20 May Bing Following in Google’s Footsteps and Adding Mobile Compatibility as Ranking Signal
If you’ve been paying any attention whatsoever to web design trends or search engine optimization news in recent months, you’ve almost certainly heard of “Mobilegeddon,” or Google’s decision to start giving mobile friendly websites an advantage in its rankings for searches conducted on mobile devices. But you might not have heard that, much more quietly, Bing announced on May 14 that it too will be adding mobile compatibility as a ranking signal.
Bing appears to be downplaying the addition, saying in the official announcement that “webpages that are highly relevant to the given query that are not yet mobile friendly will not get penalized,” but it’s clear that mobile usability will give already relevant sites an edge in the rankings. This may not seem like a big deal, given that Bing has a much smaller audience than Google does (the latter cornering about 65% or 70% of the global search engine market), but it’s just one more sign that if you haven’t yet prioritized mobile compatibility on any website that you’re responsible for, you’re making a big mistake.
Why You Should Care About Mobile
SEO is only one reason to prioritize having a mobile friendly website, but it’s an important one. About 93% of Internet experiences begin on a search engine, and about 75% of users never click past the first page of results. Internet visibility is a huge driver of overall success for many businesses, and evidence shows it’s practically impossible to be visible online without investing in some solid SEO strategies. You may be able to boost site traffic in other ways, such as pay per click advertising, but it’s hard to beat the return on investment for SEO-generated leads. And, of course, prioritizing mobile usability will make your customers happy, too; research has shown that consumers who land on non-mobile sites tend to assume the company in question doesn’t care about them — and rarely return to the site again.
What Makes a Site Mobile Friendly
So what, exactly, makes a website mobile friendly? Experts might disagree on some of the finer points, but there are some broad best practices you should expect anyone designing for your websites to stick to. Mobile friendly websites should load quickly, should not require panning and zooming for viewing of all content, should minimize clicking, and should place all clickable elements far enough apart that users don’t hit the wrong one by mistake. You can check if your site is mobile friendly through Google’s mobile friendly test tool; Bing will be releasing a similar tool in the coming weeks.
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