Google’s 'mobilegeddon'

Google on mobile

If your business depends on people finding your website, then this will be an anxious day for you.

Google is making changes to the way its search engine ranks sites, and that could send some hurtling down the rankings.

Of course, the company tweaks its algorithm on a daily basis as it battles with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) specialists who try to game the system on behalf of their clients.

But this is a big change - dubbed "mobilegeddon" by some - designed to favour sites that are optimised for the mobile internet.

Google gave plenty of warning, telling developers about the change in a blog post in February and providing a simple tool to check whether sites were mobile friendly.

'No earthquake'

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Is Google a fading force?

Searching on Google

So here's a funny thing. The day after the EU accuses Google of abusing its dominance of the search market, new figures are published showing it's not quite so dominant after all.

Comscore reveals that Microsoft's Bing now has 20% of the desktop search market, Yahoo, which has a search alliance with Microsoft, has nearly 13%, and Google has a measly 64%.

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Maaxi - will we care for sharing?

Black cab

Want an argument with a London taxi driver? Just use the word Uber and you can guarantee the air will turn blue with complaints about unfair competition and the failure of Transport for London to sort it out. But now the controversial Californian car service is facing new competition from an app which the black cab drivers won't be bad mouthing.

That's because Maaxi's strategy is all about giving taxi drivers a better chance of competing with Uber. Its key idea is to use its technology to let customers share a black cab. I shared a ride with the firm's chief executive Gabi Campos and he explained that customers could potentially pay even less than Uber charges. "If you get four people in a cab that can get you close to the rate people pay for public transport," he said.

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How far can a government police internet porn?

Keyboard button on computer says "Adults only"

The other day I asked whether technology would be an issue at the general election - and concluded that it almost certainly would not.

Well, within a couple of days I was proved wrong. The Conservatives came up with a plan which could involve major changes in the way the internet is regulated.

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The British tech companies at the top of their game

Midoki employee works on screenshot of Plunder Pirates

What connects a Victorian house in Leamington Spa with an ugly 1970s office block off London's Old Street roundabout? Each is home to an innovative games studio whose success tells the story of a British industry confident that it can beat the world.

I visited the two companies for Radio 4's World At One, which is marking its 50th anniversary by celebrating some great British success stories.

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Will it be a tech election?

Martha Lane Fox

It's among the most important issues in the upcoming election, up there with the economy, immigration and the NHS. Or at least it should be - according to Baroness Martha Lane Fox. She believes debate should be raging over the coming weeks about the role the internet can play in the UK. But is she just whistling in the wind?

In her passionate and witty Dimbleby lecture last night, the web entrepreneur and digital evangelist outlined her plan for our country to become "the most digital, most connected, most skilled, most informed on the planet". She laid into politicians, company bosses and the media for failing to understand the importance of digital technology.

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Meerkat v Periscope: Who will win the live-streaming video battle?

A live-stream demonstration of Meerkat
A live-stream demonstration of the Meerkat app

For the last couple of weeks the hot new thing in tech - or at least the most talked about at the SXSW music and tech festival in Texas - has been a live-streaming video service called Meerkat.

Now Twitter, which just days ago acted to prevent Meerkat tapping into its own users quite so easily, has launched a rival service called Periscope. Battle has been joined and there's unlikely to be more than one winner.

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Glittering spires and silicon roundabouts

Gate of St John's College, Cambridge

Good news in the last 24 hours about two UK tech firms. Both are clever software businesses based in London but in each case the founders studied in Cambridge. A sign perhaps, that Cambridge knowhow and London's marketing skills are combining to good effect.

The first is Improbable, a business founded by a group of Cambridge computer scientists which creates virtual environments for use in everything from gaming to high finance. "We are building the operating system for simulated worlds," is how its chief executive Herman Narula describes its mission to me.

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Registered to vote? Computer says no…

Casting a vote

This May, technology could have quite an impact on the way the general election is conducted.

No, we are not about to try online voting - that's a long way off - but millions of people will have registered to vote by going online. The government's revamped website now allows you to register. But could mixed messages and a lack of joined up thinking between central and local government cause confusion?

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Will British consumers follow Microsoft's Band?

In recent days, I've been looking like a walking - or sometimes jogging - advert for wearable technology.

On one wrist I've been wearing a smart watch, the Moto 360, on the other a fitness tracker, the Nike FuelBand - plus a device which supposedly combines the best of both in one package.

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