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Google AMP sucks and it looks like you won’t be needing it much longer.

Pages will no longer require AMP to show in the Mobile Version of the Top Stories once the new Page Experience Google Update become effective. In this article we review the current limitations of AMP and how changes introduced in User Experience update will make AMP redundant.

Google AMP sucks

Google AMP was released in 2016 with the promise to speed the mobile web. Implementation of AMP is not seamless and requires huge investment, 

The following is a list of the main drawbacks:-

  1. AMP is based on non-standard HTML tags, (AMP HTML). Given that this is non-standard HTML, it can only be used for Google.  
  2. Given that AMP requires HTML tags which are not standard,, you need to have two copies of the same page. Having multiple pages for the same content adds more complications from the development and support point of view..  
  3. AMP limits the use of third-party Javascript. On AMP pages, it is very hard and next to impossible to build lead forms or on-page comments. 
  4. AMP has hard limits on the size of the CSS. You can have a maximum of 50 kilobytes of inline CSS.

Should you ditch AMP next Year ?

Next Year Google will use the new Core Web Vitals as a way to gauge the user experience. If the page passes these metrics, it is eligible to rank well in Top Stories. AMP will no longer be a requirement for stories to be featured in Top Stories of Mobile as long as you meet the Google policies when it comes to Google News content.

To make AMP pages fast, Google added a lot of restrictions on AMP pages. The main limitation being on Javascript. 

Abuse of Javascript is the number one factor that impacts speed nowadays. More often than not, site development is based on heavyweight Javascript frameworks like Vue, Angular, and React. These simplify the process of building a one-page site; however, they induce developers to be lazy and use Javascript inefficiently as long as they can complete a job. 

The following are the most common shortcomings:-

  1. Animation based on Javascript rather than CSS.
  2. Javascript blocking the main thread making the page less responsive to user actions.
  3. Use of Javascript frameworks for tasks that can easily be done using Vanilla Javascript.
  4. Javascript render-blocking, causing delays in rendering the page.

Another restriction imposed by AMP is on the content. AMP forces the developer to predefine the size of the components so that the page can be pre-rendered . The browser does not need to wait for content like images to determine the layout of the page. 

With the introduction of the User Experience Update, Google will force optimization to the new metrics of the Core Web Vitals that are part of the User Experience Update.

Embracing the new user experience requirement, will help you improve your site rank. It will also eliminate the restrictions and limitations of AMP for pages eligible for Top stories. Moreover it will intrinsically eliminate the need to provide AMP pages for your content.

Final thoughts and considerations

Google is focusing more and more on putting the user experience as one of the main metrics when it comes to ranking sites on search results. It pushed a lot of the optimizations learned from AMP as core requirements.

Websites that need to compete in competitive markets on page one of Google, will have to optimize all their pages and add most of the optimizations, making all pages eligible for Top Stories on Mobile.

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