For the small business owners who prepared for ‘mobilegeddon,’ or the release of Google’s new mobile-friendly search algorithm back in April, you unknowingly put your business at yet another advantage with search engine optimization. Bing, the search engine created by Microsoft, has just announced that it will also be adopting a mobile-friendly search algorithm, favoring sites optimized for mobile by pushing them higher up in search results, while penalizing those that aren’t by pushing them down in the rankings.
Instead of completely penalizing sites that aren’t mobile-friendly in search results like Google’s algorithm does, Bing has resolved to leave the top mobile search results for any given keyword unaffected by the new algorithm, whether the sites are mobile-friendly or not. Their goal is to favor user experience by continuing to provide them with the top results for their query, as opposed to only displaying mobile optimized sites in the search results.
Both consumers and small businesses with mobile-friendly sites benefit from the algorithm change; consumers searching on the go will be provided with easier access to the information they need on the devices they’re searching on, and small businesses with mobile-friendly sites will be pushed up higher in the search results, leading to increased discoverability by potential customers.
So just how does Bing classify if a site is mobile-friendly or not?
According to their blog, there are four criteria that a site must meet in order to be considered mobile-friendly:
1.) Site Navigation: How easy is it to navigate the site on a smaller touchscreen? Are the buttons far enough apart that the user can easily click on a link without clicking on something else accidentally?
2.) Readability: is the font large enough that it doesn’t require the user to zoom in or scroll to access the specific information they’re looking for?
3.) Scrolling: The site content should fit to the width of the device being used – scrolling up and down is considered acceptable, but scrolling horizontally makes content harder to digest and access.
4.) Compatibility: Is the content on the site compatible with the device? Some plug-ins are inaccessible on mobile, making it harder for users to view and access content on the site.
Considering over half of consumers are more likely to purchase from a mobile-optimized site, ensuring that your site meets these requirements will give your business a better chance at being discovered by consumers searching on the go, increasing the likelihood that they will choose to purchase from you.
As search engine giants continue to tailor the online search experience to be compatible with mobile, making your business’ site mobile-friendly will ultimately result in a greater number of potential customers discovering your business.