What is Google AMP, and how can I deactivate it?

A few weeks ago, I noticed something strange when I checked the stats for my blog. In the Referrer Section was a referral from me, or at least it appeared to be from me until I revealed the complete address. It began as dianetibert.com.cdn.ampproject.org followed by about 50 more letters and numbers.

The Referrer Section reveals the paths visitors take to get to my website. The majority are usually through search engines, WordPress.com reader, Facebook and Twitter, but I often get visitors from other sites too.

The names are familiar and if a new one pops up, I check it out. Knowing where traffic comes from helps in many ways, including informing me of new websites that may have information that will help me in my publishing / writing journey.

Unfamiliar Links

However, while looking at the stats a few weeks ago, I noticed that odd link. How could visitors come from my site to my site?

So I clicked the link, and this is what I found. [Note: I added my book and the link where it can be downloaded for free after I discover AMP pages because the margin in which I promoted it does not appear.]

It was a generic page with my blog post on it. The name of the blog—Diane Tibert—was at the top, and the Categories, Tags and a button to Leave a Comment was at the bottom. Everything else on my site was stripped away. This meant no one could click the Follow Me button, find other helpful pages on my site (including the About page), view a list of past posts, see links to my books or learn about my social media pages.

The post was a stand-alone, void of the ability to entice readers to learn more about me, my services and my books. The ability of Google to snatch a post—any post—and recreate it on a generic page left me a little ticked. It’s not a Google article; they have no right to it.

So I went on the hunt to find more information.

What is Google Amp Project?

“Google has just released its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, a library that provides custom components for making websites very fast. It takes a prescriptive approach that puts tight restrictions on developers but promises great speed gains.” [October 12, 2015: Auth0]

After reading this article, the jest of it is, Google strips everything unnecessary from the post leaving only the article, so readers on mobile devices get the page to open instantly.

Instantly—it’s one of those words I’m beginning to dislike. It’s as though no one wants to wait for anything, not even a few seconds for an informative page to download.

Are mobile users happier with AMP?

I searched for “Google AMP complaints” and found many news articles, posts and comments that clearly state how mobile users feel: “STOP shoving amp down our throats. It ruins my web browsing experience on my smartphone and android devices. It is completely pointless as the one or two seconds it ‘saves’ is not worth the downgrade in user experience. Absolutely annoying to see amp pages dominating search results on my 100 Mbps WiFi connection.” [Search Engine Roundtable]

You’ll also read:

  • “I hate AMP!”
  • “AMP is so annoying I am ready to permanently switch search engines.”
  • “The most annoying part is that you cannot copy URL’s from the search results. You get a Google amp-URL instead of the real one and there’s no way around it on a mobile device (iOS).”
  • “AMP is deceptive and anticompetitive – instead of going to the page you clicked on, you’re directed to a Google property.”
  • “I HATE this AMP thing. Forcing me to have limited results, not being able to follow results directly to the source? Ridiculous.”
  • “Google AMP is not for everyone, preventing sites that are not blogging or publishing articles to reap the benefits.” [Sound Strategies]
  • “Google AMP doesn’t offer forms for publishers, making it impossible to grow email lists through Google AMP.”
  • “Google AMP does not directly impact Google ranking.”
  • I don’t have a mobile device and do all my computer work on my laptop, so I don’t have first-hand experience with Google AMP, but I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and say many mobile users do not like it.

As a website creator, I don’t like Google snitching my posts and presenting it in their fashion. They don’t pay me to do it, so they can keep their hands to themselves.

Since I don’t like it and many mobile users are unhappy with the ‘service’, I’ve decided to deactivate Google AMP.

How to Deactivate Google AMP

You see, without my knowledge, WordPress added this feature and stated: Your WordPress.com site supports the use of Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google-led initiative that dramatically speeds up loading times on mobile devices.

But with one click, my site no longer supports AMP. Here’s how I did it.

  • Go to the new menu design—the one I complained about a few weeks ago. You will not find Google AMP in the old menu design.
  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Traffic
  • Scroll to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
  • Click the button below this
  • Smile and continue on with life and writing about the wonderful things in your imagination.

I have no idea how long Google AMP has been sharing my pages because I don’t look at my stats often and when I do, I usually only glance at the total views for a particular post. I also don’t know if these Google AMP-created pages will disappear since I deactivated the services. I’ll have to check in a few days to see if they are still accessible.

Your Thoughts?

Have you seen visitors to a Google AMP-created page of your website? How do you feel about Google doing this, stripping away all the promotions, follow-me buttons and everything else you added to your website to inform readers of your books with the hope of increasing sales and gaining followers?

As a mobile user, how is Google AMP working for you? Are you happy with the results?

Cup of Tea

If you found this information helpful, please consider buying me a cup of tea ($1.50) as if we had chatted at a cafe and I shared this with you. [Payment is through PayPal.] [Thank you to everyone who has graciously purchased a cup of tea for me.]

5,000 Word Evaluation

Are you looking for an unbiased, honest evaluation of your writing? Check out First 5,000 Words Evaluation.

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5 thoughts on “What is Google AMP, and how can I deactivate it?

  1. Thanks so much for this post! I’d seen that option in my settings and left it on, thinking an improved loading time would be a good thing. Now I know better than to assume!

    • As the author of the posts, I’m unhappy about the stripping of everything I do to promote myself and my books, but I could have lived with that as long as they didn’t snatch a lot of pages. Knowing mobile users are also not happy with it for many reasons was all I needed to deactivate it. I–like you–assumed it would be better for them.

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