I'm sure you've already heard, but today there are changes coming of biblical proportions. Wait, you didn't hear about Mobilegeddon? This is indeed the term being applied to a Google search algorithm update being applied today that will rank mobile-optimized sites higher in searches from phones. The big drama about this is that, well, Google is very powerful and changes to their ranking systems have a habit of being destructive to affected sites. Read More
Take a look at your phone. Open up the Google Experience launcher (the default one on Nexus devices), or if you're using Android 5.0 or later, tap the "Recents" button. Alternately, add the good old-fashioned Google search bar widget to your third-party homescreen. Now, take a look at the left side of the bar: do you see a Google logo? Is it grey, so as not to call attention to itself, or does it look like a spoonful of Froot Loops, like the Google web logo? Read More
When Google searching on a small screen, the part of the result that shows you a page URL isn't always very helpful. Anything but the top-level domain will probably be truncated. Especially within familiar sites, the mixture of page title and shortened URL may leave you unclear what part of the website you will navigate to once you click. Google is making a subtle change to clear things up. Let's jump straight to the example images:
Left: old way, right: new way
If you're not seeing it, look at the green text below the large blue text. Read More
I understand if you don't remember anything about app indexing. It's not a particularly sexy topic. Here's all you need to know for this post—developers who implement app indexing can have their apps show up when users perform relevant Google searches. Say, you're looking for a recipe, and you have an app installed that contains that recipe. Google will point you in that direction.
Before, this only worked with apps that you already had on your device. Read More
A fresh update to the Google App, formerly Google Search, just started rolling out. Don't get too excited yet, it looks like the only user-facing change today is that Nicknames has finally gone into wide release for the users that didn't already have it. The good news is that a quick teardown shows that Trusted Voice might be launching soon, possibly even with this version. There's also a new experiment in the works called Seamless Hotword. Read More
A variety of users have begun reporting problems with setting reminders using voice controls in the Google Search app, with the end result being an alarm rather than a reminder. This does not occur when entering the same command with the keyboard, so it would seem to be a server-side issue. Either way, you will want to look out for this bug if you tend to use voice commands for this purpose, because you may be in for a rude awakening - literally. Read More
The Google Search app plays host to quite a few features and capabilities we take for granted on our phones, especially for anybody that makes extensive use of Google Now and the Google Launcher. An update just started rolling out that brings the app up to v4.3, but there aren't any immediately obvious changes in this release, at least not from a user-facing perspective. It's likely that this release is preparing for the soon to be open Cards API that will allow developers to insert their own content into the Google Now stream. Read More
There are countless cocktail varieties out there and just as many ways to go about making them (one approach being to point at the menu when the waiter comes around). Going forward, folks looking to make their own won't even have to click a link to figure out a recipe. Google will start providing instructions right at the top of their search results.
The directions won't appear if you only search for the name of a cocktail. Read More
Google's search indexing is kind of a big deal - having a high spot in relevant searches for the world's biggest search engine can literally make or break a business. So if you don't want your site to lose its spot, you'd better make sure your website looks good when accessed from a mobile browser. Starting on April 21st, Google's search algorithm will incorporate whether or not a site is "mobile-friendly" when ranking its appearance in search results. Google announced the change on its Webmaster Central blog:
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
We often refer to it as Update Wednesday, but that's only because the majority of Google's app releases tend to roll out in the middle of the week. In fact, new versions can turn up just about any day. This week, it looks like Google started the festivities a little bit earlier with an update to Search 4.2. If you can't wait to get started, we've got download links down below.
We've done a side-by-side comparison, but there don't appear to be any special changes beyond a new location for the About screen in Settings. Read More