Microsoft Bing will introduce mobile-friendly ranking signals in the upcoming months. The company announced plans Thursday to prioritize sites that are optimized to serve up in mobile query results on its search engine.
The company already has begun tagging search results as "Mobile-friendly," enabling users to skim through the search results to know the ones that quickly answer their questions, explains Shyam Jayasankar, program manager at Microsoft.
Jayasankar explains that with this mobile strategy Microsoft's main goal becomes bringing individuals searching on bing.com more relevant results, regardless of whether that page is optimized to work well on a mobile device. This means that highly relevant Web pages not yet optimized for mobile results will not get penalized.
Bing engineers also continue to work on a tool will allows Webmasters to analyze Web pages using what it calls a "mobile friendliness classifier." The tool, which will become available in the next few weeks, will help Webmasters better understand the results by identifying areas fix.
The ranking takes several factors into consideration, such as navigation on the site. A well-designed page requires large menus, buttons and links that are spaced far enough apart to aid touch-based navigation.
Site visitors should have the ability to read the text on the page without the need to zoom in or scroll laterally to access specific content. Readability is influenced by font size and the viewport settings.
The page content should fit within the device width. Vertical scrolling is considered acceptable, but the need to scroll horizontally prevents the ability to easily consume content.
The content should be made compatible with the device. Pages with flash content do not work well on iOS devices, and some videos don't play on mobile devices due to plug-in dependencies, copyright issues or distribution decisions made by the content owner.