A few months back, the worlds of SEO and website design were taken aback as Google announced, and then released, its new mobile-friendly algorithm upgrade, or ‘Mobilegeddon’, as it affectionately became known. The release of the algorithm update caused many website designers, SEO experts, and businesses to worry about what it could mean for SEO, Google rankings, and website design more generally. And now, just a couple of months after Google rolled out its algorithm, another major search engine is following suit.
Last month Bing, the search engine designed by Microsoft, announced that it too would be releasing a new update to its search engine algorithm that, like the update released by Google, would favour mobile-friendly websites over those that weren’t optimised for use on mobile devices. Like with the Google update, Bing’s announcement has caused a major uproar in the SEO and website design industries – but how does Bing’s algorithm differ from the one released by Google? And what could all this mean for your website’s SEO?
How does the Bing algorithm differ from Google’s?
Like Google, Bing has said that its mobile-friendly algorithm will favour websites that are optimised for mobile, based on principles such as responsive design, tap to click, and image resolution. In a nutshell, it will move websites that it concludes are optimised for mobile devices up in the search engine rankings for relevant keyword searches and will punish those that aren’t mobile-friendly by lowering their ranking, moving them down in search results. Up to this point, Bing’s algorithm is the same as Google’s, but there is one major difference. Whereas Google is being very strict with its punishment and reward policy, Bing is being more lenient. Whilst it has said some websites will be punished with lower rankings for not being mobile-friendly, it has also said that it will not remove the most relevant sites from search results, even if they aren’t optimised for mobile. This means that, roughly, the websites in the top five search results for any given keyword search will not be affected by the new algorithm update. Bing said that this decision was made in the interest of encouraging mobile website development and offering a useful service to its users.
What does the release of this algorithm mean for your SEO?
By now, your business should have taken measures to make its website mobile-friendly, so as to be prepared for the full rollout of Google’s new algorithm. In which case, you won’t need to take any more steps to ensure that you aren’t punished by Bing, provided that you submit your website to them for approval, and that they require you to take no further action. However, if you hadn’t considered optimising your website for mobile, even in the wake of Google’s initial announcement, you now have two major reasons to do so. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile, you could now fall down in the ranking for the two major search engines on the internet, which could spell disaster for your business.