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The Problem With Google AMP (80x24.net) 56

Kyle Schreiber has raised some issues about Google's AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), an open source project unveiled by the company in 2015 with which it aims to accelerate content on mobile devices. He writes on his blog: The largest complaint by far is that the URLs for AMP links differ from the canonical URLs for the same content, making sharing difficult. The current URLs are a mess. They all begin with some form of https://wwww.google.com/amp/ before showing a URL to the AMP version of the site. There is currently no way to find the canonical link to the page without guessing what the original URL is. This usually involves removing either a .amp or ?amp=1 from the URL to get to the actual page. Make no mistake. AMP is about lock-in for Google. AMP is meant to keep publishers tied to Google. Clicking on an AMP link feels like you never even leave the search page, and links to AMP content are displayed prominently in Google's news carousel. This is their response to similar formats from both Facebook and Apple, both of which are designed to keep users within their respective ecosystems. However, Google's implementation of AMP is more broad and far reaching than the Apple and Facebook equivalents. Google's implementation of AMP is on the open web and isn't limited to just an app like Facebook or Apple.
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The Problem With Google AMP

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  • Hate that pos (Score:5, Informative)

    by ZiakII ( 829432 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @02:45PM (#53690499)
    I actually switched my mobile browser to Bing to avoid Google Amp. If I really need Google I'll go there. But with no option to disable it and a terrible mobile experience I'll stick to Bing *Puke*
    • Re:Hate that pos (Score:5, Informative)

      by fortfive ( 1582005 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @03:41PM (#53690921)

      Second this approach, except I switched to duck duck go. I find the results to be less useful, unfortunately, although I like their privacy policies and what not better. Still, too many damn amp results.

    • by junk ( 33527 )

      I changed search to use DDG and changed browsers to Brave as a direct result of AMP.

    • I hope someone from Google is reading this. The moment I see my results as AMPs I go to bing.com. And not only that but in that moment I fucking hate Google. And those moments keep adding up.

  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @02:48PM (#53690531) Homepage Journal

    They've been using it on Google News for mobile now for a while, I can't stand it. Mainly for the exact reason stated in the blurb, which is that you cannot share news stories. Plus it wastes screen real estate with the Google header at the top. Didn't we go through something like this over a decade ago when iframe came out and everyone was wanting to embed everyone else's content in their web page to show ads and otherwise maintain control over the user? Thanks for taking us back to the dark ages, Google.

    • by alcmena ( 312085 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @03:56PM (#53691029)
      https://news.google.com/news/i... [google.com] -- Google News on a mobile browser... Only no AMP, yes native scrolling, as a bonus, revives the ability to open articles in background tabs again. Bookmark it now, thank me later. :)
    • by ShaunC ( 203807 )

      My problem with AMP is that Google returns tons of those results for normal searches as well. It's supposed to be Accelerated Mobile Pages, but I'm not on mobile, I'm on a desktop. I don't want to see stripped-down AMP results, I want to go to the original page.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @02:49PM (#53690537)

    "Make no mistake. AMP is about lock-in for Google."

    Well, DUH. Is there anyone here who doesn't think this mainly exists to provide Google with more specific information regarding our individual browsing habits?

    Fortunately, we can easily choose to never use it. And I'm assuming that, at some point, someone will come up with a de-obfuscation service that lets you get at the target URL without going through AMP (for those times when a person sends you a google.com/amp/ link).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      >Make no mistake. AMP is about lock-in for Google

      Make no mistake. Digital & web technology literally is about pushing everything online and is about lock-in for every company. Companies have been salivating about customer lock-in for years. Web accounts, auto-billing, digital funds transfers, TOS's etc all allow it much better than the paper days.

      This is about getting people in the farm trough of consumption.

  • by dugancent ( 2616577 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @02:52PM (#53690557)

    I can't share the page nor can I block ads. Luckily, I've found an iOS app (Opener) that lets me open the page without AMP. It's a hassle, but it works.

    I no longer use Google News because of it ,and if it gets any worse, I'll drop Google as my search engine.

  • Google does what its competitors does.

    But it is a problem because... google.

    • To be fair, people worry about Facebook's influence and complain about Apple's lock-in as well. But more to the point, Google, as the world's leader in search and many other connected services, as well as the developer of the world's most popular mobile OS, does have a responsibility to NOT abuse their market position - at least in a way that will bring regulators down on them. Market leaders tend to get a bit of extra scrutiny in these matters, and rightly so, I think, due to their sheer influence and th

  • by Scragglykat ( 1185337 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @03:20PM (#53690757)
    If you need to link a page, request the desktop version. It's annoying, but that's the easiest way I've found to do it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    AMP sucks ass, everybody knows that. Thanks Kyle Schreiber.

  • Google News is dubious as a news source, but when this AMP shit started, I completely stopped using it on mobile. Like most "mobile friendly" websites, it disables pinch to zoom some significant portion of the time, making it shitty. MUCH more importantly, I can't share or use links without copypasta to some note app and manual dicking, as the summary states. It is a total failure, making what was once trivial into a giant pile of shit.

    My response was, I stopped using it completely. I'm sure others stil

  • But the WORST bit is that it forces pages to be developed in one way, "the Google Way", which may or may not bear any resemblance to the business request, much less maintainability.

    Gigantic scam. Only helps Google, not the Web.
  • both of which are designed to keep the used within their respective ecosystems

    There, I fixed that for you.

  • After all as long as there will be web designers, there will be horribly bad webpages which will consume huge amounts of data. Just keep your webpages plain and simple, avoid Javascript, particularly from foreign domains, and everything will be fine.

    It's not your responsibility to adapt the look of your page to the size of the browser window. If the browser is semi decent and you write proper HTML it'll just work everywhere. That's the whole idea behind HTML.

  • I don't hate it. I try to keep my bandwidth usage minimal and I seek out AMP links for quick reference because it cuts out so much bandwidth usage. My big problem is that there's no native UI method to go to the real URL when necessary.

    It has all the potential to be useful - in the same way that Open Graph gave publishers at least some control over how shared content appears on FB.

  • by allo ( 1728082 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @05:01PM (#53691527)

    Put some javascript in your page and let google host a copy of your page.

    AMP done right:
    Restrict to a subset of HTML without scripts, canvas, etc. and rely on mobile browsers to optimize for it. If you want to, introduce a new doctype for AMP-HTML.

  • ...brought to you by www.ifyoudontlikeitthendontuseit.com

  • Last week, a friend on facebook posted a link to wwww.google.com/amp/ $ARTICLE_URL and it confused me. I didn't understand why they were linking to google instead of $ARTICLE_URL.

    I have never seen an AMP site, because on mobile, I only surf with Firefox + Desktop by Default [mozilla.org] and Phony [mozilla.org] addons, and with Phony's user agent set to "Desktop Firefox" (For some sites, you gotta' use both). I've hated "mobile" sites so much for years that I've been avoiding them since before Google rolled-out AMP.

    Honestly, Firefox

  • Slashdot Mobile pages are slow! Ugh I can't believe publishers are using STANDARDS to deliver content I don't want ( and therefore no one else wants because everyone thinks like me)

    Google OK, here's a different standard that is limited on purpose in order to focus on content

    Slashdot Ugh I don't like that either! It's too limiting!! If only everyone would make pages how I want, everyone would be happy. I won't even so much as make a single page for fear to be proven wrong though.
  • The summary says "https://wwww.google.com/amp/", so is it the usual 3 w's and the summary is wrong? Or is it the unique 4 w's that makes the URL so unique? Who knows? Who cares?
  • I read some articles and watched some videos and still have no idea what this is.

    It claims to be magic that makes loading websites faster but it just seems to be a variant of HTML where slow stuff is prohibited.

  • I like the reasons Google gives for AMP, but the URL issue makes it a huge annoyance, as does the floating title bar that you can only get rid of by scrolling to the top of the page and then back down.

Heisenberg may have been here.

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