“Who’s your daddy?” Good question. If you’re on the internet then the big daddies are Google and Facebook; more the former than the latter, yet both want to shape the internet to match their requirements, not yours.
Here’s an example. It’s called AMP. It stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and it’s a gift from Google to help make thick and heavy website webpages load faster on iPhone, iPad, or other smartphones. How is that working out?
The idea behind AMP seems logical. Make webpages load faster on mobile devices. In effect, Google grabs a website’s content, repackages it to use less bandwidth, and, therefore, load pages faster. You’ll see AMP in action when using Safari and Google on your iPhone. Search Google and look at the search results.
AMP powered websites– rebuilt by Google to be faster– are displayed with a small black circle with a lightning bolt inside. Obviously, not all websites use AMP but for those that do, Google changes the rules. Kyle Bradshaw has an example:
When viewing an AMP-powered page, that page is hosted by Google instead of the original source. For example, when viewing this article via AMP, your browser’s navigation bar will show “Google.com” instead of “9to5Google.com.”
Google grabs the website’s webpage, converts it to use AMP standards, then serves the webpage to your browser. Yes, AMP is faster than most websites, but Google also changes how the website is listed.
The trick is that while the domain “appears” like the original, the site is still being served via Google.com or AmpProject.org. While not inherently wrong, the method Google uses to accomplish this, called Signed Exchanges, has clear consequences for the web as a whole.
I understand what Google wants. A faster internet; especially for mobile devices that sometimes struggle to download fat websites that contain many images and are packed with ads and trackers.
AMP reduces some of that weight for mobile devices (you won’t see the AMP logo using Safari on a Mac).
At Mac360 we took a different approach and made our website different using Responsive Web Design techniques. That means the Mac360 website, and all the Apple Villagers websites, compress automatically to match the size of your device– big on a Mac or iPad Pro display, smaller on an iPhone or smartphone.
But our websites load faster than AMP websites from Google.
We would prefer that Google devote more time, effort, and money to making the internet neutral rather than trying to shape the internet into what Google thinks it should be, and without asking anyone else what they think.