If mobilegeddon didn’t inspire businesses to get cracking on launching mobile-friendly sites, maybe Bing’s mobile-friendly updates will. Microsoft’s search engine announced it’s also lending more weight to listings that link to sites that work across multiple devices.
Bing won’t be as strict when it comes to listing results that are “most relevant”. In a blog post about it’s approach to mobile-friendly search, Bing said:
“…you can always expect to see the most relevant results for a search query ranked higher, even if some of them are not mobile-friendly. 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.”
That tells us, though, that sites that often aren’t ranked well, but have good mobile design, will likely appear higher than comparable listings that aren’t mobile-friendly.
Bing will also make clear to mobile users how friendly a site is. This alone can help bring more traffic into smaller business sites.
Bing’s primary factors for determine a mobile site’s friendliness is similar to Google’s. They include:
- Navigation – Menus, buttons and links need to be large enough to read and spaced well for touch-based action.
- Readability – Users should not have to zoom to read content.
- Vertical Scrolling Only – No horizontal scrolling!
- Compatibility with All Devices – No proprietary scripting or elements should be used. That means Flash and video formats that require special plugins are out.
- How Pop-Ups Work – Bing will determine if these hamper the ability to navigate the page.
- Unlocked CSS and Scripts – Bingbot needs to be able to download the resources necessary to load the content.
The company also plans to release an analysis tool that will point out areas that need attention. We can expect it will be similar to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool that gives easy-to-understand results and lists steps on how to make improvements.