Bing’s Mobile Relevancy team recently announced on their blog that they will include mobile-friendliness as one of their key ranking factors for websites. In one of their sample searches, sites that are compatible on mobile devices have the letter ‘m’ label on the left side of their domain name. They are also ranked higher with the new update so that users will have a better chance of landing on a site that matches their mobile device.
Bing crawlers mainly look for three key points for mobile ranking, namely: compatibility, readability, and functionality. This is on top of their other relevancy criteria, that they also use for determining which sites should be on first page.
It seems that this move is following Google’s footsteps in terms of mobile-friendly labels. But how will all this affect websites and optimization in the future? Is this move really for the benefit of users?
In one study, 4 in 5 consumers search the Web on their mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets). They typically look for directions to a local store, products or services they want to buy, or business hours for a favorite shop. Of these, 78% led to an actual purchase. Now imagine your business gaining that 78% advantage – all because you’re accessible on mobile!
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it can pose a couple of problems; not just for you but mostly for your users. Non-compatible sites would either have broken content OR not appear on mobile devices at all. This causes frustration; eventually leading your customers to hit the back or exit button with haste. That’s already a lost opportunity right there!
Bing and Google both know this; that’s why they went ahead and updated their algorithms to make searching easier for users. But don’t think that it doesn’t benefit businesses. As long as you have quality content, updated information, and a responsive web design, you won’t need to worry about future ranking changes.
Bing has new ranking bots to tell them which sites perform well on mobile devices. See it below:
Mozilla/5.0 + (Mobile Device) + Mobile Engine + Mobile Browser + bingbot/BingPreview/[version]
As mentioned earlier, they check for three main factors like compatibility, readability, and functionality. The bots also analyze site documents, including but are not limited to scripts, images, and core content. Then these are classified and checked again based on their relevancy criteria.
Make this process easier for you AND Bing’s bots by making sure that you only have ONE URL for all. This is made possible with a responsive layout. Not only is this simpler, you won’t have to worry about your users seeing different things when switching devices. Responsive web design was built so that content can flow smoothly between platforms.
So save yourself (and Bing) the headache by asking an expert web developer about making your site more mobile-friendly today.
Bing and Google’s movement in terms of catering to user needs is just one of the many steps that the digital world is making for better online experience. Instead of fearing for the worst, those in the industry should follow suit. We don’t need to be afraid of whatever update search engines throw our way if we prioritize quality content.
At the end of the day, both search engines AND digital experts should put users first. Mobile-friendliness is only the first step.