VIDEO: The Google publisher relationship is on the move

Please tell us about Accelerated Mobile Pages (0:03)

So accelerated mobile pages (or ‘AMP’) are essentially pages that are reduced in size, which are delivered to the user. So publisher pages. And they have all of the components of an existing page – they’re just delivered faster to the users currently through search, and also through Twitter.

Is there still a natural apprehension from publishers about Google publishing their products? (0:18)

I think when we think about the accelerated mobile pages project, this is kind of symptomatic. That came out of the Digital News Initiative (DNI), which was a collaboration between Google and publishers looking to build more sustainable journalism, underpinned by technology and innovation. And the whole project is an open source project, anyone can get involved. And I think these components and the engagement between publishers has been fantastic, and I’ve seen none of the sentiment that might be described as that nervousness. This is all about delivering better mobile experience, more content to users, better experiences on mobile for publishers.

And does Google work with publishers to produce a better mobile experience? (0:51)

Yeah so there’s numerous people in the partnerships team who will actively work with publishers, and also on the technical side. And we can talk about accelerated mobile pages, about progressive web apps, about all of these new technologies that are delivering more compelling faster experiences and we’re open and happy to have those discussions. And then specifically around mobile accelerated pages we obviously work with technology providers to help answer questions where we can, but we’re really keen to build a kind of sustainable ecosystem between publishers, technology providers, which include Google – and also don’t – but yes we’re absolutely involved in all of those conversations.

Does AMP work better with some categories of content than with others? (1:22)

At present the current implementation in search is very kind of ‘newsy’ content, so obviously the more newsworthy the content the better. But in reality we never know what’s going to be breaking news so the broader that people create amp html pages across all of their content the better because it has much more chance of showing up in search when there’s a relevant trending news topic associated with that. But that said AMP pages are founded on more text based documents than purely video or images, so those would be the ones to focus on.

Finally, how is a great Google-Publisher relationship achieved and developed? (1:56)

I think a great relationship with publishers – I’m based in the UK where we have some fantastic relationships with publishers – Firstly, I think on a publishers side having an appetite to try stuff new, and be really really transparent and straightforward with feedback and what works for them from the publishers side, is really really valuable.

And from Google’s perspective: having an appetite to really understand their business, having an understanding of what they’re trying to achieve for their readers. And not just to understand their business at a high level but also understand and respect some of the challenges around profit and monetisation of content – that’s really really important to publishers. So on both sides – from a Google perspective and the partners perspective – really to want to be innovative on these new projects, which are sometimes messy and chaotic, but hopefully we add value over time. 

See Nick’s recent presentation at the Digital Innovators’ Summit.

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