The Improved Google Mobile Friendly Test: Can You Pass?

In Mobile Testing by Dan Engel

Google is rolling out a new and improved version of its mobile friendly test, and if your website doesn’t pass the test, you will see your rankings slip, taking potential revenue along with it.

It’s easy to understand why Google is so devoted to mobile readiness. After all, every second there are over 30,000 Google searches originating from phones and tablets. And seizing on that mobile tsunami, Google’s pocketed a very healthy $15.3 billion in 2015 from mobile search with an astounding 30% YOY growth.

With potentially even more money at stake, it’s no wonder Google is rolling out the red carpet and treating mobile users like life-long friends. If you have a poor performing, less than mobile friendly website, Google has declared they will penalize and punish it, demoting it in the search rankings and potentially causing huge revenue losses. Ouch!

What Does the Google Mobile Friendly Test Actually Test?

Google mobile testing is now part of Google’s Search Console. To start, simply enter your website address in the Google Mobile Friendly Test, and Google will assess your website for five issues. Does your site:

  • Avoid software that fails to perform on mobile, like Flash
  • Use text that is readable without bothersome zooming
  • Fit content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally
  • Keep touch elements far enough apart so that the desired one can be easily tapped
  • Exclude popups that block out page content

Once the test is run, the updated test offers a mobile usability report, which details any issues and recommends steps you can take to remedy them.

We tested FIAT’s website on Google’s mobile friendly test, and FIAT passed with flying colors:

mobile-friendly test results

But Is It Friendly Enough?

Now here’s the critical question: If your website passes the Google mobile test and is rewarded with an elevated Google mobile SEO, is it really, truly mobile friendly? Does your website actually deliver a seamless, engaging experience to visitors on their phones and tablets?

Sadly, passing the Google mobile test is no guarantee of mobile friendliness. Like a kindergarten teacher passing out gold stars , it simply doesn’t demand much in terms of performance. Worse, Google’s assessment might delude your digital marketing team into thinking your website is mobile optimized. They might mistakenly take for granted your website’s ability to deliver a flawless UX to its mobile visitors.

Take a look at how the FIAT website appears on Mobile1st’s mobile testing solution: Mobilizer.

google mobile friendly test updated

While every design element seems to work perfectly on the iPad Air (left screenshot), the top banner display collapses on the iPad Mini (right screenshot). Utilizing the Google mobile friendly tool with its assessment of an “awesome” mobile UX could seriously mislead the digital marketing team at FIAT. They clearly need a mobile QA testing solution that delivers insight into a website’s display across an array of devices.

The Mobilizer Solution

That’s where Mobilizer’s online testing platform offers improvement over Google. With Mobilizer, your team can quickly inspect your website’s visual display on market-leading phones and tablets. They can see exactly how your website appears to your mobile visitors and quickly identify critical glitches that Google fails to spot — mistakes like missing videos, poorly cropped images, words that blend into the background, or exceedingly slow load times.

To take mobile friendliness to the next level, your team needs a tool that offers fast insight into your mobile visitors’ experiences.

Mobile1st is a leader in marketing technology and site optimization solutions. More than prioritizing and executing industry leading CRO practices, we do what makes the money; optimizing our Client’s digital commerce product toward consistent financial growth and ROI. All achieved through excellence in Lean UX, Analytics, Research, Experimentation and Development.
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