Google Announce New Tool Which Tests Your Website Mobile Friendliness and Page Speed.

Gone are the days where you have to navigate to 2 different websites in order to find out how quick and how mobile friendly your website is. Google have recently launched a new tool where users can enter their website address and get the page speed and mobile friendliness score all on the same page. The report is simply a combination of the page speed insights and the mobile friendly testing tool; Continue reading “Google Announce New Tool Which Tests Your Website Mobile Friendliness and Page Speed.”

Google’s Driverless Cars: Ford Penguin Anyone?

Google, Ford, Uber, Lyft and Volvo in the race to boost driverless cars

Driverless Cars image by Chombosan
Driverless cars image by Chombosan/Shutterstock.

Imagine it’s 2030. You walk up to your garage or parking space. Your car is a far cry from the ones your parents drove. It recognises you as its headlights make ‘eye contact’ with you, thanks to its optical technology. They used a key; yours unlocks the doors on ‘seeing’ you before you climb aboard. The car asks for your journey based on Google’s technology and takes you there. This, 14 years from now, could be the norm. At this moment, driverless cars are being developed by Google and the Ford Motor Company. Other partners in the coalition are Uber, Lyft, and Volvo. Continue reading “Google’s Driverless Cars: Ford Penguin Anyone?”

10 Great Google April Fools’ Day Gags

Net66’s look at ten of Google’s greatest April Fools’ Day announcements

Google. Much ado about Google. Google me the latest bus times. Choose Google Maps, choose a flashy Android smartphone, get me that Google Gulp from the fridge. Yes, we lied about the last one, Google Gulp was an April Fools’ Day gag from 2005 (more on that story later). Google has an extraordinary hold on our online lives and is proxy to many a business plan for SEO-related enterprises. Continue reading “10 Great Google April Fools’ Day Gags”

Google’s St Patrick’s Day Doodle for 2016

This year’s Google Doodle

Google have excelled themselves again with another fine doodle for St Patrick’s Day. This year’s doodle is more minimalist than last year’s (which had six dancing four leaf clovers).

This year’s effort sees the Google logo eschewing its usual four colours. The green lowercase L changes to a bouncing clover, which jumps on the other five letters. Its usual blue, red and yellow letters turn to the green of St Patrick’s Day. Continue reading “Google’s St Patrick’s Day Doodle for 2016”

Lee Sedol versus Google: An ‘Aye’ for AI?

AlphaGo’s emphatic victory over human opponent

A completed Go board, though not a game between Lee Sedol.
Popular: Go, mastered by Lee Sedol and – as we have found this week – Google’s ActiveGo AI engine. 60 million people saw the clash in South Korea on Chinese and Korean televisions. Image by Saran Poroong/Shutterstock.

The battle between man and machine has been contested since the Industrial Revolution. In recent times, this has seen Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov at Chess in 1997. Over the last week, a similar contest has taken place between Lee Sedol and a Google AI robot at the Four Seasons hotel in Seoul, South Korea. This time with the Chinese board game of Go. Continue reading “Lee Sedol versus Google: An ‘Aye’ for AI?”

PageRank: Its Part in its Own Downfall

The end of an era as PageRank fades from public view

Google Toolbar PageRank Meter
The Way We Were: the Google PageRank toolbar. Image by the legendary SEO genius Danny Sullivan (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).


For nearly 16 years, Google’s PageRank has been, simultaneously, a help and a hindrance. It has created a cottage industry in its own right with search engine consultancies working on improving PageRank figures. This meant emphasising on link building and aiming to link with higher ranking pages. Sometimes at the expense of high-quality content and creating an audience for your website. Continue reading “PageRank: Its Part in its Own Downfall”

I’m Free With Google Hands Free

New hands free payment process tested in San Francisco

Imagine it’s a fair to middling day in central Manchester. You have just arrived at Piccadilly station after an irksome commute. You nip towards the coffee shop in the main concourse. Then you find there’s no change in your front pocket. Instead, you can pay from your smartphone, but they’ve brought this new-fangled system out, where the ‘phone can stay in your pocket. Luckily, you have an Android device and it works with… Google Hands Free. Happy days indeed! Continue reading “I’m Free With Google Hands Free”

AMP Sets to Speed Up Mobile Browsing

Introducing Accelerated Mobile Pages, a look at Google’s current framework for tablets and smartphones
On the 07 October 2015, Google introduced AMP. Also known as Accelerated Mobile Pages, it aims to reduce loading times on portable devices. Known on the Moz website as Diet HTML, pages load in a quarter of the time of standard web pages. With people viewing sites on mobile browsers likely to give up after 10 seconds wait, this framework placates the impatient. Continue reading “AMP Sets to Speed Up Mobile Browsing”

Google Maps’ Latest Travel Tools

Update sees addition of driving mode and tilt views

It’s hardly difficult to imagine a time before Google Maps. A trip to the supermarket meant being able to know which busy times to avoid. A trip from Manchester to Blackpool meant The AA Book of the Road as well as The A-Z (unless you caught the X60 bus from Chorlton Street). Over the last month, Google has added some splendid features to its online mapping tool. Among the things you could do on Google Maps includes the following activities seen below. Continue reading “Google Maps’ Latest Travel Tools”

Chrome Blitz on Insecure Websites

Google’s Chrome browser set to ‘shame’ sites without secure domain

Vintage chrome Chopper bike.
Secure, as in this chrome Chopper being tied to a cyclist’s post.


Web browsers, when kept to speed with the latest updates are made more secure, immune from the latest insecurities. This year, Google is set to go a step further. Through its Chrome browser, it intends to ‘shame’ websites that are hosted on a HTTP domain. Continue reading “Chrome Blitz on Insecure Websites”

RankBrain Explained: Google’s AI Based Algorithm

Could RankBrain be Google’s Ask Jeeves killer?

RankBrain Algorithm = Death of Ask Jeeves?
Could RankBrain be the algorithm that ruins Ask Jeeves? This enigmatic billboard photographed in San Francisco by John Trainor in 2007 could be poignant today. (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

Over the last four months, Google have been quietly working on a new artificial intelligence based algorithm. Known as RankBrain, it aims to settle pub arguments and revolutionise semantic search. As well as being able to search for ‘Dorking’, you can also ask Google, ‘How far from Dorking to London’. Continue reading “RankBrain Explained: Google’s AI Based Algorithm”

Google Search Location Filter Axed

Lack of demand cited as reason behind discontinuation

A low-tech version of Google's Search Location Filter.
A low-tech version of Google’s Search Location Filter. Not its successor, though its replacement is just as serviceable as placing a pin on a map.  This pin seems to be in Islington.

A useful yet underappreciated part of Google’s search tools has been axed with little protest this week.  The Google Search Location Filter allowed its users to filter results by location.  For example, browsers living in the United States were able to narrow results down to State level.  They could search for products and services within Detroit and narrow results down to businesses in Michigan. Continue reading “Google Search Location Filter Axed”

Google Algorithm Updates Through The Ages

From Google Dance to Penguin in fifteen years

Google Campus2 cropped
The Googleplex, as photographed in 2007. Image by Sebastian Bergman. (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).
In its seventeen year history, no other search engine has had the same cultural impact as Google. Not to mention numerous businesses like ours, whom have thrived on the back of Stanford’s greatest export. Like Tannoy and Hoover, its name has become a verb (as in “I need to google the nearest pizza place”). Continue reading “Google Algorithm Updates Through The Ages”

Net66 says: ‘Prepare for Penguin’

Only 24 indexing days till Christmas – and 31 till 2016

King Penguin Chick at Salisbury Plain
Stand out from the crowd: we at Net66 have proven success with whatever algorithm Google sends our way, from the Florida Update up to Penguin.

Winter has come to Manchester courtesy of Storm Clodagh.  For December, it is usually colder in these parts, but the weather has been more autumnal.  This apart from 80 mph winds in nearby Rochdale and Denton and heavy rain throughout the UK.  At this moment, too warm for seeing penguins in Albert Square, yet Olaf and Elsa managed to appear in Stalybridge (but that was for a Christmas lights switch-on). Continue reading “Net66 says: ‘Prepare for Penguin’”

Net66: Typically Irish Google Doodle for St Patricks Day

As we all know Google LOVES making Doodles. None more so for special occasions and what a special occasion it is today.

Today, if you’re unaware, is St Patrick’s Day. St Patrick is the best know Patron Saint of Ireland and observations are held every year on the anniversary of his death to remember him. Or, if you’re a more modern observer of St Patrick’s Day, to make everything Green and drink Guiness until you’re…well, green.

Google are celebrating a bit more conservatively than the vast majority of people and has published an animated .gif of 6 little four leaf clovers having themselves a merry little jig. Continue reading “Net66: Typically Irish Google Doodle for St Patricks Day”

Net66: Google Releases Annual “A Year In Search Video” Check Out These Trends

Google has taken a look at the past years search and put together a nifty little web page and video looking at all of the search trends in 2014.

One of the trends Google focused on was Sport. And what a year for sport it has been. There’s been the World Cup, the Sochi Games, La Decima and more.

In fact one of the questions that trended most in 2014 was “What is La Decima?”, which is, of course, the 10th European Cup/Uefa Champions League Cup for Real Madrid. They finally won their 10th trophy with the last one coming in the 2001/02 season over 10 years ago.

Off the topic of Sport there were the more serious trending topics such as ebola and the Malaysian Airlines plane that vanished into thin air.

Ebola caused the 5th highest spike in search traffic in October this year, despite initial reports of Ebola all the way back in March. This coincided with the virus’ first appearance in Spain and most likely had the whole of Europe searching on the topic. Continue reading “Net66: Google Releases Annual “A Year In Search Video” Check Out These Trends”

Net66: Google Releases Festive Search Bars

Google LOVES a doodle, and this year it looks like they’re not letting the chance to throw one out there get away. They’ve already released a feature rich Santa Tracker, and now they’ve updated their search bars for queries relating to Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah (Chanukkah).

These bars are triggered when either of the seasons festivals are included in a search string. Check them out below of search for yourself. [Christmas] [Hanukkah] [Kwanzaa] Continue reading “Net66: Google Releases Festive Search Bars”