AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages – is an Open Source framework designed to speed up load times for mobile internet users.
This is a technology that was launched as an initiative by Google and several other companies to create simple websites for mobile devices.
Web pages load faster with AMP, and they appear portable. You can experience this when reading articles from Facebook or Apple News via your phone.
It provides a high-speed and highly optimized service for all sites you’d access on a mobile browser–not just those who use it though (which is great because not everyone does).
AMP Controversies – Web Domination
As The Verge described, instead of working as “a steward of the web,” Google has become its “nefarious puppet master.” That is, some believe Google is pushing the proliferation of the internet in ways that enrich the company, but don’t necessarily make people’s lives better, all under a facade of altruism. Not cool.
Indeed, some web developers and publishers enthusiastic about an AMP-filled future internet are worried about what might happen if Google takes the lead.
One group wrote an open letter that criticized Google AMP as a way to keep users “within Google’s domain and divert traffic away from other websites for the benefit of Google. At a scale of billions of users, this has the effect of further reinforcing Google’s dominance of the Web.”
It goes without saying, Google finds this to be unfair.
“This is honestly a fairly altruistic project from our perspective,” David Besbris, Google’s VP of search engineering, told The Verge. ”It wasn’t like we invented AMP because we wanted to control everything, like people assume.”
AMP Controversies – Google Throttling & Coercion
Newly unredacted complaints against Google allege that the search giant’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which the company claimed would “dramatically improve” mobile web performance when it launched in 2015, was in fact a scheme to coerce publishers into using the format in order to limit advertising dollars not spent on its own ad exchanges.
The complaint, which is led by the State of Texas on behalf of 16 mostly Republican states, goes so far as to allege Google even throttled the load speed of pages not using AMP in order to give a “nice comparative boost” to AMP.
“Throttling non-AMP ads slows down header bidding, which Google then uses to denigrate header bidding for being too slow,” it reads. “‘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,’” according to the complaint.