Bing to Follow Google’s Lead on Mobile-Friendly Search Engine Results
Less than one month after Google tweaked its search engine to prioritize mobile-friendly websites for higher rankings Microsoft announced a similar rollout for Bing.
Unlike Google’s issuing of a courtesy warning to web masters with specific date set for implementation, Microsoft isn’t setting a specific date for Bing’s mobile-friendly update, but Bing offered a series of recommendations for webmasters to prepare for the mobile-friendly shift. Below is a statement from Bing on May 14, 2015, which was the closest Bing came to giving a soft timeline of the mobile-friendly rollout.
"In an effort to work hand in hand with our web masters and ensure a smooth transition to a mobile-first world, we will continue to share details on the roll-out of our mobile friendliness ranking technique through updates on this blog….We have also been working on a tool that will allow Webmasters to analyze web pages using our mobile friendliness classifier and help them understand the results. This tool will become available in a few weeks from now and help Webmasters find and fix areas of their site that suffer from mobile friendliness issues. Understanding the factors that influence mobile friendliness will help serve our growing mobile user base much better."
Bing’s factors for determining mobile-friendly website (Images courtesy of Bing.com)
- Navigation: Large, well spaced navigation tabs: According to Bing, web page’s menus, buttons and links should be large enough and spaced well apart to aid touch-based navigation. Below is an example of a mobile-friendly site on the left and an unfriendly site on the right.
- Readability: The text on the page should be readable without requiring zooming and lateral scrolling to access specific content.
- Scrolling: The content of the webpage should fit within the width of the mobile device.
- Compatibility: Is your website’s homepage loaded with flash content? If so, the flash content won’t render or play on an iPhone.
Takeaways from the latest mobile-friendly search engine update:
While Bing’s volume of search queries is only a fraction of Google’s, their users are just as valuable if they end up on your website than any visitor who discovers your site from Google. If you own a website but you’re not the administrator, now is the time to check your site to ensure it meets the mobile-friendly guidelines provided by Google and Bing. Procrastinating may prove to cost you many visitors who find your competitors listed above you when they search for your product or service, so sieze the day and start the process of making your site mobile friendly