Google is launching a lightning-fast new ad format

Google is launching a lightning-fast new ad format
Google CEO Sundar Pichai
PHOTO: AFP

As clunky, slow-loading ads drive people to ad blockers, some of Google's search ads are about to get a welcome speed boost.

The company said Tuesday that it's expanding its fast-loading Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) format to brands that advertise among its search results. The product was previously limited to news articles.

That means that were you to tap on a search ad from a company that opted into the new format, the landing page would load significantly faster than other results in a window within Google's site.

Google claims its AMP pages are able to render in less than a second on average.

Google is also working on how to apply that same technology to its millions of display ads. As of this week, most display ads within AMP articles will also be automatically converted to the format to better match the load speed of the content around them.

Google first launched the AMP project around a year and a half ago in the wake of Facebook's similar Instant Articles rollout.

It started work on AMP-enabled ads shortly afterwards in a bid to speed up what are typically the slowest loading parts of the AMP page.

The lightning-fast ads could be a major boon to marketers at a time when the mobile web is plagued by bandwidth-consuming, slow-loading ads that have prompted a surge in popularity for ad blockers.

Google announced both moves along with a host of other incremental advertising updates at its annual Marketing Next conference in San Francisco this week.

The company also said that it will start using machine learning to more precisely track whether its ads lead people to buy things in brick-and-mortar stores.

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