Google really went out of its way to promote its nasty Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project which promises faster pages on mobile devices but has ended up making life more complicated for both web developers and users. Now, five years after first showing AMP lightning next to search results to indicate how fast they should be, Google has stopped drawing this distinction between AMP and regular pages in Search.
The change is slowly rolling out as part of Google’s latest changes to page ranking in its search engine. Google announced in April that it will no longer force web developers to create AMP pages to better rank themselves in search, with normal websites intended for viewing in the news carousel that was previously reserved for AMP sites only. Google is effectively reducing the emphasis on AMP across the board – you won’t find the lightning bolt icon anywhere in the future, neither in Search nor in Google News, where it played an important role in the past as well. Here, Google states that “we are expanding the use of non-AMP content to enhance the core experience on news.google.com and in the Google News app.”
Left: An old screenshot showing the AMP logo. Right: No more AMP in search results.
Overall, this change is very late. No one has ever truly loved AMP websites. While AMP may have helped some smaller publications create better mobile experiences, AMP sites have many limitations that make them much worse than their HTML counterparts. For example, you can’t easily copy and share real URLs directly from AMP sites, and you can’t embed interactive surveys and forms, which is a regular problem for our weekend survey.