Google have stepped up their campaign to cultivate a mobile-friendly web, with the launch of a new Mobile Friendly Test tool. The feature can be found in the mobile usability report section of Google Search Console.
Google’s existing Mobile Friendly Test tool will still be available in the short term, whilst the new version is refined in live production.
Features of the new Mobile Friendly Test include a smartphone display preview, links to useful forums and resources, and mobile compatibility issue alerts.
All websites needs to be mobile-friendly, and almost every online marketer wants their(/their client’s) site to rank well in Google searches from mobile devices. We cannot imagine two finer reasons to try out Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
You can try entering any URL into the new tool here. Any mobile compatibility issues flagged by the tool are likely to be factored into the site’s Google rankings for mobile searches, so we would strongly recommend getting straight in touch with your developers to discuss solutions to the problems uncovered.
The option to enter any URL means this tool is also handy for competitor analysis. If nothing else, it’s gratifying to see where your competitors are slipping up!
The increasing importance of mobile friendliness
Google have been ringing in the changes for several years: mobile is now a top priority for every website, and it’s here to stay.
The ‘mobilegeddon’ algorithm change of April 2015 enshrined the importance of mobile compatibility in the very workings of the world-leading search engine, and many expect the weighting of mobile friendly factors to steadily increase through future iterations of the Google algorithm.
That’s extremely important, because for the vast majority of websites, mobile users account for a significant minority share of search traffic (in some cases, mobile users actually form the majority). Effectively, resisting the movement towards mobile would likely cost the average website portions of their search traffic, chunk-by-chunk, with every algorithm update.
Where to start?
For businesses who haven’t even considered mobile friendliness yet, this must all sound terrifying. Thankfully, mobile friendly responsive design is now the industry standard for web developers, which means a redesign of your website shouldn’t be too difficult or expensive to commission.
If you’d like to learn more about the subject of mobile friendliness before you act, have a listen to our podcast How google mobile ready is your website.