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Google AMP - Google's latest maleficence

By Hircus follow Hircus   2019 Jul 10, 8:15pm 275 views   1 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


Have you noticed that more and more websites, especially news websites, seem to have the word "/amp/" in the url? And, sometimes search results seem to be hosted on google.com? i.e., instead of somesite.com/article.html it looks like www.google.com/amp/s/somesite.com/article.html ?

That's AMP, Googles latest project released in 2015, and gaining major traction. The idea is to accelerate web page loading time, which it does do pretty well. But, I smell a rat.

Everything google has done in recent years has been about power and control to protect their revenue stream.
First, they became an advertising company in the early 2000s. They made great money.
Then, Ad blockers scared the shit out of them. So did the growth of mobile web.
So, they said "hey, were gonna build this new browser that will be FREE and FAST!!!! were so nice!!!" But, it was all about making sure they had you on their platform, giving them control, so they wouldn't lose their advertising revenue if things didn't go their way, and they could also shape the evolution of the web as a major browser developer, also in their interest.
Then, they furiously built Android. Again, they were scared shitless they would lose advertising revenue from mobile, so they built a mobile platform they control. Funny how mobile chrome still doesn't allow browser extensions in 2019, so you cant easily block ads, huh?

I think AMP is another defensive play like the above. AMP pages are hosted on google servers, giving them control, and the ability to track you. I bet they probably reserve the right to modify amp pages, allowing them to inject ads or more detailed tracking if they ever felt justified. Maybe us users who still use our desktop browsers with ad blockers will soon see amp pages with google injected hardcoded inline html, making it very difficult for ad blockers to stop them?

They also seem to coerce page authors into signing their content and copyrights over to google in order to use the AMP service. Oh, and do you want your website to be in their "Top Stories" search results section? You guessed it, you gotta use amp pages, so you gotta sign over that copyright.

btw, since people are often confused about how urls to somesite.com now start with google.com/amp/s/somesite.com, and how it kinda messes up the web, making everything be hosted on google, they came up w/ a real doozie of an solution. They call it "Signed Exchanges", which would allow the browser to lie to you. This way, if you goto say, somesite.com/amp/article.html, and that page is an amp compliant page, the browser would actually serve up that page from a google amp server (or, a server run by a CDN etc...). Yes, your url bar will say somesite.com, but it will load the content from google servers.

They really are taking control of the web.

More tech info: https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/16/18402628/google-amp-url-problem-signed-exchange-original-chrome-cloudflare


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