Just as I was hitting ‘schedule campaign’ on the RWD Weekly newsletter the Google AMP team published an article about a new announcement.
It seemed that after a long list of blog posts questioning the ethical existence of AMP and Google's technical application of the AMP results in their search the team were addressing our concerns and trying to put all great performing web pages on a level playing field.
As I read the article the only real pieces I understood was the overall promise of moving towards equality, however, I could not make any sense of the technical requirements we would need to meet for this parity to occur. From the post:
Google’s goal is to extend support in features like the Top Stories carousel to AMP-like content that (1) meets a set of performance and user experience criteria and (2) implements a set of new web standards. Some of the proposed standards in the critical path are Feature Policy, Web Packaging, iframe promotion, Performance Timeline, and Paint Timing.
As I read the article I opened the links to Feature Policy, Web Packaging, iframe promotion, Performance Timeline, and Paint Timing and began to read through the documentation.
Aside from not really understanding how I would be able to make my sites adhere to these things, a lot of them are not even things at the moment or implemented in any browser. That is also ignoring the fact that these are ‘some of the proposed standards’ required to get the glory spot. What else do I need to do, and who decides what that will be and when?
Ethan Marcotte, who is far more eloquent and putting his point across, had this to say about it (you should read the full article
Until such a point as those standards get finalized, and then they’re adopted by a significant number of browsers, AMP’s going to work exactly the way it has. To put a finer point on it, nothing about AMP is changing today, in the short-term, nor in the medium-term. In fact, it’s entirely possible that nothing will change at all. For the time being, web pages written in AMP—and hosted on Google-owned or -approved servers— are going to be the only thing allowed in the carousel.
Reading Ethan's article got me to thinking.
It isn’t AMP that are making these rules and deciding what needs to occur. The AMP team themselves are making a fork of the web as we know it and creating AMP HTML that is designed to work incredibly fast when used in conjunction with Google.
The team that is making the rules about who will appear where is Google themselves, the corporate powerhouse and one of the two most influential companies the world has ever seen (the other I see as Facebook).
When Microsoft was dominating the market all it took was one amazing man and a couple of brilliantly executed ideas for Apple to win back marketshare.
This rocked Microsoft.
Apple is now facing the same issue as Microsoft are claiming back former users with the Surface Book and endangering Apple's grip on the creative industry.
Companies live and die by the decisions of the consumers. It is often the early adopters, people like you and I, who make the first move towards something new. Then it’s our family who go next on our recommendation, then our friends, our work colleagues, and then pretty soon it reaches a critical mass adoption.
So while we, you and I, are in outrage about the stance that Google is taking when it comes to AMP there is one simple solution. Stop. Using. Google.
I remember a time when there was a tonne of web search engines out there. Web Crawler, Ask Jeeves, Alta Vista… I used to use these different search engines depending on the type of result I wanted. Then I started using Google and convinced my family, friends and colleagues to do the same. We did this because Google had the best results, and they were PRO the web… they were one of the catalysts for how far and quickly it came along.
Do you still use Google for search?
What about Bing?
What about Duck Duck Go?
Google’s weight and power come because most of the world use it without knowing there’s an alternative. Perhaps it is time we started voicing our concerns through actions and start using alternative search platforms.
It has taken all of us to build the web we have, and now it is up to all of us to build the web we want – for everyone. — Sir Tim Berners Lee