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I've seen ordinary users get frustrated with it, but they don't understand why. They don't know what AMP is, and they don't realize they are on an AMP page. For example, the URL bar says they are on Google but they are reading a Slate article. The web is already confusing enough, and AMP makes it worse. Many ordinary users think they are reading content from Google, like that famous CNN interview where a lady said, "I read it in Facebook"

Which leads to the question, why is google doing this? They, you, could easily promote AMP pages while not masking the real URL! The answer is simple, profits over what's best for users.

Edit: I just did a search to find the CNN interview I mentioned, copied the URL to share here, and look it's a google URL. WHY? https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.businessinsider.com/trump-v...

I've seen people say about "fake news" articles that have google.com as the top domain (because AMP) as an indicator of some reliability. Google is unintentionally, but actively, harming their image by being associated with and promoting such content.

Fake news make little harm to Google, like an atomic bomb fired into the sun. Google supporting fake news, intentionally and actively, does marvelous things for that piece of misinformation and it gives credit to the publisher.

I hope this AMP experiment is soon over. As someone already said here, the web is confusing as it is. Google used to want to make things clearer, better. AMP is not. It's fixing symptoms instead of causes.

> For example, the URL bar says they are on Google but they are reading a Slate article. The web is already confusing enough, and AMP makes it worse.

Well, that explains why they wanted Chrome to hide URLs[1].

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7693995

The Chrome experiment in question ended before AMP was even a thought, and AMP and Chrome are separate teams inside Google. I doubt they're even mildly related.

> separate teams

Different teams inside a business can have coordinated long-term goals.

Regardless, their master plan[1] clearly shows "Redesign HTTP", "Browser", and "Next generation web (Fish Pod)" as precursors that lead to "Private Internet", "Walled Garden", "need more cache", and "NEWSBANK".

[1] http://undergoogle.com/tools/GoogleMasterPlan.html

Ah I didn't know this.

I run a WordPress blog. From the documentations of Google and WordPress AMP plugins, I have always thought that the user will be directed to "originalurl/amp" on my domain when they click on the Google link on their phone. Now that I see it's a Google domain, this is really weird.

It's not an AMP thing per se, it's how Google handles AMP in search results.

No, its explicitly an AMP thing. Google serves the user a cached version of your page directly from its servers, hence the google.com/amp/ url

No, it's not. See Nuzzel's implementation of AMP, it opens the AMP version on the host.

True, but you can serve the AMP page directly from the host.

> Which leads to the question, why is google doing this? They, you, could easily promote AMP pages while not masking the real URL!

Perhaps to allow the content to be served from a CDN (over HTTPS), without requiring the site to CNAME over their domain to Google.

If webmasters are willing to CNAME over their domain to a caching proxy, then a less intrusive design is possible[0], such as the one recently announced by Cloudflare[1].

[0]: https://github.com/ampproject/amphtml/blob/master/spec/amp-c... [1]: https://blog.cloudflare.com/accelerated-mobile/

Most major sites use a CDN already. It's really to keep users within google.

The AMP CDN doesn't even really help with caching - when I implemented AMP at launch for some large sites, it was strongly implied that we couldn't expect any reduction in calls to our servers, and we didn't notice any reduction when AMP went live. From my perspective it appeared to be a walled garden counter-measure to FB Instant Articles and Apple News.

>Which leads to the question, why is google doing this?

Money. Amp vs adblockers

I'm one of those frustrated mobile users. I like to think I keep up on tech trends (being here for one example) but I hadn't heard of AMP before. I have experienced it, though, without knowing what the issue was until now. I like to share news with friends, and recently more frequently when I try to send the url it was google instead of the domain I expected. I had to go out of my way to send them the actual source, but it didn't happen everywhere. Now I know why.

Because that's where the site you are viewing is located...

Do you really want to go down the rabit hole of a browser displaying a different url than what you are viewing?

Not really, the page is located on slate.com, that's the canonical location, and google is adding a secondary location that is confusing and adds very little benefit. AMP provides a lot of benefits that do not depend on google hosting the page in addition to the canonical location.

i am curious about the numbers, though i do not know internally or externally if there are numbers showing this. As a power android user, i kind of like the rss-reader-esque look and feel of the amp links. It also opens blazing fast. With these in mind, minor inconveniences (like the address bar) are probably something i wouldn't mind.

> It also opens blazing fast. With these in mind, minor inconveniences (like the address bar) are probably something i wouldn't mind.

Of course you wouldn't mind, since, as you've said elsewhere that you work at Google.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

Eh - that is because you don't know me. I have been a very vocal critic of many google products and product shutdowns.

edit: typo

If only Google had a nice RSS Reader view which was blazing fast, and allowed you to view an uncluttered, non JS version of an article, while still correctly attributing it to the original provider, while making it easy to link to the original source.

Such really simple syndication technology could even have a catch TLA. I can't really think of one, but I'm sure there is something.

we had that, it was google reader. rest in peace - i used it a lot back in the day.

That said, i think people disable JS in general for this reason.

Here's the deal, nearly all of the benefits of AMP are unrelated to the masking of the URL, they are in the HTML validation aspects of AMP. Masking the URL and keeping users on Google when they think they are on Slate is a rather naked land-grab with a lot of downside for users and very little benefit to users.

Why doesn't Google drop the URL masking while keeping all the real benefits of AMP? The answer, profits over people. I say this as a long time fan of Google, but this AMP stuff is where the "don't be evil" tagline turned into a joke for me.

I'm very strongly against AMP but what you said isn't strictly true.

AMP itself allows for fast loading which is true, but to support opening pages in "zero loading time" you still need pre-loading since fast loading still means non-zero loading time. To get pre-loading working in HTML you need to 1) load the iframe of the page in the background, then 2) when the link is clicked, use history.pushState() in order to manipulate the URL to appear you have moved to another page. Unfortunately for (2) the Web History APIs need* both URLs to be on the same domain so Google has an excuse that they need to change the target URL to be under Google for this to work.

Also Google wants to present the scrolling UI that allows you to browse to other articles in the search results (potentially from other domains). This can't be done if you have completely switched to the original website.

See this link for more discussion https://github.com/ampproject/amphtml/issues/6210

Personally I find this misguided at best, an excuse at worst. A fully compliant minimalistic AMP website (or even just a simple site that doesn't use AMP but follow best practices) will load incredibly quickly even without pre-loading. It's disrupting a lot of security and UX best practices (by replacing the address bar with "google.com" domain) just to achieve a very minor improvement. Furthermore they control Chrome. It's not too hard for them to push forward a web preloading standard and start implementing in Chrome.

Edit: Also for the scrolling UI it seems like another way for Google to push more engagement to their site rather than the target URL. It kind of runs counter to the open web nature IMO because there are innovations that helps previewing links already (e.g. iPhone 6s/7 3D touch) and it's the kind of behavior better implemented in the browser itself.

I'm saying the same thing you are. Maybe I could have been more clear, but I was trying to avoid the nitty gritty tech details. Like you said, it's misguided at best and an excuse at worse. I'm asserting that it's an excuse, because it is done in a way to keep users on google for very little benefit to the user while causing very real problems for users.

Your opinion is here is valid, but how would you address the criticism that this isn't solving the real issue, and is obviously a power-grab?

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