The latest unredacted complaint by Texas against Google dropped overnight. And the details are horrifying. There’s a lot to unpack, and most of it has to do with Google stifling competition in the ad-exchange space. But one particular section of the report – which runs to 173 pages – deals with AMP, and how Google’s entire motivation for AMP wasn’t some idyllic goal of a faster web. Instead, it turns out that Google deliberately slowed down or throttled non-AMP ads.
Google Spokespersons Abused Our Trust
For years, all the people we know from Google, including John Mueller have been promoting AMP, telling us that it’s faster and that users of CMS systems like WordPress should consider using the AMP plugin. Now it’s true that AMP is fast. And to be fair, John Mueller has never linked AMP implementation to rankings. But when you consider Google’s motivations for developing this technology, a much more sinister story emerges.
AMP Was Designed to Kill “Header Bidding”
Lots of Us Quit AMP a Long Time Ago
Google THROTTLED Non-AMP Ads!
One of the most interesting sections of the Texas complaint comes from sections 248-250. Namely:
…Google went to market falsely telling publishers that adopting AMP would enhance page load times. But …AMP pages can actually load slower than other publisher speed optimization technique. Some publishers did not adopt AMP because they knew their pages actually loaded faster than AMP pages.
So Google neglected to tell us that we could make pages load even faster by manually optimizing our pages. But fine – that’s not the worst part. The worst part is THIS:
The speed benefits Google marketed were also at least partly a result of Google’s throttling. Google throttles the load time of non-AMP ads by giving them artificial one-second delays in order to give Google AMP a “nice comparative boost.” Throttling non-AMP ads slows down header bidding, which Google then uses to denigrate header bidding for being too slow. “Header Bidding can often increase latency of web pages and create security flaws when executed incorrectly,” Google falsely claimed. Internally, Google employees grappled with “how to [publicly] justify [Google] making something slower.”
This is the money quote right here. They slowed non-AMP ads by artificially restricting them by one second for a “nice comparative boost”.
I don’t think I need to say anything more. This speaks for itself.
So What Now?
The legal challenge will go on for some time. And with the amount of money Google has to throw into fighting in court, even if something comes of this, it will go on for years. In the meantime, this is the world we currently live in. What we can do is first and foremost to STOP BLINDLY BELIEVING what Google says. Far too many people think of their motivations as selfless, and their advice is all well-meaning. That is far from the truth. I used to love Google at one time, but I think it’s clear to everyone that now they’re just another (evil) corporation.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!