Google AMP vs Facebook Articles: What Should You Actually Invest In?

Ross Simmonds

Surprise. Surprise.

Google is once again sending more traffic to publishers than Facebook:

And it’s all thanks to Good ol Google AMP.

According to Parsely data, traffic from Google AMP has increased 17% while traffic from FB Instant Articles has declined 25% overall.

In case you’re not fully aware, Google AMP is short for “The Accelerated Mobile Pages” (AMP) Project. Which is an open source initiative originally created by Google that is striving to make it easy for publishers to create mobile-friendly content and have it load within seconds when found online.

To suggest that there has been a bit of controversy around Google AMP would be an understatement. It’s a controversial approach but one that Google is screaming from roof tops to not be another case of bait and switch that marketers and tech entrepreneurs have seen time and time again. While some folks argue that it’s simply a way for Google to force sites to use AMP markup, optimized for Google, indexed by Google and shown primarily to Google users.

The team behind it are saying that AMP is truly an Open Source Project and an attempt to “Not Be Evil.”

In a nutshell:

They just want to make mobile search better! 

But like most marketers, we’ve all been burned before. Whether it was spending thousands of hours (or dollars) to build up Facebook pages with likes to eventually learn we can only reach a small percent of them:

Unless we’re willing to pay BIG BUCKS.

So… What does this news about Google AMP sending more traffic to sites than Facebook Instant Articles really mean to marketers and brands alike?

From my perspective, there are three important things to keep in mind:

1) Take Ownership Of Your Channels

In a world where Google & Facebook have this much control over traffic, it’s becoming increasingly important to own your channels. Whether that’s an email list, opt-in for a messenger system or creating a platform you own – it’s becoming a competitive advantage to own your own channels.

2) Google AMP & Instant Articles Are Not The Enemy, Yet

Both Google & Facebook see the value of keeping people on their channels. If you’re spending time on articles that live in AMP or Instant, Google/Facebook have the ability to make more ad revenue. In the short term, they might give these areas reach but long-term it could become pay to play.

3) Remember D.R.E.A.M – Distribution Rules Everything Around Me

It’s important to invest time in distributing your content. We cannot solely rely on our content and think that it will be enough. Content in today’s world is becoming a commodity and is no longer king:

You can’t solely rely on Google and Facebook to drive traffic. You need to invest in paid media, niche channels, new communities, social promo and more.

If you’re interested in a few more ways to distribute your content effectively, download my complete list of distribution channels for marketers.

About Ross Simmonds

Ross Simmonds is a digital marketing strategist who has worked with everything from Fortune 500 companies to startups to drive results using digital marketing and technology.

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