As planned earlier, on April 21, 2015, Google has started boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. Following Google’s lead, Bing recently announced its launch of a mobile-friendly algorithm. The change is expected to make a dramatic impact on certain websites’ traffic, providing better experience for users.
However, compared to Google’s approach, there is no “mobilegeddon” taking place on Bing. Webpages that are highly relevant to the given query but are not yet mobile-friendly will not get penalized. Bing has not yet given a date for when their algorithm will go live. It has been said that the ranking changes will take place in the coming months.
Along with improving the search rankings for mobile-friendly websites, this search engine also labels search results as “mobile friendly”. These tags enable the user to browse the search results and identify which ones will quickly answer their information needs.
With this change, even sites that are not mobile friendly but are more relevant to the query can also likely rank very well and better than non-mobile friendly websites. This update will help Bing strike the right “balance” between relevancy and user-friendly search results. This search engine also uses certain factors to determine mobile friendliness and these include:
- Easy to see and appropriately placed menus, buttons and links that aid touch-based navigation.
- Readable text without zooming and lateral scrolling. Both font size and viewport settings (defined in HTML tags) should be considered.
- Well-designed mobile pages that fit well to the device width in both portrait and landscape orientations.
- Compatible content that also impacts flash content and videos that do not work well on certain devices.
- Friction that pop-ups sometimes create in navigating to the core content of the page.
Bing has also reported that they are working on a tool that will become available in a few weeks. The tool will allow Webmasters to:
- Analyze webpages using Bing’s mobile friendliness classifier and help them understand the results
- Find and fix areas of their site that suffer from mobile compatibility issues
Professional SEO companies are also now focusing on providing user-friendly responsive web designs that help their client websites rank better on search engines.