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 significant 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 significant 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.
No need to optimize for Mobile and Desktop versions
You should not be looking to optimize the different versions of your website. Instead, you should ensure that the content and structure of both versions are substantially the same.
Google has already said they are looking for an impact-neutral launch for their mobile-first indexing, and as such, I suspect they will only implement it on your site when it sees you are ready.
Jonathan Griffin Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.
Jonathan Griffin is The Webmaster's Editor & CEO, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all our publications. Jonathan writes about Development, Hosting, and SEO topics for The Webmaster and The Search Review with more than nine years of experience. Jonathan also manages his own SEO consultancy, offering SEO developer services. He is an expert on site-structure, strategy, Schema, AMP, and technical SEO. You can find Jonathan on Twitter as @thewebmastercom.