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What to Do With Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool

A couple of weeks ago, Google announced their new “Mobile-friendly” labels. Those labels are displayed alongside certain search engine results to indicate whether the site is mobile friendly or not.

It’s believed that sites that are mobile-friendly by Google’s standards should get additional boost on the mobile search results pages. Naturally, sites that are not mobile-friendly will likely drop a bit in the rankings to make room for those that are.

So the only question in this whole story is what are Google’s standards and how to find out if they see your site as being mobile friendly?

Well, now we have an answer, as Google released their new Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

The tool is somewhat helpful, but it doesn’t answer all the questions. For the most part, it just tells you one of two things:

  • “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.”
  • “Not mobile-friendly.”

Sometimes you get additional info on why your site is or isn’t mobile friendly, but it’s not a rule and probably depends highly on the software you’re using to run the site and its HTML / CSS / JS structure.

For example, when performing some simple tests on various sites and seeing a negative result, we’ve gotten messages such as:

  • “Content wider than screen.”
  • “Links too close together.”
  • “Text too small to read.”
  • “Mobile viewport not set.”

While this does provide some insight, it’s far from perfect, and the only thing you can do when you see any of these is to start experimenting, tweaking your site, and checking back to see if there’s been a change.

Google does provide some instructions for WordPress sites, but they mostly revolve around telling you to update your theme, core WordPress, and if all fails, change the theme altogether. This isn’t of much help.

In general, the tool appears to be somewhat strict in its assessments. The sites we’ve checked that didn’t pass the tests appear flawlessly on all popular mobile devices, yet Google for some reason still thinks they are not mobile-friendly.

What All This Means?

The Mobile-Friendly Test tool is surely something we should pay attention to. No matter if you agree with the result your site is getting or not, you still should take action if you didn’t pass the test. The pay off can simply be worth it. If Google is convinced that your site is mobile friendly, you are likely to receive a nice boost in your mobile rankings – something you’re certainly interested in.