Brave and DuckDuckGo block Google AMP pages

Google’s AMP pages display web pages that publishers normally host themselves. Both Brave and DuckDuckGo, two privacy-oriented browsers, have made decisions to block these pages in favor of the original ones.

Both Brave and DuckDuckGo have taken aim at Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), either blocking Google’s tracking or allowing users to directly bypass AMP and visit the genuine landing pages. Brave said this week that the company is implementing a policy, called “De-AMP,” that will rewrite links and URLs to block users from viewing AMP pages and direct them to the source site. In cases where this is not possible, De-AMP will simply step in to perform the redirect itself. The feature is rolling out to Nightly and Beta builds of Brave and will be enabled by default in Brave 1.38 for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

DuckDuckGo took a similar approach. “When loading or sharing a Google AMP page anywhere from DuckDuckGo apps (iOS/Android/Mac) or extensions (Firefox/Chrome), the original web page will be used instead of the Google version MPA”, the company said in a tweet tuesday. As a media, a site like Le Monde Informatique has everything to gain by letting Google’s algorithms distribute a specific article to a wide audience. But the quid pro quo is similar to that of an unpaid intern working for their “visibility”, with someone else benefiting from their work. Since Google renders the page, it doesn’t necessarily show the publisher’s ads, depriving it of revenue, and doesn’t include all the navigational elements a site might provide to encourage readers to go further.

“Users at the service of Google”

Browser developers like Brave also point out that serving AMP pages allows Google to host the page, format it, and decide how to structure its content. “AMP is one of many strategies by Google to continue to monopolize the web and build a web where users serve Google, not websites serve users,” wrote Chief Privacy Officer Shivan Sahib. of Privacy, and Peter Snyder, Senior Director of Privacy at Brave.

They also pointed out that users are not well served by AMP; as the page is hosted by Google, users may not know which site they are interacting with. Brave also took issue with the fact that Google’s AMP pages can load faster than the original pages.

Google defends itself

Google, for its part, has slowly moved away from AMP to prioritize what it calls Web Stories. In December, the firm also presented Bento, a component library that allows the use of AMP components in non-AMP pages. In a statement, Google said it disagreed with the “allegations” made by the other companies. “These claims are misleading, conflate a number of different web projects and standards, and repeat a number of false claims,” ​​a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

“AMP is an open source framework that was developed in collaboration with publishers, technology companies and Google as a way to help web content load faster – at the time of its creation, it took an average of 19 seconds to load. load a mobile web page over a 3G connection. Today, AMP continues to be a useful way for websites and publishers – especially those without large development teams – to easily create quality web experiences”

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