Google today is launching a new tool aimed at helping business owners determine how well their website performs on the mobile web, including on both smartphones and tablets. Given that mobile searches surpassed desktop search for the first time last fall, it’s critical for website owners – but also for Google – that the sites showing up in search results are accessible, functional and performant.
The new website testing tool (available at testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com) is simple for anyone to use – you don’t have to be technical. You just type in your website address, and then the tool will score your site. It will also offer a more detailed report that makes suggestions on things that you need to fix, which you could pass on to whomever runs your website, if not yourself.
Google today already offers a number of testing tools for websites, including PageSpeed Tools, PageSpeed Insights, and its Mobile-Friendly Test, which is focused on the site’s design. However, most of its earlier tools are aimed at developers, site designers and other more technical users. The new testing tool is instead targeting the business owners themselves, who may not have known about these tools’ existence, or didn’t understand their output.
The new testing tool simplifies the user interface and shows scores as Good (in green), Fair (yellow) and Poor (red).
However, it’s PageSpeed Insights powering the scores on the new site, which is ranked for mobile-friendliness, mobile speed, and desktop speed. The idea is to quickly show you, at a glance, the quality of the experience customers have when browsing from their phones (including whether you have tappable buttons and important information up front), mobile speed (meaning site loading times) and desktop speed.
The launch comes at a time when Google is heavily focused on transitioning its business to the mobile web, where it has invested in new technologies like AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), which load faster on mobile devices and use less data. It has also updated its search algorithm to make having a mobile-friendly website more important. As users shift to devices where apps today dominate, Google too needs to do everything in its power to make sure the mobile web is as usable as the desktop web before it. Even helping business owners to fix their lagging websites.