AMP-ing up search traffic?

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Ethan Marcotte on AMP:

Rather, those companies use AMP to ensure their articles appear in the carousel that appears on Google’s search results, a carousel that only displays content published with AMP’s proprietary format—which then, in turn, drives more traffic to publishers’ content. (At least, theoretically.)

This may be true for some publishers, but I had exactly the opposite experience when I used AMMP for a few months last year. I saw traffic from Google drop almost to zero, and in turn saw my overall site traffic drop by over half. A drop of that magnitude was shocking, and I abandoned the format after those few months and have never looked back.

If Google’s intention is to screw over websites who don’t agree to hosting their content on Google’s servers, then so be it. I have invested time and effort into making BirchTree efficient on its own.

Ultimately Ethan is also concerned about AMP despite its good intentions.

I want to be very clear: I believe AMP is a framework designed with good intentions, aimed at solving the very real problem of a web that’s gotten far, far too slow for its users. But using AMP? The cost for the web, and for those who do business on it, is much, much too high.

I completely believe AMP was developed by people who wanted to make the web faster for users, but having a project like this come out of Google compromises these aspirations greatly. Despite their “open is awesome, man!” messaging, Google is among the biggest threats to the open web today.

Personally I’d be more interested in an “AMP for WordPress” that allows any WordPress site (like the one you’re reading now) to be rendered in a more lean way if the website owner wanted to allow it. That would enable 1/3 of the web to be faster than it is today while still giving content creators ownership of their data.