Bing to begin ranking sites' mobile-friendliness

Mobile marketing is once again in the search engine spotlight. Following in Google's footsteps, Bing announced it will include a mobile-friendly tag in its search results (1). This tag will indicate to users whether a site meets Bing's qualifications for mobile-friendliness.

While mobile-friendly sites will rank high during these search, sites that are relevant to the search terms will also still rank high. The company wants to ensure a careful balance exists between relevance and mobility.

Factors determining ranking
The search engine will use four factors in its algorithm for determining the mobile-friendliness of a site.

The first factor is the site's navigation. If a site's buttons and links are too small and not spaced far enough apart for easy touch-based interaction, then the site will not get a mobile-friendly tag. The next factor is the page's readability. Bing will rank a site mobile-friendly if the reader does not need to zoom in or scroll laterally to get the page's full content. The third indicator of a site's mobile access is scrolling. Pages that fit into a mobile device's screen without the need to scroll horizontally will be ranked higher than pages that do not adequately fit into the screen. The final factor Bing will use in its algorithm is compatibility. If a page utilizes flash content or videos that require specialized plug-ins to play, it will not rank for mobile usage.

Since Bing must access the site's Cascading Style Sheets and script files to analyze these factors in determining the mobile-friendliness, B2B marketing professionals should ensure the Bingbot mobile user agents can download these files.

Marketing readable B2B mobile content
The shift in focus to a site's mobility means B2B marketers need to guarantee their sites meet the factors Bing uses to determine their rankings. For companies that use content marketing, those responsible must not ignore the mobility shift either. According to a B2B survey, 44 percent of respondents said the ease of use and readability of the content were the second most important characteristics in the role of the content for making their decision, following the breadth and depth of the information (2).

When combined with Bing's new mobility ranking, it's clear that B2B marketers need to focus on the content's readability both in terms of how customers are digesting it and how it looks on a mobile device.

(1) Our approach to mobile-friendly search

(2) B2B Decision-Makers Value In-Depth Content

Sheila Kloefkorn (1031 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.