Google recently announced the official retirement of the Google Search Console Mobile Usability Report, Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool, and Mobile-Friendly Testing API. These tools, which have played a crucial role in helping website owners improve the mobile experience, are no longer available as of December 1, 2023.
The Google Message
On December 4, Google confirmed the retirement of the aforementioned tools through a publication on X: “Today we will be turning off the Search Console Mobile Usability Report, Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool, and Mobile-Friendly Testing API. We believe these tools have helped website owners make the web a better place – thank you for partnering with us on this journey.”
However, Google stressed that despite the retirement of these specific tools, mobile usability remains critical to success with Google Search. Users are using mobile devices more than ever, and mobile optimization continues to be an essential part of driving page experiences.
The End of an Era
With the retirement of these tools, Google is putting an end to a nearly decade-long era during which the mobile usability report was an essential tool for evaluating the mobile experience of websites. However, Google says that many other good resources for evaluating mobile usability have emerged over the years, with particular mention of Chrome’s Lighthouse.
Implications and Recommended Actions
Whether you’ve used these tools for clients or for internal SEO efforts, it’s essential to adapt to the change. Since you will no longer be able to access these reports, we recommend using other resources to evaluate and optimize the mobile usability of your websites.
Make sure you implement mobile-friendliness best practices and use alternative tools like Chrome’s Lighthouse to get detailed mobile usability ratings. Keeping sites and pages optimized for mobile devices remains crucial to ensure a positive user experience and good visibility on search engines.
Approach change with a proactive approach, exploring new resources available and adapting your mobile optimization strategies to maintain a competitive advantage on the ever-evolving web.