Today, we’ll examine the pros and cons of Google AMP, and show you how to disable it. But before that, let’s see how you can distinguish AMP pages from regular ones.
To see it in action, just do a quick Google search on your Android device or iPhone.
You can search for anything you like, but searching for something news-worthy might yield better results. For instance, here’s what the search results look like for “Donald Trump”:
Now, you should see certain links labeled as “AMP” with a lightning bolt icon. You can tap on any such link, and you’ll notice that the website opens almost instantly.
The Benefits of Google AMP
One obvious advantage of Google AMP is that web pages load faster. In fact, Google claims that AMP pages can load an average of 4x faster than equivalent non-AMP pages. This can be especially useful if your Wi-Fi connection is slow or unstable.
Because AMP improves load times dramatically, there’s a high possibility that it could result in improved search engine ranking on Google. So, a lot of webmasters are turning towards integrating AMP into their websites.
The Problem With Google AMP
As you can see, there’s a lot to like about AMP: faster loading times, less data consumption, improved search rankings, etc. But there’s another side to this story.
AMP presents publishers with a few downsides, like limited options for advertisements and website analytics. It’s up to publishers to decide whether AMP should be implemented — but if they want to take advantage of any of the good parts of AMP, they have to deal with those trade-offs.
For users, AMP can appear to be poorly implemented because it messes up the original URL. If you choose to share the web page, it shares the AMP-formatted link instead of the original one.
On iOS devices, AMP seems to break a lot of functionality. It breaks iOS’s universal scroll-to-top gesture and also messes with the Find on Page feature in Safari.
Some might argue that most of these problems are fixable, and that’s true — some of them are. But there’s a fundamental problem with the concept of AMP itself. It disassociates content from its creator. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that it could kill off the independence and credibility of content creators in the long-run.
How to Disable AMP in Google Search
Most users with spotty internet connection might appreciate AMP. But, there’s absolutely no reason why users with a high-speed internet should be forced to view the simplified version of a webpage. To make matters worse, Google provides no way to disable it. However, if you find the issues with AMP annoying, here are a few workarounds you can use to get around it.
1. Use Encrypted Google Search
You can force Google to display regular versions of websites by using the encrypted Google search. To do so, instead of searching directly from your browser’s search bar, open encrypted.google.com and perform the search in Google’s search bar.
It might be inefficient to navigate to Google’s encrypted website every time, so it’s recommended that you set it as your default home page. This works on Android devices as well as iPhones and iPads.
2. Use DeAMPify for Android
DeAMPify is an Android app that lets you bypass AMP links so you can always load the original link. An important thing to note is that it works only when you perform a search using the Google search app for Android. It won’t work if you perform a search directly within Chrome. This is because it can intercept links from Google’s search app, deAMPify them, and then pass them on to Chrome.
To get started, perform a search using the Google search app and tap on any AMP-labeled link. Now, you should be prompted to choose a browser of your choice. Here, select DeAMPify and tap Always. The app works behind-the-scenes, and it should open the original link in Chrome.
The pro version of the app removes ads and unlocks features such as enabling it only on Wi-Fi and enabling it on a per-site basis. It also unlocks Tasker integration so you can enhance its functionality to your liking.
Download: DeAMPify for Android (Free with ads)
3. Use DuckDuckGo’s Bang Feature
Previously, we’ve covered a lot of tricks for using DuckDuckGo, but for the uninitiated, DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that, unlike Google, doesn’t track you. Using a clever workaround, you can use DuckDuckGo to search Google, and the best part is that it displays the original link for results instead of the AMP version. This method also works on Android or iOS devices.
If you’re using Chrome on your Android phone or iPhone, here’s how to set it up:
- Open DuckDuckGo.com in Chrome. Tap on Add DuckDuckGo to Chrome at the bottom.
- Open Chrome Settings > Search engine and select DuckDuckGo.
If you’re using Safari on your iPhone, here’s how to set it up:
- Open iPhone Settings > Safari > Search Engine and select DuckDuckGo.
Now that you’ve set DuckDuckGo as the default search engine, you can search from Chrome’s search bar. To use DuckDuckGo to display results from Google, just prefix “!g” (without the quotes) before your query.
For instance, typing in “!g Donald Trump” in Chrome’s search bar should automatically display results from Google’s encrypted website. The encrypted version forces Google to show regular version of websites instead of their AMP links.
Get Around Google AMP Easily
Late last year, Google said that it’s working to let users disable AMP in Google search, but there doesn’t seem to be any official kill switch yet. Meanwhile, you can use any of the above workarounds to get around Google AMP pages.
Want to ditch more Google services? Read our guide on how to run Android without Google.
And for help with Google on your computer, check out these ways to customize your Google Search results.