Tag Archives: mobile web

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Now You Can Find ‘Style Ideas’ With Google Image Search by @MattGSouthern

Google has introduced a new feature called “style ideas” for image searches on the mobile web.

The post Now You Can Find ‘Style Ideas’ With Google Image Search by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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How speed affects your site’s performance [infographic]

Site speed is an important factor for SEO and conversion, but do we really understand its impact?

There is increased online competition and a decreased attention span that makes it hard for a site to convert visits into sales, or even to increase traffic.

Site speed can significantly affect a user’s decision on whether a visit to a page should be prolonged (or repeated) and this cannot be overlooked by any site owner.

In fact, a page’s load time affects several key areas:

Sales

It’s no surprise that 79% of customers are less likely to buy again from a site that lacks a speed optimised performance. As everything gets faster, you cannot afford to stay still.

Mobile experience

Mobile experience is highly linked with site speed as this is among the most important factors that affect the length of a visit. 64% of smartphone users expect a page to load in less than four seconds and if your page fails to do so, you might need to optimise it.

User experience (UX)

Customer experience and mobile experience are relevant to the user experience and what a visitor thinks of your site’s performance. A page that loads in 10 seconds has fewer chances to be visited again, comparing to a page that loads in just 2 seconds.

Revenue

If your site’s speed affects your page’s sales, then it also affects your revenue. It’s interesting to note that 40% of people will abandon your website if it loads in more than three seconds.

SEO

Page speed affects the traffic to your site and even a one-second delay in page load can result in 11% loss of page views. Moreover, the introduction of AMP is another proof of Google’s focus on site speed and although it’s still early to draw conclusions, users seem to enjoy the feature when it’s available in search results.

Conversion

Conversion is also affected by a site’s speed and even a one-second delay can reduce conversions by 7%.

Quick tips to improve your site’s speed

  • Test your current speed
  • Measure mobile performance
  • Monitor analytics for customer behaviour
  • Reduce heavy images and scripts
  • Remove unnecessary plugins
  • Avoid CSS files

Skilled.co created an infographic that provides an overview of 12 case studies which prove why site speed matters.

Here are some examples that may convince you to optimise your page’s load time.

 

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Three reasons you might not need Google AMP after all

Mobile devices currently account for more than half of all internet use on a global level, and yet, many websites are still not mobile-friendly.

Even those that are designed to look good on smaller screens still run the risk of loading slowly as a result of poor image optimization or heavy reliance on JavaScript and other large files.

Smartphones have less powerful hardware and network connections than desktop and laptop devices, and Google wants to be sure that the websites they refer people to meet user expectations.

The data shows that 40% of people abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load. AMP, which is short for Accelerated Mobile Pages, is Google’s answer.

How does AMP work?

AMP works by limiting the types of elements that web publishers can use, to ensure the pages can be downloaded and displayed quickly. Google’s servers then cache the web’s AMP-powered pages, and they pre-render in the background while people are still perusing their search results, to further help minimize page rendering times.

Using this protocol, pages cannot become too bloated with tracking scripts and ads. By controlling the amount of JavaScript and only allowing limited HTML and CSS, Google says they can load websites up to 85% faster.

Do you actually need AMP?

What Google won’t tell you, of course, is that you may not actually need AMP to maximize your site’s speed. The company has too much riding on the success of the AMP initiative to admit that it’s redundant – at best – in many situations.

In fact, if you’ve already been doing everything you can to improve your site’s mobile loading speed, then implementing AMP may involve more disadvantages for you than advantages.

Does your site have a lot of pages that aren’t articles? Do you depend on third-party tools for lead capture or audience tracking? Do you monetize your site using an ad engine that isn’t among the relatively few supported by AMP?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then when it comes to maximizing speed, you’re probably better off using your own knowhow and infrastructure, as opposed to Google’s. There are even mobile-oriented website building tools, such as Duda, that can do everything AMP does, but without many of the disadvantages.

Here are three situations in which AMP isn’t for you:

1) You’re already using a content delivery network (CDN)

When you use a CDN to host your image files and other content, your audience queries are routed to the networked server that’s physically closest to each site visitor.

Many CDNs also use smart file caching rules, sophisticated session routing optimization algorithms, purging of unused files and built-in image compression to minimize load times. This is extremely effective for speeding sites up, in many cases reducing latency by up to 50%.

Even if you don’t feel the need to invest in a CDN, though, there’s a lot you can do on your own to minimize the bandwidth demands of your images and code.

You can implement “lazy loading,” or deferred loading of images, so that your audience can begin reading your content before each image appears on the page. In addition, tools like CompressJPEG or CompressPNG can dramatically reduce your image file sizes.

With these solutions in place, you can feel good about sidestepping AMP.

2) You’ve already adjusted the code on the mobile version of your site

Mobile-friendliness is about much more than designing for smaller screens. One of the ways AMP minimizes page load times is by disabling plugins and other JavaScript assets. This ensures that there isn’t much code that needs to download to the visitor’s web browser before the page is viewable.

But you don’t need AMP to disable your most sluggish mobile-unfriendly plugins and other JavaScript-powered components.

If you’re working in WordPress, then this isn’t actually so hard to set up. All you need to do is adjust your theme’s functions.php file to include some “dequeue” commands by adding a code snippet along the lines of:

if(wp_is_mobile()){

wp_dequeue_script( ‘cufon_handle’ );

}

This particular function will determine if the visitor is on a mobile device, and if so, will disable the Cufon plugin, a useful font replacement tool.

Add additional versions of this code to account for all the plugins and scripts you want to disable. Keep in mind, though, that in order to dequeue a script, it must first be enqueued. If it is not, this solution will have no effect.

3) Your site’s mobile version only has a single CSS reference

Style sheets, as powered by CSS files, are generally relatively small, but if you have several of them, then your audience’s devices will need to query your servers for each one separately.

Often, it’s the query volume, rather than the weight of the files, that can slow down content loads.

The solution is to consolidate all of your style sheets into one master CSS resource. To get started with this, set your website code to reference an external CSS file called from your CDN, rather than placing the CSS in-line through all the pages on the website. Then, use a tool like CSS Minify to clean up your CSS file before hosting it on your CDN.

In this sense, CSS files are similar to images. They should be consolidated, compressed, minified and hosted via a CDN. With all this in place, you’ll kill code bloat and unlock faster load times, once again negating the need for AMP.

To AMP or Not to AMP?

If you’re already doing everything you can to reduce the number and sizes of resources required to load your content, then your pages might be as fast as they ever will be.

However, speed isn’t to be taken too lightly. As long ago as 2012 – before the dominance of the mobile web, mind you – Amazon estimated that each second of added load time per page costs the ecommerce giant some $1.6 billion in annual sales.

If you’re struggling to get your page load times down to within four or so seconds, which is where it should be for the optimal user experience, then you may want to consider using AMP.

At this time, Google doesn’t officially consider AMP implementations to be a ranking signal, although some websites have started to see lower click-through rates since AMP pages have started aggregating in mobile SERPs. Carefully consider the costs and benefits of using AMP for mobile speed before you dive in – you may be giving up more than you need to.

Publishers are struggling with AMP page monetization

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) initiative has gained significant traction in the past 12 months, and high-profile publishers such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Hearst are among the many companies that have adopted AMP.

According to a DoubleClick study conducted earlier this year that looked at various performance metrics of AMP pages across 150 publisher sites, the majority of publishers using AMP saw increased eCPMs.

But now, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that many publishers using AMP are seeing their AMP pages generate substantially less revenue than their non-AMP mobile pages. According to the Journal, “Multiple publishers said an AMP pageview currently generates around half as much revenue as a pageview on their full mobile websites.”

One of the reasons for the lower revenue is likely that while AMP supports around 75 different ad providers, including many of the largest, there are fewer types of ad units available.

“AMP pages rely heavily on standardized banner ad units, and don’t allow publishers to sell highly-customized ad units, sponsorships or pop-up ads as they might on their own properties,” The Wall Street Journal’s Jack Marshall explained.

Those ad units that AMP doesn’t support might make it easier for publishers to maximize their revenue, but some of them, particularly pop-ups, are the very ad units that degrade user experience.

For now, Google is satisfied with AMP’s ad capabilities and Richard Gingras, Google’s VP of news, suggests that some publishers are seeing lower ad revenue on their AMP pages because they’re not taking full advantage of AMP’s ad capabilities. That said, he acknowledged that AMP is in its early stages.

“We want to drive the ecosystem forward, but obviously these things don’t happen overnight,” Gringas stated. “The objective of AMP is to have it drive more revenue for publishers than non-AMP pages. We’re not there yet.”

AMP is probably the future, regardless of revenue considerations

Despite the fact that Google is aware that some publishers adopting AMP are generating less revenue as a result, it will likely have time to improve AMP’s capabilities. That’s because publishers by and large seem prepared to stick by AMP, even if it’s costing them money in the short term.

One reason for this is that AMP traffic is growing. According to CNN chief product officer Alex Wellen, 20% of CNN’s search traffic now goes to the news outlet’s AMP pages, and AMP traffic has increased by 80% in the past two months.

The other reason publishers are giving AMP the benefit of the doubt is that they strongly suspect Google will favor AMP pages in a big way going forward. As one publisher put it, “Publishers who are not using AMP will probably be penalized.”

Even if that doesn’t come to pass, the expectation that Google will increasingly favor AMP pages over non-AMP pages will probably remain a powerful motivator for publishers to adopt it regardless of revenue considerations.

Google Displays More Images In Mobile Web Results

A few weeks ago we reported that Google was showing many shopping images in the mobile web results. I personally was able to see them, but it is not just shopping...

Google and Progressive Web Apps: the mobile experience and SEO

What's the deal with Progressive Web Apps? Columnist Jim Yu explains this exciting new mobile web technology and discusses relevant SEO considerations. The post Google and Progressive Web Apps: the mobile experience and SEO appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Google: You Don’t Have To Rush Into Progression Web Apps (PWA)

PWAs, progressive web apps, is a Google protocol that helps make richer mobile web pages that act like mobile apps but they are not native iOS or Android apps. For the past few months...

Google warns it will crack down on “intrusive interstitials” in January

Google will reinforce its emphasis on the mobile search experience with a new penalty affecting "intrusive interstitials" on mobile web pages. The post Google warns it will crack down on “intrusive interstitials” in January appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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What’s Next in Search? by @annebot

As SEOs, we have to consider the WWW is not what we’re dealing with anymore. The immediate future of SEO lies in the mobile web and with local search.

The post What’s Next in Search? by @annebot appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

Android launcher and search engine Evie “reimagines” the mobile home screen

Company wants to offer a better home screen and help users get things done across apps and the mobile web more efficiently. The post Android launcher and search engine Evie “reimagines” the mobile home screen appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.