Bing Introduces a New Set of Crawlers to Support Non-Responsive Mobile Sites
Bing announced the addition of crawlers that aim to make websites work on mobile devices despite having non-responsive designs. The said crawlers work with Bingbot Mobile User Agents, which “identify themselves with a user agent that mimics some of the most common mobile device types.”
The “mobile compatibility” of every website is being actively checked by Bing, as a website’s ability to respond to various mobile devices is an important aspect that determines how Bing views a site when providing Bing or Bing-powered search results across mobile devices.
Lee Xiong, Program Manager of the Bing Crawl Team, explains a few points on the significance of having a mobile-friendly website. In his blog post, he reminded site owners that “mobile is now.” He also mentioned a separate blog post by Duane Forrester, Bing’s Senior Product Manager, in 2013, which discussed the importance of mobile.
Moreover, he encouraged webmasters to ensure responsive web design by avoiding duplication and m.-URLs for mobile. A blog post in 2012 was also mentioned to further explain Bing’s “original recommendation” on optimizing websites for all devices. Xiong adds that many sites still use separate URLs for their mobile websites.
Given this, Bing has started to delve on websites with the Bingbot Mobile User Agents, aiming “to give [Bing] the best representation of what [their] users can expect from [the] website when viewed on their favorite device.” The new crawlers are as follows:
- Mozilla/5.0 + (Mobile Device) + Mobile Engine + Mobile Browser + bingbot/BingPreview/[version]
- Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 7_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/537.51.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.0 Mobile/11A465 Safari/9537.53 BingPreview/1.0b
- Mozilla/5.0 (Windows Phone 8.1; ARM; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0; IEMobile/11.0; NOKIA; Lumia 530) like Gecko BingPreview/1.0b
- Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 7_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/537.51.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.0 Mobile/11A465 Safari/9537.53 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
- Mozilla/5.0 (Windows Phone 8.1; ARM; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0; IEMobile/11.0; NOKIA; Lumia 530) like Gecko (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
Xiong concluded with tips on safeguarding the best mobile search experience for users:
Do you think having a mobile-friendly website is a must for all webmasters? Are Bing’s new crawlers the solution to sites not optimized for all platforms? Let us know what you think by placing your comments below!
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