11 min read

Breaking Free from AMP in 2024: Top 7 Challenges and Groundbreaking Solutions for Publishers

Discover why speed is important for publishers, explore key performance metrics to track for optimization such as Core Web Vitals, examine the challenges publishers face when implementing AMP, and more.

heading image

Publishers strive to enhance user experience, aiming for lower bounce rates and longer visit times while increasing engagement on their websites. The desire for a better user experience often involves creating seamless, intuitive interfaces and optimizing content for various devices. However, achieving these goals comes with its set of challenges.

One challenge is to strike a balance between delivering engaging content and ensuring fast loading times. Another hurdle is to implement strategies that monetize pages effectively without relying solely on formats like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which might restrict monetization options. Publishers face the task of navigating through these challenges while maintaining a user-friendly environment that encourages prolonged interaction with their content.

When it comes to web performance, speed is crucial. From the time it takes for a page to load to how swiftly it responds to user input, optimization is key. After all, a seamless user experience isn't just desirable; it's key for publishers looking to achieve their website goals.

Speed isn't just a nice-to-have feature; it's a critical component of user experience. Studies have shown that delays in page loading can trigger stress responses comparable to watching a horror movie or tackling a challenging math problem, far exceeding the frustrations of waiting in a checkout line. This shows just how important page loading speed is in the overall user journey.

But what exactly happens during those crucial moments as a page begins to load? Users are left in anticipation, eagerly waiting for content to load. On slower connections, this wait can feel endless, which can lead to higher bounce rates and missed revenue opportunities as users grow increasingly frustrated.

In this article, we'll delve into why speed is important for publishers, explore key performance metrics to track for optimization, examine how AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) comes into play in speeding up page loading times, and discuss the challenges publishers face when implementing AMP and other more sophisticated solutions.

At least that was how AMP took over a good portion of the internet back, getting to roughly 15% of the top 10k and 10% of the top 100k websites worldwide, according to builtwith.com.

While this trend shows how important AMP was, especially in the context of older devices, bad internet connection speeds, and the move in user behavior from desktops to smartphones, it was also doomed to fail. And to attract a lot of scrutiny against Google itself. 

Graphic with statistics accelerated mobile pages usage

Source: Builtwith.com

By the end, you'll have a deeper understanding of the publisher's dilemma on ensuring their page load faster with AMP and its monetization limitations and better alternatives as fast as AMP without sacrificing revenue.

Why Website Speed Matters:

Understanding Its Impact on Publishers

Yes, it does. Well, imagine a user eagerly clicking on a link to your website, only to be greeted by a loading spinner that seems to spin endlessly. Frustrated, they abandon the page before it even fully loads, depriving you of a potential reader. In today's fast-paced digital world, where instant access to information is expected, such scenarios are all too common.

Often, discussions about website speed revolve around metrics like page loading time. However, a "load" isn't just a single moment; it's an ongoing experience that involves multiple factors. Focusing solely on one metric might overlook negative experiences occurring during other stages of the loading process.

How to Optimize your site performance for a better user experience?

To truly understand how your site performs for users, you need to measure its performance as users load and interact with it. This approach is known as Real User Monitoring (RUM).

But what exactly do we mean when we talk about website performance? Performance is relative: what's fast for one user might be slow for another, depending on factors like network speed and device capabilities. It's crucial to be precise and refer to performance in terms of objective, quantifiable metrics known as Web Core Vitals.

Web Vitals is a Google initiative to provide unified guidance for web page quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web. It aims to simplify the wide variety of available performance-measuring tools and help publishers focus on the metrics that matter most, the Core Web Vitals.

The metrics that makeup Core Web Vitals focus on three aspects of the user experience: loading, interactivity, and visual stability. It includes the following metrics:

Display of Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP must occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
  • First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages must have a FID of 100 milliseconds or less. However, this metric is now replaced by Interaction to Next Paint (INP) which provides a broader measure of site responsiveness throughout the user's entire visit.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, one must maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less.

For each of these metrics, to ensure you're hitting the recommended target for most of your users, a good threshold to measure is the 75th percentile of page loads, segmented across mobile and desktop devices.

Naturally, publishers have to track and optimize these metrics to ensure that they’re providing their users with the best experience, and one way to do this is to ensure your page loads faster for users which is why Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) as one of the factors influencing website loading speed.

What is Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and How Does it Impact Speed?

Back in 2015, Google unveiled Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open-source project centered around AMP HTML. That enables publishers to craft lightweight pages, enhancing site performance and page loading speed.

Today, where mobile traffic surpasses desktop, stakeholders like publishers, advertisers, and developers can't afford to ignore it while users bounce from one page to another in frustration—and as far as Google is concerned, speed takes precedence over features and sometimes even revenue.

According to Google, AMP's primary objective is to improve the performance of the mobile web dramatically. To make web pages with rich content like video, animations, and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load content instantaneously - no matter what type of phone, tablet, or mobile device you’re using.

One way it was able to achieve this is by stripping away “non-essential” elements such as CSS, JavaScript, and analytics tools, while also limiting header bidding. Undoubtedly, some publishers reap the benefits of AMP, including faster loading times, enhanced visibility, reduced data consumption, and improved user experiences.

However, these imposed restrictions present significant monetization challenges for other publishers, particularly those involved in arbitrage. Of course, this raises concerns. Now, let's delve into the specific challenges publishers encounter with AMP.

Top 7 Common Challenges of AMP for Publishers

With AMP, many publishers are presented with a tough dilemma: prioritize user experience by sacrificing certain monetization elements to enhance speed, or stick with slower-loading pages but retain access to a wider array of monetization options. It's a puzzle that puts publishers in a difficult position. Let's delve into it!

1. Impact on Page Monetization

With its focus on speed and user experience, AMP can pose challenges for arbitrage publishers who rely on intricate advertising strategies or monetization techniques involving complex JavaScript or third-party ad networks. This emphasis on simplicity may limit revenue opportunities for publishers employing such methods.

AMP's restrictive nature can limit publishers' access to essential features vital for revenue maximization. These include limitations on JavaScript integration, full analytics spectrum, restricted header bidding, and full tag management. Such restrictions hinder publishers' ability to fully monetize their content, leaving them to struggle with the trade-off between speed and revenue optimization.

2. AMP-ing Up Search Engine Ranking

While Google has asserted that AMP is not a direct ranking factor for organic search results, until recently, only AMP-built pages secured top spots to ensure users encountered fast-loading content and seamless story navigation.

However, a recent report from the UK's Press Gazette indicates there may be a shift in publisher attitudes toward AMP. After its exclusion as a ranking consideration for the search engine's Top Stories carousel in May 2021, some publishers are reconsidering their AMP usage. 

In addition, although it has a much smaller influence on the news publishing industry than the dominant search giant, Twitter also discontinued support for AMP at the end of last year.
Daniel Smullen, head of SEO at Mediahuis IRL, said, “Let’s be honest, most publishers adopted AMP due to its Top Stories eligibility requirement. Not due to its ‘perceived’ speed-boosting effect”.

3. Challenges in Subscriber Experience 

Subscription-focused publishers on the other hand may prefer to ditch AMP as it offers a worse experience for paying readers who can find themselves being asked repeatedly to log in and miss out on personalisation. Questions also remain as to whether performance in AMP is recorded before or after a publisher’s subscription interface.

There’s also the issue, particularly in providing satisfactory experiences for paying subscribers. Some have reported losing subscribers due to frustrations with the user experience.

For example, the Irish Independent, under the ownership of Belgium's Mediahuis, disabled AMP last year, citing issues related to its subscriber-funded model. Hosting AMP caches on Google's servers resulted in subscribers being logged out of their accounts and hindered the personalization of subscriber homepages.

4. Challenges in AMP Implementation

Implementing AMP can be challenging for publishers, especially for those with complex websites or customized designs. Converting existing content into separate AMP versions format requires significant development resources and ongoing maintenance, diverting attention from other vital website optimizations.

5. Loss of Control with AMP

As stated earlier, AMP imposes certain restrictions on the types of code and features that can be used, which can limit the flexibility and customization options available to publishers. Some publishers may feel that AMP compromises their ability to create unique and engaging experiences for their audience.

As the digital landscape evolves, there's an urgent need for innovative solutions that break free from this dilemma and deliver superior results.

6. AMP Impacts on Site Traffic

While incorporating AMP into pages can enhance visibility, it doesn't necessarily translate into increased site traffic. Despite improved visibility, users may opt to explore other pages for diverse reasons. 

It's crucial to recognize that the relevance and quality of content remain primary factors influencing both traffic and conversions on a website. 

Therefore, while AMP may contribute to better visibility, sustained traffic growth relies heavily on compelling content and user engagement strategies.

7. Dependency on Google AMP

Although it’s considered an Open Source project,  it can be said that it was also a  Google-led initiative - with the for-profit company allocating internal resources to contribute to the project.  Publishers became too reliant on Google for their traffic and visibility. There's also the risk that Google could change its algorithms or policies in ways that affect AMP pages' visibility in search results.

Revolutionizing Mobile Publishing: Introducing AIX - The Ultimate Solution to AMP Frustrations

In the complex world of web optimization, publishers face a tough challenge. Balancing the need for faster page loading, meeting Web Core Vitals, and maximizing revenue can be tricky. AMP seemed like a solution, promising speed but often limiting monetization options.

Do you know a better solution? AIX - the AI Experience Accelerator by Assertive Yield, poised to revolutionize mobile publishing as we know it.

Publishers now have a groundbreaking solution that not only ensures pages load as swiftly as AMP but also preserves revenue streams. AIX offers an unparalleled user experience, guaranteeing lower bounce rates, longer visit times, and higher engagement rates.

What sets AIX apart is its ability to monetize content akin to regular pages, overcoming the revenue limitations often associated with AMP. This means publishers can capitalize on their content without compromise, achieving the speed and efficiency of AMP while retaining the monetization potential of traditional web pages.

In essence, AIX redefines the standards, providing publishers with a seamless blend of speed, user experience, and revenue optimization.

Schedule a call with our experts and unlock the power of AIX to revolutionize your product innovation journey. With AIX, you'll experience improved user satisfaction as you create products tailored to meet their needs.

Moreover, AIX empowers you to maximize revenue opportunities by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and efficiently managing their implementation. Seamlessly integrate new features and functionalities into your products, providing users with enhanced experiences that set your offerings apart from the competition.

Check out the associated AY solution

Written by

Angela A. Oladipupo

Content Analyst

Angela is a wordsmith who skillfully transforms complex concepts into engaging content, making significant contributions to the advertising industry. Leveraging her wealth of expertise as a content writer, she crafts compelling narratives that seamlessly bridge technology and communication, whether with her pen or keyboard.

Frequently asked questions

What are the challenges publishers face when implementing AMP, and how does it impact their revenue potential?

action icon

Implementing AMP poses several challenges for publishers, including limitations on monetization options and complexities in implementation, particularly for websites with customized designs. While AMP offers faster loading times, its restrictive nature can hinder revenue potential by limiting access to essential features like JavaScript integration and full analytics spectrum. This dilemma forces publishers to weigh the benefits of speed against the drawbacks of compromised monetization strategies.

Why is user experience crucial for publishers, and what challenges do they face in enhancing it?

action icon

User experience is paramount for publishers as it directly impacts metrics like bounce rates and engagement, crucial for website success. However, achieving better user experience involves navigating challenges such as balancing engaging content with fast loading times and implementing effective monetization strategies without solely relying on formats like AMP, which may restrict revenue opportunities.

What alternatives do publishers have in 2024 to mitigate the frustrations associated with AMP?

action icon

In 2024, publishers have several alternatives to alleviate the frustrations linked with AMP. One notable solution is AIX, the AI Experience Accelerator, which offers publishers a groundbreaking approach to mobile publishing. Unlike AMP, which often restricts monetization options, AIX ensures swift page loading while preserving revenue streams. Additionally, publishers can explore other options such as optimizing their websites for speed using advanced techniques and technologies, implementing responsive design frameworks, or leveraging other lightweight page formats that prioritize both speed and monetization flexibility.

Related Post
heading image

Programmatic Trends

Q1'24 AY Industry Insights Report - Publisher Trends, Global Programmatic & Ad Revenue

Read more

heading image

Programmatic Trends

Cookieless Tracking: What are the Impacts of the Topics API on Publishers?

Read more

heading image

Programmatic Trends

Assertive Yield Product Updates: 360 Panorama, AI Layouts, Cookie Deprecation Reports, and more!

Read more

This website uses cookies.   Learn more