Update: June 12, 2019 – On June 11, 2019, I reported that AMP was having an issue where users could not click thru to the website where the content originated, as described below. This actually turned out to be a “bug”, and it was not intentional by Google to not allow users to click thru to the website when viewing an AMP page. This has now been fixed, and I do not think it was an intentional change in AMP.
In a recent change to the Google AMP interface, Google is not making it easy for users to click thru to the website where the content originates. In the latest AMP UI changes, it appears that users can only share the AMP URL or page that they’re on–they can’t click thru to the site that created the AMP content. If this is the case, and it very much so appears that it is, then Google has essentially made a change that keeps the users on the Google domain. Google has literally taken the content (even though the site allows them to), they’re serving the site’s content up to users, and Google won’t let the visitors go directly to the site. Of course I could be totally overreacting, but let’s look at an example of this.
Above is a screen capture from my iPhone. I searched for “Google Update” as the search query. I then saw that the SEJ (Search Engine Journal) had a recent AMP article, so I clicked on that result. The AMP page appears on the Google.com domain, and I am able to read it, just fine. However, if you look at the screen capture above, you’ll see that the URL searchenginejournal.com is there. But it is NOT CLICKABLE. There is ONLY a “share” button to the right of the URL.
Granted, you can actually click on the SEJ logo to visit the Search Engine Journal home page, but that will NOT get you to the same article on the SEJ site so you can read it directly on the searchenginejournal.com domain. So, you either have to click the back button (which is an arrow at the bottom of the page on Safari on the iPhone), or you have to click thru to the SEJ home page. Previously, as I recall, you could click thru right to the same article that you’re reading, and the domain of the article was clickable (I might be wrong about that though).
What’s concerning to me is that it appears, from everything that I’m seeing now, that if a user clicks and AMP article from the Google search results on mobile, Google will NOT allow that user to click thru to the website, the originator of that content. Google’s keeping the traffic for themselves.
I first heard about this change from Scotch.io, you can see their Tweet here.