Mobile internet searches are surpassing desktop searches and search engines are adapting their algorithms accordingly.
Google recently took steps to favour mobile friendly websites on its search engine. Webmasters were forced modify their websites according to Google’s instructions by 21st of April. If that didn’t shake the web devs, then Bing’s decision to change their algorithms favoring mobile-friendly websites will definitely persuade them.
Bing has already started tagging its search results as “Mobile-friendly”. It allows its users to know that the link they are about to click is good for their small screens or not. According to Bing, it has received great feedback in favor of this change in user experience and this has forced them to bring about more mobile friendly steps in search rankings. One of these steps is to favor mobile friendly websites.
Bing is altering its algorithm which will weigh mobile-friendliness as one of the criterion for better search rankings.
Similar to what Google did, if a certain website is really relevant and is the best result, it will turn out on top even if it is not designed for mobile users. Bing has chosen to achieve a fine balance with this and not go overboard and completely side-line non-mobile friendly websites.
To clarify. Bing’s Shya Jayasankar wrote in his blog post:
While the changes will improve ranking for mobile-friendly pages, webpages that are highly relevant to the given query that are not yet mobile-friendly will not get penalized.
What exactly is Mobile Friendly?
Bing will determine mobile friendliness on factors like navigation, readability, scrolling and compatibility. A website is considered mobile friendly if the content is well spaced and navigable by touch. Sites should not require to be zoomed in to view small text and their shouldn’t be any side scrolling to view the full page. A page should not feature small buttons or links, factors like popups are also considered and additional plugin support is also considered against being mobile friendly.
Microsoft’s search engine believes that it is close to its goal and changes like favoring mobile friendly websites should be expected in the coming months. Most websites have already modified their interfaces and some might be working on improving the looks already but if Google failed to show the direction, Bing is another attempt to let the webmasters know that now is the time to modify their websites to assist mobile users because that’s where this industry is heading.