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Optimizing for Mobile: Google AMP or Facebook Instant Articles

Posted by Charles Williams on May 2, 2017

Anyone who is concerned with digital marketing practices should also be concerned about two somewhat competing products: Facebook Instant Articles (FIA) and Google AMP. These platforms are specifically tied to content such as news articles. However, they should not be overlooked for ecommerce or other types of services. Blogs used for content marketing by all industries are affected by these two products as mobile becomes the driving force behind improvements in user experience.

What do they do?

The purpose of both AMP and FIA is to speed up the loading of articles specifically for mobile devices. FIA loads articles quickly within the Facebook app on mobile. AMP loads news articles into the mobile browser quickly. FIA works by taking the publisher content and presenting it in an FIA-friendly format. It also allows publishers to bring their own advertising to the platform, or FB can handle the advertising. FIA is particularly well suited for content that includes video and images, something that suits the fashion industry very well. AMP works by caching the AMP-optimized version of the publisher website which can instantly be served to devices. Either program helps published content get to the user faster, sometimes at 10 times the speed or more.Upload speed.jpg

Which one is more important to for digital marketing?

A few variables will determine which is more important to optimize. If possible, optimize for both platforms. Facebook Instant Articles is simpler for publishers to set up and doesn't require any maintenance. It also is well suited to images and video, which display beautifully within Facebook Instant Articles. AMP code has to specifically be built into a publisher's website, which is its biggest drawback. However, there are tools being developed for content management systems. These should help with AMP optimization. Another thing to consider is traffic acquisition. If most traffic to the site is from Facebook, then optimize there first. If the majority is from elsewhere, then optimize AMP first.

Neither AMP not FIA should impact search engine optimization (SEO) dramatically. Both will need to be considered when thinking of SEO practices, however. Facebook may offer some preferences to FIA in its Timeline algorithms, but it probably won't directly have a ranking benefit elsewhere. AMP optimization also doesn't cause a ranking increase, but the benefits of faster loading content can be increased traffic, less bounce and more shareability, which could increase site rank. Both of these platforms are built to make the experience better for the user, which should be part of every digital marketing strategy. Therefore, optimizing for both is important if possible.

Topics: Ecommerce, Facebook, Google, Mobile, UX, Digital marketing, user experience

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