Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Hampered Web

I don’t get why publishers are so eager to get on board with Google’s AMP project. Its biggest promise is that it provides a reliably fast, clutter-free experience for mobile users, but that’s full of crap. It’s a custom fork of HTML that provides all of the limitations of a proprietary platform with very few upsides. AMP is ruining URLs — the most fundamental foundation of the web — and, now, it seems like the supposed speed improvements from Google’s cache aren’t all they seem to be. Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land:

One of the biggest disadvantages for publishers in using AMP — the accelerated mobile pages format — is that Google will not show a publisher’s actual URL when displaying AMP pages. Google says this is so AMP pages load quickly. However, using a publisher’s URL might hardly slow a page down. In fact, using Google’s URL might actually cause AMP pages to load more slowly.

When using Google’s mobile page speed tool, Google’s cached AMP pages were rated as significantly better than non-cached AMP pages. When using other page speed checkers, Google’s cache loaded far slower than the non-cached versions.

I ask again: what do publishers see in AMP? Is it just because Google is prioritizing it in their search rankings? Why are publishers so eager to hand control of their web presence to a company that clearly doesn’t have their best interests at heart?