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Size Does Matter! Google Says Small & Narrow is Best!

It seems that Google likes to roll out new tools to help webmasters without really saying why. So, when Google launches a new tool that helps you determine if your web page is too wide or long for most browser sizes, you have to wonder: will the dimensions of your web site become the next variable added to Google’s algorithm?

It’s not out of the realm of possibility, when you consider that the speed of your site will soon be a factor in determining your Google ranking.

Whether I’m reaching here–or close to home–I don’t know. What I do know is that Google wants YOU to be aware of how many Google users don’t get to see all of your web content at first glance.

Browser Size is cute, ugly, and useful. It’s best to just show you:

As you can see, Trackur.com fits within the entire web browser of only 20% of all users, but our call to action gets seen by 90-95%–without any scrolling needed. You’d think that the tool would have cleaner lines, but I suspect the “kids crayon” interface is designed to not look too sinister and official–so you don’t suspect it will become part of Google’s algorithm. ;-)

Go and check your own web site and let me know how you fair.

PS. Keep in mind that if you use a floating width/margin, you should re-size your own browser to lose the white space either side of your main content.

  • http://www.crossingmarketingandit.com Elmer Boutin

    Andy, thanks for the tipoff on this new tool. I talk about screen resolution and window sizes quite a bit. This is a great visual tool for showing what might be happening at the customer’s end.
    .-= Elmer Boutin´s last blog ..“What Matters Now” – an Ebook by Seth Godin =-.

  • sheppy

    Good indication but largely misleading as it it’s a generalisation of your own web users which varies from site to site. I manage sites in 4 different content verticals, and browsers and screen resolutions vary wildly between them.

  • http://johnsantangelo.me John Santangelo

    Make sure to disable any anti-framejacking js on your site (if you have any enabled) first or it won’t work.

  • http://www.tannersite.com Tanner Christensen

    Brilliant, and helpful too!

    Designers really need to start focusing on fluid designs more and more, especially with the rising popularity of mobile browsers and netbooks.

  • http://www.go-beyond-mls.com/ Vlad

    I find the information about the screen resolutions of your visitors is quiet interesting. Most of the analytic tools have been providing this info for quiet some time, including Google Analytics. I am always amazed to see how many people are still have 800×600 resolution screens…. I wish Google would give away new computers to all those who access Internet with that resolution

    However the idea Google will punish me for some my site being too big for a 800×600 screens seems to be over the top. But with Google you never know….
    .-= Vlad´s last blog ..Let Dane Morgan Write Your Next Blog Post! =-.

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    How is this even logical? What about centered websites?
    .-= Jaan Kanellis´s last blog ..Google Living Stories? =-.

  • http://www.gigathoughts.com Amit Desai

    i have got my blog evaluated using Google’s browsing service and it has helped me identify certain critical areas where i can improve my visitor expereince and also help promoter important areas of my blog in much better way. you can see the complete analysis here http://www.gigathoughts.com/technology/google-labs-introduces-browser-size-tool-to-visually-evaluate-your-site-content.html

  • Laurent

    As someone else pointed out, it doesn’t work for centered websites…

  • http://www.rypmarketing.com Adam Thompson

    Yeh, it’s pretty useless for centered websites (that’s a lot of sites!) unless you manually adjust your browser window width to equal the width of your design.

  • http://thephantomwriters.com Bill Platt

    50% can see my whole page… 80% can see most of my copy… 100% can see the call-to-action, because it is on far left…

    The tool is not entirely accurate, because my site is formatted on relative rather than fixed width.