How to Fight Back Against Google AMP
There’s a popular thread on Hacker News with lots of people complaining about how Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is ruining their mobile web experience. This week I also got two AMP links sent to me via Telegram and to see those Google URLs replacing unique domain names made me a bit sad on behalf of the owners of those sites. As a site owner myself, it feels like sovereignty of a website being taken away. Other than people sharing links with me, I rarely encounter AMP in the wild. It is possible to restrict Google AMP from your life both as a web user and as a web developer. Here’s how you can fight back against Google AMP. Don’t use Google searchDon’t use the Chrome browserDon’t use AMP on your own sitesWhy are so many sites slow in the first place?Treat the cause: Third-party requests slow down the webHow to make your sites faster than AMP without using AMPDon’t use Google search Other search engines such as Qwant and DuckDuckGo don’t rank AMP sites. So taking the step of switching from Google search to a more ethical choice removes most of the AMP touch points you might have. It’s simple to switch the default search engine in your browser of choice. You can do it in the browser settings directly. Anything other than Google will get you in the no-AMP territory. But now you might say all those non-AMP websites you visit are full of advertising, distractions and are slow to load? There’s a solution for that too. Don’t use the Chrome browser Firefox is a great browser alternative that is worth a try. Just visiting a site with Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection on makes a faster and less intrusive web. It’s a built-in blocker of intrusive ads and invisible scripts. Firefox also has a Reader Mode so any site can be clutter-free even without AMP. And these features work both on Firefox for desktop and Firefox for mobile. Here’s how the Reader View looks like in Firefox Preview for Android: Don’t use AMP on your own sites Publishers and other site owners feel forced to use AMP as they fear that they’ll lose Google visibility and traffic without it. These are the forces some publishers cannot resist until more people stop using Google Chrome and search. You as a site owner or developer are a different case. I like the idea of a faster and distraction-free web but I don’t like the idea of web being controlled and molded by one company. Especially not one that is the largest advertising company in the world. This is the Googled-web Google wants to see you develop. The web “delivered by Google”. Your site being integrated with all the other cool Google products such as Analytics and AdSense. I enjoy visiting sites created by real people. The AMP pages are more boring, less diverse, less competitive, less functional and have less personality. Why are so many sites slow in the first place? The main reason AMP exists is that the sites are slow to load. But why are the sites slow to load in the first place? They feature many unnecessary third-party elements that do nothing for the user experience other than slow it all down. Google themselves will point the finger at their own analytics and ads if you use their webpage speed tests to measure the performance of your site. They even provide guides on how to make third-party resources less slow. Analytics scripts, advertising scripts, social media scripts and so much more junk. It is normal to visit…
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