12th Nov, 2015 / Sofiann McKerrellSofiann McKerrell
Bing rolls out new mobile friendliness tool

Bing rolls out new mobile friendliness tool

It’s better late than never.

This is perhaps what Bing had in mind when they decided to launch their own mobile-friendly testing tool, a year after Google released a similar version. Bing made the announcement earlier this week on their official blog, with the following message from Senior Product Lead for Bing Webmaster and Publisher Experiences, Vincent Wehren:

“Earlier this year, we shared our approach to mobile-friendly search and ranking and talked about our plans for Webmaster tool additions that will aid site owners in their efforts to create mobile-friendly sites.  Today, I am happy to introduce you to Charu Puhazholi from the Webmaster Team and Shyam Jayasankar from the Mobile Ranking Team. (They)… will be talking about the availability of the Bing Webmaster Mobile Friendliness Test tool which allows you to validate your site’s pages for mobile-device compatibility.”

The tool was initially promised to be rolled out in May 2015 when Bing announced their growing commitment to mobile-friendly search. However, the release was delayed for what could be assumed as developmental reasons.

Big Help to Webmasters

This new tool will prove to be extremely useful for site owners and webmasters alike in their effort to improve the user browsing experience. After all, a huge percentage of online users now are accessing the internet through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Available in Bing Webmaster Tools under the Tools & Diagnostics Tab, it will look into several factors when determining if a webpage is mobile friendly. These include the following:

  • Readability of text on the page
  • Viewport and Zoom control configuration
  • Spacing of links and other elements on the page
  • Width of page content
  • Use of incompatible plug-ins

The tool will also look out for and report any resources that are necessary in ensuring the page is fully analysed. This will allow webmasters to immediately repair rendering issues by updating robots.txt so Bing can proceed in checking the mobile-friendliness of a site.

How It Works

Bing’s Mobile Friendliness Tool is fairly simple to use. All webmasters have to do is access the tool, paste the URL of the site they want to check on the box provide, and click ‘Analyze’. The tool will then fetch and render the page and check all the important features according to Bing’s set criteria.

The results will be consolidated and presented to the user on the page. Here is a screenshot of the results the tool provides for a mobile-friendly site:

bing-mobile-friendliness-test-tool

If the website or page checked does not meet Bing’s mobile friendliness criteria, the tool presents a report that details all the factors that must be improved. It also provides some tips on how to fix the identified areas. Here’s a screenshot of what such a result will look like:

bing-mobile-friendliness-test-tool-failed

Compared with Google’s Tool

As what is to be expected of applications or tool that have the same objectives, Bing’s and Google’s mobile friendliness tools provide similar results when tested. They picked up on the same factors and offered comparable tips or pointers. It is interesting to note, however, that Bing’s tool provided faster results. Also, it was a lot more user-friendly in the way it presents its reports and tips.

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