Google to punish bad mobile redirects, retire Chrome Frame

Good news (unless you’re a website being penalized): Google’s announced changes in rankings of smartphone search results. In general, this addresses those annoying “Hi, I’m a server!” sites that see you’re on a smartphone and bounce you to the site’s mobile homepage instead of the mobile version of the deep link you were actually looking for. If nothing else, this is a testament to how important the mobile web has become and why every web developer needs to build with smartphones in mind.

I suppose, in light of that fact, that Google’s other recent announcement that Chrome Frame will be retired in January 2014 shouldn’t surprise me. This is actually a bit of a blow for those of us developers (i.e., almost everyone) who still need to keep old Windows XP computers which rely on IE7 and 8 in mind. Chrome Frame has been an integral part of HTML5 Boilerplate for exactly that reason, and with it gone, we’ll have to resort to either conditional comments or just outright telling them to install a modern browser instead. (If you have to ask why we don’t just standardize on IE8-compatible HTML and CSS, it’s the same reason professional basketball players don’t standardize on Converse All-Stars.)

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