Friday, April 03, 2015

Mobile searches will need target sites to become mobile-friendly

Webmasters who expect their content to be searched from mobile devices (rather than just PC’s and Macs) are being advised to make their sites mobile-friendly, as Google plans a major change to searches made on mobile devices April 21, according to this post

It would not appear (from the way the posting is worded) that searches on “normal” personal computers would be affected.

The post gives some tools to check web paged for mobile-friendliness.  The tests apply to individual pages, not just to whole sites.

Generally, blog postings (from Blogger and Wordpress) are likely to check out as friendly, as the vendors have already supplied CSS or other code to check for the device accessing the page. 

Flat sites, like my “” may rank as not friendly, especially when they have multiple columns of text or (as with some older sites), frames. Flat sites generally would need some scripting to detect devices, and to display reduced information sets (in just one column) for mobile.  My older sites are largely just HTML. 
But I tried this site with my own iPhone-5. 

When I rotate the phone, the page turns and the print gets larger. The pages load reasonably quickly wherever there is LTE reception.  True, the links are close together and hard for fingers.  But the actual text files from the book align property and are quite readable (the footnote links would be hard to use). For DADT-3, some files are in PDF, but these load and read well.
Furthermore, Reader View enlarges the print for HTML, and for PDF iBook produces a nice-looking page, similar to Kindle.
I don’t how what would happen on non-Apple phones (like Windows or Motorola-Droid).  I had Droid, and previously Blackberry, and the site was a bit hard to read as I recall. But these phones could have improved, too.

Only my DADT-3 book is on Kindle on Amazon.  I have older copies of 1 and 2 on my own Kindle, and I'm not sure why they don't appear on Amazon now. 

Update: April 21

I tried my "do ask do tell", which was not rated mobile friendly, and it still came up OK on my iPhone.

But in the Washington Post this morning, p A12, Hayley Tsukayama writes "Google's focus on mobile could banish small firms", online "Google is about to dramatically change how search works on your phone", link here.  Small businesses don't have the resources to reprogram sites for smartphones, or may not believe that their own customers interact with them that way.

Here's another story on Mobilegeddon.

Update: April 13

Australian bloging guru "Blogtyrant" offers advice to small business (esp. travel related) on Google's change, which has been in the works for a long time, here.

I'm not sure that his comment on optimizing photos for mobile is always necessary.  I think the Instagram square is rather irritating, I'd still rather view photos uncropped.

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