The arrival of ‘mobilegeddon‘ and the resulting shake up of the Google world led to a lot of talk about mobile internet usage and the impact this has on site traffic and SEO.
However as international marketers will know, there is more to SEO than just Google.
Bing has also announced that it will be updating its mobile ranking factors, therefore ensuring your website is mobile friendly has become even more of a priority, particularly in markets where Bing has a larger market share than in the UK.
However, a bigger impact for companies targeting China are the recent changes Baidu has made to its algorithm with regards to mobile.
In August 2014, Baidu released an update to its algorithm called the Ice Bucket Algorithm which focused on mobile usability.
The core focus for this update is the ease of access to content for mobile users. As with other updates from Baidu, ease of use for visitors is a core driver for changes made to the algorithm.
Partly this is due to the internet infrastructure in China, which is less advanced than in the West, but also the global increase in mobile web users.
The elements which Baidu looks for on a mobile website include:
- Websites or pages which use pop-up windows
- Websites which force an app download
- Pages with a large number of adverts on them
- Websites where content is hidden behind a login screen
Any websites targeting China which have all or some of these elements will see mobile rankings lower than competitors that don’t.
Since the initial launch of this algorithm last year, Baidu has made some changes and improvements to the rules, and in November 2014 released Ice Bucket Algorithm 2.0.
Russian search giant Yandex doesn’t have a specific mobile algorithm but the focus of the Yandex algorithm is around usability and making websites as easy to access as possible.
This is a core element of how you will see a site perform in Yandex organically.
A recent study by eMarkerter shows that Smartphone users in Russia are around the 58m mark accounting for around 55% of total mobile phone ownership. As a result of this, it’s important to ensure that your Russian website is easy to use for mobile as well as desktop users to ensure you get the optimum visibility and traffic.
As with any market it’s important to understand how much of your traffic comes from mobile devices to see how large the potential impact of any of the search engine mobile updates will have to your website.
And, if you are targeting China, don’t get carried away with Google’s Mobilegeddon, remember the changes made to other search engines will impact mobile ranking factors in other markets too.