As more and more digital content, from news feeds to video production, makes its way to the mobile channel, it came as little surprise to hear from Bing at the start of this month that it’s launched a new battery of mobile crawlers. They come complete with Bingbot Mobile User Agents, to enhance the support and recognisability of websites that aren’t responsively designed. But what do webmasters need to do to improve their mobile rankings with Bing?
As Lee Xiong from Bing’s Crawl Team explained, the new bots have been designed to, “probe websites with a number of new crawlers with the aim to give us the best representation of what our users can expect from your website when viewed on their favourite device.”
That said, the core advice remains pretty much the same as before: if you can avoid it, don’t split your ranking power by using separate m. -URLs. If you really want to maximise your SEO power go for a responsive website design that adapts to the device it appears on.
Bing has recently let a few more secrets out of the bag. In addition to its existing relevancy factors, it’s looking at specific mobile factors that help it work out which mobile sites are most relevant for particular queries. So just what are they?
Bing now identifies and classifies mobile and device-friendly websites and pages, and it analyses web documents from a uniquely mobile perspective by assessing things like this:
- Mobile functionality (in other words, filtering out pages that become 404 junk on Flash only or mobile)
- Content compatibility with the mobile channel
- Content readability on mobile
That point about using a single URL with the responsive design approach is clearly important: in revealing its mobile factors, Bing reiterated this advice last week. It makes sense when you think about it because it means that the search engine then has only one URL and one chunk of content to contend with.