Google to Begin Using Mobile Site Speed Consideration as a Ranking Factor

ClintonFitch.com Mobile Site

Google has informed webmasters via a blog post that an upcoming changing the Google Search algorithm will take mobile site speed into consideration for page ranking.  Referring to it as the “Speed Update”, starting in July 2018, sites that have slow response times will have that factored into their overall search results within Google Search.

The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page.

However, mobile site speed is not the only consideration in page ranking nor will it be the only factor come July.

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Google Home Down to $79 at The Google Store

Google Home

Of all of my Google devices, Google Home is quickly becoming my favorite.  I use it for everything from catching up on the morning news, listening to music or podcasts, and getting information with a simply command.  With Google Assistant built-in and Google continually adding functionality, we are only now seeing the tip of the iceberg of what Google Home could be doing for us and our smart homes in the future.

Normally Google Home is $129 but through the month of December, at the Google Store, you can pick one up for $79.  That $50 savings would effectively let you buy a Google Home Mini (nearly two in fact) so you can have Google Assistant available to you in multiple rooms in your home.  The Home Mini is down to just $29 right now at the Google Store.

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IDC Pegs Android Market Share at 85% Globally for Q1 2017

Android N on The Nexus 6

Analyst firm IDC has released their Smartphone OS Market Share report for the first quarter of 2017 and its all looking good for Android.  The report looks at smartphone unit shipments to base the figures and Android for the quarter was on 85% of all units shipped.  That’s up from the 81.4% of the previous quarter (Q4 2016) but still 2.6% below the high water mark of 87.6% in Q2 2016.

The gains for Android came at the expense of Apple’s iOS.  Unit shipments for iPhones dropped to 14.7%, down some 3.5% from Q4 2016, which happened to be the height of its shipments at 18.2%.  The only other mobile platform that was mentioned was Windows Phone in the report.  That all-but dead platform now accounts for .1% of smartphone units sold.

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Latest Google Photos Update Removes Backup While Charging Feature

Google Photos Backup Options

In the latest update to Google Photos for both Android and iOS, the ability to backup photos while charging your phone has been removed.  It is unclear as to why the feature was removed but in version 2.17 for Android and 2.18 for iOS, the feature is gone.  You can still limit the app to only backup when you are on WiFi networks as well as if you want to backup while roaming.

Google Photos remains one of the most popular Google apps with over 1 billion users of the service and over 500 million active monthly users.

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Google Maps Enabling Trip and Real Time Location Sharing

Google Maps Parking Information

Google Maps is in the process or rolling out a location sharing feature that you may actually want to use.  Location Sharing is something that has been a bit spotty for both Android and iOS with Apple probably having it figured out best with Find My Friends.  But, as is usually the case with Apple, it is only for fellow iOS users.  That is why this new feature in Google Maps is so exciting.  It works cross platform between Android and iOS.

In a nutshell, here is how it works.  When the feature rolls out to you, there will be a Share Location feature in the menu.  Tap it then select the contacts you want to see your location in real time.  You can set it up to share your location in real time for a set amount of time or until you turn the feature off.  Once you start sharing, your selected contacts will get a notification on their phone and when they open up Google Maps, they will be able to see where you are in real time.

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Android Accounts for 81.7% of all Smartphones Sold at The End of 2016

Android Nougat

Gartner has released their quarterly smartphone sales report and it is solid news for both Android and iOS.  In the report, the analyst company states that Android accounted for 81.7% of all smartphones solid in Q4 of last year.  If you add that to the 17.7% for iOS, these two platforms account for 98.4% of all smartphone sales.  It is a staggering number and it goes a long way in explaining why the Microsoft’s and Blackberry’s of the world have all-but killed their own Operating Systems on mobile devices.

The report goes on to say that Apple has surpassed Samsung as the top selling brand globally in the final quarter of the year.

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Today’s Deal – Anker 5-Port USB Charger with Quick Charge 3.0 Support

Anker 5-Port USB Charger

Today’s Deal is on the Anker 5-Port USB Wall Charger.  This 63W unit has two ports that support Quick Charge 3.0 technology for rapid charging of compatible devices.  Today you can pick it up for $29.99, a saving of 60% off the regular $60 price.  Anker is one of the long time manufacture of accessories for Android and iOS and I never hesitate in recommending their products.  This particular accessory I have (albeit the Quick Charge 2.0 model from last year) and it is rock solid and used every day for the myriad of devices I have plugged into it at any given point in time.

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