Google’s integration of AMP pages (Accelerated Mobile Pages) was largely aimed at improving the user experience. For publishers, the big concern upon hearing the announcement of AMP pages was how it would affect their ad revenue. As expected, the number of page views has increased for publishers, seeing as users are more likely to click on links that they know will load quickly. However, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, many publishers have experienced a drop in ad revenue since the introduction of AMP pages.
While Google asserts that AMP pages shouldn’t lead to a decrease in ad revenue if properly implemented, there are reasons why this drop may exist for certain publishers. Google only allows a few standardized ads for their AMP pages. They specifically prohibit the annoying, over-immersive canvas ads, which significantly detract from the user experience. Simply put, the larger the ad, the more publishers can charge. When publishers cannot sell these large ads to advertisers, their ad revenue takes a potential hit.
Major publishers like CNN and The Washington Post have stated that their ad revenue has basically remained the same, and are overall proponents of AMP pages, due to the rise in their traffic that they attribute to AMP pages. While disgruntled publishers would like to do away with AMP pages, they really have no choice at this point, seeing as site speed will soon be a ranking factor. While AMP pages isn’t a ranking factor yet, Google’s actions as of late suggest these pages may eventually end up being a ranking factor, despite the many antitrust authorities that will protest this.