Hey, this is Malte and I am the tech lead of the AMP Project for Google. While I work on the AMP open source project, I did check back with the Google Search team that is more directly responsible for most of the points mentioned in the post. I personally find it very important to respond, because “stealing traffic” is literally the opposite of what AMP is for. The original idea behind AMP was to allow content to be distributed to platforms (such as Google, Twitter and Pinterest) in a way that retains branding and monetization control for the publisher. AMP traffic is the publisher’s traffic. Period.
I also realize that “just turning on the WordPress plugin” doesn’t get you there. Especially if a WordPress installation is heavily customized, one will need to invest similar effort to get the AMP pages to the same quality. While this may be a lot of work, this is by design: We recommend to really optimize AMP pages and fine tune them to your needs. AMP is not a templated format for that reason. While neither the AMP project, nor Google are directly responsible for the WordPress plugin, the AMP open source project working closely with the authors of the plugin(s) to improve the quality and scope. AMP is very flexible and should be capable of providing most features of a typical WordPress site, but this flexibility also requires respective work to make custom plugins and development show up in the AMP version.
Getting more literal about “stealing traffic”: there are audience measurement platforms that attribute traffic to publishers. They might in theory wrongly attribute AMP traffic to the AMP Cache (not Google) rather than to a publisher because they primarily use referrer information. That is why we worked with them in worldwide outreach to get this corrected (where it was a problem), so that traffic is correctly attributed to the publisher. If this is still a problem anywhere, AMP treats it as a highest priority to get it resolved.
“Ask Google to give users an easy option to view the original post.”
Let us start by saying that we love URLs as much as everyone else, and we tried hard to make the AMP URL scheme as usable as possible given the technical constraints of web apps.
We’re looking at ways to make the source link more discoverable and will update once that is done. AMP is super flexible in terms of how a publisher can direct traffic to their site. Typical ways to get to a publisher’s homepage (like clicking the logo) should just work and are in no way restricted. Also, make sure to check out amp-sidebar (https://ampbyexample.com/components/amp-sidebar/) for adding a menu to your AMP pages.
If you are not comfortable with traffic on your AMP pages, please do not publish AMP pages. Google Search has 2 types of AMP related features:
Normal search: AMP does not influence ranking. Your pages will appear in the same spot with or without AMP.
AMP specific features (such as the “Top Stories Carousel”): For these features, we believe that AMP is the format that currently delivers the best possible user experience on the mobile web. That is because AMP allows for consistent speed, caching, pre-rendering, and enables swiping between full-length pages. This is a big deal for topics where there isn’t “that one best result” that a user might want to look at.
“Google takes away ad revenue on AMP pages”
AMP supports over 60 ad networks (2 of them are owned by Google) with 2-3 coming on board every week and makes absolutely no change to business terms whatsoever. There is no special revenue share for AMP.
“If Google cares so much about the mobile experience, why cover 15% of the small mobile screen with a fat bar at the top?”
The Android users might have already noticed that it is now scrolling out of the way and the same is coming soon for iOS (we’re just fighting a few jank issues in Safari). Similarly we’re spearheading a long term effort (https://github.com/bokand/NonDocumentRootScroller) to allow web apps to define how the address bar is hidden on scrolling. It looks like this will land in Chrome soon, providing even more space to web pages.