Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project relies on precaching pages in Google’s own servers before sending them to users’ devices, and Google has announced that it will soon be rolling out a workaround for the URL prefix requirement that this presents. Specifically, URLs on the AMP project all currently have “google.com/amp” in front of them. This has the potential to be problematic, so Google has created an entirely new AMP setup based on the Web Packaging Standard, which allows AMP to preload and process pages while leaving the URLs the same as they would otherwise be on receiving devices. The new setup is currently in an experimental form, and will be rolling out to Chrome for Android before any other browsers or platforms. The company is still working on implementing Web Packaging Standard support in Chrome, and that is currently the biggest roadblock.
The new method of transporting web content inherent in this new feature of AMP does not require any action on the webmaster or publisher’s part, and should be fully automated for all users once it rolls out, so long as they are running a supported browser. Otherwise, AMP URLs will appear as they were. Google’s reasoning, according to a post on the AMP Project website, was that the company was receiving so much feedback about URL prefixes in AMP that it became the number one type of feedback. The problem is twofold; users see a Google URL and trust a publisher who used AMP, even if their website content is not trustworthy, and users also don’t see URLs as publishers intended them. Many sites have meaningful, fun URLs, and the AMP prefix problem arguably muddles the intent of URLs when the content is viewed through AMP.
Google has been making steady improvements to the AMP project since it debuted, adding in new features and stepping up quality. One of the more recent moves Google made was to enforce feature and content parity between AMP and non-AMP pages, delisting the AMP pages of sites who used AMP as a preview or simply to lure users to the main page where the desired content would lie.