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What Baidu’s Backing of AMP Means for Google

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Baidu and Sogou speaking AMP language

Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google announced at a New York City conference last month that China’s Internet search providers Baidu (BIDU) and Sogou, a unit of Sohu.com (SOHU), had joined the support for its AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project, meaning a major boost to the company’s efforts to speed up mobile pages.

Back in 2015, Google began giving mobile search rankings advantages in what webmasters and developers dubbed “Mobilegeddon.” It then came up with AMP to support its mobile push by trying to enhance the online search experience for mobile users.

Getting Baidu and Sogou on the AMP bandwagon is a major score for Google. The two search providers account for ~90.0% of China’s Internet search market, according to The News. In addition to the two, Yahoo! Japan, a leading local search provider, is also backing AMP.

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Mobile push is priority for Google

As mobile takes an increasingly larger share of online search traffic, enhancing the mobile search experience is a priority for Google if it can help the company maintain or expand its lead as the world’s largest Internet search provider. The company reported in 2015 that the mobile search traffic hitting its site had surpassed traffic from desktop searches in its ten key markets, including the United States (SPY) and Japan (EWJ), The Wall Street Journal reported.

Research company eMarketer estimates that the majority of Google’s US ad revenue will come from mobile searches this year. The above chart illustrates mobile versus desktop ad revenue projections.

Emerging market growth opportunity

The mobile push via initiatives such as AMP could help Google bolster its fortunes in emerging markets such India, where currently low smartphone penetration means a huge underlying growth opportunity for its online search business.

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