AMP is Google's attempt to re-fight the transcoding wars of the early 2000s.
If, like me, you made the mistake of trying out AMP on your website - you're in a tricky position if you try to remove it. Google doesn't like anything leaving its clutches.
After a few weeks of AMP, I decided that it wasn't suitable for me. So I uninstalled the WordPress plugin. That's when the problems started.
When someone searches for my site on mobile, they still get presented with an AMP link:
Which leads to an error page:
No matter, they can click through to the real page, right?
/amp page doesn't exist and causes a 404 error. Google could use the
canonical URl to serve the original page - but that's too much like hard work for them.
So, how do you fix this? Thanks to Google's legendary lack of support and pathological aversion to writing clear, updated documentation - it's really hard to find a straight answer.
You would have thought that after a few days of getting AMP errors, Google would take the hint and stop serving the content, right? Sadly no.
There is one scrap of information which might give you some hope:
Use the "update-ping" mechanism to permanently remove content from the Google AMP Cache after the content has been removed from its origin. For example, to purge content formerly served at
https://cdn.ampproject.org/i/s/example.com/favicon.ico, send an update ping request to:
Cached content that no longer exists will eventually get removed from the cache; it's just faster to use "update-ping".
Google's Remove AMP content "documentation"
If I'm reading this right, I have to send a ping for every page on my site.
For a few thousand pages. That's... bonkers! And, best of all, it doesn't work.
I chose a page, sent the ping, waited a few hours and... nothing! The AMP links still showed up in Google's results.
What's the solution? At this point you only have two options:
- Accept Google's benevolent intentions and reinstall AMP.
- Wait and hope.
I should have learned my lessons from my last interaction with Google. Oh well, fool me once...