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Google to penalize non mobile sites

Google has just announced that starting April 21st, websites that are not mobile friendly will be penalized in mobile search results. Seems like a no-brainer, if you are using your phone to do a search, it is easier to view information and take action if the site you go to is mobile friendly.

With more than 25% of searches now being done on mobile devices (BIA/Kelsey (April 2014)), companies that have not yet created a mobile or responsive site can expect a traffic hit in the next few months.

In addition to better search placement, mobile, responsive and adaptive sites also lead to higher call percentage and from several implementations we’ve seen, a huge improvement in abandonment rates. It seems users on mobile devices that get to a site that is not mobile friendly would just rather go somewhere else.

In the blog post, Google also provides some guidelines and testing tools to check your site compliance.

Tip: not highly publicized, but Chrome browser includes a great mobile testing tool. In the Menu under “More Tools” there is an option for Developer Tools. These allow for selection of device for output and changing the HTTP header data to test using different devices.

Chrome – a quick first look and review

Yesterday I got all excited about the Chrome release. It is available now for download at http://www.google.com/chrome

After playing around with the new Google Chrome Browser for the last hour, here are some initial thoughts:

  1. It’s very light weight. It installs in seconds and takes little system resources to run. It is also light on features. More on that later.
  2. It’s FAST and renders almost every page I’ve tried perfectly. 
  3. I like the new interface which is nice and clean, the tabs on top etc.
  4. The tools for developers are cool with the task manager providing great system details and even the view source supports code color coding. 
  5. The first page is fine but I find it somewhat annoying that you can not edit the content of the 9 default boxes. Automation is a fine concept but you are not always alone. If I happened to go and check on a gossip site during the day, do I want everyone present in the next meeting when I fire up my browser to know that? some editing functions will be useful.
  6. It is a beta release granted but even for a beta it is missing some browser staples that have been part of any browser for a long time. Accessibility, content ratings, parental controls, Zoom, Fontsize change all gone.
  7. Bookmark management is extremely basic
  8. Passwords. I could not believe but here it was in plain text. If you answer positively for storing you password, Chrome will allow you and anyone else that happens to be sitting at your desk not just to access sites but to view the plain text version of passwords to saved sites. This is bad.
  9. Surprisingly, no support exists for the Goolge Toolbar but I’m sure that will be remedied soon.
  10. Lack of support for plugins.

Overall, it is a good little browser that mostly good for casual reading and using the Google tools. It is not ready for the workplace nor can it be a single or even the primary browser for any power user.

It is an impressive first foray into the arena and I hope they beef it up for the actual release if it’s to be a contender

Chrome: a new browser from Google. Or a new Web OS?

I’m very excited about the news breaking out today of Chrome: the new browser from Google. It will launch tomorrow and you can read all about it on Google’s blog and see their tech friendly comic book(that is brilliant by itself).

I have to admit that both the last release from Firefoxand especially the half baked lackluster IE8 beta from Microsoft were disappointing. While providing relatively minor improvements to most users, they failed to address the biggest challenge confronting the continuing growth of the web: inherent support for rich applications. All we want is to use our email, IM, Search and Facebook without it crashing every few hours taking all windows and tabs with it.

The browser had become the master application where most of our work and play on the computer is done these days. As Google had nicely put it in their blog post “All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends — all using a browser.” … “What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build”

So it seems that the smart guys at Google finally understood that if they base their entire business on ads presented while web browsing, they better make sure that browsing experience is fast, secure and continues to flourish. Counting on Microsoft to do that for you is not a smart business strategy.

The new Chrome browser was built from scratch not as a browser but as a platform. Most of the features and improvements are taken form the OS playbook for stability and security: process containment, sand boxing, efficient garbage collection, tight security model.

Here is a short list of some of the innovation the Chrome is introducing:

  • Process isolation for tabs and plugins within tabs. Awesome. No more will a single window force me to kill the browser with all 30 tabs I have open gone with the wind.
  • New Javascript virtual machine that will product compiled machine code. If Java script is to be the future of rich web interfaces (as opposed to the proprietary Flash or Silverlight) it needs to run fast and be more robust and that’s exactly what the new virtual machine is providing.
  • Gears Integration: with Gears support for persistency and OS level access, developers can build client level applications for the web with reasonable portability
  • Security: the new security model offers a strong foundation for ongoing security schema that can be used by application coders and plugin providers.

Google will also make the whole thing open source, allow plugins and invites everyone to add and extend.

That’s the kind of innovation we need in order to keep the web growing and becoming the robust platform for work and play.

I can’t wait to give it a full try tomorrow.