Why your websites fails the Google mobile-friendly test.


A month or so ago, Google released a brand new tool that enables you to check if your website is mobile-friendly or not. Websites that pass Google’s test will be labeled with “mobile-friendly” on Google’s search result pages for mobile devices. Awesome huh?

However, some websites didn’t pass that test even though they were mobile-friendly. Why is this happening and what can you do to make sure it passes the test?

How can I test my website?

Google offers a nifty webpage to check if you’re website it mobile-friendly, the tool is available here. Simply enter the URL of your website and press the “Analyse” button. If your website passes the test you’ll see something like this:
Mobile Webmaster Checker Google

What can I do if my website fails the test?

The most likely reason for your website to fail the test is that you are using a separate website for mobile, in this day an age you should be using responsive web design. This involves using percentages, grids and media queries. Simply change your design so you are using a responsive or fluid design as apposed to separate desktop and mobile sites.

Many agencies like ourselves implement responsive websites for all new websites being built, if you use WordPress you will find many themes which support responsive design.

Other reasons your website could fail are:

You’re cloaking to Googlebot

Some sites try to recognize Googlebot by looking for “Googlebot” in the user-agent, it will then serve it a “Googlebot-version” of the page. This Googlebot-version is likely a desktop site, so if the mobile Googlebot crawls and sees the desktop page, the page won’t be seen as being mobile-friendly. In short don’t cloak!

robots.txt is not giving the Googlebot enough access

Googlebot needs to be able to check the mobile-freindlyness of a website by crawling it, if it doesn’t have access to the files which make it mobile-friendly then it will assume it’s not mobile-friendly.
If you are using a JS file to do a redirect to a mobile site, ensure it’s not blocked, if you are using a CSS file to do media queries also ensure it’s not blocked. In short any file or page you use to create a mobile experience, ensure it’s not blocked by robots.txt.