If you haven’t heard by now, Bing is increasing its market share and starting to take a piece of Google’s. At this time, Bing is currently tied with Yahoo for second in the search engine market share. For the first time, Microsoft will be able to say they are number 2. Plus, with the search deal Microsoft has with Yahoo, they take up at least 30% of the search engine market share. Leaving Google with roughly 63% of the search market share, and is decreasing every day.
Despite what others may see in the world of SEO, I think Bing is going to be a much bigger player than most people thought.
So, that leaves one question: Should you SEO for Bing?
Absolutely! You would be foolish to ignore Bing and its growing market share.
In this article, I am going to show you exactly how to SEO for Bing and dominate the results. I will start with the most important factors to ranking for Bing and explain why.
1. Domain Age
The single most important factor for Bing is domain age. The older the domain is, the more weight it will carry in their algorithm. The reason that Bing does this is because you can’t manipulate your domain name’s age and history.
So, should you buy an older domain name?
Most so-called “seo experts” would say yes; but I say no.
Let me explain why:
Bing, wants to see a consistency with the domain name’s history. The reason Bing wants to see only one owner throughout its history. If you buy a domain name that bounces from owner to owner, it’s not going to rank well regardless. In this case, the whois will reveal registrar drops, and that is a sign of buying older domain names. It is also a sign that you are trying to purchase older domain names with the sole purpose of manipulating the results. Too many registrar drops will more than likely raise suspicion.
What the search engines want to see is a steady ownership history. They have complete access to the whois information. So, you won’t be able to hide much from them, unless you go private.
Another thing I would like to mention, you should find a good web hosting provider and stay with them. If you are bouncing around web hosting companies every 6 months, which will raise some red flags, remember, most search engines have the complete whois history of your domain name. If they see you are changing IP’s and/or nameservers every six months, that it could be easily misconstrued as for something negative, even if it isn’t.
Think about it; Take eBay or Amazon, how many times did they change their ownership whois, nameservers, or IP? Probably not at all. More established web sites will have a solid and consistent history. The more solid and consistent your domain history is, the more authority it will have.
Instead of buying an old name, buy a new fresh domain name and keep the domain history consistent. You may need more backlinks than if you had an older domain name, but long term, you will benefit more.
Bing relies heavily on backlinks, but not in the same way Google does. All the major search engines want your backlinks to have value, meaning quality. Quality, not quantity. By quality, they mean from well established web sites that have a strong history, theme related, trusted and have authority.
Bing and Google love quality backlinks, and lots of them. Now, this is where backlinks differ between Google and Bing. If you have a 1000 backlinks from say, website called www.SiteA.com. Google would count a good portion of those backlinks towards your link popularity, especially if it has authority. Bing, on the other hand, will only count it as one link, or at most, a couple, regardless of the numbers.
Bing is extremely fussy when it comes to backlinks. Bing wants to see backlinks that are spread across different domain names, owners and unique IPs (c-class or greater). Moreover, you can get quality backlinks from the same owners and/or IPs, but they won’t be nearly as valuable. The most valuable backlinks to acquire are the ones that have a unique domain, owner, IP and that are theme related.
I also want to point out that when you get new backlinks, Bing will shuffle your website back. How far back really depends on how competitive your keywords and market is. It could be a few positions, or as much as a few pages. It usually last about a couple weeks to as much as a month. Don’t get discouraged, they do this so they can evaluate the backlink. Once they have evaluated the backlink for quality, you should be back to where you were before, or higher.
I actually like that Bing does this. It’s Bings way of dealing with backlink manipulation — by sandboxing new backlinks.
3. On Page SEO
There are several on page SEO factors that Bing looks for when ranking your website. I am only going to cover the 3 biggest: title, description and content.
Your title tag is probably the most important to your on page SEO. Bing relies heavily on your title tag for relevance. If you are not using your keywords in your title tag, you will never rank well. Most people these days have caught on to it and how important it is.
When choosing your keywords for your title tag, be selective and pick keywords that are relevant to your page. After you have carefully chosen your keywords, make your most prominent keyword first in your title tag. Never repeat any of your keywords more than once. You should limit the amount of keywords you target per page. I always try to only target 2-3 keywords per page, but you can get away with 3-4. Don’t overdo it, there is a title tag character limit of up to 70.
Your meta description tag also plays a valuable role in your on page SEO with Bing. When you do a search, you’ll probably noticed a brief description under each web site listed. That is your meta description tag. If it wasn’t an important factor, it wouldn’t be there.
So, when you add your tag, make sure it is well written, catchy and has your keywords in it. Remember, just like your title tag, don’t repeat keywords and there is a character limit of up to 160. A catchy description will make you stand out and improve your click through rate (CTR). Having a good CTR, does improve your rankings, but it is a very small factor.
Now it is time to talk about your content. Bing is very picky when it comes to content. Well, all search engines are. The content on each page should be more than 300 words. Bing loves a lot of content. So, don’t limit it to only 300 words. If you are writing an informative topic, it will be more than 300 words.
Bing, and most search engines do this to avoid shallow content. In their eyes, content under 300 words provides little or no value to them. The more words you have, it will appear to have more value. That doesn’t mean you have to write 2,000 words articles. 500 words per page is a decent threshold. 500+ words should be your target.
Don’t use spun articles. Ever. You want your own work, so you can build credibility and start branding yourself/business. All your content should be unique and provide value to your visitors, not recycled garbage.
When writing your content, don’t repeat your keywords more than a couple times. The less you have them, the more natural your content is going to be. If you overuse, you are sending a clear message that you are trying to manipulate the rankings. Don’t worry about keyword density, it’s dead and it has been for years
I would also like to add, NEVER write for the search engines. ALWAYS, write for your visitors.
4. Off Page SEO
The two biggest off page SEO factors for Bing are link age and anchor text.
As mentioned earlier, Bing isn’t fond of new backlinks and likes to sandbox them. You want your backlinks to age, so that they will be more valuable. The reason for this, is that it appears to be more natural than traditional linking methods. Traditional inks don’t have much of a span life for a variety of reasons. The most common are when the webmaster terminates the link, or the website is no longer active. So, the longer it stays active, the more natural it will seem, and the more weight it will carry.
Bing is very stringent about anchor text. Anchor text is the text you use in your hyperlinks. You want to use keywords that you want to rank for. Not just any keywords. You want to target only one keyword per anchor text, and you want to make sure that it is used in your title tag and in the content. The anchor text should complement the page that it is linking to.
This is where Bing gets tricky. Don’t use the same anchor repeatedly. If you are targeting multiple keywords with your web sites, you want to evenly distribute the anchor text. If you don’t, you will have a ranking imbalance. What I mean by that is, if you use the same anchor text, you will rank better for that keyword than the rest.
Let’s say you have a pet website, and you are targeting the keywords, “dog grooming, dog products, and dog care”. If all your backlinks are using the anchor text, “dog grooming”, you will rank well for only that keyword. So, if you were to search for the keyword, “dog care”, you more than likely won’t see it. It will be buried. Plus, if you use the same anchor text, it’s going to look unnatural and suspicious. Moreover, if you distribute the anchor text evenly, you will start ranking better for each of your keywords.
Bing doesn’t work like Google, where the anchor text wouldn’t be as much of an issue. Google will count the link more than the anchor text. Bing is quite the opposite. They count the anchor text more than the link.
5. Social Networking Data
Social networks are starting to play a role in search engines algorithms. The role is limited at the moment, but over time as social networking becomes more evolved, it will be a much larger factor than it is now.
Even though most of them have the nofollow attribute, Bing has access to most of the data. You know if they have access to it, they’re going to use it. That’s a given.
Facebook is going to play a bigger role with Bing than with any other search engine because of the partnership they have with Microsoft. Bing has access to all of Facebook’s data. Google doesn’t, they only have limited access, and the access they do have is public. In other words, Bing knows just as much about you and your likes, just as much as Facebook does.
How does this work?
Every time someone likes, tweets or reblogs your content, it counts like a vote. In other words, every vote is like having a backlink. The more votes you have, the better that page will rank. If you want to increase your social network count, make sure your articles are well written and informative.
I think you will find over the next couple years that social data will outweigh backlinks.
Don’t overlook Bing. Bing is a threat all by itself. If they’re combining forces with Yahoo, Facebook, Skype and XBOX, their search market share is only going to get better over time, like it has already. I think they are going to be a much bigger player in the future of search engine marketing.
The information from this article will help you increase your rankings substantially and get you that much closer to your online endeavors.
Don’t forget to share this post with others.
Welcome to the Social Search era. Back in February, Google announced it was going customize the search experience with it’s new Google Social Search. As an average user, I like the concept, but as a marketer and seo, I don’t at all.
Social media is playing a major role in your search engine marketing and it’s results. Are the results your being delivered fairly? I say no, you are being delivered two sets of search results. I’ll explain why, in a few minutes. But first, I want to explain the two different results, and how they effect you. The two results you are being delivered are Social Media results, and the Traditional Search results. As I like to say, your log in and log out of Google account results.
Google’s Social Search / Logged In
If you have a Google account, and you are currently logged in, you will be delivered search results tailored around your and your circle of friends likes. What this does is give your likes and your circle of friends likes, a priority. Meaning, they will “usually” be delivered on the front page of the search results, at, or near the bottom. Not all liked pages are treated equal and some are mixed within the results. Sounds good right? Wrong.
The only reason you are on the front page is because you and/or your circle of friends have liked that specific page and/or web site. If you unlike the page, it will be gone. The only people that will see your front page results are you and your circle of friends. To a complete stranger, or average web visitor, they will more than likely not be following you, or be in your circle of friends.
Google’s Traditional Search Results / Logged Out
If you log out of your Google account, or open a new browser, you will be delivered Google’s Traditional Search results. You will have a completely different search result, and you will not see any of your or your circle of friends likes. By simply being logged in or out, changes everything, and will change the way your results are delivered. Now, that you are logged out, or opened a new browser, you are not on the front page anymore. You are shuffled back in the search results where you would normally positioned.
I have taken some screenshots of my findings, to show you exactly what i mean. I did two searches, “how to start a blog” and “website marketing”. When I did these searches, I did them logged in and the same exact search logged out.
I have also highlighted whether I was logged in or not, the search term, and my liked websites. My liked websites are being displayed because I linked to them from my Google profile.
Website Marketing Search Results
How To Start A Blog Search Results
I hope that the examples above shed some light to how Google is delivering it’s results.
Yes, social search is the wave of the future and will have more of an impact everyday. The fact of the matter is, it’s just another small factor in the search algorithm. Another factor to consider is that a lot of times, people aren’t even logged into their Google accounts without realizing it. More factors to consider, some people disable their cookies, change browsers, and don’t save their browser history.
As of right now, Google is only getting user data from it’s own users, Twitter, Linkedin and has a limited amount from Facebook. Facebook considers Google a rival, so Google has only access to Facebook pages that are publicly available. That may change in the future, but I doubt it. Bing is the only search engine that has full access to Facebook’s user data.
As a marketer and seo, that changes everything. Now you have to optimize for the search engines and social media. So, which do you optimize for, both. I wouldn’t focus too much on optimizing for social media, you are not Lady GaGa or Ashton Krutcher. You don’t have millions of followers or circle of friends. When it comes down to it, you should spend 90% of your time optimizing traditional seo.
Personality, I don’t like this approach, and is likely to be abused by spammers. I don’t think just because you and/or your circle of friends likes specific a website, that it should change the structure of the results. The search results should be delivered normally, the traditional way, and just add the like statuses. Search engines have to consider that not everyone has the same taste, and everyone is different.
In the end, until the results are treated equal, regardless of who likes what, traditional seo is the way to go.