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Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 308

by JohnFen (#49523635) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

Their criteria is not "has a mobile site", their criteria is "site doesn't look like shit when rendered on a mobile device".

No, that's not their criteria either. Their criteria is that the site has to adhere to a bunch of little things, like spacing between links, button sizes, etc. None of that has much to do with whether or not the page is shitty on a mobile device.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 308

by JohnFen (#49523493) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

The problem with G+, as I see it, is not it existing, but the way Google has tried to force everyone into using it. If they'd just offer it as an optional service, it'd be fine

That and the whole "real names" policy. I do believe that if Google hadn't tried forcing everyone into it, it would have been more popular.

But not with me. I used G+ for a while, but gave it up because of endless technical and usability problems.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 308

by JohnFen (#49523013) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

They shouldn't get to dictate how the web works but then you basically say don't like it don't use Google... I'm confused... are sites able to chose not to use Google? What sites gets most of their traffic from a different search engine?

He's saying that if your visitors are primarily coming from search engines, then your site can ignore what search engines want without harm because being downranked by them won't hurt you. Plenty of sites get most of their visitors from regular readers rather than from search engines.

Sites are able to choose not to use Google, by the way. It just takes a small edit to your robots.txt file to get Google to completely ignore your site.

What happens when those rules begin to stray from principals fewer people agree with? Google is more or less a monopoly.

I don't think google is a monopoly -- there are lots of other search engines who drive reasonable amounts of traffic. But they are certainly the Big Dog. Nonetheless, there is a three-way symbiotic relationship here. If Google pushes so hard that sites stop caring about their google rankings, then Google's relevance will fall. If enough people find Google to suck more than the alternatives, the Google's relevance will fall.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 308

by JohnFen (#49522943) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

Yes, I agree. Designers wanting complete control over the page appearance are a plague on the face of the web. Some of the blame goes to CSS as well -- at least the earlier versions of it -- as it made it extremely difficult to have multiple columns without also requiring a fixed page width.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 308

by JohnFen (#49520563) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

Let me backtrack a little. Not never. In the old days, websites handled this sort of thing very well -- the reflows they did were helpful and didn't break the user experience. Somewhere along the line, though, website stopped doing this well, so now reducing the window size often breaks the usability.

Slashdot has this problem, especially the beta (the last time I tried it, anyway).

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 2) 308

by JohnFen (#49520519) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

This also makes it better for desktop, because if you shrink your browser window down, the content resizes and relays out, and uses alternative layouts as appropriate.

This is precisely what has made me hate "responsive design". When I resize my browser window, I never want the website layout to change because of it.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 2) 308

by JohnFen (#49520487) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

The latter makes more sense and it doesn't leave mobile users forced to use crappy websites with most of the functionality (and often content) missing.

True, but it also means that the site is more painful to use on a desktop. I have developed an intense loathing for "responsive design" over time, as I usually read websites in a relatively small window, intentionally obscuring the parts of the site that I'm not interested in at the moment.

Sites that use "responsive design" interfere with doing that in a major way. Even worse, the "response" is often to reorganize the site in a way that effectively breaks it from a usability point of view. Slashdot itself is a good example of this.

Comment: Re:Unsurprisingly, no one bothered to read (Score 1) 308

by JohnFen (#49520299) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

on the assumption that people searching from mobile devices would prefer mobile content.

And that's the problem. This assumption is 100% wrong for a lot of people, including myself. This action by Google will degrade, not enhance, the quality of search results for me.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.

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