For most people, “SEO” means Google optimization.
Moreover, when it comes to search engines, we invariably mean Google.
Well, Google has been the primary focus for most marketers for a while.
While it’s true that Google enjoys almost two-thirds of search market share (desktop) in the US, but what about the other third searches.
It’s impressively big at almost 35.6%.
You just can’t safely write it off.
If we look at the US desktop search marketplace results, we will find that Bing accounts a third of all desktop searches.
It stands at an impressive 23.7%.
(Yahoo + AOL) accounts the remaining 11.9%.
Moreover, Bing powers Yahoo’s search results.
So, together Bing and Yahoo (the YBN Network) make up almost 35% of the desktop search engine market.
It means that every third searcher will use either Bing or Yahoo instead of Google.
It also means that when you want to get your results at the top of Bing, you have to take a serious look at the Bing SEO & Ranking Factors.
So, here’s a post dedicated to Bing SEO & Ranking Factors.
It is worthy to note that Bing is increasingly grabbing the attention of marketers who want to reach a wider audience and garner high rankings on both search platforms.
However, fortunately enough you don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” for optimizing for Bing.
It’s just that you need to make certain potential changes.
In fact, despite some significant differences, there are some similarities in Bing and Google as far as SEO ranking factors are concerned.
Here, we take a look at all those things that you need to do for ranking well on Bing.
Although Bing’s market share has grown up considerably, it is not the only reason why you should optimize your site for Bing.
For instance, there are many websites that focus on optimizing only for Google. Well, you can race ahead of your competition when you position your business to that 30 % of searchers who are using Bing and Yahoo.
In fact, that’s a lot of potential customers that your competitors have ignored.
Then, there is a big difference in the demographics of people who search with Bing and Yahoo compared to those who search with Google.
In fact, there are many people (types of households or parts of the country) who are more likely to use Bing over Google.
Lastly, it’s hard to adjust to the changes when Google updates its algorithms.
And Google does it quite frequently.
It can happen that Google’s algorithmic update can leave your company scrambling to adjust to the changes.
Moreover, your high ranking position can suddenly drop.
If you have optimized for Bing and Yahoo, you can still reach a wide audience. It gives enough time to adapt to the new changes made by Google.
Bing Ranking Factors
Preparing for the Bing search engine requires you to know the Bing Ranking Factors. These are the key factors that make Bing tick at its core.
Here we go.
At Bing, User Engagement is one of the strongest ranking factors.
Strong user engagement will go on to increase your rankings in Bing.
It is measured using ‘Pogo Sticking.’ It is when someone performs a search, clicks to see a result, and then clicks back to the search results.
When lots of people visit your site from the search results but click the ‘back’ button, it’s an indication of ‘poor’ user engagement to Bing.
However, when lots of people visit your site from the search results but do not click the ‘back’ button to continue searching, it is a very strong user engagement signal to Bing.
CTR (Click through Rates)
CTR or Click through Rates is another important ranking factor at Bing. Bing uses click-through rates data together with user engagement data for improving its results.
For example, assuming all things being equal, if the #1 position result gets 25% click-thrugh rate but the #2 position result bags 50%, it shows to Bing that the #2 result is more relevant.
So, you have to write your titles and descriptions with humans in mind and be specific with your keyword. It’s keyword based click bait.
Social Signals Make an Impact
Social Signals form a core part of your SEO strategy both at Google as well as at Bing. Social signals affect your rankings in Google, and it affects your rankings in Bing too.
So, social signals are an important ranking factor at Bing.
You should use them to rank consistently on Bing.
In fact, Bing actually returns posts from Facebook and Twitter that are embedded directly into search results and stand out from normal web results.
Moreover, we must state that Bing relies on social signals more than Google.
So, if you want high search rankings on Bing, you must use social signals to your advantage. You will find that you benefit in both search results.
Authorship was introduced by Google.
It allows people to claim content that they have written.
With Authorship, Google is able to determine who the true experts in any given field are.
However, now Google have removed the pretty little pictures from search results.
That said Authorship is here to stay.
Moreover, Bing offers its own version of Authorship when they integrated Klout verified snapshots.
The Bing search results have:
- Klout score
- Your LinkedIn summary
- Other social profiles
- Influential topics
- Two most influential posts from Instagram (in the past 90 days).
- Two most influential moments from Twitter (in the past 7 days).
You can even take advantage of the connected pages feature at Bing.
Inbound Anchor Text
Bing has more focus on the anchor text usage than Google.
So, if you want to rank for ‘SEO Tactics’ you require links with ‘SEO Tactics’ anchor text.
Moreover, Bing is not as good as Google with keyword matching. So, while Google can recognize synonyms and context around a keyword, Bing, on the other hand, will need spoon feeding specifically.
However, you must not over optimize your anchor text as it can trip the Google Penguin filter.
So, the underlining trick here is to make sure that the links which come from high authority sites focus on exact anchors while the others have a mix of anchor terms.
This will make you rank well in Bing while you will be successful in dodging Google Penguin.
Backlinks are not important
You should know that backlinks are less important in Bing than in Google. In fact, the top ranking sites in Bing have noticeably less number of backlinks.
That said Bing does favor ‘editorial’ type links that come from within body content over links that come from a sidebar, footer, or list of links. Plus, site relevancy does matter.
Page Authority is Important
Although Bing doesn’t put much weight on backlinks, it does give importance to site authority.
So, you will find it hard to rank a new domain in Bing.
Moreover, with an aged domain you will get the much needed edge across Bing’s results.
If you have an old domain that includes your keyword then you are in for a big advantage at Bing. Even if you just have an old domain, you are in with a strong position, as well.
So, with Bing you must avoid using a brand new domain.
Content is King
Getting high rankings at Bing invariably means that your site should contain lots of unique content. Bing prefers sites with longer, unique and engaging content than shorter content.
Plus, you need to feed Bing with specific keyword that you want your page to rank for. You need to focus on 1 page per keyword with Bing. Moreover, Bing eliminates duplicate content at the point of indexing. Redundant content is eliminated from search result pages.
Bing is very specific with onsite optimization.
It wants that you should use the Meta title and description tags with the exact match keyword.
Together with the emphasis on title tags, Bing also keeps the user engagement signals in mind.
It establishes that you should only have 1 H1 tag per page for highlighting the main topic. You should then use H2 and H3 tags to talk about subtopics.
Moreover, Bing can even swap out your Meta description with your H1 tag in the search results. So, you should be creative with your headings.
How to do SEO for Bing
Here we summarize the things you need to set it right to do SEO for Bing.
First of all, you should start with an aged domain. It will offer you the much needed edge across Bing’s results. If you can get an old domain that includes your keyword, then it would be more advantageous for you.
Secondly, you need to structure your content so that it is unique, lengthy, and engaging.
Thirdly, you must do proper onsite optimization. You should have your Meta title and description tags with the exact match keyword. You should use only 1 H1 tag per page. You should also use H2 and H3 tags when discussing about sub-topics.
Lastly, you should share your stuff on all major social networking sites. You must use social signals to your advantage when optimizing for Bing.
These are some of the things that you need to do on SEO front with Bing.
At the end, we must say that Bing or the YBN (Yahoo Bing Network) should not be ignored if you want to gain organic traffic from search engines. In fact, the YBN has already garnered the second most search market share (desktop) in the US. So, it would be for your advantage if you do Bing SEO.