Google AMP Can Go To Hell

Google wants websites to adopt AMP as the default approach to building webpages. Tell them no.

Let’s talk about Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for short. AMP is a Google pet project that purports to be “an open-source initiative aiming to make the web better for all”. While there is a lot of emphasis on the official AMP site about its open source nature, the fact is that over 90% of contributions to this project come from Google employees, and it was initiated by Google. So let’s be real: AMP is a Google project.

Google is also the reason AMP sees any kind of adoption at all. Basically, Google has forced websites – specifically news publishers – to create AMP versions of their articles. For publishers, AMP is not optional; without AMP, a publisher’s articles will be extremely unlikely to appear in the Top Stories carousel on mobile search in Google.

And due to the popularity of mobile search compared to desktop search, visibility in Google’s mobile search results is a must for publishers that want to survive in this era of diminishing revenue and fierce online competition for eyeballs.

If publishers had a choice, they’d ignore AMP entirely. It already takes a lot of resources to keep a news site running smoothly and performing well. AMP adds the extra burden of creating separate AMP versions of articles, and keeping these articles compliant with the ever-evolving standard.

So AMP is being kept alive artificially. AMP survives not because of its merits as a project, but because Google forces websites to either adopt AMP or forego large amounts of potential traffic.

And Google is not satisfied with that. No, Google wants more from AMP. A lot more.

Search Console Messages

Yesterday some of my publishing clients received these messages from Google Search Console:

Reported page navigation issue on your AMP pages

Reported missing non-critical content issue on your AMP pages

Reported social media issue on your AMP pages

Reported media issue on your AMP pages

Take a good look at those messages. A very good look. These are the issues that Google sees with the AMP versions of these websites:

“The AMP page is missing all navigational features present in the canonical page, such as a table of contents and/or hamburger menu.”

“The canonical page allows users to view and add comments, but the AMP article does not. This is often considered missing content by users.”

“The canonical URL allows users to share content directly to diverse social media platforms. This feature is missing on the AMP page.”

“The canonical page contains a media carousel that is missing or broken in the AMP version of the page.”

Basically, any difference between the AMP version and the regular version of a page is seen as a problem that needs to be fixed. Google wants the AMP version to be 100% identical to the canonical version of the page.

Yet due to the restrictive nature of AMP, putting these features in to an article’s AMP version is not easy. It requires a lot of development resources to make this happen and appease Google. It basically means developers have to do all the work they already put in to building the normal version of the site all over again specifically for the AMP version.

Canonical AMP

The underlying message is clear: Google wants full equivalency between AMP and canonical URL. Every element that is present on a website’s regular version should also be present on its AMP version: every navigation item, every social media sharing button, every comment box, every image gallery.

Google wants publishers’ AMP version to look, feel, and behave exactly like the regular version of the website.

What is the easiest, most cost-efficient, least problematic method of doing this? Yes, you guessed it – just build your entire site in AMP. Rather than create two separate versions of your site, why not just build the whole site in AMP and so drastically reduce the cost of keeping your site up and running?

Google doesn’t quite come out and say this explicitly, but they’ve been hinting at it for quite a while. It was part of the discussion at AMP Conf 2018 in Amsterdam, and these latest Search Console messages are not-so-subtle hints at publishers: fully embracing AMP as the default front-end codebase for their websites is the path of least resistance.

That’s what Google wants. They want websites to become fully AMP, every page AMP compliant and adhering to the limitations of the AMP standard.


The Google-Shaped Web

The web is a messy, complicated place. Since the web’s inception developers have played loose and fast with official standards, and web browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer added to this mess by introducing their own unofficial technologies to help advance the web’s capabilities.

The end result is an enormously diverse and anarchic free-for-all where almost no two websites use the same code. It’s extremely rare to find websites that look good, have great functionality, and are fully W3C compliant.

For a search engine like Google, whose entire premise is based on understanding what people have published on the web, this is a huge challenge. Google’s crawlers and indexers have to be very forgiving and process a lot of junk to be able to find and index content on the web. And as the web continues to evolve and becomes more complex, Google struggles more and more with this.

For years Google has been nudging webmasters to create better websites – ‘better’ meaning ‘easier for Google to understand’. Technologies like XML sitemaps and structured data are strongly supported by Google because they make the search engine’s life easier.

Other initiatives like disavow files and rel=nofollow help Google keep its link graph clean and free from egregious spam. All the articles published on Google’s developer website are intended to ensure the chaotic, messy web becomes more like a clean, easy-to-understand web. In other words, a Google-shaped web. This is a battle Google has been fighting for decades.

And the latest weapon in Google’s arsenal is AMP.

Websites built entirely in AMP are a total wet dream for Google. AMP pages are fast to load (so fast to crawl), easy to understand (thanks to mandatory structured data), and devoid of any unwanted clutter or mess (as that breaks the standard).

An AMPified web makes Google’s life so much easier. They would no longer struggle to crawl and index websites, they would require significantly less effort to extract meaningful content from webpages, and would enable them to rank the best possible pages in any given search result.

Moreover, AMP allows Google to basically take over hosting the web as well. The Google AMP Cache will serve AMP pages instead of a website’s own hosting environment, and also allow Google to perform their own optimisations to further enhance user experience.

As a side benefit, it also allows Google full control over content monetisation. No more rogue ad networks, no more malicious ads, all monetisation approved and regulated by Google. If anything happens that falls outside of the AMP standard’s restrictions, the page in question simply becomes AMP-invalid and is ejected from the AMP cache – and subsequently from Google’s results. At that point the page might as well not exist any more.

Neat. Tidy. Homogenous. Google-shaped.


Dance, Dance for Google

Is this what we want? Should we just succumb to Google’s desires and embrace AMP, hand over control of our websites and content to Google? Yes, we’d be beholden to what Google deems is acceptable and publishable, but at least we’ll get to share in the spoils. Google makes so much money, plenty of companies would be happy feeding off the crumbs that fall from Google’s richly laden table.

It would be easy, wouldn’t it? Just do what Google tells you to. Stop struggling with tough decisions, just let go of the reins and dance to Google’s fiddle. Dance, dance like your company’s life depends on it. Because it does.

You know what I say to that? No.

Google can go to hell.

Who are they to decide how the web should work? They didn’t invent it, they didn’t popularise it – they got filthy rich off of it, and think that gives them the right to tell the web what to do. “Don’t wear that dress,” Google is saying, “it makes you look cheap. Wear this instead, nice and prim and tidy.”

F#&! you Google, and f#&! the AMP horse you rode in on.

This is the World Wide Web – not the Google Wide Web. We will do as we damn well please. It’s not our job to please Google and make our websites nice for them. No, they got this the wrong way round – it’s their job to make sense of our websites, because without us Google wouldn’t exist.

Google has built their entire empire on the backs of other people’s effort. People use Google to find content on the web. Google is just a doorman, not the destination. Yet the search engine has epic delusions of grandeur and has started to believe they are the destination, that they are the gatekeepers of the web, that they should dictate how the web evolves.

Take your dirty paws off our web, Google. It’s not your plaything, it belongs to everyone.

Fight Back

Some of my clients will ask me what to do with those messages. I will tell them to delete them. Ignore Google’s nudging, pay no heed.

Google is going to keep pushing. I expect those messages to turn in to warnings, and eventually become full-fledged errors that invalidate the AMP standard.

AMP errors and warnings in GSC

Google wants a cleaner, tidier, less diverse web, and they will use every weapon at their disposal to accomplish that. Canonical AMP is just one of those weapons, and they have plenty more. Their partnership with the web’s most popular CMS, for example, is worth keeping an eye on.

The easy thing to do is to simply obey. Do what Google says. Accept their proclamations and jump when they tell you to.

Or you could fight back. You could tell them to stuff it, and find ways to undermine their dominance. Use a different search engine, and convince your friends and family to do the same. Write to your elected officials and ask them to investigate Google’s monopoly. Stop using the Chrome browser. Ditch your Android phone. Turn off Google’s tracking of your every move.

And, for goodness sake, disable AMP on your website.

Don’t feed the monster – fight it.

Mobile, News SEO, Technical


  1. The biggest AMP offense is restricting the use of Javascript. I would never trade Javascript for AMP and their silly hacks. I opted out of AMP long time ago and never looked back.

  2. For everyone looking to find an easy way to remove AMP from your URLs, check out AmputatorBot! While it originated as a Reddit and Twitter bot, I’ve since make it available as a free online tool over at For the techs, there’s a REST API available as well :)

  3. Ok. Thanks Barry but also all other comments from you.

    Till now I have been a nice girl. Now I am saying Stop to AMP!
    I am fed up and even I see that I have the same experience as many other people.
    So go to hell AMP. I will delete it on all my pages. Took me a while to decide this, but I reached the pressure to do so.
    Thanks Barry and everybody else here to blow my mind.

  4. Google’s “standard” is a monstrosity. No self-respecting programmer will knowingly and willingly destroy their website and add over half a megabyte of garbage to their site for Google. Websites keep crashing on my iPad. Now, I suspect that Google is behind it.

  5. Stop using AMP! It is the worst shit Google ever came up with.

    I’ve had so far 4 sites using AMP and they were ALL thrown totally OUT of Google’s index and it took six months to get them back after deleting everything AMP-related.

    In my case, it was other plugins Google Validation Errors pointed at. But there are NO errors!

    I advise you STRONGLY to DROP AMP totally!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!! It WILL hurt your site because of Google’s Mobile-First Policy!! The errors in Analytics won’t go away.

    You can even read on Google’s AMP pages that the AMP project is ‘in experimental stage’… Comforting, right?

    We tried it all and didn’t understand the real issue at first:

    AMP is terribly BUGGED!!!

    The faster you kill the AMP plugin the better you will rank in Google!!!

    All the remaining search engines don’t care about AMP. You will rank fine in them. But eventually, AMP will cause Google to DELETE your site in their index!

  6. AMP is broken!
    It is much worse than that! AMP IS BROKEN! It doesn’t work! And Google states on the AMP project page that AMP is a project in development…

    I had a site and when I implemented the AMP version it totally disappeared from Google. Not from Bing or Yandex or Yahoo, Rambler, Lycos DuckDuckGo and many other searchengines. Tried a ton of things but it was first when I deleted AMP version totally it came back to pos. one.

    Now I tried on another page. Also disappeared from Google. Exactly same shit. So stay away from AMP!!! It is SERIOUSLY bugged and if the AMP version is bad (which it is or. default) the PC version is also hurt by that.

    Detailed description here:

  7. Hello,

    I am an undergrad currently and have been dealing with frustration of AMP links on mobile for a while now. Ironically, I’ll end of Googling this, but I was curious if you knew of a method for reformatting an AMP link to the original URL? I’ve tried a few tools but nothing has been great — thought it might be a good opportunity to make my own.

    Either way, great article! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Thank you for this article. My WP theme came out with mobile version that is faster, so I added that to my site. It can integrate with AMP. I tested both and AMP slowed down my site. It also hurt ad revenue.

    The problem is – now Google is favoring AMP site in their Interesting Finds on mobile search. My traffic is down by 37%.

    AMP is Google trying to control more, as they compete with Facebook. This is wrong. This is their Monopoly in action. They are hurting small businesses and publishers and they try to consolidate their power.

    Interesting release:

  9. Not sure if you’re old enough to remember the Browser Wars , or Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. I am. Same old, same old from a company built on the backs of open source, which can also be called free labor, and open standards, i.e. everyone else playing nice. Crisis and success are the tests of character and I guess we know where Google stands.

  10. AMP is shit. Sites load as normal sites, but more difficult to maintain. In mobile Chrome, AMP sites ARE EVEN SLOWER THAN THE NORMAL.

  11. Am I the only one ? Where gets Google the right to tell you or your developers how to build a site ? They are a search engine. They should redirect you to the site you are searching based on the terms you provided. Besides, when you look into AMP, it’s the opposite of cood coding. Putting everything in 1 sourcefile because of loading times. This is plainly saying ditch the modularity principle. And afterwards, when we IT people need to maintain these pages…. my hourly rate will rise if I have to work on an AMP site !!

  12. Hey Bryan,
    Forget about the AMP, tell me how did you rank this page on top, that too for a query like “what is Google AMP”?

    I bet your answer would be very interesting for all who are reading this article!

  13. If you don’t want to move to AMP, maybe move to a modern web stack on top of React or Vue. This WordPress site’s performance is awful and slow. Google is providing an awesome service by making old stacks loadable on less than perfect internet connections.

  14. Well, my site “Pretty cool site” went down the hill when I switched to full AMP. I think Google prefers to have AMP and a separate canonical. Can anyone confirm?

  15. Congratulations on getting the #1 spot in Google search results for “What is Google AMP.” :) No joke.

  16. Try to investigate 微信小程序’s case in China. It’s quite interesting. Very similar to Google AMP.

  17. One leader in the world will become dictator. This is not good for customers, similarly Google dominance should be ended. Facebook is doing their best in this regard.

  18. I don’t like AMP as a solution, but I do believe some kind of solution is needed. Most news sites are functionally unusable without AMP, because news sites won’t regulate themselves. This gave Google the room they needed to step in and ‘force’ AMP out.

    Self-regulation is needed to keep others out of your business.

    Tell your clients to optimize their sites so that it loads quickly and without issue, and tell Google to fuck off, in my opinion.

  19. The Internet was developed by ARPA, using public monies. The World-Wide Web was developed using public monies.

    Microsoft tried to cram new “standards” into HTML. Their failed efforts now require a bunch of hackish “fixes” inserted into otherwise-compliant HTML pages, in order to render properly in IE, without wrecking Firefox and Chrome.

    May AMP suffer the same fate.

  20. It is people’s fault, they used google instead the likes of Bing or Yahoo. It is Google’s fault to implement market strategy so they can control the market even more. It is everyone’s fault except the devs, make sense /s

    However, I do agree that the way google shove AMP to our throat is unethical but billions of people that used google already won’t change their preference. The fact that people always use google has shown you how clever they are in reaching the people and how strong they are to shove the AMP to our throats.

    So, if you really oppose Google that much then why not just build some competitive search engine to match Google? or… if that seems impossible to you, then why not just build some faster open source framework like AMP if you really think AMP is bad?

    It is just the way of life from the prehistoric age. If you weak, you whine, you get killed. But if you learn to be clever or train to be strong you’ll survive. As simple as that. Technology might be evolved but the way of people’s basic thinking never changes.

  21. The thing that chaps me most about this situation is not Google’s nudging or even the technology of AMP itself, but Google’s use of coercion and plain old-fashioned extortion … and racketeering to get their way. Is that what ethical companies do? No.

    AMP is fine so long as Google simply throws it out there to see where the technology lands. By Google shaking down web site owners just like mobsters used to do with small business owners completely reeks of racketeering. “We’ll protect you as long as you fix your AMP pages.”

    It’s fine to ask people to fix their AMP pages. It’s plain old fashioned racketeering to threaten people to fix problems in AMP pages or face having Google delist their entire web site from Google’s search engine. That’s the same as forcing business owners to pay up for protection. Yeah, that’s definitely not cool, Google… nor is it even legal. Someone needs to call Google out on this. You know, I always thought that RICO was intended to abolish racketeering, but I guess Google thinks that it is immune to racketeering laws.

  22. I don’t know if AMP will become a required standard, or will decline into deprecation-land. But I do take exception to opposing AMP on the grounds that Google should not take over the world.

    The very nature of a free economy is that anyone can take over the world if they have a good enough solution (and they don’t cheat–but cheaters are eventually caught).

    Anyone is free to propose solutions to problems such as slowness of loading and difficulty in designing and implementing websites.

    You’re angry at Google, a giant company, for promoting this sometimes painful solution. But anyone could have proposed exactly the same thing. Without the resources of Google behind it, such a proposal would live or die on its merits.

    But with Google’s resources behind it AMP has a much stronger start. It will still live or die on its merits, no matter how much it is forced down companies’ throats, but at least we will see if such an expensive initiative can succeed with an extremely strong start.

    I am all in favor of having lots of proposals for solving any problem, and let nature take her course in shaping the future. Technologies rise and fall, and so do companies. It is all part of the natural development of life, in this case of the Web. If you want to grow as big as Google, you certainly have every chance: just do what Google did. They came up with some effective ideas, and pushed them to solve real-world problems. If you hate the idea of a Google world, develop better proposals for real problems. If those new ideas live, you will grow too.

    I’m not saying that you shouldn’t criticize the big companies for coercing their customers. This is part of our real world too. Eventually, even those who have power, and would become king of the world, if they have a core of immorality… they will fail and become an interesting footnote of history. That applies to anyone, no matter how arrogant they may be. In the long run, success is based on helping people, not exploiting them.

  23. AMP is total bullshit and has no future at all. I tried once and I remove it forever without any regret. I love any other web technology, web being more native etc etc but this AMP is not and will not become anything significant.

    OK now my pure opinion. AMP is just Google trick to make their web crawler easier to work. Imagine that on AMP is like your plain vanilla web content and it will relatively easy to any crawler even the traditional crawler to get content from your website. Google use this trick in the name of speed and user experience. Total bullshit.

    So Google, sorry I don’t trust your AMP initiative. It’s useless.

  24. Wow, in my little slice of the internet, AMP TOTALLY SUCKS! Tried to increase my mobile speeds, and all the installing AMP on my WordPress site did was give me tons of Google errors for my Jobs postings with structured data.. what a horrible piece of software. Can we give in minus 5 stars?

  25. “Moreover, AMP allows Google to basically take over hosting the web as well. The Google AMP Cache will serve AMP pages instead of a website’s own hosting environment, and also allow Google to perform their own optimizations to further enhance user experience.”

    Regarding this point, Cloudflare has done some interesting work so publishers can have credit attributed to their work by displaying their actual URL, rather than the “google totally wrote this article” position they are currently displaying.

    “Cloudflare AMP Real URL enables browsers to natively display the canonical URL for content published in the AMP viewer on mobile, with no additional coding required.”

    As you continue to fight AMP to the bitter end, I do recommend for your publishers that you consider something like this as an important step in the meantime (a patchwork solution, while the bigger challenge of killing off AMP should be kept in mind)

    Relevant Link:

  26. At the very beginning you said “It already takes a lot of resources to keep a news site running smoothly and performing well”. But most news sites don’t run smoothly or perform well. *That’s the problem*.

    I haven’t seen any proposals *other* than AMP that actually incentivize publishers to make their sites run smoothly and perform well. The secret sauce in AMP is the buzzword for marketroids to request so their sites are “buzzword compliant” and the icon + carousel carrot from Google, which Google has started to extend to non-AMP sites that are fast:

  27. Why not just boycott Google entirely by refusing to let them crawl and index our websites in the first place? Don’t they need us more than we need them?

  28. I just deleted that shit..i Mean does anything ever satisfies most of these established companies and Google aswell? I know how i have been working hard to make i site fast and just because of i wanted to please them, i only ended up seeing bunch of AMP warnings in Google search console. Worst of it all, i got to notice today that a site i suffered to design nicely is not Looking how i left all because of one AMP ish..forget it.
    I can’t even see a difference in load time of AMP page and my non-AMP not to talk of a Good ranking to compensate for all this mess.
    Not worth it man, not worth it all

  29. Wow….the stupidity of some of the posters in this thread just boggles the mind. Cognitive dissonance is really rampant here! I hope the European Commission will put the thumb screws really hard on Google this year. They need to be stopped, it’s getting out of hand. Many posters in this thread clearly just do not understand the implications of AMP…….really sad.

  30. Love the rant, totally agree. Website owners, especially ambitious independent retailers, get totally spooked by everything Google tells them to do and lose focus on simply building a great site that naturally ranks.

    AMP my ass.

  31. I understand your point, but in my case, AMP + Cloudflare is a good choice and pretty fast too. I had two versions of the site before, but then I just went all AMP. Nowadays, there is a way to make navigation work like a normal website. That was one of the biggest problems in the past. Now I can even do multilevel menus with AMP. And AMP actually has better social media shares than most of free services.

    Now the only problem is commenting section on my new blog. Sure, people can comment on social media if they really want to comment, but having an own commenting section gives the article more content and content is king.

    I don’t understand why all the AMP files are cached only for one hour. Seriously, all the pages uses the same files so keeping them ready in the browser would make Internet faster than loading those every time you visit a new AMP site.

    You really should add this comment box before the comments. Seriously!

  32. I’m not prepared to “ditch” my android phone considering Apple costs an arm and a leg and Symbian is shit. Sorry dude

  33. On the one hand you want to be found in the google search engine as well as possible and on the other hand you complain if google wants to optimize. google is just a search engine and not the WWW. Just use another search engine if google is annoying you.

    I’ve tried AMP and I dislike its restrictions, that’s why I just do not use AMP anymore.

  34. @JeremyPugh – yes, it’s quite easy to remove AMP from WordPress – just follow this guide:

    …though I’d prefer it if they’d swapped Section One and Section Two around – ie doing the redirects before disabling the AMP plugin.

    And I totally agree – no matter what website and whichever theme you use, all AMP web versions look totally crap compared to the mobile version of the website.

  35. Oh no. Just read the thread. I’m about to be hit. But still my content LOOKS LIKE SHIT in AMP. So fuck those guys and then the guys who just hit “yeah AMP seems cool.”

    Just sayin

  36. Ok. I agree. I just inherited a content rich website. The developers (such as they were and THEY KNOW WHAT THEY DID) baked AMP into our site. I hate it. Our content looks LIKE SHIT on amp, the site was optimized for mobile already and then I see this AMP shit floating around out there. Any tips for a global redirect from all the bullshit /amp on my site? (yes we are a wordpress site, another beef but that’s another topic). Got other fish to fry but I get vomit in my mouth when I see and AMP version of my content. I’d love to run a killer script and FIX it.

  37. If Google REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to make the web faster, they could do it with one snip – REMOVE ALL OF THE BLOATED ADS!

    Instead in the diverse thinking of Google, they want to re-invent wap sites as full websites.

    WAP sites with ads though, as it’s not really about making websites faster – it’s all about the cash.

  38. It is funny to see non developer or so called WordPress makes that call themselves developers bash the amp framework. Let me make this clear, to use amp you need to build the site in amp from scratch. A true developer will know that from the start. A wordpress website is nothing more than a bunch of plugins put together. Every single WordPress site loads 30+ resources js and css some as much as 90 and more. Installing another plugin that adds amp is not the answer to conversion. It will actually hurt your site. Plain and simple. Here is how you should do it, donalod a framework that is built on amp, higher an actual developer or just learn laravel and amp and build it yourself. You can’t complain when all you guys do is install plugins and call yourself web developers. Honestly because of you guys is y I am in business. Any WordPress website owner is an easy conversion for me to take that business away. One thing to keep in mind, that plugin developers for WordPress do not give a crap about your seo and optimizations. They build to sale. :)

  39. Well done Barry. I get the main point you are making and totally agree. What saddens me is that by the time the vast majority of people see our Google/Facebook/Amazon/Microsoft/Apple tie-in for what it is, it will be too late for governments to have any control.

  40. It is a real shame you do not understand that the goal of the AMP project is to make the web much more efficient for mobile in order to reduce electricity consumption on a global scale, reducing carbon emissions because the phones are more efficient and use less electricity. You don’t drive a 20 year old car, you upgrade to something safer and more efficient. This is how technological advancement betters our world

  41. As a contributor to the AMP project myself, I think you’re taking on a pessimistic view. At the end of the day, it is an open source project, and anyone can contribute (check github and you’ll see that there’s actually a shortage of contributors).

    I’d argue if Google was trying to “take over” the web via AMP, they’d funnel much more resources into this project. They’re not, and if anything it’s underfunded.

    The part regarding making the web more “search engine friendly” though, I agree with. But it’s also not necessarily a bad thing.

  42. One of the main arguments for AMP is that: “Pages will load faster on 3G networks.” – Well, this week Norways largest telecom company announces they will scrap the 3G network.

    I think this comes down to one ting only. Google can make more money because they can track everybody who visit an AMP site. You can turn off everything on you phone or PC, but Google can still track you and show you ads. Showing ads is where Google makes their money.

    Google has had campaigns to make some groups of people vote in elections. Google has gone political. Its not an objective tech company. This is very bad.

    A personal note. I had to buy an Android phone. Couldn’t afford the new iPhone. My good the surveillance on that phone is scarring! Google tracks everything you do. Everywhere you move as a standard. Tech guys says “Just turn it off”. They are missing the point. Most Android users will not have the know how or be “woke” enough to turn the surveillance off.

    Google has become evil. We need a Windows Phone or a third alternative for phones to break Googles monopoly.

  43. Google AMP? Lmao.
    AMP was not developed by Google. Fact check this one.

    And this article is total bullshit, Google does not force anyone to upgrade their website to AMP.

    You clearly have no idea on what you are writing though.

  44. I can’t believe people blindly obey google. The author gave only a small example of what the company is doing. There is a lot more than that. Currently, google is slowly coming under my husband’s scanner. They are not only practicing monopoly, but also stealing Adsense money. It is now far more blatant than ever. Meanwhile, in the name of “ad heavy”, this company has been destroying its rivals and penalizing small sites as an indirect way to encourage them to buy ads.

    The company usually says they make changes in their algorithm because of users’ complaints. They never produce evidence of those. I actually interrogated a google employee over their big claims about seo and quality. The guy ran away once I asked him to give me a practical example that google’s quality guidelines were genuine. The truth is that if your site is bad or slow users will not go to google, but you. Plus, they are not obligated to stick to your site if they hate it so much! That whole “you need to go amp” of google is a bad attempt at becoming full time dictator. Before this, too many tech people were praising the material design. When that thing came out I knew very well it was dangerous for ecommerce sites. Guess what? They incurred billion dollar loss. Site visitors literally had to relearn browsing.
    Google doesn’t care about anyone’s experience. They complain about “slow” sites, but never make their ad script lighter. They never seem to penalize news sites that take forever to load. Its been like this for almost gazillion years. Some have moved to amp, but the slowness persists.

    People of south asian countries have been spending hours on that heavy site called “Facebook”. They never complained about data.

    Google’s biggest fear has always been lawsuits and they lost in some. So no, they are not powerful and above law. People need to unite and demand investigation against this company.

  45. So sad that you never hit on all the technical aspects on why not to use Google AMP and how it would impact production and profit as they have made several site-breaking bug releases the last 10 months and makes it extremely difficult (insisting on using an API) to use API’s….So they expect you to invest time in an already functioning API to make special end-points just for AMP…. which doesn’t always work to begin with. Naw, I’ll just be a conscious developer instead of following the sheep for “better rankings”

  46. While I get what you’re saying, I don’t think Google wants pages to be “only AMP”. Site owners want their own site on their own domain, because it’s important for branding and identity. They also want a good experience for laptop and desktop users, who often represent important business to business customers.

    Not only that, but your CMS is producing a normal site on your web host *anyway*. It doesn’t make sense to hide those pages, or output only for the purpose of feeding the AMP site.

    Lastly, the console messages from Google that you’ve shown here are not mandatory rules that must be complied with.

    That said, I am not a fan of what Google are doing with Amp. They shouldn’t be hosting the content for it to be complient with AMP. I hate how “Google” appears at the top, which could be confusing for users not knowing exactly where they are….. are they on a fancy Google search page, or Google shopping? It’s just not clear.

    As a developer myself, I will not be jumping on Amp pages. I prefer to make a lightweight responsive site that loads quickly. That means both efficient frontend code and a good database setup and CMS. Not easy, but definitely possible.

  47. Why I avoid web development frameworks (and also CSS ‘methodologies’):

    * Page size ~500k, 49 requests.
    * My website: Page size ~70k, 13 requests.

    I was subject to a very slow internet connection whilst on a ship this year, in the middle of the ocean. Most sites failed totally, they were just too heavyweight for slow connections.

    Optimising only for mobiles is wrong, anyway, if I tether my laptop to my mobile internet, what experience do I get?

  48. * There’s no need to ditch Android. You can just install Firefox on it.

    * The ‘instantaneous’ page load isn’t. Google’s real secret is preloading that eats data plans, and doesn’t actually need AMP to work.

    * Yes, the cost for Google not owning the web is less integration with Google.

  49. The irony of you having a (not totally undeserved) go at Google regarding comments, when you can’t even get commenting working right on this very page!

    I click on one of the numerous “Reply >>” links, the page moves down a bit, no reply box appears. I finally work out the reply box is at the very bottom of the page, but now am I replying in the comment chain I click “Reply >>” in, or am I going to create a brand new comment? Who knows, but I guess I’ll find out very shortly.

    1. It’s a relatively new design so not all the bugs have been found and ironed out yet. Thanks for identifying this one, will add it to the list to get fixed.

  50. Great article, Barry – pretty well sums up my feelings, too.
    As you know, I build mostly WordPress sites, and I specialize in technical SEO and making pages load fast. I have yet to work with a WP site that I can’t make load consistently in 2 seconds or less, so AMP isn’t even a consideration for my clients (none of whom are news publishers, thank goodness). Granted, WP doesn’t do that out-of-the-box, it takes some tweaking. But that tweaking is a lot more cost-effective for my clients than building AMP versions, and they don’t have to relinquish control of their websites or their users in the process. I’ll continue to resist AMP, at least until my client list includes a site which can see some ROI from it.

  51. Sorry, but a guy with SEO written all over his site telling me to buy an iPhone and boycott Google isn’t really someone I can take seriously.

    Also, I noticed that ublock is killing a couple of connections to Google on this very page.

    Maybe you should like, take your own advice or something.

    1. Just wondering how often you use Google (or any search engine for that matter) and click on one of the top ranked results. If you feel that those results are 100% because of what the search engine did and 0% because of what good SEO has done, you have a very narrow and incomplete picture of the web indeed and it should be your opinion we shouldn’t take seriously.

      And yes I did consider turning off Google Analytics as well. Might still do once I find a decent alternative.

  52. Just developed a new website and FULLY agree with you. Even if AMP is useful for the user(because the web is so heavy, and apparently we don’t know how to develop lighter sites anymore?,) we can’t give all the power to 1 company. That’s why when creating my new site I didn’t even make a simple AMP version. Just say no to Google.

  53. Great article!
    You said exactly what I think.
    Well,I do also think that AMP isn’t the only thing where Google wants full control over the full web (Chrome and their bad search engine are big problems,too) but I agree that it’s a very big problem.
    My webpages don’t support fucking AMP,instead I made normal mobile versions of them.
    And guess what?Google doesn’t even care about that because they’re locked out of my page anyway.
    It isn’t that complicated to place an Error 403 for their IPs on every page :P
    We should really fight back,fight for the free and decentral internet.
    I use nothing of their shit anymore and I recommend everyone to do the same.
    – Don’t use their browser – Firefox ist better anyway
    – Don’t user their OS – iOS,Blackberry OS,Sailfish OS and the Purism Librem 5 are great alternatives
    – Don’t use their search – DuckDuckGo,Qwant,MetaGer or Unbubble are the ways to go
    – Don’t use their ads – A-Ads is a alternative which respects the users privacy
    – Don’t use their tracking shit – Piwik/Matomo is a alternative you can host on your own server
    – Don’t use thei Youtube shit – displays the videos without giving them ad money (also for embedding in webpages)
    – Don’t use their translator – DeepL has a much better quality anyway
    I hope my list of partly unknown but really good services can help some of you to get rid of the internet dictator.

  54. I agree with so many of the things you’ve said in this article. Particularly your comments on how Google uses AMP as a way to standardize data to make it more efficient for their crawlers—I suspect they are doing this to enhance featured snippets, Google’s “One True Answer”, and their conversational UI capabilities.

    You said “Google doesn’t quite come out and say [just build your entire site in AMP] explicitly”… well, Malte Ubl, tech lead of the AMP Project actually has:

    I’ve written a similar article that you might appreciate:

    1. Thanks Joey – great piece about the death of the URL, which is again a hot topic today with Google’s new browser versions hiding URLs. Google really is trying to cram their own vision of what the web should be down everyone’s throat.

  55. You say Google AMP is bad, but do you know how fucking horrible it is in the german mobile network to get a page loaded in the rural area? There are too much web administrators who give a shit on caring about the size which get loaded. Without AMP it were impossible to get a news page loaded. Sure, its not great, but where are the Open Source alternatives which work decentral and not do any blockchain shit what is not working correctly?
    We need fast loaded pages, if you live in New York, Silicon Valley, or even South Korea, this are things you dont care about because its pretty fast, but in Germany we pay a lot money for mobile data volumes, I have only 4GB per month and pay 15 euro ~ 17 dollar. Is it normal at your country?

    Before saying something is bad, provide a better solution, than you can say whats better and that AMP is bad.

  56. > Yes, sacrificing the freedom of the entire web because you’re annoyed at a few websites makes perfect sense.

    It’s not just a few websites – content publishers’ websites are pretty universally terrible, because there are compelling incentives for them to be. That’s not going to change unless the incentives change, and Google is one a of the few organizations powerful enough to change them.

    As for the “freedom of the web”, I don’t think that the ability to use nonstandard markup is what most people mean by it. The important freedom is the freedom to publish, which is not affected by AMP.

    1. Freedom to publish may not be affected by Google, but freedom to be found is. Google decides (to a large extent) what news you read, which sites you buy from, which videos you watch.

      I’m not debating the need for a faster web. But if Google really wanted a fast, open web, they could just strongly reward fast-loading and clutter-free websites with better visibility in Google search. That’d be all the incentive needed. Instead, they use AMP as leverage to recast the entire web in their image.

  57. I love this article.

    To all the people who didn’t get the point, yes, it’s a rant, (hint the word ‘polemic’ is in the domain), but the point is simple – AMP is Google’s attempt to funnel all publishers onto a labyrinthine, pseudo-open web platform, convincing the world that it’s all about the end user experience, but really just using it as a nefarious ploy to ensure that users never leave Google’s servers. (more data, vicar…..?)

    It’s exactly the same as when Facebook tried to strong arm publishers into Instant Articles and native video. The monopolies will always try to gain more control, it’s intrinsically part of their nature.

    Sure, I can see some benefits for end users – not having to dodge and weave through minefields of autoplaying videos, popups and JS redirects.

    But for any publisher/small business that doesn’t have the luxury of a full-time dev team, implementing AMP is like pulling teeth… without anaesthesia.

    My AMP pages rank really well at the moment. But there’s a big problem. They SUCK big time. They get a fraction of the ad RPMs, bounce rates are higher, they’re missing all the important conversion elements (CTA, product information etc etc) and they look sh*t.

    So, I’m looking to give AMP the middle finger. Anyone who can tell me to do this without losing my rankings will get a free lollipop. I promise….

  58. If Google only cares about a faster, more semantic web, then why not just give an even bigger ranking boost to faster, more semantic websites? Where does the need for a new standard come in, other than to gain more control?

  59. I laughed. Seriously? Probably the article was written with Chrome or, failing that, a Chromium-based browser. The signs were visible all along and even without Google AMP we’re already stuck in a googley monoculture.

    Trying to sign up or sign in on some random website of a business you _actually_ want to do business with? Here’s your crap reCAPTCHA:

    “Oh, of course you(1) may pass, being the one who submits to Google’s world-domination phantasies. We’ve collected enough information about you. One click in this checkbox should suffice.”

    “Oh, but you(2) shall not pass! You are deleting your cookies, blocking third-party crap and so on. Naughty! Here’s your twelfth round of CAPTCHAs, lol.”

    (rinse, lather, repeat)

    Brave new googley world. Never mind that you never actually voiced that you wanted to do _any_ business with Google. These days it’s customary to shove reCAPTCHAs down everyone’s throat regardless of the privacy implications. And Google loves it, of course. And the business owners seem to see no problem either. But I have turned away from purchases several times because they were pestering me with reCAPTCHAs. No thanks, I’ll take my money elsewhere. The only ones where you can’t get around this is when quasi-monopolists start using this crap Google technology on their websites.

    As long as you’re a submissive internaut, you may choose to avoid _some_ Google’s “services” here and there, but don’t resist too strongly.

    One other big problem is that website owners these days often seem to feel entitled to ad revenues. Well, sorry. You aren’t. Ads, especially digital ones, have become so aggressive and obnoxious I’m wondering there isn’t a bigger discussion and that not more people use content blocking extensions.

  60. Hi dear Author,

    You aren’t the first one to talk about this and to point to the fact that we shouldn’t implement AMP – while I work in Customer Experience and I build websites I am not on the side of AMP is better — if anything I think it continues to dumb down the web for people and that is and isn’t a good thing.

    And while I don’t like the fact that AMP gives Google that much more control until web designers/developers build better quality / updates sites with selective content/design for selective sets of devices I’m not sure what is the alternative…

    I have had only 1 client ask about AMP and that was roughly a year ago and I steered them away at that time – and I hope this project like so many others by Google gets dropped/mutates into something less self-serving and better for the web at large.

  61. LOL! You WILL use AMP. You think you have a choice? Who TF are you? Were you out protesting Citizens United? How much have you “donated to congressional campaigns”? As much as GOOG? LOL!

    This is a race to the bottom. Stand by your values! And while you’re doing that, I’ll be eating your lunch. GOOG must get there cut. I’ll get mine, and you’ll be telling your Mom how righteous you were from her basement.

  62. I can’t stand the amount of hyperbolic complaints and whining in this article. You literally linked the lack of diversity at Google as a complaint with your Homogeneous link.

    I don’t understand how a SEO company can be so stupid to complain about Google, when Google it’s the only reason you have a job. Literally your job is to make sure results are on top at Google. And it being difficult is the whole reason you exist.

    Is building an AMP site too complex for your firm? I’m sure you’d rather charge companies to add a few tags to their site. But turns out having a seamless fast experience from Google it’s important. Just like it is on Facebook with FBIA and on devices with native applications.

    If you can’t see the value AMP brings to the web, Google, and to your firm then you are an idiot.

    1. Thanks for your comment Miguel. I’m very impressed that your total lack of understanding of the point I was making, combined with your profound ignorance about SEO, hasn’t stopped you from publicly voicing your opinion. Well done.

  63. If you’re serious about fighting Google, why not block their crawlers outright by using robots.txt or set your web server to send an X-Robots-Tag header? We aren’t obligated to let Google index the web, and every website that boycotts Google’s crawlers is another cut to one of their primary revenue streams.

  64. This must really perturb you, as a WordPress user… but what’s the alternative? (Honestly speaking, not from some absurdly-positioned stance)

    Google has been the leader in search for quite a while and, as an SEO, you know that search feeds sales – for a business there’s no “alternative” to generating sales if it wants to survive and it would be irresponsible to recommend to a business owner that they ignore Google (or AMP).

    Your polemics need to be grounded in reality if you’re looking to generate more than a chuckle.

  65. Interesting, I wish it was different but Google and and Facebook instant articles are controlling what’s best for users, so, unless there is another search engine or another approach to get you website load faster u just have to accepts to be fucked by Google commands

  66. Wait. What? AMP is still a thing? I’m not a professional web developer but I do develop websites and I took a look at amp when it was first ‘suggested’ by Google. I couldn’t see the point. From my point of view and with the websites I work on, putting in all this amp #%&@ would make them bigger in code size. So that was ignored and I’ve never looked at it again. And I didn’t realise news websites used amp. I thought they were just ‘mobile friendly’ versions. Something, which I add, does not make them load easier or quicker and the majority of the time I will load the desktop version of the website because I want the full experience of the site and not some washed down, “slim-fast” alternative. Google can take my websites out of their search engine for all I care. I’m in others and there are plenty of other ways to advertise.

  67. As an end user, AMP pages are so much better an experience on most news websites, especially on mobile, but on desktop too. They don’t have to in theory, but in practise most local new outlets non-amp pages eat tonnes of data with loading pointless scripts tracking scripts and showing me ads. Loading times are huge. When you try to read the article, the text jumps up and down as the ads above the fold load and unfurl, and sometimes close again.

  68. This article is missing any mention of what the user wants which is central in the internet. Most publishers’ websites are bad and slow. Mobile users want fast loading websites. AMP tries to solve that. If publishers had no “push” from Google, most of them probably wouldn’t even have a mobile version of their site – let alone responsive and AMP.

    1. It’s Google pushing for this, not users. I’m not arguing about the UX advantages of AMP, but whether we should surrender control of the web to Google. They’re not in it for the love of it – they want to profit from the web, and while they’re very good at masking their intentions behind “it’s good for the user”, this is not always the real underlying reason.

  69. Love the article, and love the attitude!

    What would you suggest as an alternative though?

    The web, as you say, is a total mess. I enjoy AMP pages more than other pages from my phone, on the go, with a limited package of monthly data. I know they’re fast, and I personally don’t care about the additional features Google suggests we should have in AMP. Like you, I’m happy to ignore these for now unless my users have genuinely been asking for it (not yet).

    If I can skip from publisher to publisher without loading a whole new package of scripted trash for caching, then I’m all for it as a consumer.

    As a webmaster however, turning off AMP would be a damaging step to take. I note you say that you’d recommend we do that, but have you done that on your sites yet?

    Sometimes in a messy and confusing industry, new industry standards need to be shoved down our throats. Think shipping containers, electrical plugs, and petrol stations.

    Big tech might be the closest thing we have to regulating the experience of using the web. Google ultimately claims to push AMP to bring more people onto it through the lowering of total package size. Keep it up I say.

  70. Dude I feel for you and I do hope the rant does help you blow off a bit of steam. Sad truth is Google’s products are good enough for users to even gladly trade their privacy for.

    Personally as a developer, can’t imagine using another browser but chrome for debugging.

    Tried Firefox and Edge but it wasn’t as efficient.

    As for ditching Android, not only would you be giving up a freer OS for a more restrictive one, but subjectively iOS wouldn’t be bringing enough extras to justify the lower quality of integration with (you guessed it) Google’s services, i.e a huge part of the ‘smart’ in smartphone.

    Finally from an end user point of view, a web page that loads instantaneously and is not crammed full of cruft and popups is also probably a way better experience than trying to load a traditional desktop page on a mobile browser and shaky GSM connection.

  71. Looking through your client list, I see that the majority of your clients have absolutely terrible websites, full of multiple megabyte javascript blobs, autoplay videos, screen takeover ads, etc. I hope Google wins this battle.

  72. Hear hear ….. We need more articles like this. Come the revolution brother. My favourite bit was ‘F#&! you Google, and f#&! the AMP horse you rode in on’.

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