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Still Going In Circles About Google Amp


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#1 cre8pc

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 01:58 PM

The New York Times ran this...

 

The URL part is why I haven't pushed hard to recommend it in my audits. When users notice a new URL, some of them think they were taken off the main site. Trust is a huge concern. On top of the other concerns AMP presents....

 

 

Google Helping Mobile Publishing? Some Publishers Are Not So Sure

 

 

Last month, Federico Viticci, who runs MacStories, a news site devoted to Apple and its products, made a change in how the site publishes articles for mobile gadgets. MacStories, he declared, would no longer support a Google-backed method for faster loading of mobile web pages, called AMP.

Mr. Viticci said MacStories’s pages already loaded quickly without Google’s help. He also didn’t like the idea of Google’s obscuring his site’s links — with AMP, they read google.com instead of macstories.net — in the interest of expediency.

“Feels good” to no longer use the Google standard, Mr. Viticci wrote on Twitter.

 

 



#2 glyn

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 04:08 PM

On my mobile the other day the first 6 results in organic were amp.

#3 jonbey

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 04:43 PM

Why would people think they were taken off the main site? Sounds like they are just making it up..... all it is is /amp at the end. Most people won't even spot it. OK, in that article there are examples.... but are they set up correctly? And, does it really matter? Who looks at URLs anyway?

 

If you have Wordpress, it could not be easier to set up - literally a one click install and you have amp that Google likes. I am getting referrals from the amp project cached pages, so it is certainly helping already. 


Edited by jonbey, 03 January 2017 - 04:46 PM.


#4 iamlost

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 05:31 PM

There is a difference between having your amp pages served by Google - which is what G would like - and serving it yourself - which G sort of includes as an option so they can call it a method rather than a content grab.

Personally I have no interest in AMP for my sites. If G traffic falls too low I'll just block G completely. My sites render fast because they adapt to device and connection plus HTTP/2 is a great help.

AMP is far too restrictive for several of the enhancements I serve. And I'm philosophically against screwing with standards to assist third party as delivery.

What is funny is that on 3G even AMP sites often have difficulty loading AdSense in a timely fashion.

Edited by iamlost, 03 January 2017 - 05:34 PM.


#5 cre8pc

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 09:03 AM

Who looks at URLs anyway?

 

 

It's a UX trust heuristic, similar to links that open up new windows.  Any change is perceived as potential confusion or fear that the user is being taken off the main site with no way back.  This behavior shows up with experienced users as well as inexperienced.  Some large sites have child sites for different hubs/partners/branches/categories with different URLs and UI's. Observant users notice the change and respond with hesitation. 

 

That said, it would be a fun thing for me to set up tests for and play with. 



#6 Grumpus

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 06:01 AM

I've always questioned the long-term viability of AMP. It's geared toward news sites - almost all of which are relying on advertising revenue to pay the bills. Until such a time comes where news outlets figure out a new revenue source, they need to maintain control of their advertising.

 

Ultimately, AMP is Google's response to a situation that they created (or, rather, a situation that they are in the process of creating). This one could be a more difficult issue to overcome in a decade than the one they created by openly giving links a cash value back in the early 2000's.

 

A year or two ago, almost all major news sources provided a separate lightweight mobile feed of their content. It was the same as the main page but with just one or two advertisements compared to the everlasting gobstopper worth of ads on the desktop version. Now, Google is saying - don't do that. Make your site responsive, don't serve it from two URLs. So now all the news sites are switching over to responsive sites.

 

There's a dirty little secret about almost all responsive sites, though... unless you're going to spend dozens of thousands of dollars on your site, the content you see is controlled by the CSS. I scale things for various screen resolutions and I hide and show things for various resolutions - all in the CSS. This is fine and dandy and it looks good, but... even if I make most of my ads be "display:none;" on mobile devices - they still need to load. They just don't show up on the page. Most responsive sites have a mobile menu that is hidden on desktop and a desktop menu that is hidden on mobile. No matter how you load that page, you're still actually loading BOTH menus - it's just that you can only see one of them. Serve a high resolution picture for desktop and a lower version of a picture for mobile and use CSS to decide which one to show.... you now are forcing your visitors to load BOTH images and then show them one. (This is why I just serve up the image resolution that is required to look nice on desktop and just scale it down for mobile. It's a better solution than serving up two images).

 

The ONLY way you can ACTUALLY speed things up is to actually deliver different content for mobile users and desktop users - something that most news sites (and many large commercial sites) were doing until Google told them not to. Back then you'd detect the device and redirect them to the url/server that was delivering that content. Now, if you want to do it properly, you need some software which detects the device being used and then actually serves the variable content from the same URL. And you still need to maintain two (or more) sites. Plus... what if I'm on a tablet which your server decides to serve up the mobile version, but I really WANT to view the full-color full-featured version. Nope.

 

The irony of AMP is that it solves this problem by replicating the solution that news sites already had - by serving the watered down version of the site from a different server/url. <facepalm>

 

Ultimately, AMP is nothing more than a power grab using a Cloward and Piven strategy.

 

For those who don't know what that is... it was a strategy designed in the mid 1960's. The idea was to overload the federal welfare system to make it go broke so that they could run in afterwards and say, "We'll save you!" and initiate a socialist guaranteed annual income program. Many think, for example, that Obamacare was designed to follow this same strategy. They could never get a full socialized single payer healthcare program approved, so the strategy then became one of creating a program which could pass, but that would actually collapse under its own weight over time. Then, once everyone is dependent on the system, and now it doesn't work, they've created a crisis situation and they can run in and say, "The only solution is to instate an emergency socialized single payer program!" Which, of course, would pass because it's the only thing that would take us out of the crisis.

 

Google is doing the same thing here. They're leveraging their power hold by saying "Do what we say, or you don't get any customers." But, what they say (serving responsive sites instead of serving different sites for different purposes) creates a new problem. Now we have a crisis because mobile content being served by the web is too bloated and needs to be pared down. A responsive page is often around 150% bigger than a page that is served directly for the device it's being displayed on. And if you are on a mobile device, you're being served about 300% more content than you need to have downloaded if sites had just kept doing it the way they were doing it in the past. So, of course, Google is here to save the day: They call it AMP.

 

It's a power grab. They didn't have any control or stake in mobile before. Now they do (or at least they are trying to gain one).

 

AMP is doomed by the simple fact that it goes against everything that the web stands for. In five years, we'll be talking about AMP in the same way we talk about Google Answers and Orkut today, (HINT: We dont.)

 

 

G.



#7 iamlost

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 08:46 AM

Grumpus is quite correct so far as he goes.

Which is why I switched to responsive with server side assist - and wrote about it in Multi device web design back in November 2011; why it's been one reason I keep writing about serving on context; and one reason I switched to HTTP/2.

As has often and long been said here at Cre8 everything affects everything, it's an holistic webdev world out there.

#8 cre8pc

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 12:51 PM

I impatiently await Stock's book.  In the meantime, I pretty much copy and paste everything he writes when he writes chapters here  :blush:





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