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Mobile Site Performance: Google Versus Bing

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Mobile first
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Reviewing mobile site performance is a useful exercise in understanding results from the two largest search engines.

Sometimes the results reveal that Bing and Google have different levels of reach with mobile visitors and different ways of ranking search results.

Anyone who uses Google Analytics can quickly see the difference. For example, click on Audience / Mobile / Overview on the left. The numbers in the middle of the screen show total site visits for the three major platforms of desktop, mobile and laptop. Take note of the mobile number.

Above that list on the left, click on Secondary Dimension / Acquisition / Source. For one site, the results were a bit startling.

They showed total desktop traffic from Bing was nearly nine times higher than mobile. But mobile traffic from Google was nearly two times higher than desktop.

Another site with strong Google traffic and weak Bing traffic showed a similar ratio between mobile and desktop for Google.

Key Takeaways About Mobile

How much mobile traffic a site attracts depends in part on the topic of the site’s content. Business-oriented sites tend to attract more business-related visits from office workers. It means those visitors are more likely to use desktop than mobile platforms.

Leisure-oriented sites often have the opposite situation. They attract mobile visitors who are traveling, deciding which restaurant to visit, thinking about seeing a movie after dining out, etc. That’s why these kinds of searches often take place on phones rather than desktop computers.

With that in mind, it’s clear that mobile development is more important for some sites than others. Evidence also supports the notion that mobile development is more important for Google rankings than Bing rankings.

Either way, what also matters is mobile growth as a percent of total site growth. If mobile is growing more slowly than desktop, especially for a leisure site, it raises some concerns about the effectiveness of the mobile design.

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