Is my mobile site friendly? Google launches new tool.

Google recently announced they will be placing labels on mobile friendly websites that  will give a search ranking signal. As a digital marketer and search marketer, this latest announcement intrigued me.

I was even more enticed when Google shortly launched a mobile friendly tool test. Could this be Google's way of letting me know what I need to do to get a search ranking signal for mobile search? Surely not, it can't be that easy, right?

I took it upon myself to test this tool, to see what we can actually learn from it. Using an existing client website that has been solely geared for mobile consumption and or very own agency webiste, I was tooled up and ready to go.

First off for the test was our client website: I ran the test and as expected I received an Awesome! I wouldn't have expected anything less.

Here is what Awesome! looks like:

I'm pretty pleased with that. However, I did get notified that " a temporary error occurred. 15 resources on this page could not be loaded. The results and screenshot may be incorrect. You may want to try this again later". The resources are then listed out via a link underneath the image of the site. We know the images are optimised as best they can be for mobile rendering, it would appear the tool itself didn't load the images correctly. Why did I think this? Because after a couple of tests on the same site the 15 resources became 13 and then 7.

You also get a link to the webmasters mobile guide which does give some insight into better optimising your website for mobile consumption. A very interesting read from the team at Google.

So, what does a not so awesome look like? Our very own agency website was tested.

Here is a screen shot:

We can be certain this website will not get a label for mobile search, but does it tell me how I can improve the site for mobile search? Yes and no. It does tell you what is wrong, which I have to say is the obvious, it does tell you how a Googlebot sees the page - ok, and it then asks you questions on whether you have built the website with a CMS, or got someone else to do it for you, or built it yourself, all of which directs you off to another page about best practices.

So, my excitement and enthusiasm for a testing tool that could tell me if my mobile sites will get a label search rankings was short-lived. It is a useful tool but don't bank on it giving you any insights into your mobile friendly site getting a search ranking signal.

Mark Wynn – Digital Director 
Mark’s role is to foster digital marketing strategies for the Purple Agency. He is a do-er, an enabler and completer. Inspiring innovative digital thinking surrounded by great creative. 
A champion of creative technologies, Mark’s leadership has seen new and engaging platforms and methods to drive consumer engagement for clients whilst offering in-depth digital knowledge, insights and ROI to our clients’ business and their markets. 

Follow Mark on Twitter @markawynn