Bing to Follow in Google’s Footsteps with a Mobile Friendly Update
Bing announced that it might be following Google’s lead by introducing its very own mobile friendly signal ranking that will rank mobile friendly websites higher in mobile search results.
As the second most popular search engine, Bing recently started tagging results as, “mobile-friendly,” allows mobile users to differentiate between non-mobile friendly sites before they click.
According to Search Engine Watch, Bing will soon make mobile friendliness a factor for ranking sites in mobile search results, but relevance will still be a factor that trumps them all, even mobile friendliness. There’s a difference however; unlike Google, Bing will not penalize sites by lowering non-mobile sites in rankings. To be considered mobile friendly, Bing recommends the following:
1. Navigation – the menus and buttons found on the homepage of a website must be large enough to accommodate touch screen users. If buttons are too small and/or too close together, users may accidentally press the wrong buttons.
2. Readability – font size should be legible and the average users should not have to zoom in or scroll laterally to read text. Text should flow vertically and confined in viewpoint settings defined by the HTML of the site.
3. Scrolling – The site should fit the device the user is on, whether on a mobile or desktop device. Web responsive design makes it easy for site owners since it automatically adjusts to the device no matter the screen size.
4. Compatibility – The user should be able to open the site on a mobile device. Pages with Adobe Flash cannot be opened on Apple devices; some videos may have compatibility issues because of plugin dependencies, etc. Make sure you website is tested across multiple types of devices to make sure it’s functioning properly across the board.
A fifth requirement that is not one of Bing’s four main requirements but is an important ranking factor for Google is site speed. Having a website that loads fast prevents users from bouncing away from your site. This also allows Google bots to crawl more pages on your site in a given time. The faster your website can be, the more likely it is to rank higher and convert better.
Before Bing officially rolls out the new mobile friendly update, it will release a tool very similar to Google’s Mobile Friendly Test, which will allow page owners to test and assess their own pages. The tool will be available in a couple of weeks. Bing has not confirmed a concrete date when these updates will take place, only hinting that they’re due to arrive in the “coming months”.