First of all, I’m not going to dismiss the huge performance benefits and research concepts of AMP here. There’s a more important story here to look at: Link rot.

Yesterday, I read about a story where an artist lost his entire work when Google switched off the old Blogger platform. This threw thousands of blogs into nirvana. Google announced this, but the key problem remains: If the domain itself and all its subdomains are offline, no-one can set a redirect to a new location. With AMP, it’s a similar though a bit different topic.

AMP has been built to improve website’s performance. According to one of the core managers of the project, AMP has been built to live now and go away. In a few years when the media publishers integrated the technical concepts into their default websites, AMP will die.

If that is true, it’s already clear what happens in a few years: A massive scale of link rot. The main reason for it: The AMP project offers a CDN to host the pages currently. Of course this is in control of Google and not in control of the publisher. When project support ends, all CDN links will be broken (this is the example that triggered my thoughts about this issue, could be any other example).

Now, some publishers are clever enough to publish AMP version on their own hostname. That’s already a big step forward, but as maintainer of the WDRL I can say: When a technical URL change is being done, most people don’t redirect old URLs to new ones. And this is what will happen to most AMP URLs: AMP URLs will break.

Think twice if you want to share AMP URLs anywhere in public. No-one should link to them, and instead we should always try to link to the simplest, most likely preserved URL of a website that we can find.

Note/Addendum:

Medium isn’t much different here. Twitter isn’t. Facebook isn’t. Tumblr isn’t. Blogspot isn’t. The articles there will disappear at some point the same way Blogger blogs did. Blogger was big a few years ago and all people said: “This won’t go away, they can’t delete all this content”. In fact, they did. It’s a business and if the business isn’t sustainable, it gets shut down.


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