Mobility

Google's mobile web report card: Free tool tells if you fail the test

Google recently released a new online tool that will tell you how well your website works on mobile, and how fast it is.

Image: Google

The transition to the mobile web happened a lot faster than many businesses were ready for. As such, many business websites suffer from poor performance on mobile, or design that isn't mobile-friendly.

However, Google recently released a new online tool that will tell you how usable your site is on a mobile device and how fast it runs on desktop and mobile, respectively. The new tool, Test My Site, allows users to input any URL and receive a grade (out of 100) on mobile friendliness, mobile speed, and desktop speed. This is an augmented version of the Mobile Friendly tool that's been available through the Google Developer channel for quite some time.

SEE: Seven ways to build brand awareness into your digital strategy (Tech Pro Research)

When a site is tested, Google gives further explanations for why it's testing for those three variables.

  • "People are five times more likely to leave a mobile site that isn't mobile-friendly." (Mobile friendliness)
  • "Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don't load within 3 seconds." (Mobile speed)
  • "9 out of 10 people say they use multiple screens for such tasks as booking a flight online or managing their personal finances." (Desktop speed)

grade.png
Google's Test My Site tool scores websites on mobile friendliness, mobile speed, and desktop speed.
Image: Google

If the tool detects any grades that are below par, it will offer to send you a report detailing what it thinks you should fix. The report includes thoughts on the design of the site and whether buttons or content seem optimized to fit smaller screens. It also tests if the site supports image optimization, browser caching, and compression.

The site tool and accompanying report are a good option for SMBs that want to stay on top of their online presence, but they're a good complementary tool for bigger enterprises as well.

The Test My Site tool is the latest in a series of announcements Google has made regarding mobile sites. In October 2015, Google unveiled its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project to help speed up mobile sites, and Google continues to invest in and update the project.

Before that, Google began combatting mobile apps and sites that pushed full-page ads that Google deemed not mobile-friendly.

SEE: How to speed mobile page load times with AMP and WordPress (TechRepublic)

Of course, Google has a few good reasons for pushing the mobile web forward. More than half of all Google searches come through mobile now, and better mobile sites mean more people spending more time on the internet, which is ultimately a good thing for Google.

Also, tools like this are a good means by which Google can push projects like AMP, partner sites for website building, and Google infrastructure tools to improve site performance. It's another way of keeping more businesses involved in the Google ecosystem.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Google launched Test My Site, a free tool that will tell how mobile-friendly a website is and how fast it loads on mobile and desktop.
  2. Test My Site is a good free option for SMBs and enterprises to stay on top of their mobile web presence, which is increasingly become the go-to way many people experience the web.
  3. Google continues its push in mobile with other projects like AMP, as mobile sites are key to Google's core advertising business and a way for Google to keep businesses in its ecosystem.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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