As we all know, not many things stand still forever, so as part of our continuing commitment to help you take back your privacy we will be circling back to update and add to The Privacy Cookbook........today we publish a new sub-section from Chapter 1 on Google........and next week we will return with Chapter 5 covering cellphone security.
Getting rid of Google AMP
We've been hearing and reading about how Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) has been impacting peoples' mobile web experience.
What are they and why are they a royal pain?
By building sites using this app/add-on, Google URLs replace original domain names on individual pages. It is supposed to speed up the loading of those pages.....simple fact is that they render the pages as more uniform so way more boring and 'flat'.
However, as always, there are workarounds whereby it is possible to remove Google AMP from your devices.
So try these:
Simply switch the default in your browser directly via its settings. Pretty much anything but Google will take you to a better place....i.e. away from their AMPs.
At this stage you might notice that these non-AMP websites you access appear to be jam-packed with ads and stuff that slows loading down! Well, as always, there's are workarounds here too:1. Bin your browser!
Using Chrome (from Google)? First step at all times.....bin this browser, there are plenty of suitable alternatives. Firefox is one example with it's ETP or Enhanced Tracking Protection. It's an embedded blocker of (intrusive) advertising and (invisible) scripts.
This along with it's Reader Mode makes it a comprehensive package and well worth reading up on.2. Speed up your site by focusing on what is necessary
Many sites are slow to load because of unnecessary 3rd party elements they contain. Most add little or nothing to the overall UI/UE, in fact, it's quite the opposite, they are a source of considerable annoyance given their impact on site speed.
Google admit that their own analytics and ads are an issue and even publish guidance on how to deal with 'other' 3rd parties invading your site. But if you're going to get serious here, you need to be looking at Google too.
Back to point 1 above, and Firefox with it's ETP plus an ad blocker (AdGuard Home, Pi-hole etc are choices we like) will do the job for you.3. Actively encourage an AMP boycott on the sites you build or use
Users, owners and developers of sites need to bite the bullet and move away from this technology. We appreciate that this can be a big step given concerns about losing traffic by stepping outside the Google eco-system.
If you want to live in a world where the design and delivery of purpose built websites is dominated by just one company along with all that that entails in terms of tracking, cookies, scripts, analytics and their chosen ad stream then please go ahead.
Frankly, we want a place where originality, creativity and privacy & respect flourish (and load quickly and without distractions!).
So in summary........
.....here is the what, the why and the wherefore of freeing yourself from the (Google) tyranny of the AMP!
Set up your defenses
Select suitable browsers and search engines....avoid Google products. This will have the double whammy of not just blocking trackers, cookies and requests but will stop you inadvertently aiding the enemy by actively 'championing' the offending AMP enabled sites and pages through ranking.
Banish unwanted 3rd parties
Most of what is installed or 'provided' by these outside bodies looking to profit from your hard work or consumer choices (which sites you visit) is of little to no benefit to you. Stopping, blocking or, effectively, ignoring AMP will save you from all the clutter that they facilitate.
Be smart by design
There are a variety of clever ways available to you to lighten your load(ing) whilst not significantly impacting the overall experience, Do you really need auto-playing videos? Take a look at lazy loading technologies for both images and videos whereby they only display once on view. Do you really need to have/use contact/share buttons for all your social media channels? Think about it......speed vs functionality........retention vs boredom....you'll figure out what makes sense.