Google sunsets a number of SEO tools and reports

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 30 Dec, 2023
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The Mobile Usability report, Mobile-Friendly Test tool, Mobile-Friendly Test API and Googlebot Crawl Rate tool are all going away.

Google sunsets SEO tools.

Image: Julius Silver on Pixabay

Google is officially withdraing some SEO reports and tools which it says are now better covered by other resources, or no longer useful.

The retirement of the The Mobile Usability report, the Mobile-Friendly Test tool and the Mobile-Friendly Test API was announced for December back in April this year. Google confirmed they had been discontinued on 4 Dec via X (Twitter).

In its April post Google underlined the continuing importance of mobile usability and pointed users to alternative resources which have since been developed.

“This doesn't mean that mobile usability isn't important for success with Google Search. It remains critical for users, who are using mobile devices more than ever, and as such, it remains a part of our page experience guidance. But in the nearly ten years since we initially launched this report, many other robust resources for evaluating mobile usability have emerged, including Lighthouse from Chrome.“

Separately, the Googlebot Crawl Rate tool in Seach Console is also being deprecated, on 8 Jan 2024.

Google said given the improvements made to its crawling logic and other tools available, the tool’s usefulness had dissipated and it was rarely used.

The rate limiter tool allowed publishers to lower the crawling speed but had a much slower effect as it could take over a day for the new limits to be applied. In contrast, Googlebot now reacts to how the server handling the site responds to its crawl requests. It automatically slows down if the response time for requests gets significantly longer or if it persistently receives HTTP 500 status codes for a range of URLs.

With the tool’s deprecation Google is setting the minimum crawling speed to a lower rate, comparable to the old crawl rate limits.

“This means that we effectively continue honoring the settings that some site owners have set in the past if the Search interest is low, and our crawlers don't waste the site's bandwidth.“

You can still use the Googlebot report form for reporting unusual Googlebot activities and for emergency cases.

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