Google changes search engine to prioritise mobile friendly sites

Development, Mobile, Software, Tech, Web

I got an email from the Google Webmaster Tools Team in relation to one of my old sites.

Google systems have tested 204 pages from your site and found that 99% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 202 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.

Now I have to update this old site. I feel it is a good time to implement some current technologies like angular.js and jquery with it and maybe some others. But this is really a tipping point in the supremacy of sites being ready for mobile devices above normal computers and laptops.

CMS Wire has more detail here about the change.

It’s possible to test a site for mobile friendliness using this link.

The death of Google Reader

Tech, Thought Provoking, Web

Read two great articles on the death of Google Reader this week explaining the bigger picture of why it was shutdown.

Marco Arment in this wonderful post Lockdown contends that Google with Facebook and Twitter is building walled gardens to lock users in. The open RSS model doesn’t fit that strategy.

That world formed the web’s foundations — without that world to build on, Google, Facebook, and Twitter couldn’t exist. But they’ve now grown so large that everything from that web-native world is now a threat to them, and they want to shut it down. “Sunset” it. “Clean it up.” “Retire” it. Get it out of the way so they can get even bigger and build even bigger proprietary barriers to anyone trying to claim their territory.

Well, fuck them, and fuck that.

Following on from that:

Dare Obasanjo writes that Google are no longer pretending to be the good guys anymore.

His conclusion:

Google Reader has been living on borrowed time since Facebook and Twitter became prominent. The only thing that has changed in 2013 is that Google’s management doesn’t think it’s worth it to throw a bone to millions of geeks and early adopters by keeping the lights running on the service with its existing skeleton crew. This new Google doesn’t care if geeks and early adopters just see it as another money hungry corporation that only focuses on the bottom line. Larry Page doesn’t give a shit.

Welcome to the new Google.

Buzzfeed actually received an increase is traffic from Google Reader after it was announced. The graphic showing the comparison of traffic from Google+ and Reader is quite illuminating.

I initially used Bloglines to for reading rss feeds but after they closed down, I did examine moving to Google Reader but instead chose netvibes which is free for individuals. I was uncomfortable about handing over another service to an ever smaller number of providers. There was also the fact that feeds are a core part of netvibes whereas Reader was just another auxiliary part of Google.
My advice: Stick to services that are provided by companies where the service is a core part of their business.

Reasons you need your own website

Business, Tech, Web

Just saw this post and many of the reasons also apply to organisations and individuals outside of music. I don’t understand why many business point potential customers to a facebook or myspace page.
Especially, when they are not controlling the experience.

It’s your’s… forever

I’ve said this more than once in this post.

You get the point right?

Your Facebook Page and your Bandcamp page are NOT yours. They belong to other people and cannot be forced to do all the things that you might want to do.

Google Plus

Tech, Thought Provoking, Web

I just joined Google Plus. The main thing I have been getting my head around is how it works. Since I didn’t really use Google Wave or Buzz that much, I was intrigued to find out if lessons had been learned. It seems that they have and are taking the best bits from Facebook and Twitter. I found this article that includes the following paragraph that illustrates its purpose very well

That is the big difference between Google Plus and most other networks. Twitter is an all or nothing model. You can share with everyone or you can only share with all the people that follow you. But you can’t share with only a sub set of the people that follow you (such as a specific Twitter List.) Facebook is a little more flexible than that. But you must be friends with people or you must reduce your privacy. You can limit who sees individual things you share, but it is difficult to do and not intuitive to get set up.

It seems that Google learned something from its former employee Paul Adams. His presentation of the real life social network illustrates the problem of using facebook and shows how personal networks are more complicated than the facebook philosophy of everything about you should be public. Look at the whole presentation to see understand his point.

Picasa Albums


One of my gripes with Picasa is that it doesn’t do slideshows outside folders. Or so I thought until I did another search today if one of the recent versions had solved his issue. It seems that it is possible but only if you create an album and assign photos to that album. Why? What I would like to do is to just create a search term (I use very long descriptive filenames for my photos) and let a slideshow run from that search query. Google, Picasa please include in a release in the near future. Thanks!

Depending on the Cloud is dangerous

Tech, Thought Provoking, Web

This story in The Guardian got my attention. Imagine having 4 years of work removed at the drop of a hat? That’s what seems to have happened with Google’s decision to shut down some music bloggers. Apparently, they weren’t even give any warning.

In what critics are calling “musicblogocide 2010”, Google has deleted at least six popular music blogs that it claims violated copyright law. These sites, hosted by Google’s Blogger and Blogspot services, received notices only after their sites – and years of archives – were wiped from the internet.

This is not a problem of Google per se. It’s a problem of depending on any third-party to hold your data whether it’s Facebook, Salesforce, Flickr, Hotmail or any other site holding your data. I came across this problem during the initial internet bust when my files were deleted by a data hosting company and I was unable to retrieve them. If it’s important, always make local backups of your data and have workarounds in place so that if one provider kicks you off or goes bust, you have an alternative option to keep functioning. If you blog, get your own domain and hosting provider and backup your files. It’s much easier than remembering what you wrote 4 years ago…

Google Chrome sounds like a nightmare

Tech, Web

John Naughton’s column in the Observer yesterday analyses the impact of the coming Google operating system.

The flip side of all this, of course, is that Chrome netbooks will be the ultimate in tethered devices. You may own the machine, just as you may think you own your Apple iPhone, but in fact Google controls it, just as Apple controls the phone. If, for example, you’ve tinkered with the device overnight, and the Google server detects the change as you hook up to the net, then the operating system may be remotely deleted and a fresh version installed without your knowledge or consent. Google will argue that this is for your own good – that it’s an effective defence against the viruses, trojans and malware that plague current users of Microsoft operating systems.

And so it is. But it’s also a limitation on your freedom. In his 2008 book, The Future of the Internet – and how to stop it, Harvard academic Jonathan Zittrain painted a vivid picture of the dangers of a world in which most people’s access to the internet is via tethered devices controlled by powerful companies. If Chrome OS takes off we will have taken a giant leap into that nightmare. For 1984 read 2010.