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Three search marketing trends you need to know: Google AMP, app SEO and machine learning.

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Facebook InstantArticles and Apple News aim to make news on mobile more accessible.

GoogleAMP wants to speed up all mobile web content. It goes beyond publishing:

Last month, Google began promoting web-based news articles that comply with its guidelines to make pages load quicker on mobile devices.

It has been working with technology companies, ad-tech businesses and publishers on the open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) initiative in a “joint mission to improve the web for everyone”.

It says web pages built with AMP load on average four times faster and use 10 times less data than equivalent non-AMP pages. Certain ad types, such as interstitials, are not allowed under the scheme.

VCCP Media’s Paul Mead sees it as a stand against the rise of ad blocking, which consumers are doing because of “intrusive” mobile ads and, crucially, the easy availability of ad blockers. “Millennials in particular have worked out that some of their data package is being taken up by ads on their phone, and that can affect battery life or what they pay for their data. It’s no surprise there’s a rush to block ads.”

AMP’s scope is beyond that of Facebook Instant Articles or Apple News, which also aim to make news on mobile more accessible, says Dan Calladine, Carat’s global head of media futures. “It is important to stress it’s not like what Facebook is doing. This is potentially for all websites to be accessed through mobile. It goes beyond publishing.”

Google certainly thinks so. David Besbris, vice-president engineering, search, said last month: “Given the potential AMP holds for other types of content, we’re excited about what the future holds.”

Calladine says every brand should look at how AMP could affect them, particularly if it improves a page’s ranking. He predicts Google will soon start penalising non-compliant pages.

Or, as David Sosnowski, head of SEO and inbound at digital agency Huge, warns: “Mobile speed enhancement should have been on your roadmap in 2014, and must be in 2016.”

Meanwhile, The Economist is waiting on Google AMP.

The Economist, the current affairs magazine, is prioritising its own digital platforms over Google's recently launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), although it believes AMP will be crucial in future.

Jora Gill, chief digital officer at The Economist, confirmed to The Drum that getting on AMP and Facebook Instant Articles will happen, probably within a few months, but that "our priority is to hedge because we are not sure where the market is going".

The Economist instead is preparing to launch a new website this summer and is developing a new app based on feedback from customers.

"We have a group of customers and people who are interested in The Economist and we are trying to see if we can break new markets and new ground with an app that takes the element of what we have – which is great content, combined with how people consumer content," Gill said.

The Economist is also seeking feedback about its new website and intends to make it more responsive and better-optimised for smartphones."At the moment we are working with Apple News, Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP, but at the same time we find that people do like to come to The Economist so we are still investing in our website," he explained.

Content from The Economist should be on Instant Articles and Google AMP over the next couple of months, but the newspaper is also considering Snapchat because of its large number of followers.

Referring to Google AMP's promise of a faster and richer experience on mobile, Gill expressed cautious optimism that it would drive traffic and advertising revenue.

"The speed and smartphone optimisation it can offer means people will read it on the go and sometimes sites are too slow so you have to rely on apps," he said. "In this case you no longer will have to do that – that's the promise anyway."


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