What is AMP?
AMP stands for “Accelerated Mobile Pages,” a limited version of HTML, developed by Google. Website owners can create AMP versions of their pages, which look like they’re coming from the original publisher’s site. But in fact an AMP page is a cached version of the original page that lives on Google’s servers. This makes AMP harmful to privacy, security, and the openness of the Web. Google positioned AMP as a way for website owners to make their pages faster but, ironically, they’re often slower than the original publisher versions.
Is AMP harmful?
AMP is harmful in several ways:
- It harms privacy by giving Google greater visibility into what pages you’re reading.
- It harms security because AMP pages are intentionally deceptive about where they come from. In general, you should hesitate to trust a webpage that is pretending to look like it came from another site—a key tactic in phishing—but AMP pages do this by design.
- It harms the Internet ecosystem by putting more of the way the Web works under Google’s control. This means Google has more power to adapt the Web to advance their own interests, rather than those of Web users. For example, Google used to rank AMP pages higher in search results than non-AMP pages, which essentially forced smaller websites to adopt AMP or risk losing all traffic from Google Search.
Additionally, AMP doesn’t always provide its purported benefit of greater speed. Loading an AMP page from Google’s servers isn’t necessarily faster than loading the page from the original website.
How can I avoid AMP pages?
One easy way to avoid AMP pages is to use a browser like Brave. The Brave browser includes a feature that automatically sends you to the original version of a page, rather than a Google AMP version.
There are extensions for other browsers that do the same thing, but be wary. Any browser extension comes with privacy and performance risks. They’re made by third-party developers who may or may not be trustworthy. They might collect data about your browsing activity. And they might slow down your browser or drain your battery life. In other words, extensions can cause some of the same problems that ads do.
Ready for a better Internet?
Brave’s easy-to-use browser blocks ads by default, making the Web cleaner, faster, and safer for people all over the world.Download Brave