Although not quite as groundbreaking and significant as Google’s recent “mobilegeddon” or “mobilepocalyse” announcement, which saw the search engine begin to favour mobile friendly websites, Bing have this week confirmed that they too will be following Google’s lead and rolling out a mobile friendly algorithm over the coming months.
Bing’s updated algorithm will work in a similar way to the one rolled out by Google, in that it will punish websites that aren’t mobile friendly by moving them down in the search rankings. At the same time, it will reward those sites that are mobile friendly by giving them a higher ranking. However, Bing have said that, unlike Google, they will not remove or punish highly relevant search results that aren’t optimised for mobile. This means that, no matter what you search, you will still see the most relevant results at the top of the first page, regardless of whether or not their site is mobile friendly. Bing have stated that they have made this choice in order to strike a “fine balance” between giving the user the most relevant results and working towards full internet mobile optimisation.
So how can your business get itself ready for this update? If your business has already optimised its website so as to conform to the rubric laid out by Google for its similar mobile friendly algorithm update, then you shouldn’t need to change much in order to pass Bing’s mobile test. However, if you have not submitted your site to Google for mobile friendly testing, then you should do this as soon as possible, as not doing so could now harm your ranking in both Google and Bing. Like Google, Bing will be encouraging webmasters to submit their sites and have them checked for mobile optimisation, so this is also advised.
So when can we expect to see this mobile friendly algorithm rolled out? Whilst they have confirmed many of the details of this update, Bing have not yet given a date for the start of the rollout. However, they have said that we should start to see the effect of the update “over the coming months”.