On the 4th November, Google officially announced that they would soon be indexing the mobile version of a website rather than the desktop version. This has significant implications for webmasters who may have a more streamlined mobile website version.
In 2015, Google confirmed that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan”. Couple that with strong growth in Mobile Voice searches, with Google confirming in February 2016, that they have more than doubled over the previous year, there is a clear trend for the increasing use of mobiles for search.
Even today, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes pointed out a comment made on Twitter indicating that in 2017, a massive 75 percent of searches will be mobile:
You should absolutely listen to Kelsey. Just sayin' https://t.co/9WTaM8mavN— Gary "鯨理" Illyes (@methode) November 15, 2016
With this in mind, attention is now focused on other search providers, such as Bing.
In a statement made to The SEM Post, Christi Olson confirmed that:
At Bing, we maintain a single index that is optimized for both mobile and desktop to ensure our users continue to receive the most relevant, fresh and consistent results no matter where they are.
Search Engine Market Share — Desktop vs. Mobile
According to Netmarketshare, Google now has a 75.2 percent share of the Global desktop search market, with Bing trailing behind at just 8.4 percent. But, when you look a the mobile share of the market, Google has a commanding lead of 94.18 percent, with Bing at just 1.26 percent.
We suspect these statistics are a major factor in Bing not following suit. Despite the success of their Surface tablets and Surface Book laptop, their mobile division is flagging with Windows Phones losing market share. With this loss, they miss a large opportunity to market the Bing Search Engine to mobile users. It is clear that Bing is not prioritizing their Mobile search, and as such investment to bring new improvements such as Mobile-first indexing is not available.
The need to optimize both versions
With Bing Search indexing the desktop version, and Google indexing the mobile version, it is now more important than ever to optimize both versions, ensuring all the content and structured markup is present.
Another search provider, Yahoo, merely serves up the results from Bing and Google. They are already used to utilizing two different indexes, so we doubt the new changes will complicate matters for them, particularly since Google has already said that they are looking for an impact-neutral launch for their new Mobile-first indexing.
About the author
Jonathan Griffin. Editor, Hosting Expert, SEO Developer, & SEO Consultant.
Jonathan is currently the Editor & CEO at The Webmaster. He is also an SEO Developer offering consultancy services, primarily to other web development companies. He specializes in the technical side of SEO, including site audits, development of SEO related features, and site structure & strategy.
In his spare time, Jonathan has a passion for learning. He regularly undertakes professional courses on subjects ranging from python, web development, digital marketing, and Advanced Google Analytics.