What Webmasters Should Know About Google’s “Core Updates”

Google is pushing some “core updates” which they describe as “significant, broad changes to our search algorithms and systems”. Their advice to users should their site drop in rankings?

Focus on content

…pages that drop after a core update don’t have anything wrong to fix. This said, we understand those who do less well after a core update change may still feel they need to do something. We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.

Be sure to check out the full post for additional advice.

Google Fonts Is Adding Font-display

This is big news—it means developers now have more control over Google Fonts web font loading behavior. We can enforce instant rendering of fallback text (when using font-display: swap) rather than relying on the browser default behavior of invisible text for up to 3 seconds while the web font request is in-flight.

Zach Leatherman breaks down the basics of Google Fonts recent support for font-display. There are still some drawbacks, but it’s a definite improvment.

Dark Mode Support in WebKit

With the introduction of Dark Mode in macOS Mojave last year, web developers have been asking for support in Safari to style web content that matches the system appearance. With the Safari 12.1 update in macOS 10.14.4, dark mode support in WebKit has arrived.

Only available in Safari 12.1 so far, but worth getting up to speed on the basics.

Teenager’s UX: Designing for Teens

The Nielsen Norman Group performed a study of teenagers and how they use the web. Some interesting notes:

  • Teenagers dislike tiny font sizes as much as adults do
  • Make sure your site loads quickly. Slow, sluggish sites are frustrating to anybody, but they’re especially offensive to young audiences who expect instant gratification.
  • All of the teenagers in our most recent study had mobile devices, but not all had laptops or computers. Therefore, teens are often viewing your content from the palm of their hand.
  • Teens often work on touch-enabled devices, making interactions that require precision — such as dropdown menus, drag-and-drop, and small buttons — difficult. Design elements such as rollover effects and small click zones are also problematic, if they’re usable at all.
  • Teens’ overconfidence combined with their developing cognitive abilities means they often give up quickly and blame the website’s design. They don’t blame themselves, they blame you.