Feast will NOT be implementing support for AMP, nor will we be providing support or guidelines for its use.
249. The speed benefits Google marketed were also at least partly a result of Google’s throttling. Google throttles the load time of non-AMP ads by giving them artificial one-second delays in order to give Google AMP a “nice comparative boost.” Throttling non-AMP ads slows down header bidding, which Google then uses to denigrate header bidding for being too slow. “Header Bidding can often increase latency of web pages and create security flaws when executed incorrectly,” Google falsely claimed. Internally, Google employees grappled with “how to [publicly] justify [Google] making something slower.”
AMP has been integrated with the Genesis framework as of version 3, and this move is both shortsighted and detrimental to their customers.
AMP is a publisher-hostile system whereby Google is attempting to claim its search results for itself, by loading other peoples' content via it's own system. This is essential STEALING traffic from publishers and slowly eroding the open web, which every food blogger relies on for a living.
It's ostensibly a user-first implementation, but their push for simpler/faster pages guidelines via pagespeed insights should be improved to a point sufficient to allow webmasters and developers to compete on level footing: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Already, the recommendations we put in place with the SEO for food bloggers guidelines are able to achieve pagespeed scores of 80+, and many are hitting 95+.
By internalizing the technology and methods to make webpages load faster into AMP, Google is draining the public knowledge base of important information that affects every one of the billions of people who use the internet daily.
I'm not sure where the line between crackpot conspiracy and diligence lies, but I'm fully against efforts by large corporations to create a more closed-in ecosystem. They have the timelines, resources and skill to move inch-by-inch while the public's attention moves onto other things, and if left unchecked, will act in their own selfish self-interest.
Genesis, at its core, is a tool to assist publishers and small business. Some big, mostly small. The vast majority of these people aren't aware that AMP is a long-term death sentence that will erode their independence, and increase reliance on Google. As such, it's the responsibility of professionals to understand the motivations at play, and make appropriate recommendations against them.
This is similar to how we rely on food scientists to protect us from things like Glyphosate. Nobody here understands the long-term implications and damage pesticides are doing to our bodies - most scientists don't - and by allowing large corporations to "regulate" themselves, we're now seeing the damage it can do.
Its applicability remains primarily for news-results, which is a niche market. It's worthless to (best guess?) 99% of Genesis sites, which don't compete in amp-carousel news cycles.
That's to say nothing of Google's reputation for dropping projects (https://killedbygoogle.com/), ultimately wasting everybody's (developers and users) time who spent implementing and accommodating the projects.
The two possible endings for AMP are:
- eroding the open web
- being sent to the graveyard, ultimately wasting time that could have been spent on more productive tasks
Either of these are terrible.
AMP support should remain plugin-driven, or ideally, actively pushed against.
- The problem with AMP
- Kill Google AMP before it kills the web
- AMP: the missing controversy
- A letter about Google AMP
- The end of AMP?
- Resigning from the AMP committee by Jeremy Keith
Linked to the discussions, because I find the input of many people provides a broader perspective. Original article can be found at the top of the discussions.
Similarly, companies like Mediavine are offering the ability the roll-back AMP implement for people who entered into it prematurely: https://help.mediavine.com/en/articles/548204-how-to-walk-back-your-amp-without-redirects-or-404s
Mediavine CEO Eric Hochberger has stated that while AMP is useful for Google Certified Publisher Partners (eg. large news sites) who need to appear in the carousel, the average food blogger has no use for AMP.
Amp is for news sites competing for daily news, food blogs produce evergreen content that does not appear in the news carousel.
Update: check out this post from a former member of the AMP Advisory Committee: https://shkspr.mobi/blog/2020/12/i-have-resigned-from-the-google-amp-advisory-committee/
Why does Feast care?
To be honest, AMP doesn't affect us at all. It only affects our customers. We care out of a sense of professional responsibility to those who are not as tech savvy or don't understand the implications of what this means.
AMP is a shiny new toy that developers get excited about because they get to work on something new and challenging. Most developers are not smart business people though. They rarely take the time to think "well, what are the risks and rewards of this thing I'm going to implement?"
From a business standpoint for food bloggers, there are no rewards for implementing AMP, but the risks are literally life and death in the long-term. Once Google refines the technology and allows for it to gradually expand in scope, they're able to keep all search traffic on their own domains/system/control rather than send people off directly to independent publishers.
I can't stress this enough - supporting AMP is just plain stupid.