If you are like most business owners, you have been working in making your website mobile-friendly for the last couple of years. Google has been professing its clear favoritism toward mobile-friendly sites for a while now, and mobile-friendly sites get preferential treatment on mobile search. Therefore, the mobile-friendlier you are, the better. To that purpose, Google has improved their own Mobile Friendly Test tool and announced the change on May 17, 2016. You can access the new and improved Mobile Friendly Test and try it out yourself. It is a good idea to test your website for mobile-friendliness periodically in case Google changes any of the parameters it is measuring. Additionally, sites you link to or are linking to you may not be considered good resources if they decline.
What Has Changed
Google established the Mobile Friendly Test Tool in November of 2014 giving site owners a method of testing their websites against Google's mobile-friendliness parameters. The test offered insights as to how you could improve your site to make it more mobile-friendly according to Google's rules. It was a great way to help give your site a Google search boost and rank against your competitors that didn't jump on the mobile bandwagon quickly enough.
The new tool is cleaner, more spacious and faster according to Search Engine Land. That means users at every level will find it easier to work with. It is also mobile-friendly itself, which ironically the old tool wasn't. The biggest change is on the backend which Google's engineers improved to allow for future upgrades to the tool. You can't see that but it is there so that they can continually update it. Screenshots are visually easier to see and larger which makes them better on the small screen of a smartphone or tablet. This tool is part of the Mobile Usability Report which is also part of Google's help section.
Problems with the New Tool
There have been some reports that not everyone can use the new tool on their smartphones, but the tool is still rolling out according to John Mueller of Google's Webmaster Trends Analyst team. Other than the lag time, you should be able to use it with ease, and find out how your site it doing. Users are finding the new tool less intimidating than the original tool and that means that more people will use it to improve their sites. If you haven't taken the initiative to make your site mobile-friendly, this is a good time to get started. Mobile-friendly sites are given higher ranking on mobile search which means if your customers are looking for your industry on their phones or tablets; mobile-friendly sites come up first.