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Why are they crowing about how much faster it is?

I imagine if they stripped off all the stuff from their own sites that doesn't show up on AMP the speed would basically be the same, and they wouldn't be under Google's thumb.

No massive header with lots of images of other stories, no master folder with lots of images of other stories, no giant sidebar with lots of images of other stories… get rid of all of them. All of a sudden your page is really fast and doesn't take 45s to load.

Remember what the web was like on dial-up? Design pages for that but with large images. Text goes a LONG way for navigation and discovery of other stories. You don't need ridiculous big images.

Do something really simple. Make a page with content that looks exactly like the AMP page. AB test that against the AMP page. I'd be willing to bet they basically perform the same, modulo any benefit Google gives you for being part of their lock-in.

Text articles with pictures do not require the complexity of googles infrastructure and systems to be fast and lite.

The irony was that we were doing exactly that at The New Yorker (one of the many Conde Nast sites) - rebuilding the article page as a start point.

We had to pause that project and drop it all to go work on AMP...

(so you could fairly say I'm a bit bitter about that)

Mike's bitterness is point on. Source: I dealt with the same shit as Mike.

BTW Hey Mike miss you!

I mean it's basically the same work you were doing before but now your articles can be featured in Google's carousel and you get absolutely no 'wink wink' ranking boosts.

Websites have gotten into a graphical arms race. More sites should experiment with Drudge Report's / Craiglist's styles. Simple, clean, and they load super fast. No AMP required.

edit: HN is another great example, of course :)

I agree completely. That's one of the reasons I love Reddit (with all the crazy themes off) and daring fireball.

Gone to reddit on mobile lately? Because its terrible. Full screen popovers. At a minimum you have to request a desktop page for anything usable. Its barely better than a paywall.

I don't use any apps, I only use the website. And I almost always use it on my phone.

And I ALWAYS use the desktop version because the mobile version is a disaster. I've never tried to use it so I wasn't aware of the fullscreen popovers. I just hate the incredibly low information density.

Why should I only see two or three things on the screen at once when I can see 20? And the 20 still looks better.

I really don't understand the point of Reddit's mobile site.

For mobile I use https://i.reddit.com/.

I like the old iphone feel, seems clean, fast, and easy to use. The only thing I can complain about it that the gear option opens the menu at the bottom of a comment.

To add to that, the desktop site works* with javascript disabled, is faster that way, and has much fewer ads, but the mobile site doesn't even load under that condition.

Edit: * - works in a read-only sense, you have to turn JS on to comment or expand comments.

> I really don't understand the point of Reddit's mobile site.

So they can show more ads.

Reddit's in the process of rewriting their desktop site to use the same stack as their mobile version. So you probably won't be able to avoid it for much longer.

Please no :(

Do you have any more info on this?

This post is from last week, follow the other links at the top to see some previous ones: https://www.reddit.com/r/modnews/comments/6v65ji/reddit_rede...

You can see the beginnings of it on the new profile pages, for example https://www.reddit.com/user/kn0thing

i.reddit.com still works and has a high information density, although its JavaScript appears to be broken for expanding comment threads currently.

I agree. Also the mobile web version is lacking a lot of things with regards to making use of the Reddit API.

For example if on mobile you go to a subreddit to make a post it will present you with the self post and the link post option regardless of the settings of the subreddit. So you write a long post and post it, only to get told sorry this subreddit doesn't allow self posts, or you post a link and you spend a lot of time typing in the title only to get told sorry no links allowed. WTF?? It's beyond ridiculous that they show the option of making a post in a subreddit where it does not apply.

It doesn't stop there. The whole thing is very disappointing :(

Another couple of grievances:

- On desktop you get useful error messages like for example "you're doing that too much, try again in x minutes". On the mobile web version it's just a generic message that is of absolutely zero help.

- You get to see the score of your posts (good) on your profile but to see the score of your comments you have to click on an individual comment. Bad!

Their new mobile site is terrible but the old one still works fine - just go to http://i.reddit.com/ instead.

You seem to be the missing the whole point of AMP's popularity. The glorious sliding carousel on Google.com that gives any news website a massive SEO boost. AMP is the biggest thing to hit the SEO industry in a while. I imagine most of these media companies could not give a shit about website optimization, its all about website monetization.

Which is short sighted on their part. As an AMP early adopter they get a boost. But, as the industry moves to AMP their SEO boost is lost. So, their boost is short lived, but Google's edge influence expands and persists over the long term.

What's worse is once you've lost those short term gains, you can't actually back out since it'll actually cost you search result placements. AMP's a really shady move by Google.

Isn't that the story of all SEO? It's an ongoing arms race, few things make you win forever.

For the most part, digital publishing's remaining lifespan isn't that long. Not as short-sighted in their remaining life...

care to elaborate?

No, I get that. But every time one of those publications discusses that they talk about how much faster it is.

I don't like being lied to.

They're not doing it because it's faster, they're doing it because they want the rank boost.

So I think I should just say that. "We did it to get higher rankings because Google prioritizes it." Don't lie and say it was to get things to be faster, you could've done that on your own.

Not willing to say that? Then don't talk about speed. Because you had control over that.

Right, and this form of forced "SEO" compliance by Google's hand is utterly fucked up.

There is little to no financial incentive for companies to swim against the current, and large financial incentive to come aboard and join the ranks of other AMP-supported sites.

The cracks in the system are beginning to show.

"I imagine if they stripped off all the stuff from their own sites"

Well...of course. Limitations are empowering in their own way. HTML grew, and grew, and grew to the point that soon middle managers are demanding the most abusive tactics in a desperate tragedy of the commons. Users -- tired of pop-overs and subscription boxes and notification demands and location monitoring and janky scrolling and slow loading -- start to prefer silos like Facebook instant articles or Apple news. AMP comes along and says "we'll limit these to the minimum to elegantly provide text content and put an icon to let you know" and users love it.

Could the site optimize themselves? Of course but they won't.

Every time AMP comes up I remark that we really need a new HTMLite specification, and must demand the same promotion/iconography, or optionally allowing users to turn their browser to HTMLite mode where it will only accept validated HTMLite content. All to achieve the same user-benefits without the central control. Instead everyone just pretends that we all just need to behave as developers and it isn't needed.

Because backwards compatibility. No one wants to break it; Quirks mode was still a thing up through IE 11!

AMP gives you preloading (that's the whole point of the google.com url) but yeah just making sites that didn't suck would give you 95% of the benefit of AMP. Unfortunately it's never gonna happen.

We'd beeen using AMP at the publication I work for since late Oct 2016. I finally got around to comparing AMP vs non-AMP performance in Jun 2017 and in _every_ case I could find in Search Console, our site version was outperforming the AMP counterpart on mobile, most notably in search position and conversions. AMP was causing problems in other ways (tons of external calls, which were stressing our servers), so it was a good excuse to ditch it. Eager to see what the results are after 90 days of AMP-less traffic, but so far it's a relief not having to worry about it. It's important too recognize how much extra work things like AMP, Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News, whatever Amazon dreams up next, etc. etc., dump on your development team -- the maintenance alone can swallow up countless hours.

From a linked article [0]:

> AMP’s new speed gains in Google Search are due to several key optimizations that we made to the Google AMP Cache, such as server-side rendering of AMP components, and reducing bandwidth usage from images by 50% without affecting the perceived quality. We also used a compression algorithm called Brotli that Google launched a couple years ago, resulting in a reduced document size by an additional 10% in supported browsers.

So, no. Just stripping down the page would not make pages load as quickly as AMP. Then, there's also the fact that you get Google's CDN for free.

[0] https://www.ampproject.org/latest/blog/turbocharging-amp/

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