Microsoft has said that its search engine, Bing, will be reconfigured to highlight “mobile-friendly” websites. Such sites will be given more prominence in search results.
The announcement comes just weeks after a similar decision by Google. This could have big implications for website operators, advertisers and anyone trying to optimise search rankings.
The move highlights the growing importance of smartphones and other mobile devices. Recently, it was announced that more Google searches take place on mobile devices than desktop in 10 countries.
Microsoft's Shyam Jayasankar made the announcement in a blog post. “Based on data from user's interaction with Bing, we have seen that mobile users are able to satisfy their information needs much faster on searches that return more mobile-friendly results,” Jayasankar wrote. As a result, mobile friendliness will be a signal in ranking.
Microsoft did say that mobile friendliness will be just one of the factors considered when displaying search results. The most relevant search results will still be ranked higher, even if some of them are not mobile-friendly.
The changes are expected in the coming months.