This author notes that they "feel bad" about consuming AMP content. Which is extremely weird given that content creators intentionally volunteer their content to AMP (aside from this user who got famous claiming that Google was stealing their content because they had enabled a Wordpress plug-in haphazardly).
If Google blacklisted non-AMP content, or even just deranked it, sure there's an argument, but as of yet this notion that it's some content theft is quite strange.
Google's intention with AMP is obvious, and obviously not anti-web: Facebook is becoming a primary medium where users are accessing a lot of content. I personally read all news via Facebook now, where they've integrated it heavily with a built-in browser and now instant articles (Facebook's AMP). Compared to this, the traditional web is just an obnoxious mess, not because of the web but because of the abuse that AMP restricts.
This is certainly not true. The reason no many content creators and publishers moved to AMP is to not hurt their SEO.
If you check most of the AMP articles targeted to publishers, it's addressed as get on the AMP wagon now or else you are doomed when Google starts ranking AMP pages higher.
Oh but it's entirely true. If you buy the conspiracies and allusions of the anti-AMP crowd, there should be some sort of citation you can leverage. As is, the primary real concern among those who denounce AMP is that users will prefer it. Which is a pretty bizarre thing to fight against.
Amp obviously ranks higher it is the top hit in search for me. Results appear under it...
Second, even if that does happen, the question is whether it would have happened without AMP. In other words, is it a bug in the search algorithm, independent of AMP.
It isn't just a matter of the AMP results being ranked higher — they are segmented from non-AMP pages. The eleven (!) "Top Stories" are all AMP pages.
Under that is "People also searched for > WWDC iPhone 8", which consists of five (!) AMP pages.
Only then does it go into non-AMP pages, starting with Apple's own WWDC page. That's not just rank prioritization. There is a visual break between AMP and non-AMP pages.
It is crazier for you to blindly trust Google on this than it is for us to infer from a pattern we see over and over again, and for you to require that we provide proof that you acknowledge we can't obtain might be crazier.
You're confusing an important thing here: Google places news higher than the original source. Given that WWDC is over, this is actually preferable. It is true that all the news results are AMPed, but there was certainly a time when not everyone was onboard yet and the carousel included non-AMP results (I assume if you can find a news topic sufficiently obscure to have a non-AMP publisher, yet important enough for Top Stories it might show up).
If you instead search for "Iceland hikes" you get a useful one box of info, then an AMPed page then a non-AMPed result and so on.
tl;dr: Popular news publications are certainly all AMPified these days, and Top News is clearly prioritized. Regular search results aren't as clearly AMP leaning.
Not everyone is on board. Many sites don't want AMPified pages. Google takes AMP pages and puts a giant "back" button that takes the website's users back to Google Search rather than deeper into the website.
It breaks URLs and referrers, because the AMP pages are now hosted on google.com, not on the destination websites' own domains.
AMP is a terrible attack on the open WWW. Google is saying, let us appify your content on our own platform (not on your own independent website) and restrict your markup/monitization options or we will drop you out of the top spot of the rankings.
This post (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14536679) is an example of how AMP works. Someone has shared a link on HN. It's an AMP link, but I'm reading it on my laptop, and it's still AMP.
The end result is that all users (desktop too) are getting sent to an appified version of the page that restricts advertising/monetization options and markup options. It seems unlikely that the people who designed AMP were unaware of how this would work in practice.
I think that the core motivation for AMP has little to do with speeding up the Web, but is more about ensuring that Google's ads are delivered and so they have some say in which ad competitors are locked out.
It would be interesting to find out how much total traffic ends up on AMP pages, broken down by device type.
Restricted AMP version from the HN link: https://www.geekwire.com/2017/amazon-sues-former-aws-vp-non-...
HTML version: https://www.geekwire.com/2017/amazon-sues-former-aws-vp-non-...
The most glaringly obvious change is that you never leave google now. There's a nice little wrapper around the site with a back button that leads you straight back to google without even a page reload.
Oh but AMP isn't evil because it's open source. Open source but if you change a single byte in any file it doesn't verify anymore and arguably is no longer AMP.
Google wasn't even planning to show the original URL at all until people made a shitload of noise about it. And it took a month to add because reasons??? It surely looks like quite a difficult feature to implement, showing a URL and all. It must have been quite challenging.
I also enjoy the feature that there's no way to shut AMP off. Why would anyone want to? Maybe this is also to difficult a task for the AMP team to implement.
The goal is to get all the content onto google servers so they can serve ads from the same origin that cannot be blocked.
Amp in combination with chrome's built in "ad blocker" is part of a broader Google strategy to protect their advertising model.
Don't let the haters demotivate you :)
An acquaintance of mine was complaining that Google didn't give him a way to opt his site out of AMP. If he's right, that's a bad move on Google's part. Google should let web site owners choose to not have their content served from google.com.
When I come across an AMP search result on my phone, I'm happy, because I know it will load, and load instantly. Web pages often don't load on cellular internet in India, and a web that works is more important to me than one that's "open". Not to mention that openness is ultimately about accessibility, and if hundreds of millions of people can't access it reliably, it's not open. You may not be able to relate to this since you're based in a developed country, where the Internet works reliably.
Maybe Google is acting in users' best interests, but not site owners'.
My view about AMP is more nuanced than a binary yes/no. Reducing it to a binary choice throws the baby out with the bathwater. Maybe you have a different view, in which case I again respect it, but we should agree to disagree.
Searching "wwdc iphone 8" (not in the "people also searched" list for me) yields about 50% AMP pages. The first result is but the second isn't.
I don't really see a pattern here. The only part where AMP seems mandatory is the news carousel.
That's not really how arguments work. I mean, sure, sometimes it works that way, but other times, like this time, one person is clearly in the wrong, and is simply refusing to listen to the other side.
Unless you have solid evidence to the contrary, I see no reason to believe you over believing Google.
I'd have a lot less problems with it if it didn't break my zoom functionality.
Doesn't Google already admit to prioritising AMP pages in search results?
Perhaps my results could have been loading faster? I'm not willing to make a deal with the devil to find out. I'm pretty satisfied with what I have now.
[just to be clear, just because you read it in some HN thread doesn't make it true. Let's see a single citation that it actually influences ranking]
There was a vicious spiral at work related to advertisers not caring enough about page load, and adding that signal was not enough. AMP shifted the game by placing the burden on Google of specifying a way to hit advertisers' goals while offering a faster experience.
And AMP pages are hosted on a Google CDN. They are very clearly putting their thumb on the scale.
Google is taking the content and serving it themselves.
The problem is sites being slow in the first place, but Apple isn't commandeering the content itself like Google is by creating a mode where the browser can enhance legibility of any article.
Content authors voluntarily publish their content in AMP form, so it doesn't seem fair to say that they commandeer anything: AMP is a subset of HTML intended for a fast mobile experience, and if you decide to take part you publish flags allowing Google to cache it. Google isn't unilaterally converting content to AMP.
The core argument against AMP primarily seems to be a fear that users will actually prefer AMP content. Which is ultimately rather anti-user.
How on earth did you arrive to that conclusion?
How is Google taking the content? Isn't it the creator that is publishing their content using AMP?
AMP is garbage, and honestly whoever signed off on it shouldn't have a position at Google or wider tech community.
None of that requires being hosted by google.
Caching is a part of the platform and is entirely coherent with the goals, and if you want analytics or ads, you approach those in a different way. AMP caching isn't limited to Google - Bing, for instance, caches and serves AMP as well. Ultimately anyone could, and HN could cache and quick-serve AMP content for supporting sources. AMP is open source and any one can take part.
I should add a side note that many of the comments on here have taken the predictable turn of claiming that people who defend AMP are "over invested" or must work at Google. I have nothing to do with Google, and have a reasoned, fact-based opinion on AMP. I think it's a last-ditch salvation for a web where sites are demonstrating a tragedy of the commons. Nor do I think everyone denouncing AMP works for Apple or some competitor.
What I dislike is not being able to choose simply to make and host an AMP content myself without google taking it and hosting it on their own servers. I cannot opt-in to this, nor can I opt-out. My only choice is to not do anything with AMP.
What is the way to host your own AMP cache? The AMP project under caching just shows the google cache and links to a google page.
As a side note, what if what I publish is not acceptable by google? Will they remove my content, despite having already taken it and given it to people under that URL? If AMP content must be loaded from the caches, is my content only valid AMP if google and the jurisdictions they operate under approve?
AMP is a subset because in addition to the elements, they provide a set of restrictions that would make your page "valid AMP" and cached by Google's creepy CDN thingy.
They do kind of do this. AMP pages get highlighted and populate the top results( at least for me) which kind of has the same effect as reducing the rank of normal websites.
There's the AMP library and format. That is a huge part of what you're talking about with speed, annoying popups, etc. It's an open source library and people can use it or not.
Then there's Google grabbing all of the AMP pages, rewriting them and putting them on a Google domain.
You cannot opt out of the second part. There's not a lot of abuse I can think of that's being restricted by this, and it feels like it would be a simple problem to fix.
It's pretty clear, I think, Apple would've approached this just like they did reading mode.
This comment is applicable to all media sources: replace "fb's algos" with any newspaper, website, or TV channel name. You might want to be careful of sourcing your news from one single source instead.
This extension is great: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/news-feed-eradicat...
And many of those media sites use Instant Articles (Facebook's AMP) and honestly I've found that I greatly prefer them, because it really sucks to click a story and have an abomination that grinds my device to a halt, starts a hidden autoplay video, etc. The same forces are at play: Controlling sites that destroy the web by making it such a miserable experience.
A purely local feature that you have to select manually and doesn't infringe on your privacy or break the ability to share links.
I found this comment interesting as well. I really like the instant load aspect and would much rather not waste time waiting for a slow page to load.
I think the author feels that the free hosting provided by AMP is overshadowed by the loss of personal ad revenue from the traffic.
I'm not using it too, but not because of that (and I was unaware of amp before). DDG shows instant wiki, stackoverflow, lyrics previews, while google only does that for wiki. I don't use gmail because of crappy ui, ux and designs. I wouldn't use annoying youtube if dailymotion was not blocked. Translate is only bearable for english. Local maps are way better in navigation/street/company info (probably not true for US/EU).
Summarizing, I clearly see no value in google services for me today and it was surprisingly easy to get rid of it completely.
Edit: and in search regard, ddg/yahoo links lag far less than google's redirects and ddg never presented me "you're a robot, enter captcha to not get to our search service anyway" for hours.
Other services were mentioned only to support "completely" part, which is criticism, but not search-related.
After all, most people on mobile spend their time inside apps, probably from some Google competitor like Facebook. Within these apps, they click on links, which increasingly load inside webviews; the framing app collects info on where people go, and uses this to sell targeted advertising. Facebook is a king in this space, and is now the second largest server of internet display ads, after Google.
Google's assault on Facebook's encroachment is twofold: drive people to Google's apps like the Google Now Launcher (now the default launcher on Android) or the Google app present in older versions of Android and available for iOS, and deploy the same content-framing techniques from their own search engine webpage on mobile user-agents, where the competition is most fierce, and they can also position it as legitimate UX improvement -- which, to their credit, is largely true, as bigpub content sites on mobile were usually usability nightmares and cesspits of ads.
I understand that the author and quite a few others are peeved at this behavior and that there's no way of turning it off. But it's really not in Google's best interest to even offer the option, because then many people will just turn it off, encouraged by articles like the author's own last year where he was caught off-guard and before he gained a more nuanced appreciation for what's really going on.
The bottom line is this: Google is inseparable from its ad-serving and adtech business -- it is after all how they make most of their money -- so if you are bothered by their attempts to safeguard their income stream from competitors who have a much easier time curating their own walled garden, you should cease using Google Search on Mobile. There are other alternatives, who may not be as thorough at search, but that's the cost of the tradeoff.
I don't want your stupid "mobile" website that doesn't work, your cut-down "optimized" walled-garden product.
I just want the normal web, in all its glory.
It's very easy to assume that everyone has the latest device in an affluent society that doesn't have much of a problem buying the latest and greatest, but I can assure you this isn't the case in most of the world.
You're failing to see that Google is used everywhere in the world and not all countries (in fact, very few) have markets where the standard device is what you describe or where everyone has blazing fast LTE available everywhere.
For example, there are places here in Colombia where 2G is the norm, that's the kind of people AMP is helping, not the bay area kid that has the latest iPhone and 100Mb Wi-Fi
Such luxuries. I spent several years reading web pages on a 33MHz 386DX with 8MB of RAM. Yes, Netscape took a while to start (had to wait for the rest of Win 3.1 to swap out), and downloading images was always somewhere between "slow" and "don't bother" even with the glorious 14.4kbps of a fancy V.32bis modem. However, it still only took a few (15-20) seconds to fetch an article and render it.
Yes, it's important to remember that there will always be a wide variation in the User Agent. That's one of the reasons well-designed websites progressively enhance the heavier features. Websites can do this on their own - just like they did 10/15/20 years ago. An over-engineered caching system isn't necessary. Do you want a future where the internet retains some of it's interactive, decentralized qualities? Or do you want a fancier version of Cable TV, mostly controlled by Google et al?
 On weekends I was stuck with the old 2400bps V.22bis hand-me-down.
So here's an idea: Seeing as some folks _do_ have these powerful devices and fast connections, Google could make AMP _optional_.
Let people enable AMP browsing if they need it.
So Googles solution is to pull everyone down to the lowest common denominator, which is shit. Google basically re-invented WAP and is trying to set the web back 15 years.
Sure, not everyone has a fast connection and a high-end device, but they could have easily limited AMP to just those devices instead of forcing it down everyones throat.
What's even worse is that Google is pushing Chrome tabs in process now:
So in all the biggest apps like Gmail, Slack, etc. I now have to click a link and it shows up in process, then I have to pick the menu option to view it in real Chrome, then I have to pick the menu option to request desktop site. So they've added two clicks and two page loads to almost every site I visit.
You left out the most important reasoning for AMP, which is the network. Even in the US, cellular networks are almost invariably slower/higher latency/less reliable than wired (or even wifi) networks. In other areas of the world where most users are not on 4g it's a huge difference.
Thank you for this - it's a good summary.
I would go further and suggest a deeper bottom line - the desire of google/facebook/et.al to become "the phone company".
There was a long period of time when end users did not even own the telephone in their home and were not allowed to touch the wiring. We should act as if that level of control and captivity of the audience is the driving force behind the actions these firms take.
This is not the default launcher on Android. Each OEM has their own launcher. It's also not even the default launcher in AOSP for obvious reasons.
You're making excuses for Google, but forgetting about smaller, independent companies. It is not in our interests to have our content appified and restricted inside of Google's walled garden. When a big company like Google (or its competitors) attacks the open WWW, then web publishers should oppose it.
Here's something simpler from a non-developer, average-consumer point of view. I recently began taking BART to work daily (new job). For those who don't know, BART is Bay Area's subway system, and (at least on the east bay side) cell reception is notoriously spotty.
When I'm on the train, which includes 2 hours of my day everyday (unfortunately), I'd be browsing on say Facebook, and look at links that my friends post. Instant articles almost always load successfully (and quickly) and external links to actual sites almost always fails to load or loads insanely slowly.
Yes, when you're at home or in the city with good mobile reception, these things make no sense and you'd rather hit the original site directly. Give them their ad revenue, etc. to support them, right. But for the average consumers who actually have problems like slow internet (like the average joe who rides public transportation and wants to read on their phone), things like AMP and Instant Articles actually help. I can only imagine outside of silicon valley (where I live), how much more significant of a problem slow internet/slow mobile data actually is.
P.S. I don't work at Google or Facebook, and I know this sounds like propaganda, not to mention this is exactly what they would like to tell you as the "selling points" of these features, in order to continue building their walled garden empires. Fully aware of it, but I did want to bring up why they exist and why I even actually like them.
Complete hyperbole. Google's not forcing anyone to use AMP. They're not forcing developers or users to use AMP.
There is no force. There is only usability. Users prefer usability. Developers prefer people use their products. If a user does not, or cannot, connect to the developer's product the developer loses. If a user cannot connect easily and speedily to a page, they will not consider the product.
I rock an LG V20 and I use Chrome mobile. AMP lets me connect to the content I wish to consume speedily and easily. I connect at a significantly faster rate than without AMP. Thus...
I <3 AMP. I don't care who controls it. As long as I can connect to the content I want, I'm good.
If you as a publisher want your content to show up in the carousel or top search results, you really have no choice but to use amp. It’s coercion if it’s not force.
I am being forced to use AMP because I have no way to tell my search results to link to the real content
Just the tip bruh.
Google is not the problem here.
As a user this choice is not yours; you get what the publisher wants to publish. If a publisher chooses to build an AMP version of their content they are telling Google that's what they want you to see when you click through to a story they've published.
We, the users, don't get a say in this beyond choosing not to view the content from publishers who use AMP.
Also, just going with the solution that just works now is not always the best method going forward. It might be enough for you, but then again it isn't good enough for me.
Nothing will you miss by missing few news. Try it, seriously!
Yeah, many Google and FB services are great, but should you fully depend on them?
As a customer, I don't like this behavior at all. I do not like AMP, mostly for the small issue that it's very difficult to link to the base page. Minor consistent inconvenience, major feature rage.
But I can't imagine what it's like for a web developer. You need to support a whole other platform just to maintain your audience, which is also your lifeblood. Also, that audience won't actually see your page; just the text with some Googly UI. Avoiding it would be fantastic, but it also wouldn't be a realistic option.
How would using WebAssembly make the web less free any more than using other new features like Async/Await?
Why is Google Analytics ok and not their CDN?
Serving widely used libraries out of a CDN is a best practice for a reason. Most visitors will already have it in cache. What alternative are you supposing? Local hosting? That has drawbacks, including more cache misses and increased bandwidth costs for the website provider.
Besides providing jquery themselves, websites can use a CDN from another provider. OK, that might cost an extra 20 ms.
Presumably once Google traps you into an unblockable ad channel (on mobile or whatever) they will unleash the tracking they've been doing on you.
if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined')
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='/serverHostedJquery.js' %3E%3C/script%3E"));
99% of websites won't function if they lose a key library.
WebAssembly is an open-standard.
Sure, it has a text format, but it's the equivalent of Lispified Java bytecode. (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/WebAssembly/Underst... (uninformative but current), http://loyc.net/2016/lesv3-and-wasm.html (2016, from when wasm wasn't finalized, but has some good concrete examples that look like the wasm in the first link))
With this being said, it may actually be easier to figure out wasm than frameworkified JS since you can apply IDA-style reversing to it.
Open question: what existing tools and research are good at inferring the high-level behavior of stack machines? Eg, research papers, or (preferably open source) tools for reversing eg Java code. I want links I can throw at Ph.Ds.
It's bytecode. I'm not sure if it is a big downgrade from 100,000 lines of minified JS code.
>With this being said, it may actually be easier to figure out wasm than frameworkified JS since you can apply IDA-style reversing to it.
I can't imagine this accounts for more than a tiny number of visitors and people technical enough to do this will know what to reenable.
1. Obscures the web page's URL.
2. Makes manual zoom in/out impossible.
3. Sometimes hides content mentioned in the article, with no ability to scroll horizontally to see it.
4. Confuses Chrome on Amdroid into over-hiding its top address/menu bar (forcing two swipes down all the way to the top to show) or forces it to show (won't hide on scroll down).
This is just coming from a user's perspective, fortunately it doesn't impact my work, but may in future websites I build due to it being almost 100% of the news articles I read.
Check out this response from a Google AMP engineer about scrolling: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14384938
Another thing you can do is use alternative browsers. On mobile I use Firefox Mobile, which has the benefit of allowing extensions, so you can install uBlock Origin! That makes a gigantic different in mobile web performance. On my laptop I've been using Safari as my main browser because it consumes far less memory, and it seems to handle mountains of tabs a lot better than Chrome.
But yeah, saw that I had south africa enabled. Still makes little sense but explains a bit why the result is so weird.
Except scientific articles. I've yet to find a service that comes anywhere close to Google Scholar, which I think is the most successful of their products for my use case.
Sometimes though, I do have problems finding what I'm looking for (when it is obscure) so I pre-pend !g in front, but generally it's not much better ...
The only options are: Google, Bing, AOL, Yahoo, Ask.
To get DDG you'll need to use a different browser like FF.
I actually blocked Chrome on my phone and started using FF once I noticed that Chrome was updating itself even though I was requiring manual updates. Play Store and Google Play Services do the same thing, but don't have a good alternative for them,
Yahoo's search business was always odd... They had their own search, then switched to search powered by Google. Then they purchased Overture, which owned AlltheWeb and AltaVista. Overture had originally purchased AlltheWeb from FAST, who had pivoted into the enterprise space, and later got bought by Microsoft and integrated into SharePoint.
> AOL & Yahoo is really Bing
What? I don't get that -- I don't know about AOL, but I thought that Yahoo does its own crawling (their Slurp bot)
For searches in specific domains it is better to use bangs. For example prefixing with !py shows results from python manual.
Here's more about it: https://duckduckgo.com/bang
Upd: and https://github.com/asciimoo/searx
Liking it so far, really liking being able to attach my domains natively to my inbox
I get the idea behind AMP but it's just far too late to the game for Google to be pushing it so heavily. Back on 2G internet I used Opera Mini, I don't use that now because I just don't need it anymore
AMP is so much faster than 90% of websites 90% of the time I can see why Google push it so much.
AMP pages don't work offline just as much as regular internet
For example this mobile speed test puts theverge.com at 21 seconds to load! That matches my experience. You can't tell me AMP is as slow as that. It's not even close.
In my experience AMP pages load in 2-3 seconds, even with bad signal.
I was a heavy user of address bar search prefixes, but it's amazingly convenient to not have to think about it until the very end of a query (or even add it in the middle).
The !commands allow you to search more specific sites directly - if I know I want Wikipedia, which I often do, I can just type !w and search it directly. Similar for other things like IMBD, Wolfram Alpha, etc. It's just a convenience.
You can also search Google using a command, which is sometimes necessary when you're really crawling the depths of the internet for something old or weird, but nine times out of ten the straight DDG results will get you where you need in my experience.
I don’t know why I do it, but for some reason it just doesn’t feel “right” to me to consume the content through the AMP. It feels slightly off, and I want the real deal even if it takes a few seconds extra to load."
I have subconsciously been doing the exact same thing for a while now, and I think this quote covers a good deal of public sentiment. It's weird to use AMP, yet slower without it.
Another main issue I have with AMP is that there is no speedy way to check the url, something I do quite frequently. Instead it's just Google's hosting for the site, with the source being only available by clicking on the link icon.
The AMP saga has pretty clearly shown that users care about content while Web developers only care about URLs and what goes over the wire. This is a huge disconnect. It doesn't help that many Web developers show no empathy for the users' viewpoint.
Ultimately it probably is easier for Google to add an opt-out to appease a very small, very vocal minority than to educate them that the URL doesn't matter.
I fully agree that it should be optional and people who dislike it should be allowed to disable it. But as you mention, the author provide absolutely no real argument other than "it feels wrong".
All user studies so far show that it's a net positive, and I'd rather stick to real data than feelings or anectodes.
I personally love it, but I also agree that those who don't should be allowed to disable it.
Some people expressed a valid criticism that just saying “doesn’t feel right” is not good enough. While I agree, I don’t have any solid data to back up my argument. I believe AMP (to some extent) is a hack on top of existing browsers and the Web, to create a faster in-browser “browser”. As a result a number of small things (scrolling etc) don’t work on my iPhone as I would normally expect. Considering that this post received over 1000 up-votes on Hacker News, making it one of the top 300 posts of all time, leads me to believe that I am not alone.
At the risk of sounding like an old fart (I probably do), I fail to understand this frustration of normal mobile users with the so-called slowness of their mobile experience. To quote CK Lewis: "Give it a second! It’s going to space! Can you give it a second to get back from space!??"
If you buy a cheap plastic hammer from a dollar store, you shouldn't expect it to break rocks like a bespoke carbon steel ball-peen.
But if you buy a cheap website from a bottom-barrel contractor, you're allowed to be baffled at why people don't like using it. It's just a website, for crying out loud.
So, what is happening is that AMP is removing everything except Google served ads and that makes everything nice and fast.
* Top bar with a damn small company logo and navigation links. Top bar does not follow the user down the page. Your logo isn't that cool and nobody is using your navigation links half way though an article.
* No fancy or dynamic layouts. No scrolling effects. No bars that follow them down the page. No floating buttons. No animations. No 'expandable' content. No hamburger menus (they're lazy design anyway).
* Minimal CSS. Sane font settings focusing on readability. No web fonts. Use the system default sans serif for the article content.
* Email solicitation exists as an in-band static form at the end of the page (or the beginning if you really can't help yourself).
* Use text placeholders for images and use JS to load them at the request of the user. Or more generally, only use JS to reduce the traffic over the wire.
* (If you must) Use a tracking pixel rather than something like GA or Piwik.
And yeah, pop-up email solicitation is the worst.
Or fix browsers so they load the images lazily (which would break tracking pixels located at the bottom of a page).
Funnily enough, those are almost always blazingly fast.
If it takes a second to load it's not amazing now is it.
Also, that "be happy with what you've got" attitude is not helpful. If everyone thought like that we'd still be living in caves. Don't focus on the good stuff, focus on what sucks, that's the stuff that needs fixing. The good stuff doesn't need our attention, it's already good.
Especially if you're on the move, having to wait around while a page loads some information you need now is frustrating. There's lots of statistics about how users will abandon websites that don't load quick enough.
Even if we take Louis CK's standard, a lot of sites would take more than 10 seconds on 3g. From a webdev point of view this is unacceptable.
The speed difference on SERPs is the background downloading and (possibly) pre rendering of AMP pages. This functionality could easily be added to browsers, keeping people on their own websites and Google not having control over the content.
We already have <link rel="preload/prefetch"> but how about adding
<link rel="prerender" href="http://amp.newswebsite.com/article/etc." />.
This would absolutely give all of the benefits of AMP Cache without Google embracing and extending the web. It's also much simpler to integrate, every single site can choose to benefit from this (not just SERPs) and I don't end up accidentally sending AMP Cache urls to my friends on mobile.
The goal of AMP is to improve the experience on mobile, making the client prerender instead of Google would be bad for your mobile device battery.
There are extensions like No Script that can give similar results for other browsers. https://noscript.net/
Marketing has taken the lead in corporate websites projects to the detriment of the end-users, AMP puts the user in the center.
Although there is much to be concerned about Google's ever-expanding reach into the daily life of a good portion of the planet, I think web proponents have more to fear from the likes of FB, Apple, and others appearing on the horizon. These companies are mostly succeeding at meeting current UX expectations (performance, standardization, ease-of-use), and in doing so they are capturing eyeballs away from the web. It's possible some of those who have left for these walled gardens may not return.
google amp pages
google amp annoying
google amp sucks
google amp conference
This simple test is therefore inconclusive, but my hypothesis is that his search autocomplete hints are, ironically, colored by his search history. The only negative word I got (disabled) is much more neutral.
Now that I think about it, duckduckgo's "no tracking" isn't just valuable for privacy. It's also valuable for consistent search results across computers without yielding even more information (logging in etc). A few times I made a query and found something useful and surprising, and then I wasn't able to replicate the query on another computer to show someone else. In any case I'd hate to miss a rare interesting page because Google thought that extra 10 pages about Linux might interest me more.
Actually, I get those same results in or out of Incognito Mode, but it's possible your search history is coloring your results.
Why this was voted up to top on HN is weird. Even if enabled by Google, won't have any impact.
An example is off-main-thread animations. There's no intrinsic reason why animating, say, background-color should be slow. A lot of sites empirically do this sort of thing. But that animation is banned in AMP , because it's slow in Chrome (and in other browsers). Even if I work on making it faster, it'll stay banned until Chrome catches up (due to Chrome's market share), thus negating the incentive to make it faster in the first place. Without this competition, Web developers and users lose.
This is just one of many reasons, but try this on a mobile phone.
Go to Google and search for "Trump"
Note what choices you have to pick from without excessive scrolling. They all end in either ads or Google urls.
Click one of the featured stories in the carousel, almost guaranteed to be an AMP site. Seems to be a prerequisite to sit in the carousel.
Lets say you land on a Washington Post story. What do you think a "right swipe" should do? Should it navigate to a competitor of Wapo? This is Wapo's page, right? So it should go to another Wapo page. Nope, it goes to Fox News.
Okay, so now you've navigated from Wapo to say Fox News. Hit the back button. It should go back to the Wapo story, right? Nope, goes back to Google.
How this isn't viewed as a land grab is a mystery to me.
I googled "Trump". First five stories in carousel (wapo, bbc et all) are not AMP. I see only one AMP link in the first page results. Click on it, page loads. Swipe right/back button gets me to Google results (as expected). Is it because I'm on an iPhone and this is an Android thing?
Same search though ddg with !g comes out completely different though....
It certainly makes it clear that the content owner of an AMP page is not the page owner.
Also, I missed mentioning the [X] button on the AMP header banner. I bet that most end users think that [X] button should make the AMP banner disappear, while leaving the page content there. Pretty common pattern, like for the EU cookie warning. That's not what it does, though.
Back to the "right swipe", at the very least, it should do nothing, assuming that an AMP page belongs to the publisher.
Dark petterns, MS, google, facebook etc. It's becoming the norm for the behemoth corporations to do this.
Well, with AMP, the the mobile results are basically ads, then AMP results which are guaranteed to have Google ads. So the percentage of searches makes Google money increases while similar reducing revenue from competitive ad networks who are not approved.
You mention the [X] button. How many end users do you suppose think that the [X] on the AMP header bar should make the header bar go away...versus functioning like a back button, going all the way back to the google search? I suspect they are conditioned by things like the EU cookie warnings that an [X] on a header bar makes it go away.
An AMP page you reach from a Google search is Google's page, period. It's not the publisher's page. And that's no accident or side effect. It's the whole point. Performance is a secondary concern.
Quick edit: I also worry it can contribute to breaking or obfuscating hyperlinks, which is similar to the issue raised in this article. Having hyperlinks work correctly is crucial to the design of the web. I had similar problems when sites like Google search started making their search links redirect to some intermediate site before going to the actual link, and back when I used Google search I had an extension that removed them so I could e.g. right-click and copy the link.
Probably not 100%, but it's better than nothing. And having people install a plugin is easy enough.
The content that user gets on their browser is cached content hosted on Google's servers.
The URL that is shown in the location bar is `www.google.com/amp/<site>`.
The rapid adoption is primarily due to fear of being left behind in Google's search ranking.
As the blog states, it drives mobile views away from the site whose content is being shown (some call it stealing).
On occasions I've seen more "Suggested Content" on an AMP page than the actual site.
From what I've read, AMP came as a response to Facebook's instant articles not primarily driven from user needs.
Sign up, or face the reduced google referral traffic as AMP-only carousel results push the organic results below the fold.
Google is no longer neutral, they own those users, not you.
They state "I just automatically go to the main url" without giving any real reason for it. They also mention how all studies show that it's a huge positive for users. And it is. It's much faster and easier way to browse content. You can try to shit on Google, but the reality is that people sucked at making fast content, so someone had to step in and no one was.
Because of that I'm starting to seriously wonder if Google is going to end up declaring AMP a failed project (and, being Google, the prior probability was reasonably high in the first place), and then AMP is an uncleanable stain on the web, with www.google.com/amp/ URLs being kept around forever.
There is also some discussion over here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14518985
And more links in these articles:
The agency I worked at it was a huge problem because back then clients and business people still used AOL and would see the jacked up versions of their site. There was literally nothing you could do, they did it to small and large sites without abandon.
AMP reminds me a bit of that type of setup with AOL re-compressing and crunching down sites through their network. I agree with Google on doing this for email for security but not necessarily websites. AMP to me is quite annoying and in general a bad move.
Reminds me of this:
Currently with AMP Google gets not only your traffic but they get your content on their own domains (which makes all content look like the same trustworthiness) and, at the same time, they mark sites that have AMP available in their search results thusly weighting those results differently because it can train users to click on those more.
Ultimately this is bad for everyone but Google.
However, if it was a framework / set of tools we could create our own AMP pages and simply put them on our own DNS. Google's cache is really the only unique thing going on here and we wouldn't have to worry about sharing trust.
As a developer I'm not a fan. It's another thing to manage and maintain. And the last time I checked once you can't leave without some serious consequences.
As a marketer I like the increased CTR but dislike the higher bounce rate and limited features.
Most search features are completely removed, and this also includes AMP. Others are search filters, for example.
This alone should be enough to warrant a close examination of Googles practices, let's say by the EU.
Personally prefer the faster speed with AMP.
If they solved the URL issue somehow(even if faking the address bar), and had original and AMP links in search; it would probably reduce the antiAMP argument quite a bit. Which both seem to be just UI issues.
Google's attitude that it's "your page" despite the URL and header is complete BS. They clearly hijack it for their own benefit.
Worst of all I was on the website the other day where I couldn't use pinch to zoom without it moving me to a different page. It was literally impossible to zoom into the content.
I can't stand all these things where websites seem to try to invente the features that are already built into mobile phones. "Will make a bar that makes it easy to share this!" I can ALREADY share things easily on my phone. And it doesn't waste 10% of my screen at all times. Also, I can configure at the way I want.
No, AMP is basically WAP 3.0. A crippled, baby version of the internet invented because most Android devices are too slow to offer a decent browsing experience otherwise. Which is fine for the people who need it, but Google has to stop forcing it down everyone else's throat.
HN: But the open Internet!
Users: What's that?
HN: Normal websites!
Users: Like...the really slow ones? With all the annoying popovers? And pages that take forever to load? And for some reason cause my fancy new phone to slow to a crawl?
HN: Well, those websites should rewrite their entire codebase to be faster.
Users: That doesn't help me, though.
HN: Trust in the free market! The problem is you, the user, who just needs to exert more pressure on website purveyors so they'll make performant web sites.
Users: You mean, like, preferring websites that offer faster experiences? Okay. Continues to use AMP.
Fast is good, but at least it ought to be a good user experience. I used to use google news a lot, but i totally abandoned it after constant frustrating experiences with AMP. Plus most of the amp-ified pages don't seem significantly faster than the original page. I'm not seeing the utility for users, just for google.
How is this breaking the internet?
That said, I don’t actually agree that AMP’s link rewriting is necessarily the thing that breaks internet, because the original link is still contained in the modified URL, and can be recovered completely offline.
URL shorteneres are much more harmful in that aspect.
The real danger of AMP is giving Google that much (more) power. They don’t hide links today, but what stops them from turning evil(er) tomorrow.
Preferring AMP pages is a clear monopoly practice, and should be the straw that breaks the camel’s back (if you didn’t care about the censorship…). I’m really trying to have faith in free market sorting this out, but I don’t have much faith in the Facebook drones that brought us all this shit in the first place. Are there enough free people left?
I'm using an LG V20 device, with Chrome mobile, and I see a significant improvement with AMP'd pages over normal sites. So-much-so that I dread going to non-amped pages as they are slow and the ads are horrifically annoying.
I guess this is why anecdotal evidence is not as heavily weighed as a thoroughly tested and evidenced study.
I <3 AMP
Bugwise though I've had the same issues over a couple of different phones.
If you have specific issues you can spell out, consider filing a bug on it? The AMP team is tracking most of their work via Github as far as I'm aware.
As an iOS user, one bug that bothered me for a long time with AMP was scroll inertia, which seems to be an issue with Webkit rather than AMP. If you poke around the tracker, you can see the team does what it can to fix issues across all platforms/browsers.
Solution: Remove banner, redirect to URL
Resolution: Closed, Google likes it that way.
Actual solution: Don't use AMP, and slowly get pushed out of Google search.
What are the chances that Google would listen to big reports, supposing that anybody could find those links? Google is notorious for being inaccessible unless you happen to know an employee personally or have enough juice on twitter. They do not have a reputation as an open or accessible company.
Anecdotal, but I've never had this happen to me. Chrome on Nexus 6P 7.1.2
I use "request desktop site" on google news to get that working properly on my android.
I agree with the fundamental and structural concerns associated with it though.
Is there anything you're doing on your connection that's unusual?
>It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
As an iPhone user, why the hell would I care if a page is bit larger, I pull down over 500Mbit/s on wifi and over 100Mbit/s on LTE. The CPU in iPhone is so fast it's almost ridiculous. There is little difference in how fast AMP pages load compared to real web pages.
Basically, Google re-invented WAP for exactly the same, dumb, reasons the original WAP was invented: their phones are too shit to use the real web.
I bought it because it was still used heavily in the user base.
An iPhone 4 isn't perfectly functional. It's an outdated device that is no longer getting security updates and as such should not be used on the open web.
So even if one typed www.google.com and shared the page, it would be re-wrapped into a digg.com URL
// @name Un-AMP
// @namespace http://tampermonkey.net/
// @version 0.1
// @description avoids google AMP links and navigates to the original content
// @author Alenros
// @match https://www.google.co.il/amp/*
// @match https://www.google.com/amp/*
// @grant none
It's the first time I've found an alternative to google.com that is actually usable (i.e. I find what I'm looking for near the top of the first results page every time I make a search).
You can use Google as one of the results providers, but you won't see any AMP results, and since searx can mix in results from Stack Overflow etc, you might find that a different search engine than Google still gets you good results.
I think Google would pull fewer of these monopolistic tricks if people would realise they have genuine alternatives.
So that's how it feels like to be a "lucky 10 000".
crawls back under stone
I !g maybe 5% of the time.
What did happen though, is that i found google results a lot worse on mobile, and ended up not searching for stuff on my mobile. Google results really look like a mess on mobile now...
They really went from minimalist zen to baroque indian arabesque over the year...
I don't think I've ever seen an AMP-enabled website, I certainly never noticed any buttons suggesting I visit the original website.
But if you search on a mobile device, you'll get this for the OP: https://www.alexkras.com/please-make-google-amp-optional/amp...
But given the URL format, it should be trivial for a browser extensions to rewrite links or requests from AMP pages to the original. I bet it already exists.
Do you only see them when doing a Google search?
Is it an american thing, not enabled for other countries? Just what am i supposed to look for?
There is no notice or terms and conditions/license or any kind of other legal agreement that I found on the amp website. [EDIT: actually the code on github is licensed as Apache 2: https://github.com/ampproject/amphtml]
I'd suggest trying an alternative, maybe https://duckduckgo.com.
The ticket was closed a few days ago. People dislike stuff like AMP, but we are probably stuck with it, there just isn't much interest in alternatives.
From google news, the top hits are served through amp and I lose about 1/10 of my screen area to a pointless blue "bar" underneath safari's address bar. This loss of screen space is the only reason I object to amp.
In terms of "a worse place", well, as a user, I disagree. I wish it wasn't necessary but it clearly is.
Seems like the link you found is outdated.
Much faster everywhere, in all browsers and platforms.
to our HTTP requests Google and publishers will start noticing we care.