600% greater after the implementation of AMP
  • The average increase for publishers in the test was 220%

This open source initiative is thriving because there is a strong community behind it getting involved in everything from working groups to contributing to the Github page with suggestions, feedback and code spec.

While the first year of the AMP Project has gotten off to a good start, there still remains a lot of work ahead.  The AMP roadmap is a good way to stay up to date on what is happening next.  We look forward to returning in a year’s time with even more awesome progress as we work together to make the mobile web great for everyone.  

Posted by David Besbris, VP Google Search, AMP Project Lead at Google

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AMP: A year in review

A Faster Mobile Web: WordPress.com Updates for Accelerated Mobile Pages

Editor’s note: The following was originally posted on the WordPress Blog by Allan Cole, Theme Imagineer, Automattic

Google has brought the ultra-fast AMP pages to its search results — and WordPress.com users will be ready.

Earlier this year we were proud to announce that WordPress.com users’s sites would automatically support Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) — a new open-source projectspearheaded by Google to dramatically improve the performance of web pages on mobile devices.

Now, here’s the big news: Google has just announced that it is bringing AMP pages to all of its global search results — and WordPress.com users’ sites will be ready.

Our latest update to WordPress.com gives you even more control over your site’s look and feel on AMP pages. Just go to your My Sites section, go to Settings > General and look for the AMP section. There you’ll be able to customize your AMP design, including the header text color, link colors, and a dark or light color scheme.

AMP Design Settings

If you prefer to disable the AMP pages, there is also an option to turn off the feature.

Disable/Enable AMP

For users with a self-hosted WordPress site, you can also download our free AMP plugin. Go here to install it.

Tens of millions of WordPress sites now have AMP pages, with page load speeds up to 89% faster than normal in some cases. It’s great for your readers and followers, as faster loading times mean they’ll get to your content sooner, even when they’re on the go. We’re excited to have you try it out!

Posted by Allan Cole,Theme Imagineer, Automattic

A Faster Mobile Web: WordPress.com Updates for Accelerated Mobile Pages