Bing Follow Google's Mobile-Friendly Example

Search engine Bing, marketed by owner Microsoft as a ‘decision engine’, has announced that it is to follow the example recently set by Google by favouring mobile-friendly websites in its search results. Google began implementing the changes last month and Bing’s decision to follow suit will further the drive for all companies to operate a mobile-friendly website to satisfy the discerning demands made by modern internet users.

Bing will boost mobile-friendly websites in search query rankings when delivered to smartphones and other internet-capable mobile devices. Sites that were originally designed for desktop or laptop viewing are difficult to use with a mobile device and issues such as small buttons or links that cause mistaken clicks, text or images that have to be zoomed into in order to properly view, a requirement to horizontally scroll and non-functioning plugins are driving visitors away from such sites.

It is tempting to think that Google is the be-all-and-end-all of search engines but the fact is that Bing regularly achieves a market share in excess of 7%, representing many millions of online searches. Other search engines are likely to follow Google’s suit in the light of Bing’s recent announcement, causing huge changes to page ranking results and the methods used to optimise these.

Both Google and Bing are not currently over-favouring mobile-friendly sites over those with highly-relevant content. Shyam Jayasankar, writing in a blog post for Bing, stated that  a fine balance’ would be achieved and added: “While the changes will improve ranking for mobile-friendly pages, web pages that are highly relevant to the given query that are not yet mobile-friendly will not get penalized".

The changes to Bing’s search ranking methods will begin to be seen ‘in the coming months’, giving website owners time to ensure that their site is mobile-friendly and will not suffer any penalties. As Google led the way in this respect, many website owners are already implementing the necessary changes and Bing’s decision will simply confirm this necessity.

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