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Google’s big move on mobile

April 18, 2015

jessonline

Starting April 21, retailers are going to see a major change in their Google rankings. Some are calling it “Mobilegeddon”. A bit dramatic, but the drama isn’t entirely unfounded. If your site is not mobile friendly, you’ll get punished in the rankings. And it’s not just about having a mobile site anymore- it’s about having truly mobile friendly pages, where you can read the text and navigate & transact without zooming in. This has been a long time coming.

The new Google algorithm "Mobilegeddon" or "shopper heaven?"

The new Google algorithm “Mobilegeddon” or “shopper heaven?”

Mobile has been heading towards this tipping point for years. Google says they’re just responding to the data: more people are shopping with mobile devices than ever before. Over half of the shoppers interacting with retailers are now doing it on their tablets or phones- for research, browsing and transacting. Google says they want to be able to deliver results that will be more relevant.

What this means for sites that aren’t yet responsive or mobile friendly is that organic traffic could take a significant dive- as Google sinks them in the rankings.

Is this going to make it better for shoppers? Or just harder for shoppers to find the sites they want? Time will tell.  Larry Dignan, Editor In Chief of Zdnet, says that this move could have major blowback for Google, in his post:

Google’s mobile friendly algorithm change on deck: The case for blowback

Dignan makes the case that if businesses are not mobile ready, Google’s results may not be as relevant to the shopper, and could backfire on Google as the search results become less compelling, or simply- not what the customer wants.

Time will tell. “Mobilegeddon” or not, you’ll want to take a look at how Google sees your site. Take the Mobile Friendly test on Google to see how your site shapes up.

Mobile Friendly Test

Whether Google sticks with the new algorithm or not, you’ll want to get working on a responsive site. It’s how your customers are shopping now, and ultimately it will serve them- and you, much better.

Trust, but verify

March 8, 2015

jessonline

Googling. How great it is that we can find a recipe, resolve a difference of opinion, or learn the meaning of a word- in two seconds online. It’s immediate gratification. Love it.

But of course, just because it’s out there doesn’t mean it’s true.  I recently tried to find the source for a Wordsworth quote I liked on Pinterest: “To Begin, begin”. It was all over Pinterest, all over Google and Yahoo answers- in chat rooms, images, and inspirational quote sites.

to begin, begin

I thought it was a wonderfully simple philosophy to get past the blocked feeling we sometimes get when embarking on a difficult or challenging project. I was going to start a post with it, but first- I looked for the source. No google reference I found could identify one. I found a poetry site with all of his works, and got a ‘not found’ result when I searched the text. So I asked a professor- a Wordsworth expert, who said not only does it not sound like him- there’s no reference she knew of that he ever said it.

So could he have said it? Who knows. I’m not going to quote if I can’t verify it. Maybe someone distilled something he said down to that- and it became attributed to him over time.  It was a small thing, but surprising. A good reminder that in all things, we should know our sources before we take action on information. Trust- but verify.

See ya, SOPA

January 21, 2012

jessonline

Big business brought SOPA and PIPA to Washington, and our big, passionate online community brought ’em down.

In Friday’s New York Times article, “After an online Firestorm, Congress shelves antipiracy bills”, John Weisman writes, “The bills were lobbied for and pushed hard by Hollywood Studios, the recording industry, book publishing, and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as a way to fight rampant piracy online”

But the online communities put up a massive protest. Sites like Wikipedia, Tumblr, Google and many others took a stand against SOPA and PIPA, putting up petitions on the websites, and providing explanations of the bills and implications to the online community. If the bills had passed, we’d no longer be able to talk about and show our favorite movie scenes on our blogs, my daughters would no longer be able to share and enjoy movie spoofs and fan fiction online, I wouldn’t be able to talk about the NYT and HBR on my blog, or show screenshots of favorite websites. In short, our freedom of speech online would be in jeopardy.

Everything is NOT okay. We do NOT approve of SOPA

Big companies pushed hard to get these bills introduced. James Allworth and Maxwell Wessel on the HBR blog, say it like this: “SOPA and PIPA are prime examples of big companies trying to do everything they can to stop new competitors from innovating. They’re also examples of how lobbying in the United States has become one of the most effective ways of limiting this sort of competition.”

Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, would have us believe that PIPA and SOPA are here to protect us. Indeed, Reid says that it would protect thousands of Americans from losing their jobs.

In Weisman’s NYT article, Leahy is quoted as saying:

“More time will pass with jobs lost and economies hurt by foreign criminals who are stealing American intellectual property and selling it back to American consumers. The day will come when the senators who forced this move will look back and realize they made a knee-jerk reaction to a monumental problem,” he added. “Somewhere in China today, in Russia today, and in many other countries that do not respect American intellectual property, criminals who do nothing but peddle in counterfeit products and stolen American content are smugly watching how the United States Senate decided it was not even worth debating how to stop the overseas criminals from draining our economy.”

Congress introduces legislation to

Righhht. That’s why we have so many unemployed people in the U.S. Not because the economy is hosed, and companies are downsizing or not hiring or closing. It sort of reminds me of the post- 9.11 concept that we should deprive Americans of their civil liberties in order to protect us from those who would deprive us of our civil liberties. Got a problem with that? I do. So did 14 million other americans, who contacted their congressmen, signed online petitions, and made their opinions known about the ill-fated bills.

Others have questioned whether the web blackouts of big profile companies like Google and Wikipedia can really be defined as activism. Who cares? Let’s just say it got our attention. It got 14 million Americans taking action to make their voices heard.

Google's homepage linked to a petition protesting SOPA

Our teenagers and college students see online freedom now as an integral part of their freedom of speech. For them, online censorship would quell creativity, communications, and opinions. The censorship that SOPA and PIPA would cause would hurt them, NOT protect them, nor necessarily protect the big businesses that support it. It is not about saving jobs. It is about censorship. And we cannot allow it.

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