Google has hit out at Brave and DuckDuckGo over recent service updates designed to undermine the divisive AMP initiative.
At the beginning of the week, the two privacy software sellers announced new Navigator feature that allows users to bypass AMP, which they claim harms privacy and web economics. However, Google has now decided to dismiss these criticisms.
“These claims are misleading, confuse a number of different web projects and standards, and repeat a number of misrepresentations,” a Google spokesperson said in an email exchange with Tech Radar Pro.
Launched in 2015, AMP (short for Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a system where simplified versions of trending web pages are preloaded and served through Google servers.
When AMP was first announced, Google said it believed the system would help ensure that rich web content, such as video and animation, would load quickly and behave consistently across all platforms. platforms, thereby enhancing the web experience.
However, the program has come under fire from publishers and privacy advocates, who say AMP gives even more signals to Google to support its digital advertising business, creates confusion about the source of information and requires publishers to build their websites to Google’s desired specification.
This week, Brave also questioned the benefits of AMP from a user experience perspective, going so far as to say that “AMP is bad for performance and usability,” an accusation that seems to have particularly irritated Google.
“AMP is an open-source framework that was developed in collaboration with publishers, technology companies and Google as a way to make web content load faster – at the time of its creation, it took an average of 19 seconds to load a page mobile web over a 3G connection,” the Google spokesperson told us.
“Today, AMP continues to be a useful way for websites and publishers, especially those without large development teams, to easily create great web experiences.”
However, the AMP debate is unlikely to be settled anytime soon, with a second-generation system currently in the works, informally known as AMP 2.0.
In Brave’s view, this new system has the potential to be “even worse,” allowing “more of the web to be used from Google’s servers, and in a way that gives users less control over how they interact with that content”.