This week in web performance, Google clarified the new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm details, Facebook open-sourced its Augmented Traffic Control tool, and internet service providers filed lawsuits against the FCC to stop net neutrality.
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Google clarifies the Mobile-friendly algorithm details

The April 21st launch date for the new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm is approaching quickly, This week Google held a live Q&A hangout to provide more details about what we can expect.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • There are no degrees of mobile-friendliness; your page is either mobile-friendly or it isn’t. Google added that it will be the same with desktop search, and is not isolated to mobile searches.
  • The mobile-friendly ranking changes will affect your site on a page by page basis. So if half of your site’s pages are mobile-friendly, those half will benefit from the mobile friendly ranking changes. This is good news for anyone concerned that their site doesn’t make the cut, as they can focus on getting their main pages up to date first.
  • The new ranking algorithm will officially begin on April 21st. However, the algorithm runs in real-time, meaning you can start preparing your site for analysis now. It was said in the hangout that it may even take a week or so to completely roll out, so it’s not entirely clear how quick we can expect to see changes in site rankings.
  • Google News may not be ranked by the new mobile-friendly algorithm yet. Interestingly, the Google News ranking team has no plans on implementing the mobile-friendly algorithm into the Google News results.

So how do you know if your page is friendly? The easiest way to check if your page passes is by typing in your site’s URL here.

The most important criteria that need to be met by Googlebots are:

  • pages automatically sizing content to the screen
  • avoiding software that is uncommon on mobile devices
  • containing readable text without zooming
  • and placing links far enough apart to be selected easily

It’s important to note that a page may look perfect on your device, but may look completely different on your coworker’s phone. A few easy ways to start making your site mobile-friendly can be found in our responsive web design blog post. It’s also very important to note that there are over 200 different criteria used to rank your site, so it’s possible these changes may not affect your site very much.

Internet providers file lawsuits to reverse net neutrality laws

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USTelecom (who represents AT&T), Verizon, Alamo Broadband, and other companies, filed two separate lawsuits against the Federal Communications Commission in the US Court of Appeals this week. The companies want the FCC rules to be ignored and say the FCC acted outside of their authority, violating the companies’ constitutional rights. Both suits acknowledged the their challenges may be premature, but were filed nonetheless “out of an abundance of caution.” The FCC acknowledged the suits and believed that the petitions for review filed were “premature and subject to dismissal.”

 

Facebook to bring fast internet to the entire world by open sourcing its Augmented Traffic Toolconnected-world

This week, Facebook announced they would be making their custom built Augmented Traffic Control (ATC) tool open-source. Facebook developers have used the tool to simulate different types of network connections, including older 2G and Edge mobile data networks, and networks that frequently become disconnected. By testing how a site or app perform under these conditions , they are able to optimize their app performance in low connection areas around the world.

The tool started out as an open-source project itself, and now can continue to evolve, allowing developers around the world to use and improve it. Mark Zuckerberg recently spoke about Internet.org at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Spain. The not for profit is Facebook’s commitment to make the internet accessible to people in the developing world and wrote in his letter to potential investors, “we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”

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