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Aug 30th, 2010, 12:00 PM
Bing SEO: Is SEO for Bing necessary?
This is my 1000th post in this forum, and I thought I'd look into SEO for Bing. Now, with Yahoo! Search being provided internally by Bing, Bing effectively approaching 30% of the search market share, which is to be reckoned with. What, if anything, is Bing SEO? Well, it turns out that it is... really not that much (though not quite nothing either).
So I would like to summarize here what is known today about Bing SEO. Due to algorithmic similarities and differences between Bing and Google, the search results the two search engines return, while fundamentally similar, are also substantially different (they can be easily compared with http://www.bing-vs-google.com or with http://www.bingle.nu). Enough people are using Bing for search engine optimizers to care, but another reason to care is that the average clickthrough rate (CTR) on Bing ads is said to be roughly 1.5 times that of Google ads.
Predictably, much will remain unknown about the details of both Bing's search algorithm and of Google's. Until recently, there was a bizarre consensus emerging in the SEO industry about certain features of Bing search. This consensus included the following "facts," which are still regurgitated widely even on reputable SEO sites:
"Backlinks don't carry as much weight in Bing as in Google."
"Backlinks' anchor text matters more in Bing than in Google."
"On-page factors carry more weight in Bing."
"There is no correlation between Bing rankings and Google page rank. "
In fact, all of the above are BS and quite simply false. Indeed, links matter more to Bing than to Google (probably because Bing's treatment of links is somewhat more naοve than Google's). I think the reason for the above notions is that before any real statistical comparison of search results was done (i.e. before the recent tests by the SEOmoz team), no reliable information was available. Since there was a demand for such information, SEO bloggers simply guessed or eyeballed it or even made things up, in an effort to capture relevant search traffic.
The consensus also included a few other ideas, which have a better chance of being true:
Fresh content matters less on Bing (this may have something to do with the fact that Bing's indexation is much slower than Google's).
Bing associates site authority with the age and size of a site.
Still, I have not found any reliable evidence to confirm these two points, so the jury is still out on them.
The consensus also the following two claims, which in fact are true:
Bing is better than Google at making sense of and indexing Flash.
Nofollow links pass no Bing link juice either.
In addition, the only good information about Bing ranking comes from recent studies by SEOmoz. The big caveat here is that the statistical data reveals correlations which are not necessarily ranking factors. A modern search algorithm is a very complex thing, and slight differences in the weight of the same ranking factors may well add up to significant differences in SERPs.
Nevertheless, the correlations are well worth noting:
Bing seems to reward keywords in subdomains more than does Google.
Bing seems to prefer shorter content. Long-winded content has a small negative correlation with Bing rankings (whereas in Google it has a small positive correlation with same).
Bing seems to favor shorter URLs.
Bing favors website home pages more than does Google.
The number of unique linking root domains seems to matter even more to Bing than to Google.
Hyphens in exact match domains seem to weaken Bing rankings somewhat.
Bing SERPs are evolving toward greater similarity with Google SERPs.
These are the correlations that seem to me significant enough to mention. Others noted by SEOmoz are minor by comparison and not worth worrying about. (If I have missed any major ones, please point them out.)
So how should we define SEO for Bing? I would include the following advice under this heading:
Optimize for Google.
If you must use a subdomain, consider including keywords in it.
Don't write too long-windedly (yeah, I know).
Don't use long spammy URLs.
If you are going with an EMD (exact match domain), try to pick one without hyphens for best results.
Be patient: if it's true that Bing is more "conservative" and domain age and site size matter to it more than to Google, then your Bing presence is likely to accrue in time.
Register sites with the Bing Webmaster Center at http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmasters/ and use the tools therein for help with Bing matters.
Do Bing-based keyword research.
Don't sweat Bing too much!
Of some special interest is the preview panel that Bing uses in its SERPs. You should know that it includes
the H1 tag (not the title tag)
first paragraphs of the page
contact info from the page
That's it, folks! Thank you for your attention.
Last edited by PhilipSEO; Aug 30th, 2010 at 12:13 PM.
Aug 30th, 2010, 12:46 PM
Excellent post Philip. Bing can't be ignored any more esp. after the yahoo-bing merger.
Aug 30th, 2010, 01:14 PM
My Bing Experience
I was one of the first members of the Bing Forum. Mostly to gather SEO tips and and help others too. That experience was sick. Bing forum then had dofollow signature links ( never bothered to chk back if its nofollow now) and every god damned webmaster who found it was bent on spamming the forum.
Their admin Bret Yont or whatever his name was was not very good. We were looking for someone like Matt Cutts and this guys was like a keep all happy kind. I got bored and have never been back.
BTW I am back to SEOCHAT.
Aug 30th, 2010, 01:25 PM
I have been waiting for the Bing on Yahoo integration. I stopped worrying about Yahoo a long time ago. Now, with Bing results in Yahoo, we now place higher on the first page. Should mean a bit more traffic and conversions.
Aug 30th, 2010, 02:15 PM
Thanks for your contribution here.
Some liner for you
Mat puch key hal mera tere piche
ye puch key kiya rang mera tere aage
Aug 30th, 2010, 02:59 PM
Wow, thanks for the information !
There is a lot to digest here, but I'm glad that someone has done all the hard work for us :-)
Maybe "the dust hasn't settled yet" with regards to the Bing/Yahoo Search combination ? It will be interesting to see in the near future...
Now back to my new "Bing To-Do list" :-)
- Personal Productivity Software
Aug 31st, 2010, 10:51 AM
I wonder why people aren't using Bing more and more. Is it too easy to change the MSIE search bar's default search engine, or are people just too dim to even use it? Strange...
Aug 31st, 2010, 03:52 PM
What is your source for 30% market share? It's not that high IMO (of course you'll ask for my source now )
I always follow the rule that: do what Google wants and you'll be fine. That's prett ymuch the case here, but some good bits on where Bing is unique. Thanks.
Sep 4th, 2010, 10:18 PM
I have pretty much the same overall rankings in Bing as Google and for every 1000 visits I get from Google i would get 30 from Bing. So for me it is more like 3% of market. (I would get about 150 from Yahoo so if add together I s'pose it gets closer to 20%). Maybe Bing is just not very popular in my market.
Originally Posted by distinctseo
One thing I do notice is I often get two distinct listings in Bing for my searches and not just straight after each other ie one and three for example with different pages listed. I think this happens with pagesd that have a lot of strong deep links so get home page and internal page with the deep links
I reckon Bing is rubbish at choosing its snippets.
Personnaly I will pay it more attention when I see more traffic coming from it.
Presently I am now getting more traffic from Baidu then Bing on many days.
I do notice that Bing and yahoo results are still quite different.
Live the moment
Sep 8th, 2010, 11:16 PM
Very nice post Phillip!
I think all tips you mention above are enough for Bing optimized. Bing index much slower than Google. H1, fist paragraph, and age of domain really make sense to Bing. one more thing as i see that is Bing like Social network.
Sep 17th, 2010, 05:15 AM
I enjoyed reading that Phil.
I work for White Hat Media, an SEO company and with all these mergers happening its certainly keeping the industry on its toes.
I personally advise clients to consider ALL the market: i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing. You have to!!
Oct 13th, 2010, 02:37 PM
Great post! I too am not sure about the 30%. Maybe with some keywords or market segments. Thanks for all the concentrated info.
Nov 2nd, 2010, 09:36 AM
Phillip - just like everyone else thank you for your great post.
Let me add few things from my own experience:
It has been much easier for me to get higher ranking in Bing than google and it could be because of the way Bing treats backlinks - my links have been more of the volume kind rather then quality kind.
I think it is worth mentioning that combining Yahoo search with Bing will also affect the way this search engine works. Yahoo had their own search logic and it will be seen in Bing in the coming months.
Dec 16th, 2010, 05:15 PM
This is indeed a great post.
Much deserved 1000th post.
Well these algorithms are on;y predictable by implementing strategies and exploring the results of strategy.Not much information available about the algorithms used.But what generally perceived Google give more importance to Back links and Bing to freshness of content.
Dec 30th, 2010, 05:48 AM
I posted my sitemap both on bing and google. From that that, google have crawled 1000 pages from my website, but Bing just crawled 10 pages.
Bing is not efficient as a good search engine should be.