Google Analytics is Enhancing Support for AMP

The following was posted on the Google Analytics blog by the Google Analytics team

Over the past year, developers have adopted the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology to build faster-loading pages for all types of sites, ranging from news to recipes to e-commerce. Billions of AMP pages have been published to date and Google Analytics continues its commitment to supporting our customers who have adopted AMP.

However, we have heard feedback from Google Analytics customers around challenges in understanding the full customer journey due to site visitors being identified inconsistently across AMP and non-AMP pages. So we’re announcing today that we are rolling out an enhancement that will give you an even more accurate understanding of how people are engaging with your business across AMP and non-AMP pages of your website.

How will this work?

This change brings consistency to users across AMP and non-AMP pages served from your domain. It will have the effect of improving user analysis going forward by unifying your users across the two page formats. It does not affect AMP pages served from the Google AMP Cache or any other AMP cache.

When will this happen?

We expect these improvements to be complete, across all Google Analytics accounts, over the next few weeks.

Are there any other implications of this change?

As we unify your AMP and non-AMP users when they visit your site in the future, you may see changes in your user and session counts, including changes to related metrics. User and session counts will go down over time as we recognize that two formerly distinct IDs are in fact the same user; however, at the time this change commences, the metric New Users may rise temporarily as IDs are reset.

In addition, metrics like time on site, page views per session, and bounce rate will rise consistent with sessions with AMP and non-AMP pageviews no longer being treated as multiple sessions. This is a one-time effect that will continue until all your users who have viewed AMP pages in the past are unified (this can take a short or long period of time depending on how quickly your users return to your site/app).

Is there anything I need to do to get this update?

There is no action required on your part, these changes will be automatically rolled out.

Will there be changes to unify users who view my pages both on my domain and in other contexts?

Some AMP pages are not visited directly on the domain where the content is originally hosted but instead via AMP caches or in platform experiences. However we decided to focus on fixing the publisher domain case first as this was the fastest way we could add value for our clients.  

We are committed to ensuring the best quality data for user journey analysis across AMP and non-AMP pages alike and this change makes that easy for AMP pages served on your domain. We hope you enjoy these improvements – and as always, happy analyzing!

Sincerely,
The Google Analytics Team

Google Analytics is Enhancing Support for AMP

See AMP live at I/O 2017!

We’re just days away from the start of Google I/O 2017, Google’s annual developer conference. And with lots of AMP contributors working at Google, we’ll naturally use the opportunity to connect to developers worldwide.

This year there’ll be 4 big talks about the latest and greatest in the world of AMP, a bigger developer sandbox booth for those who join us in person, and plenty of office hours.

Best of all, all of this year’s AMP sessions are being live streamed. Here’s the agenda:

  1. The AMP Keynote, Wed. May 17, 6PM – 7PM PDT
  2. AMP Ads: Better Advertising on a Faster Web, Thu. May 18, 8:30AM – 9:30AM PDT
  3. From AMP to PWA: Progressive Web AMPs, Thu. May 18, 9:30AM – 10:30AM PDT
  4. Building beautiful, interactive AMP pages for e-commerce & beyond, Fri. May 19, 3:30PM – 4:30PM PDT

Finally, if you’re tuning it from a different timezone or need to feed your baby sloth during one of our talks, rest assured that we’ll upload all session videos to our YouTube Channel (subscribe to be notified!). We’re all looking forward to connecting with you all at I/O 2017 or across the web!

See AMP live at I/O 2017!

What’s new in AMP by Example

The following was posted on Medium by Sebastian Benz, Developer Advocate, Google.

A lot has happened since I last wrote about AMP by Example. This post gives you a quick overview about new samples and what’s new on the site itself.

A new Design

We completely re-designed www.ampbyexample.com using the brand-new AMPStart template and component library. The other big change: samples no longer use a three column layout. Instead, code snippets and live previews are embedded into the documentation.

ampbyexample1The new design

Interactive AMP Playground

If you want to play around with the sample code: all samples can now be opened in an interactive playground. At the moment it’s limited to only editing existing samples, but we plan to make this even more useful by making it possible to share samples with others.

ampbyexample2Open any sample in the playground

AMP Component Updates

There have been quite a few updates to the AMP component samples:

 

ampbyexample3amp-fx-parallax

  • amp-gist: developers rejoice, finally it’s possible to embed Github Gists into AMPs.
  • amp-iframe: update to the existing sample demonstrating how amp-iframes can resize themselves. This can be very useful when embedding third-party content via iframe.

ampbyexample4resizesable amp-iframe

More AMP Use Cases

New samples demonstrating how to combine AMP components to solve complex use cases:

  • Tab Panels in AMP: eBay contributed a sample demonstrating how to implement tabs in AMP. One thing to note: while creating the sample, eBay discovered that the current implementation doesn’t fulfill their accessibility requirements yet. This is the issue tracking what needs to be done to fix this.

ampbyexample5Tab Panels with AMP

  • Poll Sample: how to implement a single page poll in AMP making sure that users can only vote once.

ampbyexample6Single-page poll in AMP

AMP Ads galore!

Big update to the AMP Ads section demonstrating how to build AMP ads:

  • AMP Ad sample previews are now served as real AMP ads via DFP. Previously, AMP ad previews were embedded using iframes which didn’t make use of the optimized AMP ad rendering performance.
  • Hello World Sample: learn how to create an AMP Ad.
  • Video Ad Sample: a sample ad really showing off what is possible with AMP.
  • Speed comparison: see how fast an AMP Ad loads in comparison to a regular ad. Best viewed on a 3G connection.

ampbyexample7AMP ads load almost instantly

What’s next?

We’ll continue providing samples for new AMP components, but also plan to focus more on how complex use cases can be solved by combining existing AMP components. Please let us know if there any specific use cases where you would like to see samples.

Posted by Sebastian Benz, Developer Advocate, Google.

What’s new in AMP by Example

Test amp-bind on your site with an origin trial

All features in AMP need to be tested (that’s why we build things using experiments). However, particularly large, complex, and flexible features need a bit more attention. In particular, they need to be implemented end-to-end in real-world applications, for real users. That way, we can be sure that these features work well when they’re launched.

We recently announced amp-bind, an experimental data binding system that provides a more flexible, expansive way of supporting interactivity in AMP. Along with that flexibility comes a lot of complexity, unknowns, and the necessity to thoroughly test in order to make sure it works right from the start. For that reason, amp-bind stands to gain a lot from the ability to run in production, on websites where developers can implement with a real-world purpose. That’s why we’re setting up origin trials for amp-bind.

 

What is amp-bind?

In short, amp-bind fundamentally changes the model for interactivity in AMP, while retaining AMP’s essential performance and UX assurances. amp-bind works more like a coding layer on top of AMP—going beyond the AMP Project’s historical approach of limiting interactivity to scoped, use-case-driven components like amp-carousel and amp-accordion. amp-bind links user actions with triggers for different document states, giving developers much more freedom in the types of interactions they can define.

product-detail-bind.gif

To get an idea of what amp-bind can support on your AMP pages, check out some of its basic behaviors, such as how it can work together with an image carousel. You can also see how it can be integrated into a basic product detail page.

 

What are origin trials?

Origin trials (inspired by the Google Chrome team) are useful when a feature is far enough along that it’s ready to be tested with real users, but some changes are still expected based on developer feedback.

Traditionally, a feature at this stage is put into experimental mode, where developers can try it in development, but it won’t work in production yet. This can be useful, but developers won’t necessarily try something out unless they see immediate benefit, so it’s hard for them to justify putting work into something that won’t work in production.

Enter origin trials: interested developers can opt-in to a test where they can use a new feature in production, with the expectations a) that the test is for a limited time, and b) that the feature will likely undergo some changes after origin trials. Unlike Chrome origin trials, which restrict the experiment to a small percentage of users, amp-bind origin trials will enable the feature for every visitor visiting a whitelisted domain.

Origin trials are a great opportunity to try out a new feature before it’s fully live: you get to benefit immediately from the work you put into a feature (because the feature will be live on your site, rather than still guarded by an experiment), and your feedback can directly influence the direction of the feature.

 

How to whitelist your site for origin trials with amp-bind

Sign up here to let us know you’re interested origin trials for amp-bind on your site, and we’ll get back to you with next steps. Note that we can whitelist only a limited number of domains for the feature, given the AMP team’s limited bandwidth for developer support.

As always, we want your feedback for amp-bind—whether your site is whitelisted for origin trials, or if you’ve just checked out the documentation and samples. Once we have enough input from the AMP community, and have made any necessary changes, we’ll release the feature to production for all sites, regardless of their status with respect to origin trials. We’re looking forward to hearing from you, and to seeing a lot more interactivity in AMP!

Posted by Eric Lindley, Product Manager, AMP Project

Test amp-bind on your site with an origin trial

From AMP to Progressive Web App

PWA_AMP1If you’ve invested in AMP and are also getting ready to upgrade your mobile website to a next-generation Progressive Web App, I have good news for you: AMP and Progressive Web Apps can be combined and used together to create a fantastic user journey. And we have a new set of docs on AMPproject.org to help with just that.

AMP makes for an ideal entry point into your site due to the almost-instant prerendered load, and the <amp-install-serviceworker> component allows you to warm up and preload a Progressive Web App while your users are reading an AMP page. Users clicking on links to your origin will now instantly upgrade to the full-featured Progressive Web App. This means you can start fast with AMP and stay fast with your Progressive Web App experience.

In addition, you can now reuse the entire content library you already have in the form of AMP pages and use them as a centerpiece in your Progressive Web App, saving engineering resources and complexity.

To learn more about how to combine AMP and Progressive Web Apps, head to one of the following resources:

  1. Our brand new set of docs discussing AMP and Progressive Web Apps, deep diving into how to enable Progressive Web App features for your AMP pages, how to preload your Progressive Web App from your AMP Pages and embed & use AMP as a data source
  2. The primer released in Smashing Mag
  3. The conference talk by Alex Russell from the AMP Conf 2017

Get in touch via our developer support channels if you have questions or feedback. We can’t wait to see what you will build!

Posted by Paul Bakaus, Developer Advocate, AMP Project

From AMP to Progressive Web App

AMP Conf 2017 Recap (and videos!)

Last month we held our first AMP Conf, and it was a blast. Over 300 of you showed up in-person, and thousands tuned into the live stream.

Over two days, 19 talks, panels and workshops – with over half from outside the AMP team – covered topics including building interactive AMP pages and using AMP pages for e-commerce.

If you couldn’t make it to AMP Conf, you can relive and watch all the talks on the AMP Channel:

We had many community announcements, such as Baidu, Sogou, and Yahoo Japan linking to AMP pages. The core AMP team had lots to share as well– among the announcements at AMP Conf:

And dear to my heart were the thoughtful discussions many of us had with people at the conference looking at the AMP Project’s direction. A lot of the conversations were captured in detail during the AMP & the web and The roles platform play panels.

We might not have all the right solutions yet, but with your help we can get there. It’s clear that we still have much to do, but AMP Conf opened the door for more open collaboration and conversation with the web community. So get involved and come help us! Creating a long-term, healthy mobile web ecosystem is complex and needs the voices of many.

See you soon at another conference!

Posted by Paul Bakaus, Developer Advocate, AMP Project

AMP Conf 2017 Recap (and videos!)

AMP Roadmap update to close out Q1

We’ve updated the AMP Roadmap to reflect some of the progress made in the first quarter of 2017. You can read more about some of the highlights below.

Format

We continue to place a big focus on making the AMP format conducive to more interactive and engaging user experiences. We’ve made amp-bind, a flexible event binding system that enables vastly more interactivity in AMP, available in an experimental beta release. This means you can test out some of the basic behaviors of amp-bind, such as how it can work together with an image carousel—but amp-bind won’t yet be valid for use in production AMP pages until its launch, which is targeted for later this quarter.

We’re also working on scroll-dependent interactions. We’ve started by directly addressing two concrete use cases: parallax scrolling and contextually-displayed headers. In addition, we’re working on a general, flexible framework for scroll-bound animations.

Finally, earlier this month we launched AMP Start, a collection of quick-start code templates and components, intended to give developers and designers the tools to create great-looking AMP sites quickly and easily. In the coming weeks we’ll be working on ways to make it easier to use and configure these pages without having to edit the code directly.

 

Ads

We’ve made an update to sticky ads by removing the restriction to load the ad only after the first viewport – this should boost viewability. We’re hopeful this change can also drive greater monetization due to the viewability increase for your sticky ads implementation. We’ve also updated the sticky ad to collapse when there are no ad fills instead of displaying an empty container.

In addition, this quarter we reached the milestone of 100 ad networks supporting AMP. To help these ad networks serve AMP ads, Cloudflare has launched an ad network implementation that makes it easy for any ad network to serve them. In addition, Cloudflare launched Firebolt, a suite of services that makes it easy for publishers and ad networks to serve AMP ads.

We’ve launched support for dynamic call tracking, which is typically used in ad landing pages for identifying ad attribution.

In the next quarter, we’re working on performance improvements to non-AMP ads being served to AMP pages. In addition, we’ll also be working on serving AMP ads to non-AMP pages.

 

Analytics

We expanded support for variable substitutions, notably Client ID, to links and forms. The former can be used to manage user state involving multi-page sessions. The latter is useful to build add-to-cart flows for e-commerce.

We also completed a migration to Intersection Observer to support visibility features. You’ll hopefully notice no changes as a result of this migration. It does, however, shift AMP analytics toward a highly respected approach for measuring element viewability. We also introduced a new trigger, “ini-load”, which is triggered when the initial contents of an AMP element or an AMP document have been loaded. In contrast to the document-level “visible” trigger that has long been available, “ini-load” used at the document level will not fire until all of the content elements visible in the viewport are also loaded. This is helpful to support AMP Ad–related features and offers a different way to measure engagement based on actual content visibility.

Finally, we’ve started a project that will enable extensions to take advantage of amp-analytics to report data to extension authors so that extension authors have greater visibility into how their extensions are performing.

* * *

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 to close out Q1