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Google once was a force for good by indexing pages and rewarding good content with SEO.

I deeply hate AMP. It's a monopolistic move to bully companies into handing over Google their content.




I also hate AMP and its getting harder and harder to avoid. I created a hosts file that blocks as many AMP domains as I can find. Personally, I would rather not read an article then to visit an AMP site. If you are interested, here is the AMP hosts file: https://www.github.developerdan.com/hosts/lists/amp-hosts-ex...

The hosts file is easily added to something like PiHole, uBlock Origin, or Steven Black's hosts project. Many other tools also accept host formatted block lists.

I'll be the first to admit that the list is lacking, but I would love to accept pull requests if anyone else has an interest in contributing their list of known AMP domains


> It's a monopolistic move to bully companies into handing over Google their content.

That's nonsensical. Google already has their content.

If anything, AMP is a democratizing technology. If you want your articles in Apple News, you have to integrate with Apple. Same with Facebook Instant Articles. With AMP, you don't have to integrate directly with anybody. Just publish AMP pages from using standard HTTP, and every link aggregator that implements an AMP cache (including Bing, Baidu, Yandex, Yahoo Japan, etc.) will be able to instantly load your pages for users. If I start my own link aggregator, I don't need to have the clout of a Facebook, Apple, or Google to get publishers to enable instant loading from my site — I can cache the AMP pages they have already published.

It's the same as publishing bus routes according to Google Maps's standard feed format (https://developers.google.com/transit/gtfs/) . I publish once in that format, and not only do my bus routes show up better in Google, but they also show up in all other mapping applications that ingest that format, without me having to do any integration with them.


What a bullshit, PR-speak comment.

Let's compare this to digital piracy. Let's say I make a game and host it on my website. I am giving the game for free. Now maybe I have some ads in the game, maybe not. I want to get some exposure, so I ask a gaming site to link to my game (Google). At this point, everything is cool. I have a cool game, the gaming site has something to show people.

Well, the gaming site is big business and I'm a little fish. So in the interest in serving their customers they decide to host the game themselves (AMP). Hey, I'm hosting it online for free anyway, right? And because they love their customers sooo much, they did a cool thing where they dig through my game's code and strip out any ads I might have. It turns out their customers love this feature! Ads are annoying after all.

Of course, if I don't like this hosting feature I can opt out of it. But if I do, they will take my game and tuck it waaaay at the bottom of their list (or just remove it completely).

The reality is way worse than this, though. Because I no longer know when anyone downloads my game from the gaming site or plays my game. Should I make another game like the last one? How would I even know? The gaming site says not to worry, they have some convenient code I can add to my game to keep track of this for me.

Ok, you say - well if you don't like this wonderful service of having your game taken and stripped down and its usage hidden from you, just opt-out of the gaming site. But it's the ONLY gaming site 95%+ people ever visit. And although there are some minor benefits of stability and speed to users, users ALSO can't opt out of this - they can't even get to my site to download the game anymore even if they want to.

So what started as a partnership between content and distribution, where everyone is happy, has degraded into the distribution channel completely owning the audience and taking every bit of control from the creators of the content.

Which leads us to: > It's a monopolistic move to bully companies into handing over Google their content.

So please, tell me again how AMP is "democratizing technology".


> So please, tell me again how AMP is "democratizing technology".

Your whole rant ignored the fact that people other than Google get to use AMP pages. That's how.

> So what started as a partnership between content and distribution, where everyone is happy, has degraded into the distribution channel completely owning the audience and taking every bit of control from the creators of the content.

This was always the case. AMP doesn't change the fact that the search engine's ranking determines how well the publishers do.

> users ALSO can't opt out of this - they can't even get to my site to download the game anymore even if they want to.

That's a problem with the search engine's ranker, not with AMP. If a publisher publishes separate mobile and desktop pages but cripples the mobile page in a way that makes it useless, a good search engine should prefer to show the desktop page even to mobile users. The same should happen with AMP. If the search engine doesn't rank properly, users will choose a different search engine. For example, there is a broad range of queries where I prefer AMP results because they load instantly, and I want them to appear first. If there is some feature in a web page that I want that I know won't appear in an AMP page, I will skip the AMP results, and the search engine should update its ranking model accordingly.


But amp sites support analytics and ads. Literally every complaint you're making isn't based in reality.


I think the point is that it removes the locus on control about these things from the user to the dominate AMP provider.

I often find the issue with many things is a change in the locus of control. People feel less comfortable when it falls in another’s domain, and often these large players then take advantage of this.

The great thing about the old web which I think people miss is that it was (supposed to be at least, and initially was) decentralised. Every year the web becomes more centralised and in the control of large organisations.


AMP is a complicated answer to an easy one.

AMP was presented as an answer to webpages not being lightweight anymore. Instead of just pushing for more lightweight webpages, Google cane up with the monstrosity that is AMP.


And worse, there’s already a lightweight alternative format for news stories called RSS.


There’s a better lightweight alternative format for news stories called pure HTML documents (without JavaScript).

Google could be a force for good by encouraging pure documents and down-ranking JavaScript crap.

Instead they chose AMP for lock-in.


> Instead they chose AMP for lock-in.

And because it made sense for their business of selling ads


Which takes away even more control from the publisher (no analytics, A/B testing support, monetization options, etc.) and doesn't support prerendering above the fold. I can't imagine the backlash RSS would get if Google came up with that.


Multiple blogs I read sell RSS sponsorships, and given that RSS feeds are, you know, ultimately web pages, analytics are relatively trivial.


> Multiple blogs I read sell RSS sponsorships

Sponsorship is a poor substitute for subscriptions and ads.

> RSS feeds are, you know, ultimately web pages, analytics are relatively trivial.

No, the aggregator that shows the RSS results has no standard way of reporting to the publisher who viewed which RSS entries.


The publisher can absolutely get by with measuring how many people viewed which RSS entries, which this can absolutely deliver. Combined with other web metrics of the sort that non-privacy-invading analytics systems like GoAccess and OWA can deliver, there's more than enough information to determine the size of the audience, where they're located, when the most popular browsing times are, what devices they're using, and which articles are more successful than others.

It seems to me that you're arguing that publishers -- or in practice, ad networks -- are entitled to track the browsing habits of specific individuals, even if (theoretically) anonymized. If so, I rather strongly disagree.


> The publisher can absolutely get by with measuring how many people viewed which RSS entries, which this can absolutely deliver.

Wrong. The RSS entries are cached by the aggregators, and the publisher never sees how many people have seen them.

> It seems to me that you're arguing that publishers -- or in practice, ad networks -- are entitled to track the browsing habits of specific individuals, even if (theoretically) anonymized.

No. I'm saying that AMP takes less control away from publishers than RSS does, and all the complaints are about how AMP takes control from publishers to ruin the web, yet nobody here has complained about how RSS ruined the web. In either case, the system controlling the cache tracks everything.


> The RSS entries are cached by the aggregators, and the publisher never sees how many people have seen them.

Aggregators like NewsBlur, Feedly, and Feedbin pass on subscriber counts. I am literally looking at my own FeedPress dashboard in another window right now. I promise I have the analytics I say I do, cross my heart.

As for AMP, I'm not sure I see how AMP takes less control away from publishers than RSS does. There's nothing that stops anyone from running an RSS reader which directly hits each web site they subscribe to. Aggregators may be more convenient but they're not mandatory, and this seems to me to be a pretty important architectural difference. Even if we grant that RSS is pretty difficult to monetize, AMP takes my content and cuts me out of any monetization possibility entirely -- and Google may punish me in search rankings if I don't let them do that. Surely you see why that's going to raise some hackles that RSS doesn't?


> Aggregators like NewsBlur, Feedly, and Feedbin pass on subscriber counts. I am literally looking at my own FeedPress dashboard in another window right now.

They do not pass them back in a standard way. If there is a new aggregator, the publisher has to integrate with them for analytics.

> As for AMP, I'm not sure I see how AMP takes less control away from publishers than RSS does.

I already told you in the very first comment you replied to.

RSS is strictly worse for publishers than AMP. Apple News is strictly worse for publishers than AMP. Apple News has some advantages (monetization, analytics) over RSS and some disadvantages (single company integration). Yet nobody on HN complains about Apple News or RSS because they don't understand the technology.


> has no standard way of reporting to the publisher who viewed which RSS entries.

That's a good thing.

That said, I do see an awful lot of RSS feeds that include tracking pixels, advertising JS, and all the other assorted nastiness, so I don't think RSS is precluding those.


If we end up missing out on anti-user options like the ones that you mentioned then RSS sounds great.


Tell that to the bozo who wrote the article, who finds AMP too restrictive already. RSS would make him apoplectic.

Also, there is nothing anti-user about prerendering less, saving battery and network bandwidth.


> AMP was presented as an answer to webpages not being lightweight anymore.

Wrong. AMP is a solution to web pages not loading instantly, not a solution to web pages not being lightweight. If you want to prerender links above the fold without deanonymizing them to the publisher, you will come up with AMP pretty much exactly.


There is no way for a user to disable it on their phone.

It causes news stories and blog spam to pop up before product pages or other non-"article" style pages.

It basically shoe horns the internet into 1 type of page because if you don't have "article" style pages you don't have amp and don't have the higher ranking.

Your getting downmodded because you completely missed the point here. People don't merely hate AMP. They also (and sometimes more stongly) hate what google is doing with AMP and what that's doing to the internet.


> It causes news stories and blog spam to pop up before product pages or other non-"article" style pages.

Your whole issue with AMP seems to be not understanding that Google ranking pages badly has nothing to do with with AMP. Google, Baidu, Bing, and other link aggregators that implement AMP caches are free to rank pages however they like and still load AMP pages instantly.

> Your getting downmodded because you completely missed the point here.

I'm getting downmodded because people don't understand technology. That doesn't bother me. I'll still correct them.


No, you still ignored the point.

Google's behavior is what everybody from the linked article to the commenters here hates.


> Google's behavior

And what behavior is that? Providing a publishing standard that anybody can (and do) take advantage of, including their competitors, instead of requiring direct integration like Apple News?


It's an unnecessary publishing standard, intended to replace the one that is already widely used: normal HTML.


Users want instant loading result pages. That makes it necessary.




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