1) Some Steps to Prep for Google's Mobile Search Change. On April 21, Google changed the algorithm for its mobile search, placing websites that are deemed "mobile friendly" higher in mobile search rankings. For companies getting started, here are some things they should focus on. (1) Figure out how your website fits in being optimized for mobile devices by taking Google's Mobile-Friendly Test at: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/?utm_source=wmc-blog&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=mobile-friendly. Simply drop in your url and hit "Analyze" for the results. (2) If the Mobile-Friendly Test shows that you have some work to do, follow the link to Pagespeed Insights. This page shows what needs to be fixed on a website, and tips on how to fix them. The pagespeed analysis has suggestions for making your web pages load faster. (3) If you run your site, you can use Google's Webmaster Tools to check your site using the company's Mobile Usability Report for its own set of update recommendations. You can use the tool to diagnose and fix errors for specific pages and improve their search performance and relevance. (4) If you're making changes to your site, you need to test it – a lot. Test it repeatedly and from different kinds of devices – a desktop, and variety of smartphones and tablets.
2) Google Allows Users to Download Their Search History. Google users can now download their entire Web search history to a desktop, according to instructions posted on the company's support site. The ability for individuals to download all of the data at once was released in January. You can do it in four steps: (1) Go to your Google Web history. You will need to log-in to your account. (2) Click the gear icon on the top right corner and select "download." (3) A box will pop up that warns users that the data contains sensitive information and it's important to store it securely. Download the information, by hitting"create archive." (4) You'll get an email confirmation that includes a link to the data. Everything is stored in your Google Drive in "Takeout folders," which can be downloaded to a desktop. Please note: downloading a user's Google search history does not delete it. If an individual wants to delete his or her Web search history, Google offers steps on its support site to control what is saved.
3) Affordable Care Act Penalties Start This Year. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains a lightning rod for political and legal challenges. This year will be no exception, as new requirements are coming on line. Beginning this year, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 4980H is requiring that certain “large employers” offer health coverage to their full-time employees or risk being subject to tax penalties. Two potential ones, called “play or pay” penalties, can be assessed if no coverage is offered; or if coverage is offered that is either unaffordable or does not provide minimum value. For 2015, employers must determine two critical factors: (a) whether they are a large employer; and (b) if coverage is required, how they can ensure that it is both affordable and provides minimum value. For 2015 only, employers with more than 50 but fewer than 100 employees will not be subject to either penalty under section 4980H, but will be subject to these penalties beginning in 2016. Business enterprises should evaluate ACA compliance requirements presently in place, and engage in business-planning analysis to explore how these requirements will affect IRS coverage mandate obligations. More important, business enterprises will benefit from understanding how large employers are defined and whether existing business structures present mitigation opportunities.