back to article Kill Google AMP before it kills the web

There's been a good deal of ongoing discussion about Google AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages. Quite a few high-profile web developers have this year weighted in with criticism and some, following a Google conference dedicated to AMP, have cautioned users about diving in with both feet. These, in my view, don’t go far enough in …

  1. Bob Vistakin

    Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

    Know any tech to speed it up?

    1. Oh Matron!

      Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

      Try using Lynx:

      Does the Reg *really* need such large pictures on every article?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

        Try – all the flavor, none of the fat.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

          It may be due this this little lot:


























          1. Zakhar

            Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

            I'm so glad I'm using RequestPolicy Continued!

        2. Robert Helpmann??

          Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

          There used to be a Register android app, but it died. I wonder if its demise is tied to this story...

          Mine's got a copy of Conspiracy Theories for Dummies in the pocket.

          1. John 104

            Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

            @Robert Helpman

            You have a pocket in your hat? Must be a big one.

            1. Robert Helpmann??

              Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

              @John 104: Must be a big one.

              I get that a lot.

      2. uncommon_sense

        Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

        By making a custom Adblock filter you can simply remove those painfull idiot images by blocking everything from

        In the old days, before this nonsense, I didn't have to block anything from elReg, it was all relevant.

        Why does everything have to be so shouty these days, turned up to 11?

        As usual, look at The Top, where decisions are made...


        How about making comments editable for 30 minutes, rather than just ten?

        Thoughtful comments cannot be rushed...

    2. handleoclast

      Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

      These comments are supposed to be about slagging Google. But since you started it...

      The thing that annoys me about El Reg comments pages, much as I love the content, is the Web 1.54382 design of voting. I click on a thumb of the appropriate direction, start reading the next comment, then (after several seconds) the page jumps up to tell me that my vote has been added. Really annoying. And, of course, I can't vote on the next article until the first vote has registered.

      Ironically, the best example I can give on how to do it right is Google's youtube. It handles voting of comments better, by changing the colour of the thumb. And faster.

      And if you really have to insert text about "Your vote has been..." then see how youtube handles adding videos to your watch list. An overlay message stating the video has been added appears at a fixed place relative to the window (rather than relative to the video), hangs around briefly, then vanishes. And the activation area for adding to the watch list changes from a clock to a tick.

      So sorry, guys, your content is awesome and your web design is pretty good, but it could be improved. That's not just speculation on my part because I can point you to examples. Embrace Web 2.0 rather than sticking with Web 1.54382.

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        I like that there's a cost to voting

        It discourages those twitchy fingers. I mean, do we really want this place to be anything like the youtube comments sections.

        Now back to the (legitimate, in this case I suspect) Google bashing.

      2. I am the liquor

        Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

        @handleoclast: forget Web 2.0, embrace Web 1.0. The Reg, to its credit, works just fine with javascript disabled.

        1. uncommon_sense

          Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

          "The Reg, to its credit, works just fine with javascript disabled."


          It used to be slim, lighthearted and objective, too...

      3. Kiwi

        Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

        The thing that annoys me about El Reg comments pages, much as I love the content, is the Web 1.54382 design of voting.

        Oh that I could give you a trillion upvotes! (which thankfully I can't as that would take a trillion full page reloads, and I doubt the entire world has the bandwidth for that!)

        When at home I have to think more about voting, as I don't have that much bandwidth.

        While on voting.. Can we have a "remove my vote" as opposed to "change it to the opposite"? Because of the delayed page bouncing stuff I often have read another post or two and want to up or downvote one post and ignore another. But the page bounces and the wrong post gets the click.. Do I change my vote to a + when I really didn't want a vote, or do I leave someone with a - when I didn't feel it was deserved? Would be nice if clicking the opposite button would simply remove the first vote.

        Would also love to see a colour change on things I've already voted on. Sometimes I might come back to a thread after a day, or switch from "thread" to "newest" view, and waste several megs of my limited bandwidth voting and causing a page reload only to not change the totals.

        Maybe we can have the voting done as checkboxes with the next/prev/page #'s act as a submit? That would help the seriously bandwidth challenged such as myself :)

        (But still much thanks to El Reg, your site has its quirks but overall is better than most I visit :) )

      4. Marco Fontani

        Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

        The thing that annoys me about El Reg comments pages, much as I love the content, is the Web 1.54382 design of voting…

        Yup, that's coming Soon®

      5. handleoclast

        Reg Adopts Web 2.0

        Thanks for listening, guys. It's made voting a much better experience. Have a pint on me.

    3. RyokuMas

      Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

      Like a non-W3C-approved subset of HTML that will allow it's creators to recognise it and thus further abuse their monopoly of search to extend further control over the web.

      RIP, open web.

      1. xyz Silver badge

        Re: Oh, meant to say - the Reg site is really slow on mobile

        doing my mobile bit.... binned Chrome installed Opera Mini, binned Google search, started using DuckDuckGo and lo...instead of bashing the bishop at 1GB+ a month, I'm cruising at about 117MB a month.... and pages actually load without having to make a coffee each time I click on something. Google is EVIL!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Law, Sausages and HTML specifications...

        >Like a non-W3C-approved subset of HTML

        That's a good description of what HTML is these days - W3C couldn't cut it (last recommendation is approaching 3) - so WHATWG picked up the blowtorch to provide what generally passes as HTML5 these days.

        >RIP, open web. is actually Openish - largely steered by Opera, Moz and Apple bods.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ".. it'll look like it's from a legit new organization endorsed by Google."

    On a non tech forum (Mumsnet ... it's a long story) there was a post only yesterday where someone was REALLY pissed off that their daughter had been conned by a look-alike site that - guess what - had been promoted by Google.

    They were understandably upset and putting forward the suggestion that Google had some responsibility. After all, they had listed the site.

    Now, I have no idea about the legalities or otherwise - where under US or UK law. The salient point is that it's sites like Mumsnet which have driven the UKs draconian web censorship laws which are already eyeing Google as being more than a search engine.

    Shit like this isn't going to help Googles "not us guv" stance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ".. it'll look like it's from a legit new organization endorsed by Google."

      But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site? If so it isn't the same discussion. In which case it is quite hard to differentiate a scam site from a legit one sometimes - for instance, the post office have a service to submit your passport application but charge a fee for it. Is that different from another site which charges to do the paperwork and send it off, or a lawyer who charges for drawing up a will etc?

      If it is about the fact that it was fake news pretending to be a legitimate site due to them using Google AMP formatting, then fair enough.

      1. JimmyPage

        Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

        No ... and read the responses. These people vote - and will vote to keep their Precious First Born pure ...

        My daughter wanted to get her best friend some Kylie Jenner makeup for her birthday. She googled and clicked on the first link which came up and ordered £30 worth of cosmetics (money she'd saved up from pocket money and holiday jobs). She got a confirmation number with an order number and thought all was well. Except that her order never arrived.

        She showed me the website she used and it's identical to the official site apart from xl at the end of the address - it even has https at the start.

        If she'd paid by credit card she would be protected but as she's too young for a credit card she used her debit card so will never see the money again.

        Aibu in thinking that google should do more to protect young consumers from fraudulent sites? (my emphasis)

        1. Kubla Cant

          Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

          Aibu in thinking that google should do more to protect young consumers from fraudulent sites?

          I love the fact that she* uses the expression "Am I being unreasonable" so much that she has an acronym for it.

          * Sorry if this seems sexist. I assume it's she because the site is called Mumsnet.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

            But she's not a true follower of the Mumsnet faith as she used "daughter" instead of DD

            1. Tikimon

              Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

              Her daughter is a DD? Pictures, please?

              1. jswitte3416

                Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

                LOL. DD == "dear daughter"

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AIBU ...

            Bit rich a tech site slating normal people for having acronyms, doncha think ?

            And, scoffing aside, by volume of subscribers, Mumsnet dwarfs El Reg ... they really are the voice of Middle England

            1. uncommon_sense

              Re: AIBU ...

              "And, scoffing aside, by volume of subscribers, Mumsnet dwarfs El Reg ... they really are the voice of Middle England"

              To flies, guess what is more popular than cake!

          3. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

            Aibu - if you have to ask the question, the answer is yes.

            1. Milton

              Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

              "Aibu - if you have to ask the question, the answer is yes."

              That is glib tosh. "Am I being unreasonable?" is a perfectly reasonable way of offering an opinion while displaying some humility, in recognition of the fact that what seems reasonable, even blandly uncontroversial to one person, might outrage another.

              Two decent, smart people can hold views which are polar opposites, each initially regarding the other's opinion as "unreasonable". That's why honest debate, evaluation of evidence, looking at another's rationale are so important to civilisation. Those two decent, smart people can talk to each other (not the same as shouting past each other) and may end up still disagreeing—but doing so while at least understanding why their interlocutor reasonably holds differing views.

              I think it's called being a grown-up. Admittedly, in the modern Age of Stupid, epitomised by the rise of such cretinous children as the current "leader" of the free world, this appears to be in short supply.

              But let the rest of us please not fall into the traps of simplistic, glib dismissals of others' views.

              1. DropBear

                Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

                Sorry, bollocks. "Am I being..." is nothing but a cheap attempt to strong-arm approval out of your interlocutor by forcing the polite deflection in 99.999999999% of cases, mostly used when even the speaker feels their cause is shoddy enough to need that. After a certain age those nasty little things people consciously or unconsciously do with the sole intent of trying to manipulate you tend to stick out like a sore thumb.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Milton, re: glibness.

                *Hands back your red Swingline* Please don't burn down the office yet, I still need to rescue my "Fuck this job!" coffee mug.

                Sarcasm aside, thank you for the well articulated argument. It's a refreshing change of pace. Enjoy a pint on me... preferrably long enough so I can get that coffee mug. =-)p

              3. toomuchyes

                Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

                You lost me when you did exactly as you suggested we not do.

        2. The Original Steve

          Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

          You're still protected under the distant selling act and debit card chargeback. If they haven't honoured the contract by failing to deliver then contact your bank who issued the debit card and ask for a chargeback due to fraud.

        3. John Savard

          Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

          The "site with xl at the end of the address" - somebody registered that domain. Somebody either put that site on a hosting service, or obtained the IP address for his own server.

          So the police should be able to track the party down. If it turns out the site is hosted in an uncooperative jurisdiction... like Russia, for example... then it can simply be disconnected from the Internet, with the OECD nations refusing to use any Internet backbone to which that country is allowed access.

          So if the police can't collar the responsible party, and extract every penny of her money from him or her, there should still be consequences, as automatically as night follows day.

          There probably won't be - but if we had done things like that, the Internet would be a very different place.

    2. Alan_Peery

      Re: ".. it'll look like it's from a legit new organization endorsed by Google."

      Send a link to that post to The Guardian -- both the editorial side, and the web site administrator side.

      Tackling the AMP users one site at a time. :-)

  3. JetSetJim

    Turning it off

    ..annoyingly the only way to disable it seems to be to restrict yourself to the desktop version of google, so it thinks you've got a computer rather than a phone. Do Not Like AMP

    1. Madeye

      Re: Turning it off

      That AMP-I-am

      That AMP-I-am!

      I do not like

      That AMP-I-am

      Do you like free Reg and spam?

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Turning it off

      I suppose you mean the desktop version of Chrome? However I'm sure pretty soon everything will be called The Google and we will be assimilated and our genetic likeness will be added to their collective.

      Why not try the mobile version of Firefox?

      1. Baldrickk

        Re: Turning it off

        Firefox Mobile is good. addons mean adblocking on mobile! saves data (all those auto-running video ads, urgh) without resorting to static pages in mini-browsers (which are also good, but break some sites)

        I do however wish they would improve the zoom though, only supporting two finger pinching right now, which invariably requires two handed use to be effective. They add this, I'll probably make the full switch.

        So Pros and Cons

        1. israel_hands

          Re: Turning it off

          Totally agree. Mobile Firefox is awesome and being able to turn ABP on means I can actually use my mobile for t'internetty stuff with wanting to throw it at a fucking wall.

          Only problem I have is the way the page looks like it's loaded so you tap a link then the fucker jumps up a bit and the buffered tap gets applied to the wrong fucking link.

          That does my swede in no end but I gather it happens with most mobile browsers.

          Not at all a fan of this Google AMP thing. I don't really use Google stuff though (DDG on every device) so hopefully it won't affect me too much. Sucks if it fucks things up in general though.

    3. Mark 110

      Re: Turning it off

      I found a tick box somewhere in Google settings that said something like "Open links in browser". Seems to have done the trick for me.

    4. O RLY

      Re: Turning it off

      I've stopped using Google on my phones/tablets now. I use DDG and, when the results are not sufficient, the !g flag to search google. Since using DDG to do Google searches, I don't get AMP results. This data point does not a proof make, but perhaps others have similar results.

  4. Martin Summers Silver badge

    AMP is ridiculous and nowhere near the convenience they must think it is. Trying to escape the page to get to the actual article itself to say perhaps get to the comments or their related content is a pain in the ass. I've ended up having to go back to find the link to the article on the actual mobile site of the news provider. They need to kill it with fire now.

    1. ThomH

      I'm more annoyed by the AMP interface while I'm on a page. That huge header that sort of tries to implement similar appearance/disappearance behaviour as my browser bar but gets it all wrong so as just usually to be in the way, and the way that the slightest hint of a leftward or rightward movement in your scrolling causes you to push the content left or right, unlike every other scroll area in the OS where some intelligent leeway is applied.

      Actually, "decided to reimplement something the phone does natively, got it wrong" is a recurring theme of Google. Witness the scrolling on the mobile version of Google News, or the back button behaviour in the beta Material version of Youtube.

      I'd vote with my feet by disabling AMP if I could. It's something I want about as much as Google+. Maybe I should just take the hint and find a new search engine?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AMP is good (For dumb mobile users)

    Google made AMP to destroy the much more dangerous threat of Facebook and Apple's proprietary news apps.

    The goal of AMP is to produce lightweight pages, which publishers SHOULD be able to create by themselves, simply using self-control to not stuff their own pages full of shit.

    However they were physically unable to not shit in their own nests, so Google had to babysit them, and they quite rightly signed up.

    AMP doesn't affect the desktop at all, and it will give mobile users more freedom. Because anything more than zero is an improvement.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: AMP is good (For dumb mobile users)

      The goal of AMP is to produce lightweight pages, which publishers SHOULD be able to create by themselves, simply using self-control to not stuff their own pages full of shit.

      THIS. This right here is the nut in the shell.

      All other arguments are moot and spectacle.

      Not making lightweight webpages the way god intended is the REAL fucking problem. Everywhere.

      I do NOT understand the downvotes for this. Poser designers? Clueless marketing bog brains? Wankerific script kiddies who just THINK they know how to design and build websites? The special-places-in-hell advert channel server business? Fuck off the lot of you.

      All of them shitting in the nest by the tanker ship.

      Does this mean I support AMP? Fuck no. The last damn thing the Internet needs it yet ANOTHER fucking protocol.

    2. Jman1634

      Re: AMP is good (For dumb mobile users)

      As a developer, I have to say, developing with AMP is awesome! I just rebuilt my companies entire structure to AMP standards and it was the best choice I ever made. My boss loves it our clients are over the roof, and as far as everyone other than me knows, there are 0 compromises to the functionality of our sites.

      Some points

      - amp loads sites instantly... literally

      - we compromised nothing content wise

      - we use Wordpress, Gutenberg, and the AMP plugin so content creation is a breeze for our whole team

      - I always hated huge libraries of extra crap like jquery

      Etc etc

      Why is everyone mad at Google for unfair business? None of us would have business without them. You make a search engine if you hate it so much. Yes big companies can be evil, but I don’t personally believe Google is one of them. I’m more mad when a rich person doesn’t donate to charity. I don’t really get mad at a business for being a business. Look at Amazon if you want to get mad about big company bullshit

      Honestly, I’m probably a semi-expert developer, and honestly, it was a hard switch to make. I had to build a custom Wordpress theme from scratch that has some very heavy lifting to do in the back end. So yes, AMP makes it harder for established companies to switch. That being said, coding with AMP for a new site from scratch is very easy and the barrier of entry is much lower than that of custom JavaScript. Are you upset that Google is making it harder for big companies to compete against the little guy?

      There are genuine concerns, like the URL issue, but AMP listens to us and is actively working on solutions. I was surprised to see that an AMP dev answered my questions on stack overflow within a day.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Write a reasoned argument about AMP then fine. But this is full of hyperbole and distortion of the facts. The comment that Google AMP strips all branding is rubbish.

    Go to Google on your mobile. Type "news about ..." for instance. The AMP pages have the same visibility and branding in the normal results as any other page. In fact the dedicated News AMP section tags each story wit the actual graphic branding of the organisation - which is much more than a normal search has, unless you get an info box.

    Click on one of those AMP pages and it loads quick with full branding of the site. You mentioned the guardian - well that brings up a page with the full Guardian branding and their unique style and colours. It looks just like a normal but more succinct Guardian page which works much better on Mobile.

    The fact that you have to put an AMP javascript library in is designed to ensure that there a no blocking elements which are a pain especially on mobile. This could probably only be done with javascript but this does have to be universal so is going to not be as efficient as one written directly for a certain page or site.

    The key issue I see with AMP pages is around advertising - this is where there are controls about what and how they can be served. However initial talk that you could only use Google ads is wrong and and ad platform could serve ads on AMP pages. However the high bandwidth, javascript heavy, ones aren't going to work - which is a good thing.

    The key issue around AMP is that although it is open source, it was not run through a standards body to create the standard. The idea of AMP pages is a good one for consumers, I would suggest. Many people use a mobile on the go, want quick information while sitting at a bus stop or trying to find information about a product while in a shop - very different to sitting at a PC and deciding to surf the net.

    I don't develop for to AMP because it isn't suitable for the type of site we have (it doesn't serve up purely content) and our mobile offering is pretty good already. But as a web user I would like to have seen sites put more thought into the mobile experience and it is a shame that Google, using a level of extortion tactics, was needed to get them to do it.

    However the arguments against it get lost in a rant against Google not the technology, it almost seems like it was ghost written by another journalist on the Register.

    1. Alan_Peery

      No opt out for end users -> extortion

      It breaks my search history, as I didn't go to the originating website.

      It breaks my offline reading with Pocket, as I can no longer search for articles the same way.

      That's the start of the issues, I've posted elsewhere in the comments in more detail.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No opt out for end users -> extortion

        No opt out is not extortion. The extortion I mentioned was that AMP pages are given a weighting in search results to try to force content sites to use it.

        This was similar to https sites getting a higher ranking than non-https.

        I'm sure Google's argument would be that it is a push in the right direction or an incentive. However it could also be seen as extortion. Then again would many people have swapped their SHA1 certificates out if Google (and also the other browsers later) had not deprecated the security in them.

        If they'd still been marked as secure, then users of those sites would be at a high level of risk that they hadn't realised. Same with admins who use self-sign certificates believing that they give them the same security as a certificate generated by their chose trusted root.

        I know I'd put off upgrading my certificate stores and certificates from SHA1 until the warning messages started appearing to our users. It was something that needed doing but it was easier to put it off and less risk of immediately breaking something. In the end it took hardly any time and broke nothing.

        1. Alan_Peery

          Re: No opt out for end users -> extortion

          So what word do you use to describe this situation?

          "I broke your experience of _____, you have no choice in the matter, and I profit".

          Because that is exactly how I see the situation. You may disagree, feeling that the experience is not broken, but failing to give a general and easily accessed opt-opt is not right.

          Having consulted a thesaurus "coercion" may be more appropriate, but extortion isn't far off.

        2. StevenN

          Re: No opt out for end users -> extortion

          Except AMP pages are a pain to use. They scroll funky. Much like the scrolling was coded by a 3rd grader. Page navigation is wonky. You can't scroll to the top of the page easily. Zoom feels broken.

          AMP pages need to dump all their JavaScript because the scripts make it painfully clear Google engineers don't understand user interaction.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: No opt out for end users -> extortion

            AMP pages are written by the authors, not Google. Issues with usability are similar for any websites.

            A number of issues highlighted here seem to have nothing to do with AMP ut with Google News on Mobile which is different to AMP. Google news takes content pages for publishers into the Google News wrapper that allow it to create news digests - this is where you can flick left to scroll from one site to another with stories relating to the same topic from different sources, however on that particular 'feature' YMMV.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No opt out for end users -> extortion


        Are you sure you're not talking about Google News not AMP. AMP is just a different wrapper for the original page byt the original author. Google News takes the content and serves it from Google itself.

        AMP does allow cached copies to be used, but they are optional - it is up to the site what 'features' they employ.

    2. viscount

      I agree this is not a well-reasoned article but more of a rant. The point about losing branding is just plain wrong.

  7. Dave 126 Silver badge

    I only noticed AMP the other day... and I tend to notice things more if they are irritating. I was commenting in a Reg forum and wished to paste in a link to another news article, but the results returned by Chrome Android weren't behaving as they normally did - I couldn't

    find the address bar, let alone copy it. What the heck is going on?! I asked myself in frustration.

  8. handleoclast

    Don't be evil

    Google's motto is "Don't be Microsoft." Ooops, I meant "evil" not "Microsoft." Double ooops, the comments are supposed to accept span class="strike" markup but it didn't work for me.

    With AMP trying to gain them the same sort of lock in that Microsoft strives for, it looks like they've forsaken that motto.

    1. RyokuMas

      Re: Don't be evil

      They forsook it a long time ago, ever since someone realised "Hey, if we put a link to this browser we made on our search page with a strapline of 'upgrade your web browsing experience', we could take over the browser market!"

      And the big problem we now face is that too many in IT were too stuck on their grudge with Microsoft to realise that the same thing was happening all over again, albeit on a far greater and more insidious scale, right down to the astroturfers and cheerleaders. Don't believe me? Just check out the past comments of some of those so prevalent in their pro-Google remarks... alas, I cannot provide links lest I be accused of calling someone a shill, and thus violate the Reg rules...

      1. thomn8r

        Re: Don't be evil

        And the big problem we now face is that too many in IT were too stuck on their grudge with Microsoft to realise that the same thing was happening all over again, albeit on a far greater and more insidious scale, right down to the astroturfers and cheerleaders.

        This X1000

    2. hellwig

      Re: Don't be evil

      You want good ole < s > and < /s > right?

    3. the Jim bloke

      Re: Don't be evil

      Definition of 'evil' (Google special dictionary)

      missing out on any opportunity for profit or extent of influence.

      Google is even more strongly determined to "not be evil" than ever before.

      Other definitions of 'evil' include - less pervasive than Microsoft

  9. Davidmb

    AMP is training people to be conned

    This happened to me yesterday, but is indicative of the messed-up Google experience right now:

    Google something from widget on phone homescreen.

    Click link to BBC article in list provided by Google app.

    Article appears, but with in weird in-page header. Looks dodgy.

    A "more info" link tells me that the page has been somehow improved by AMP. Sounds dodgy.

    As I'm suspicious, click "View in Chrome" to see if it looks different outside the Google App, in a real browser.

    In Chrome, realise that the address bar is still a Google URL. So to proceed with this, I have to trust the in-page HTML header that states "". Something no-one should ever start doing, as it undermines decades of user education that only the address bar can be trusted.

    TL;DR: AMP is training users to be phished and should be destroyed with fire.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: AMP is training people to be conned

      Another damn good point. Not enough upvotes for you!

  10. Morten Bjoernsvik

    We use microdata

    Can be quite efficiently parsed if You put it at the beginning of the html before all the javascript and inline scripting. And google works fine with it.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So it's like Phorn but running on WAP

    Keep the f**k away from me.

  12. Alan_Peery

    My AMP critique from back in December

    Originally posted at, I hit on some different aspects of why AMP is a technology that should die.


    Speeding up the Web, what could be wrong with that?

    Google has implemented something called AMP into the Google+ Android app, and on a post there I ended up writing a substantial critique of AMP.

    AMP is a new Google technology I'm not fond of, because

    1) It's breaking my reading and bookmarking workflow and

    2) It centralizes more power with google and

    3) It might hurt the originating website's viability and

    4) For the same original URL, users in Google+ (and probably soon Gmail) get different URLs depending on what device they read on and

    5) There's no easy way for me to opt out that I have found

    In very quick summary, an "Accelerated Mobile Page" link points back to cached content is substituted for the direct link to a website if that website opts in. The page loads faster, but the link points back to Google rather than the original site (leading to complaint #1 as I can no longer track by site, etc), and Google knows I have followed it (#2) and the website doesn't get the traffic (complaint #3) though there may be a reporting mechanism I am not familiar with and they do have to opt in.

    I'm only getting a grip with how AMP shows up now, and it changes depending on where you're reading content. When I first read the original post I was using my mobile phone, and the URL shown in the Google+ post was an AMP style URL -- so I edited the URL by hand into a normal URL by hand as I thought the original poster had posted an AMP URL. Looking at the original post in the a PC web browser I saw the normal URL. We suddenly have two URLs instead of one which makes confusion possible (#4).

    The final bit is that I haven't been able to find a way to disable the AMP mechanism from affecting me personally, as Google+ doesn't make this an option(#5). This means my workflow is broken, as the URLs I add to Pocket for offline reading when I am using my phone don't reference the real website.

    The original URL, with some editing so you can see the URL fully:

    http:// /world/us-election/trumps-tech-adviser-peter-thiel-backs-utopian-technology-less-sure-democracy-20161116-gsqrnu.html

    The AMP'd URL that I see when using my Android phone:

    https:// /amp/s/

  13. MrWibble

    Is this meant to be ironic, since I was served this as an AMP version, without requesting it?

  14. jMcPhee

    "Novelty for its own sake was an unlamented relic of the centuries of waste." - Arthur C. Clarke

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's do this. ®

    FTFY Let's not do this. ®

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's do this. ®

      Fucks sake! Can't even do FTFY right! It's the thing you fixed, then the "FTFY".

  16. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Why did I get a fragment of neocon central all of a sudden

    So, liberal and left-leaning newspaper The Guardian, one of Google AMP’s early adopters, gets to share space with Russian propagandists, as Andrew Betts of Fastly recently pointed out. Betts found content from Russia Today, an organisation 100 per cent funded by the Russian government and classified as propaganda by the Columbia Journalism Review and by the former US Secretary of State

    > liberal and left-leaning newspaper The Guardian

    I don't know what the Guardian is, but "newspaper", "liberal" and "left-leaning" it aint. Warmongering goodthinking twitter journalism is more like it.

    > the former US Secretary of State

    The guy who came out on record being okay with ISIS messing things up?

    1. Joe Harrison

      Re: Why did I get a fragment of neocon central all of a sudden

      RT is 100% funded by the Russian government?

      That's terrible they should have a free press like our own BBC which is, er... 100% funded by the UK government.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: 100% funded by the UK government.

        It's funded by us paying the license fee. Whether that counts as funded by government depends on how you view our democracy, I suppose....

        1. fung0

          Re: 100% funded by the UK government.

          Russia Today, an organization 100 per cent funded by the Russian government

          There may be many valid criticisms of RT, but this isn't one of them. There are numerous state-funded news organizations in the world, and (unsurprisingly) they tend to be no more biased than the corporate-funded ones.

          and classified as propaganda by the Columbia Journalism Review and by the former US Secretary of State

          It is to laugh.

  17. saffy

    Death to AMP

    AMP is the reason I finally dropped google as my default search engine.

    Can't say that I've missed it.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Death to AMP

      What are you using? I find Bings results very strange. The volume of Ads in my search results on Google is getting annoying. I would love a reliable simple alternative.

      1. sebt

        Re: Death to AMP

        Startpage is working well for me.

      2. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Death to AMP

        I use DuckDuckGo, partly because if I decide I *do* need to send a search to Google for a second opinion I can just add "!g" to it.

        1. fung0

          Re: Death to AMP

          I occasionally use the !g, but it rarely gives me notably superior results to what DDG gave me in the first place. So I'm not seeing a huge edge for Google...

  18. Mark 110

    How to switch it off

    Go into your Google Settings > Accounts & Privacy > Theres a toggle between Open in App / Open in browser (I use Firefox)

    I realise this does nothing to fix the problem of of Google prioritising AMP content but I much prefer Firefox handling my webpages.

    1. Joe Harrison

      Re: How to switch it off

      You HAVE to install Chrome if you want this to work. I use a different browser and the settings option is greyed out.

      1. FrankAlphaXII

        Re: How to switch it off

        Might just be your version of Android, your permissions, or even the app itself. I don't use Chrome myself, but I've always been able to toggle that particular setting.

        I have a Pixel and the way I've got it set up doesn't include AMP links as above (Open in Browser, its a Google Setting, not a browser setting) and defaults to opening whatever links it comes across in Firefox (as its the default web browser) or Outlook (default mail client) or the SMS app as appropriate, whether its from the Google app, the Pixel's dumbass artificial idiot, Outlook or another MS Office program, whatever.

        I also have a great addon for Firefox (aside from ABP and a number of others) that forces the desktop version of whatever site I'm using. It tends to work pretty well for me. Then again, I'm on Wi-Fi most (95%) of the time and if data usage gets to be an issue when I'm not, I can always turn it off and go back to the mobile versions of whatever.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How it works in the real world

    Posting this anonymously as I work as a web developer.

    This is how it works in the real world: a client will go to a web developer and make some outrageous claim such as "I want to be at the top of Google". Instead of explaining why that's not directly possible, a large number of web developers (more so in the past, but still now) will promise they can do this. At this point the developer has to be seen to jumping through whatever hoops Google has shown to world + dog. So because AMP has been publicised as a way for Google to *favour* web pages, developers + dog are now using it. It will therefore, not die.

    FWIW, as a developer, I think AMP is an absolute load of steaming horse shit. But in the real world, clients want to make money, and trust whatever Google (or Facebook or Microsoft...) tell them because they are seen as "successful" companies.

    It really is as simple as that.

    See also: Apple don't necessarily make the best phones technologically, but even if they brought out a model that cost 2 grand people would still buy it. It's nothing to do with technology being good (or bad). It's how it's been marketed and the PERCEPTION other people have of it which is usually based on WHO brings out the technology. For example, if AMP had been created by someone like Linus Torvalds, far fewer people would give a shit about it. It's nothing to do with the technology is such, it's the people or company behind it, and how they push it, that ultimately means it's successful or not. Imagine if Linux had been invented by someone who was perceived as "cool" or was seen as a hero in the boardroom of large organisations. You get the idea.

    1. sebt

      Re: How it works in the real world

      What an excellent outline of how the Marvellous Future Internet-Enabled world really works.

      Please translate this ------------------------------------->

      into the alcoholic drink/substance/gratifying experience of your choice.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: How it works in the real world

      Truly, many of us get that the poor contractor is at the mercy of the idiocy of the client. Many of us have the scars from it.

      But a lot designers are complicit as well. At the very least, as you say, if you want to get paid, you've got to at least ape what the clients want. And many designers are also just as stupid as their clients.

      I used to build websites. Then the market finally got to the point where the client knew more than the designer and that's when I quit. I literally said "no" to clients right to the poor house.

      Hence, the sorry state of web design these days. Dancing hamsters, the lot.

      You've been warned.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How it works in the real world

        If people get dissed for doing things right, meaning people actually WANT shoddily-built, inefficient pieces of fluff for themselves, that frankly paints a rather bleak picture of our entire civilization.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A boilerplate redo of the original AMP page

    "Pinboard founder Maciej Cegłowski already recreated the Google AMP demo page without the Google AMP JavaScript and, unsurprisingly, it's faster than Google's version."

    Can we have a link to the original AMP page ref.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Liberal left-leaning Russian propagandists

    "So, liberal and left-leaning newspaper The Guardian, one of Google AMP’s early adopters, gets to share space with Russian propagandists, as Andrew Betts of Fastly recently pointed out."

    Oh come off it. If I wanted to fap off over watching someone go hysterical over 'liberals' I'd go and watch Alex Jones. I suppose as distinct from the fair-and-balanced reporting from Faux News. It wouldn't surprise me if most of the complainants had ties to the Bing propaganda organization. The one that fronted all those ant-trust complaints such a ICOMP, before the EU commission. Why isn't anyone investigating Microsofts close ties with Yahoo and Facebook.

    ps: technically does AMP work and can one opt-out?

  22. pogul

    Is it just me, or does this sound a teensy bit like WAP and WML?

    1. Orv Silver badge

      I've had similar thoughts. This has "fad that will die out quickly" written all over it. People have to learn over and over that providing a cut-down experience for mobile doesn't really work. Remember PalmOS's "web clippings"? (If not, there's a good reason.)

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      " Is it just me, or does this sound a teensy bit like WAP and WML?"

      Yes, with a bit of the spyware aspects of Phorn thrown in for good measure.

      Personally I thought WAP/WML wasn't a bad idea if you could automate the conversion process.

      IRL it proved to be a PITA. But it's the spying aspect that really gets right up my nose.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK, was wondering about this


    Read article in major newspaper.

    Go "oh, my followers would be interested in that!"

    Search for article on phone.

    Post link.

    Followers click on link, get blocked by newspaper paywall.

    Crap, newspaper doesn't "get" social media.


    Read, "Oh!", search.

    Post link.

    Followers click on link, see article.

    Why is this not a win?

    1. Ramazan

      Re: OK, was wondering about this

      "Followers click on link, get blocked by newspaper paywall.


      Followers click on link, see article.

      Why is this not a win?"

      So basically you've ripped off the paid content and deprived the newspaper of some profit. Why is it not a win?

      How about that; the newspaper stops getting mentioned in social media because of the paywall and changes its policy?

  24. Andrew Jones 2

    Well I call bollocks - these arguments are badly researched by whoever is doing the complaining. There is one valid point about metrics - which Google are addressing - but you certainly don't have to use Google analytics. Branding complaints are a bit bogus too - the pages might have similar layout - but it's not impossible to have your brand on it. The complaints touch on the fact that it's open source but still largely make it seem like only Google is invested in the project - when the github shows that to simply not be the case. Finally - there were numerous talks at IO about how easy it is to serve up an AMP page and then have any links transitioning to your PWA app - and let's face it - if you cared enough to play around with AMP then you clearly want your website to run as fast as possible - so PWA is the next logical step.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      The problem is the shit barge of bloated webpages in the first place.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The problem being the barge seems to be what people WANT, thus why more of it come in.

        1. fung0

          Only if you define "people" to include "advertisers," which is probably stretching the definition a bit too far.

          1. Charles 9

            Nope, consider Facebook and Twitter.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    I guess this is as good a place as any to laugh and cry about that thing that happened one time: social engineering epic fail

  26. Derek Kingscote

    Break them up Now!

    These megalithic companies are now eligible for breakup under anti-trust law.

    They are (for all practical purposes) monopolies and stifle or buy up competitors and give their "customers" no choice.

    Do what we say and give us all your data so we can abuse and manipulate you and all your friends.

    That's why I'm not on Facebook; Google; use Android nor Twitter. And I'm not an Apple fan.

    Just sensible.

    1. Charles 9

      Re: Break them up Now!

      Like breaking up AT&T really did much long-term. Besides, how do you fight a TRANSnational who can hide behind foreign sovereignty?

  27. heyrick Silver badge

    Google's News app recently changed to use AMP.

    For an ACCELERATED mobile service, it's funny how the adverts load first...

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      I have yet to experience the "acceleration" aspect.

      I wondered why the pages load so slow these days.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " Because what do those pesky standards boards know? Trust Google, it knows what it's doing."

    I don't think Google is about anything malicious with AMP. They are trying to take the suck out of mobile browsing and provide fast loading, light on bandwidth web pages.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      They are failing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have you seen an archived thread from a forum, because it got indexed by Google in that form? (like this) It's all there and at the original site so it avoids most if not all of the aforementioned badness. It's a bit like 'reader view' in any recent ${firefox_derivative}-- you can just see the main article/blogpost/whatever. Well, when it works-- and now it doesn't. One problem I found with that is you apparently still have to load the whole mess, unless you can turn it on and still navigate that way, but the divs of links to other articles and blogs are among the things that get scrubbed. But the forum trick works up front by slightly altering the URL (deja vu) and just scribbling a 'lite' page with none of the extra crap. Or less of it, I don't know how much gets stripped out by the adblocker in both versions so YMMV. Then, why don't all these sites just figure it out and take that approach? Why this? Because Google is offering to make something easy so everyone can be lazy? Because bloat is life and that is anathema?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    ISTR that getting any ordinary page to load and render in something like 5 seconds (or was it 10?) over dialup was the web designer's goal to hit in order to not lose customers or readers. But that was what, 15y ago? Funny how things work out. Everyone was always supposed to load less crap as a rule, and now there's a completely new reason to need to load less crap, so someone is reinventing the square wheel.

    I just wish I could get as many people so worked up over ClearType in order to abolish it likewise ;)

  30. Uncle Ron

    I have been a user of for YEARS. Probably since inception. Lots of reasons, but it's clean, ad-free display and customization are the two big reasons. However, I have LONG noticed that, in addition to WAPO, NYT, NBC, CBS, The Hill, Politico, Atlantic, Huffpo, and more, all sorts of 'garbage' news sites get included. Sites with -terrible- grammar, questionable sourcing, bad journalism, and downright fake news. If Google allows this to get worse, and AMP certainly sounds like it will, I'm gone--maybe from Google altogether.

  31. ZX81

    I like AMP

    I like AMP. Anything that strips ads and makes content load faster is fine by me. I don't agree that platforms should be responsible for what content is valid or not. That's an individual responsibility.

    1. Charles 9

      Re: I like AMP

      It's the PUBLISHER'S responsibility since they're in the best position to know or figure out whether or not the piece in question is true or not. Anyone else would not be in a good position to know, especially if the content is exclusive. Besides, the LEGAL liability (under libel law) fall to them, does it not?

  32. jswitte3416

    Whatever happened to Google's (one-time) motto, "Don't Be Evil"?

  33. Teoh Han Hui

    The irony

    First thing is for The Register to stop publishing AMP pages then!

  34. Turbo Beholder

    > Anybody can cram an illegitimate idea into a web page and – so long as it's encoded as AMP content – it'll look like it's from a legit new organization endorsed by Google.

    Oh, come on… "legit" or "endorsed by Google"? It helped two most odious cargo cults, after all (Hubbard's and Mann's).

  35. steberrill

    thats funny. this site is AMP compatible lol

  36. JacquesC.

    Good take on AMP. I've had my fill of Google and waterboys like Matt "Cat Dude" Cutts lecturing and finger-wagging the rabble. Check Google's $2.7 billion fine from the EU. Little slice of justice. They seem to enjoy punching down, but they're a glorified mega-scraper-site. They own a domain on which you can find billions of scraped articles and images from original content creators. They argue they serve a common good and I would agree, most people like using search engines, but when they start to lecture, I reach for the Pepto.

    The fake news angle is irrelevant. American propaganda has been alive and well for a very long time (Uncle Sam). Hearst Publications are everywhere, and that company literally defined "yellow journalism." Discussions of fake news are incomplete without at least a passing mention of Operation Mockingbird (government acknowledged, mass propaganda). I could provide endless examples of fake news on CNN, Fox News, Huffpo, Buzzfeed, etc. I would rather my news not be left or right leaning, simply stating the facts so that I can draw my own conclusions.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward shows a default 'it works' apache holding page.

    That's going to be confusing as fuck in rare but existent cases. Perhaps a new DNS field is required to forward a non-web address to the web address.


    A > [ ip of ]

    TXT >

  38. Pi314159

    The claim about branding being scrubbed makes no sense to me. For example, I found this article via AMP and it was clear to me when I clicked the link and when I landed here that the article is from The Register. So it appears to me that the claim is just blantantly wrong.

    I was hoping to learn what AMP is exactly, but I don't think this article explains much (which would have lent it credibility in my eyes). It sort of just jumps right into how bad AMP is.

    If the name doesn't lie, I'm having a hard time imagining how faster pages would be a bad thing. As a user, what I've kind of noticed is that AMP pages do not have all the functionality as normal pages. That fact now makes sense to me, now that I have learned from this article (so, yes, I did learn something afterall) that AMP somehow reduces the amount of JavaScript on a page.

    BTW, this article is pretty harsh on JavaScript. Don't you know that JavaScript is literally the key ingredient in so-called "Web 2.0"? Would you rather have the old MapQuest with click and wait, or Google maps with drag to pan? Basically, if you want any kind of interactivity beyond clicking on links, you want JavaScript.

    Obviously, one can have too much of a good thing. Pages need to be engineered so that they are fast enough that humans don't feel like their waiting, but "the less JavaScript the better" maxim is kind of just, well, ignorant. As with most engineering decisions, you can't make blanket statements like that. Usually it is a case of "you need to apply XYZ JUDICIOUSLY", which means that it is wrong to a) slather it all over the place, and/or b) omit it entirely (which seems to be what "the less the better" is suggesting). Just so with JS.

    I used to believe that The Register understood software. Now, I have to decrease my estimate of its tech competence. What a shame!

  39. poguemahone

    Thats funny, considering this article itself has an AMP version!

    And AMP is about making websites load faster, I don't see a problem with that? I come from the countryside, and for me it's a huge difference when sites use AMP.

  40. Richard 63

    I take umbridge that problem is developers. I've spent a good part of my career arguing with 'the business' (mostly marketing people) that randomly adding javascript for tracking and ad serving purposes is a terrible idea, lowers our seo ranking and puts users off. The only people you will ever find who care about page weight are developers (maybe seo bods), not the people who want to load pages up with rubbish!

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