Mobile-friendly impact

So Google announced earlier this year that they’d be introducing further changes to their algorithm to penalise sites that aren’t mobile-friendly, leading many to adopt the phrase Mobilegeddon, in the run up to the implementation on the 21st April. But I can’t help thinking that for all the fanfare and the massess of online discussions about how this could ruin many online businesses, it all ended up being a bit of a damp squib or a latter day Y2K-style issue.

Yes, it was probably more important for high-traffic B2C sites, particularly social media, news and ecommerce platforms that naturally lend themselves to their content being digested on the move via mobile devices. But for B2B sites or even lower traffic blogs (like mine!) I can’t help thinking that the whole impact was over-egged and resulted in significant discussion, research and reworking of websites in the run up to the change.

Having said that, of course it makes sense from a UX perspective to have a website that works in all contexts, orientations and for all screen sizes, but my issue is that the urgency with which many were promoting changes to be made was excessive.

The key issue

But more importantly than that, when you start considering your website traffic in more detail, you’ll see why this mobile-friendly issue may not have been such a big issue after all.

If you think that a typical B2B website, or indeed this blog, may receive anywhere from 5-20% of its traffic via a mobile device. Of that proportion, when you look at Google Analytics, I’ve often seen it further split between tablet devices and mobile devices fairly evenly – so at any one time, a maximum of 10% of web visitors are arriving on the site via a mobile device.

Depending on the design of the platform, it may or may not be a good experience for them – but that’s not the issue here. The key issue is whether an individual has actually searched for your site using Google. Because if they have, and your site isn’t mobile-optimised or responsively designed, then your position in the Google search results may suffer. But remember that the maximum of 10% of web visitors on a mobile device may not be arriving via Google search. They may have bookmarked your site, they may arrive from other inbound links or social referrals – so my contention with ‘Mobilegeddon’ is that the true impact is arguably less than was suggested initially and we’ve been the victim of online scaremongering.

Easy fix

Of course, if your site is based on WordPress (as this one is) then it’s relatively quick and easy to identify a replacement theme that is mobile-friendly or responsive-designed, upload and activate it – and then you’re compliant with the Google algorithm. 

But if you’re managing your site using a different CMS or system, then you might need bit more help and direction. And that’s where Google’s Webmaster Tools come in handy. Once you’ve registered your site with the platform, it’ll be analysed and a report on where any issues (from Google’s perspective) will be made available to you – along with a list of fixes and further advice that you may want to implement. Whether that’s easy or not to implement will depend on your technical ability or the ability of the team or person working on your site, but at least you know where you should be focusing your efforts.

Free test of mobile-friendly status

You can test your site, or any of your competitor sites, using this free Google tool here.

Find gmail emails over a certain size

googleFurther to an earlier post I made about freeing up space in Gmail (HERE), they’ve extended the feature set now to allow you to search for emails within Gmail by the size of attachments. So, for example, in the Googlemail search query, if you type “size:5mb” then Gmail will query your email folders and show you all of the emails over 5mb in size.

Mostly this will be due to people sending you the latest funny videos or picture collections and rather than deleting them at the time, you’ve just let them sit there in your inbox. So, although Gmail now offer 10.1gb of free space – perhaps it’s time to do a little housekeeping and remove some of the trashy stuff that you no longer need.

Equally, you don’t need to limit it to file sizes over 5mb. Just change the query dimensions and you can clear out much more of your email box – e.g. “size:2mb” will return all emails over 2mb in size.

Free up space in Gmail

emailGoogle Gmail now provides over 7.5gb of inbox space, and it’s growing all of the time. This is generally going to be more than adequate for most people, even with hundreds of thousands of emails. However, as there’s a growing trend for forwarding on funny video clips, large image files or high resolution photographs, you may find that you’re getting closer and closer to your limit.

Rather than waiting until you hit or near your message limit, why not be pro-active and clear out some of the old messages, attachments and general junk you’ve accumulated over the years. Follow some of these quick and easy steps and you’ll soon trim your gmail account.

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Closing Google Accounts

It’s really quite simple to close Google Accounts – but they don’t make it abundantly clear how to do so.

Google offers many services and products, mostly free of charge, to web surfers all around the world via Internet. The most popular and most famous is definitely Gmail. Other services include Alerts, Blogger, Calendar, Docs, Groups, YouTube, Web History, iGoogle, Checkout, Analytics, AdSense and AdWords.

If you no longer want to use any or all of the Google services, you can delete and remove and delete any number of Google services from your Google Account. Or if you wish, user can delete and close Google Account completely, together with all services and information that associated with the Google Account.

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How to undo “send” in Gmail

I didn’t realise it was possible to under a send action in Gmail until I read the Mashable article today on it. The full article can be read HERE. But a quick summary for easy reference is as follows:

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Another good plugin: Google Analyticator

Here’s another good plugin that I’ve come across, installed and already have found it to be a very useful addition: Google Analyticator. It’s an incredibly useful plugin for WordPress, especially if you’re trialling different themes, building multiple blogs or managing multiple sites. It does all the hard work or you of adding the necessary code so that Google Analytics can start tracking your site. It also ncludes a handy dashboard feature for displaying visitor and site stats right there on your blog’s dashboard. Of particular interest to me is the ability of hiding Administrator visits from the stats to give a truer representation of visitor numbers – and there are a host of other features that build on this invaluable Google tool.

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