Google begins to roll out mobile-first indexing

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Google announced this morning its “mobile -first” indexing of the web is now starting to roll out, after a year and a half of testing and experimentation. Back in 2016, Google first detailed its plan to change the way its search index operates, explaining how its algorithms would eventually be shifted to use the mobile version of a website’s content to index its pages, as well as to understand its structured data and to show snippets from the site in the Google search results.

In December 2017, Google said it had begun to transition a small handful of sites to mobile-first indexing, but declined to say which properties had been made the move.

Mobile-first indexing means Google will use the mobile version of a web page “for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for,” the company writes in a blog post.

By “primarily mobile,” Google is referring to the fact that the majority of people who use Google search today now do so from mobile devices, and have done so since 2015.

Google also explains that it will have one index for search results, not a mobile-first index that’s separate from its main index. In other words, it will start to look to the mobile web pages to index the web, not the desktop version.

Mobile-friendliness has long been one of the many factors in determining how a site is ranked, but it’s not the only factor. For example, there are times when a non-mobile friendly page still has the best information and will appear higher, Google says.

However, Google has begun to prioritize mobile sites in several ways. For example, it began to boost the rank of mobile-friendly webpages on mobile search results back in 2015, and more recently said it was adding a signal that uses page speed to help determine a page’s mobile search ranking. Starting in July 2018, slow-loading content will be downranked.

While Google today claims the mobile-friendly indexing won’t directly impact how content is ranked, it does note that having a site’s mobile-friendly content indexed in this new fashion will likely help the site “perform better” in mobile search results.

Google isn’t shifting all sites over to the new mobile-first indexing today – just the first wave.

Specifically, Google selected those sites that are already following the best practices for mobile-first indexing, it says. And it will favor the mobile version of the webpage over its own fast-loading AMP pages.

Those sites who have been shifted will be notified via Search Console, says Google, and will begin see increased visits from the Smartphone Googlebot. After the shift, Google will show the mobile version of the site’s pages in its Search results and in the Google cached pages.

Google tells the webmasters of sites that are not yet mobile-optimized to not panic yet. “If you only have desktop content, you will continue to be represented in our index,” assures the Google announcement.

The company did not specify when the rollout of the mobile-first indexing would complete.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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HQ Trivia’s first sponsored games roll out this week from Nike and Warner Bros.

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HQ Trivia, the TV-style game show in an app, is starting to make money. The company this week is rolling out its first sponsored games, including a $ 3 million deal which includes sponsored games from Warner Bros., as well as a sponsored game from Nike, arriving today.

AdAge was the first to report on HQ Trivia’s deal with Warner Bros., which is using the popular live trivia app to promote three movies, beginning with Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One.”

According to the report – which HQ Trivia declined to comment on at the time – the overall deal with Warner Bros. is worth $ 3 million, and will include a $ 250,000 jackpot on a sponsored game that promotes “Ready Player One,” airing on Wednesday.

The jackpot would be the largest ever seen on the HQ Trivia app, AdAge noted. (HQ Trivia confirmed this is the case, in an email to TechCrunch.) The biggest jackpot the app had seen until now was the $ 50,000 prize from the game that aired on March 4, 2018, the night of the Academy Awards. The game also saw its peak audience that night, with 2.18 million people logged on at the same time, the company said.

On Sunday evening, Warner Bros. confirmed its sponsorship of a Wednesday HQ Trivia game in a tweet from the “Ready Player One” Twitter account:

Today, HQ Trivia teased another big name sponsor, Nike, in another tweet.

“HQ x Nike Airing 3.26,” is all the tweet said.

Nike confirmed to TechCrunch it will be hosting a surprise game today, on Air Max Day – Nike’s made-up shoe-celebrating holiday.

Nike’s game will offer a $ 100,000 prize pot, along with some sort “prize that money can’t buy” for 100 winners. While neither HQ Trivia nor Nike would provide more information on what that prize may be, folks on Twitter are speculating it’s some sort of special edition shoe to tie-in to Air Max Day.

The Nike game will be a separate, surprise game that airs in addition to its regular games, HQ Trivia tells TechCrunch. Typically, HQ Trivia runs games at 3 PM EDT on weekdays and 9 PM EDT every day.

These sponsored game launches are notable because they represent HQ Trivia’s first serious attempts at generating revenue. But they don’t come as a surprise.

The company has said for some time that it would collaborate with brands as a means of making money. For example, it told Variety in December that the focus with its brand deals would be on enhancing gameplay. And when HQ Trivia recently announced its $ 15 million round of funding, it again reiterated how it would work with brands to sponsor questions or provide bigger jackpots in the future, instead of just running ads.

However, with bigger jackpots, there comes a bigger risk of cheating – something that’s been an increasing concern thanks to the numerous bots that have been built to help people answer questions accurately.

In fact, HQ Trivia recently kicked the remaining players out of a $ 25,000 game, which it followed up by tweeting that moderators kick people out who violate its terms and contest rules. The company never officially confirmed what the players did, but the general consensus is that they were caught cheating.

The HQ Trivia app is a free download on both iOS and Android.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Google pauses roll out of latest Duo update (v30) due to call volume issue

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Google has paused the roll out of Duo update (version 30) due to bugs. Justin Uberti, who is creator/lead engineer at Google Duo, revealed this in a tweet yesterday, blaming low call volume problem for the step they took. Some Android users have reported low volume levels on calls with Google Duo v30. We’ve paused the rollout of v30 for now, and are in the process of rolling affected Android users back to v29.2. If you hit this issue, you can resolve by updating to the latest (v29.2) version.— Justin Uberti (@juberti) March 25, 2018 Google Duo v29.2, with a fix for the recently… – Latest articles

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Wirecutter’s best deals: The UE Roll 2 Bluetooth speaker drops to $50

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This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.
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Tip: quickly jump to the bottom of your Camera roll with this secret iPhone gesture in Photos

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If you keep many photos on your iPhone, chances are you do a lot of scrolling just to find that beautiful sunset shot among hundreds of vacation photos you took five years ago…. Read the rest of this post here

Tip: quickly jump to the bottom of your Camera roll with this secret iPhone gesture in Photos” is an article by
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Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ get first update in India as global roll out of the smartphones begin

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Samsung launched the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones in India last week. Now both the smartphones have received a new update that brings March 2018 Android security patch. It also brings improved stability to Face Unlock and camera for the Galaxy S9+ along with usual set of stability improvements and bug fixes for the phone. For me, the fingerprint sensor issue that doesn’t respond after sometime has been fixed with this update. Samsung has also started rolling out the smartphone globally in about 70 countries, including Korea, the U.S., Canada, China and all of Europe, and the company said that it will roll out to over 110 markets by the end of the month. The update has build number G960FXXU1ARC5 for the S9 and G965FXXU1ARC5 for the S9+ and is about 243MB in size. Users who get these smartphones today should get the update once they boot.
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A Chinese reporter’s frustrated eye roll goes viral in China and is censored

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Chinese reporter Liang Xiangyi eye-rolled during another reporter’s long-winded question at the National People’s Congress yesterday and the moment has gone viral. Many Chinese residents have created dozens of videos, GIFs, memes, and illustrations inspired by the scene, having identified with Liang’s frustration. (Since Liang dressed in blue and the other reporter dressed in red, the moment has also birthed blue and red memes.)

Chinese state-run media has responded by censoring the videos of the incident. Internet censors have also blocked searches for Liang Xiangyi’s name. It’s an unusual moment, considering the Congress is typically dry and uneventful.

During the National People’s Congress last night (Tuesday morning in Beijing time),…

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T-Mobile will roll out support for RCS Universal Profile in Q2

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Messaging can be confusing or downright aggravating these days. Google can’t seem to figure out what it wants to do, and there are tons of alternatives all with their own insular user bases. You might just end up sending a text message, but thankfully text messages will get better thanks to RCS. T-Mobile was quick to deploy RCS messaging on its network back in 2015, and many Tmo subscribers are already using it without realizing.

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T-Mobile will roll out support for RCS Universal Profile in Q2 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Rakuten will roll its $9B loyalty program into a new blockchain-based cryptocurrency, Rakuten Coin

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 Back in 2016, Amazon’s Japanese rival Rakuten acquired Bitnet, a bitcoin wallet startup that it had previously invested in, to help it work on blockchain technology and applications. Today, one of the first fruits of that deal has come to light. The company is planning a new cryptocurrency called Rakuten Coin — built on blockchain technology and the company’s existing… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Apple Pay Cash international roll out appears imminent as iOS users in Spain, Ireland see feature [U]

[Update: Users in Brazil have confirmed to us that they are also seeing the option for Apple Pay Cash.]

Ahead of launching in Brazil, which Tim Cook says is coming sometime this year, Apple Pay Cash appears to be rolling out to users in Ireland and Spain.