When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), most businesses tend to focus their efforts on optimizing their website for Google.
While Google undeniably dominates the search engine market, paying attention to other search engines can mean missing out on valuable opportunities to reach a unique audience. One such search engine that often gets overlooked is Bing.
With a significant market share and a distinct user base, Bing offers a platform for businesses to diversify their audience and expand their online reach.
By incorporating Bing SEO strategies into your digital marketing efforts, you can tap into a different pool of potential customers and gain a competitive edge.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of using Bing SEO to target a unique audience and discuss some effective techniques to optimize your website for Bing.
Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, understanding the potential of Bing SEO can help you broaden your online presence and attract new customers who might not have found you through other search engines.
So, let’s dive in and discover the untapped opportunities that Bing has to offer for your business.
What Is Microsoft Bing?
Bing, also known as Microsoft Bing, is an internet search engine owned and operated by Microsoft. Its roots may be seen in Microsoft’s earlier search engines, including MSN Search, Windows Live Search, and later Live Search. Web, video, picture, and map searches are just a few of the services that Bing provides. It is developed using ASP.NET.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled Bing as a replacement for Live Search on May 28, 2009, at the All Things Digital Conference in San Diego, California.
It was officially released on June 3, 2009. Notable features introduced at that time included search suggestions and a list of related searches called the “Explore pane,” which utilized semantic technology from Powerset, a company acquired by Microsoft in 2008.
In July 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo! announced a partnership where Bing would power Yahoo! Search. The transition was completed in 2012.
Microsoft said in October 2011 that it was developing a new “Tiger search” architecture to provide quicker and more accurate search results. By August of that year, the new index-serving technology was globally incorporated into Bing.
Microsoft updated its search engine in May 2012, introducing the “Sidebar” as a social feature that combed users’ social networks for pertinent data.
Microsoft made a number of Bing components, including the BitFunnel search engine indexing algorithm, open-source in 2016.
As of October 2020, Bing is the second largest search engine worldwide, accounting for 12% of the query volume. It follows Google, which holds an 80% market share, while Baidu has 4%, and Yahoo! Search, primarily powered by Bing, has 3%.
Why does it matter and how Bing differs from Google?
Bing offers certain advantages over Google in specific areas.
For instance, when it comes to image searches, Bing provides higher-quality results, making it a preferred choice. It offers various search layouts and displays licensing information for each image, eliminating the need to search for such details separately.
Bing was also a pioneer in implementing infinite scrolling for image search results, although this feature is now available on Google as well.
Bing also offers a more seamless experience for video searches, even though YouTube is owned by Google.
When you search for a video on Bing, the results are presented as a thumbnail grid, allowing you to watch videos directly on the search engine results page without needing to navigate to another website.
The most significant distinction between Bing and Google lies in their influence over a rapidly growing segment of online searches, namely those performed through voice-assisted devices.
In 2017, approximately 35 million Americans used such devices at least once a month, with more than 70% of them being Amazon Echo users. It’s worth noting that Amazon’s Alexa, the voice assistant powering Echo devices, relies on Bing for its search capabilities.
Bing’s search ranking factors
Bing has recently updated its Webmaster Guidelines, providing insights into how the search engine determines the ranking of web pages in its search results.
Relevance, quality, credibility, user interaction, freshness, geography, and page load speed are just a few of the categories that Bing divides its ranking criteria into.
According to the guidelines, Bing’s search results are generated algorithmically rather than manually. The search engine employs an algorithm to match the user’s search query with the content present in its index.
Bing emphasizes its commitment to continually improving its algorithms to offer comprehensive, relevant, and valuable search results.
It’s important to note that ranking is a complex process, and Bing utilizes multiple criteria to deliver search results.
The relative importance of each parameter may vary depending on the specific search and can evolve. Nonetheless, Bing provides a general order of importance for the ranking factors outlined below.
Relevance is a crucial aspect highlighted by Bing. It refers to how closely the content on a landing page aligns with the intent behind the search query.
This includes matching specific terms on the page itself, as well as terms used in links that point to the page.
Bing also considers semantically comparable phrases that may not be precise matches for the query terms but have the same meaning, such as synonyms or abbreviations.
B. Quality & Credibility
According to Bing’s guidelines, “Quality & Credibility” plays a significant role in its ranking process.
Bing states that it considers various elements to assess the quality and credibility of a website, including evaluating the page itself. This evaluation encompasses factors such as the reputation of the author or the website.
Bing provides an example to illustrate this point: an article that includes citations and references to data sources is regarded as higher quality than one that lacks explanations or references.
Conversely, Bing may lower the ranking of content involving name-calling, offensive statements, or derogatory language.
Additionally, Bing considers the content’s completeness and the authorship’s transparency.
In essence, Bing can demote websites that employ name-calling, offensive language, or derogatory remarks. It also considers factors such as the comprehensiveness of the content and the visibility of authorship when evaluating the quality and credibility of a website.
C. User Engagement
In contrast to Google, which has traditionally stated that it does not take user engagement factors into account, Bing, as a competitor, acknowledges the importance of user engagement in its ranking process. Bing explicitly states that it considers how users interact with search results.
- Bing employs various methods to evaluate user engagement. It poses questions such as whether users clicked on search results for a particular query and, if so, which results they clicked on.
- Bing also considers the amount of time users spent on the search results they accessed or whether they quickly return to Bing without engaging further.
- Bing assesses whether users made adjustments or rephrased their query during their search session.
- Bing Webmaster tools offer analytics and insights into how users interact with webpages, and Bing can utilize these insights for ranking purposes.
- Bing recognizes the significance of user engagement and incorporates it into its ranking algorithm.
- By examining factors such as click-through rates, time spent on site, and query adjustments, Bing aims to gauge how users interact with search results and utilizes this information to influence rankings.
Freshness is a factor that Bing considers in its ranking algorithm. Bing expresses a preference for content that is more up-to-date and consistently provides current information.
However, the importance of freshness depends on the nature of the content and its category. While certain content remains relevant for years, there are cases where content can quickly become outdated shortly after its creation.
Location is another aspect that can influence content rankings on Bing. The search engine takes into account the user’s location, including country and city, as well as the hosting location of the page, the document’s language, and the location of other visitors to the page.
F. Page Load Time
Page load time is also significant for Bing. Slow loading times can result in visitors leaving a website before the content even loads, prompting them to seek information elsewhere.
This search result and user experience are both deemed bad by Bing.
- Similar to Google, Bing prefers faster page load speeds. However, Bing emphasizes that webmasters should strike a balance between achieving fast load times and providing a positive and useful user experience.
- Bing considers the freshness of content, takes into account the searcher’s location, and prioritizes faster page load times while maintaining a focus on delivering a satisfactory user experience.
What is Bing SEO?
Bing SEO is a digital marketing tactic intended to increase web page presence within the Bing search engine.
By implementing this strategy, you can increase website traffic by making your pages more easily identifiable and user-friendly for Bing users.
Although Google dominates the search engine market, Bing still holds a significant share, accounting for over 10% of desktop search traffic.
Additionally, when considering the portion of Yahoo searches powered by Bing, the overall reach of Bing expands even further.
This means that targeting Bing and Yahoo searches can provide access to a substantial user base, with approximately 3 billion searches conducted through Bing each month.
Similar to Google, Bing employs a complex algorithm to rank search results. The algorithm determines the worth of each web page by taking into account important elements including content relevancy, quality, recency, and page load speed.
However, unlike Google, Bing is more transparent regarding its ranking methods and provides more explicit guidance on which SEO techniques marketers should prioritize.
Bing’s openness allows marketers to optimize their websites specifically for Bing, capitalizing on the potential to capture a significant portion of search traffic from Bing and its partner, Yahoo.
Benefits Of Bing SEO
While Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, may not have the same market dominance as Google, it still boasts a significant user base.
Therefore, it is crucial to optimize your website for Bing SEO to expand your reach and attract potential customers.
Here are some advantages of prioritizing Bing SEO:
- Reduced Competition: As previously mentioned, Bing has a smaller market share compared to Google. Consequently, there is less competition on Bing’s search platform, making achieving higher rankings in search results relatively easier.
- Favorable Demographics: Bing’s user base generally skews slightly older and more affluent than Google’s audience. This demographic profile may be particularly appealing to certain businesses or industries, as it aligns with specific target markets.
- Integration with Microsoft Products: Bing enjoys integration with various Microsoft products, including Windows, Office, and Edge. This integration means that users of these Microsoft products are more likely to utilize Bing as their default search engine. Leveraging Bing SEO can help businesses capture the attention of this user base and drive relevant traffic to their websites.
a. Ensure That Bing Has Indexed Your Website
To ensure that your web pages appear on search engine results pages (SERPs), they need to be indexed by the search engine. There are three main methods to ensure proper indexing:
1. Submit a clean XML sitemap: Prepare an XML sitemap that contains functional links and pages with an accuracy rate of at least 99%.
You can include the sitemap in your website’s robots.txt file or upload it to your Bing Webmaster Tools dashboard under the “Sitemaps” section.
2. Perform a Bing search using the “site:yoursite.com” syntax: Conduct a Bing search specifically for your website by entering “site:yoursite.com” in the search query. This search will display the number of pages (results) indexed by Bing.
If you observe a significant discrepancy between the number of results and your actual web pages, it indicates an indexing problem that needs to be addressed.
3. Adjust your site’s crawl rate in Bing Webmaster Tools: Utilize the Bing Webmaster Tools console to increase the crawl rate of your website, ensuring that newly added pages are indexed at a faster pace.
Once you have confirmed that your site is being efficiently crawled and properly indexed, it is important to periodically monitor the process throughout the year to maintain smooth operation. Indexing your pages is the initial step toward optimizing your website’s performance.
b. Use Simple Keywords
While Bing excels at understanding direct searches, it may not perform as effectively as Google when it comes to interpreting complex search queries.
Google’s search algorithm has evolved through machine-learning technologies that can analyze and comprehend semantic searches. It can evaluate factors such as:
- Long-tail keywords
- Voice searches and commands
- Contextual clues
- Search terms in the form of questions
Bing lacks some of these advanced capabilities. Therefore, when conducting keyword research for Bing SEO, it is advisable to focus on straightforward terms.
When creating content, it is beneficial to incorporate exact keywords that indicate your target topic, aiding search engine crawlers in identifying the content’s relevance.
While optimizing for long-tail keywords may pose challenges for Bing, it’s important to note that using the keyword excessively throughout the content is unnecessary.
Instead, aim to naturally incorporate the word or phrase in various areas such as the title, description, headers, and meta tags to effectively convey your message and establish relevance.
c. Create Good Content
Bing places a high value on websites that offer distinctive and captivating content that addresses the readers’ queries effectively.
According to Bing, there are three key elements of quality content.
To elaborate further, Bing emphasizes the following:
1. Authorship and Source: It is important to indicate the author of the content and provide the source of the information.
2. Relevance and Detail: The content should thoroughly address the users’ queries and provide helpful information.
3. Formatting and Presentation: The content should be well-formatted and presented in a way that distinguishes advertisements from the main content. Bing also values the aesthetic appearance and functional usability of a website for end-users.
While Google tends to favor simplicity and text-based HTML content, it struggles with reading Flash-based content. It is not recommended to create a Flash-based website solely for Bing.
However, you can enhance the user experience by incorporating images and videos into your content.
By including relevant and visually appealing images accompanied by the descriptive alt text, you can potentially improve your brand’s visibility in Bing image search results and attract additional traffic to your website.
d. Create Effective Meta Descriptions and Titles
Meta titles and descriptions play a crucial role in representing your web pages to users. It is essential to create compelling and informative meta tags that leave a strong first impression.
Title tags carry significant weight in Bing’s ranking algorithm as they serve as the gateway between users and your web page. To craft excellent title tags, consider the following:
- Avoid repeating the same title across multiple pages.
- Incorporate your focus keyword to optimize relevance.
- Write unique titles for each page to differentiate them.
- Clearly describe the topic or content of the page.
- Include a call-to-action to encourage user engagement.
The effectiveness of a meta description depends on the nature of your content and the needs of your target audience.
While product prices and descriptions may be suitable for e-commerce pages, informational searches require a different approach.
e. Optimize Images
Search engines are constantly evolving to enhance the search experience for each user, and image search is a prime example of this evolution.
Bing Images offers high-quality visuals, including pictures and infographics, to its users. Having your content featured in Bing Images can help broaden your reach to a wider demographic.
Optimizing images for SEO is crucial for several reasons:
1. Reduces page loading time: Optimized images ensure faster page loading, enhancing user experience.
2. Enhances content: Well-optimized images complement your content, making it more engaging and visually appealing.
3. Increases backlinks and social shares: Compelling images are more likely to attract backlinks and shares on social media platforms.
4. Featured on Bing Images: By optimizing your images, you increase the chances of having your content showcased on the Bing Images tab, gaining more visibility.
5. Accessibility for visually impaired users: Adding appropriate HTML alt text to your images makes them accessible to visually impaired users who rely on screen readers.
6. Drives traffic through image search: Optimized images have the potential to attract more visitors through image search results.
To fully optimize your images and take your content to the next level, consider the following techniques:
- Compress images to an appropriate size to balance quality and file size.
- Cache your file data to facilitate faster loading for returning visitors.
- Add HTML alt text to describe the images accurately, aiding search engines in understanding their context and relevance.
- Use responsive image files that adapt to different screen sizes and devices.
Consider implementing lazy loading in your page design, loading images as users scroll down the page, improving performance.
Implementing these SEO techniques not only enhances your site’s functionality and user experience but also enables search engine crawlers to better interpret and index your visual content. These outcomes can potentially lead to improved rankings and increased web traffic.
f. Build Quality Backlinks To Your Website
Backlinks, which are links from external websites pointing to your website, play a crucial role in SEO.
Search engines consider backlinks as a vote of confidence in your website’s content, indicating its relevance and credibility. Some effective techniques for building high-quality backlinks are the ones listed below:
1. Create Exceptional Content: Developing high-quality and valuable content is the most effective way to naturally attract backlinks. Focus on producing informative, unique, and engaging content that resonates with your target audience.
2. Outreach to Relevant Websites: Reach out to other websites within your industry and propose a collaboration or content partnership. Personalize your outreach efforts and explain how linking to your content would benefit their audience.
3. Guest Blogging: One should engage in guest blogging by contributing informative and well-written articles to other websites in your industry. In your author profile, include a link to your website. This approach not only helps you secure backlinks but also establishes your authority within the industry.
4. Utilize Social Media: Leverage the power of social media platforms to promote your content and attract backlinks. Share your content across active and engaging social media profiles, ensuring you include links back to your website.
Building a strong network and actively engaging with your industry peers can also lead to natural backlink opportunities.
Remember, the focus should always be on creating valuable content that naturally attracts backlinks rather than engaging in manipulative or spammy tactics that can harm your website’s reputation.
g. Social Media Impacts on Bing SEO
Bing has made it clear that they utilise social shares to determine how well-liked a website is among users. Bing receives favorable signals when consumers share your content broadly. Due to your social impact, your organic rankings may eventually improve.
Bing also opposes dubious social networking strategies that enable you to acquire an excessive number of (false) followers quickly. Generally speaking, purchasing social media followers will not benefit you in terms of Bing search results, or those from any search engine for that matter.
Bing offers a range of services beyond its search engine, which includes the following:
A. Bing Ads
Businesses may advertise on Bing’s search engine results pages (SERPs) via the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform known as Bing Ads.
- Similar to Google Ads, businesses can create targeted ads based on specific keywords and demographics. Only user who clicks on their advertising result in payment.
- Bing Ads are a valuable tool for businesses aiming to increase their online visibility and attract more traffic to their websites.
B. Bing Places
Bing Places is a local search platform designed for businesses to manage their online presence on Bing’s search engine.
- It allows businesses to create and update their listings with essential information such as addresses, phone number, and operating hours.
- This information is displayed to users who search for local businesses in their area on Bing’s local search platform.
C. Bing Webmaster Tools
The, Bing Webmaster Tools offers a set of tools and resources for website owners to monitor and improve their site’s performance on Bing’s search engine.
- It includes a site explorer feature that allows webmasters to observe how Bing crawls and indexes their websites.
- The tools also provide a keyword research feature to help webmasters identify potential keywords that can drive traffic to their sites.
- Also, Bing Webmaster Tools is a valuable resource for website owners seeking to optimize their site for Bing SEO.
- These services provided by Bing expand the opportunities for businesses and website owners to enhance their online presence, attract targeted traffic, and improve their site’s performance on Bing’s search engine.
Bing SEO vs. Google SEO
The Bing SEO and Google SEO have distinct differences that should be taken into account when optimizing your website.
Understanding these differences allows you to refine your SEO strategy accordingly and take advantage of specific features and considerations unique to each search engine.
Bing SEO and Google SEO share some similarities in their ranking factors and approaches. They are as:
- Both search engines consider social signals, such as shares and mention on social media platforms, as indicators of content quality and relevance.
- Both Bing and Google take into account the quality of backlinks to determine the credibility and authority of a webpage.
- However, there are also some differences between Bing and Google in how they assess backlinks.
- Bing places more importance on the number of backlinks and the domain extensions of those linking pages, giving higher ranking to content that receives backlinks from prestigious domains like dot-edu, dot-gov, and dot-org.
- On the other hand, Google uses its PageRank algorithm, which calculates the ranking score based on the PageRank scores of linking domains and the overall number of outbound links on those linking pages.
- Both search engines are also incorporating semantic search capabilities, which involve understanding the intent and context of a search query rather than solely relying on exact keyword matches.
- Google’s Hummingbird updates have enhanced its semantic search capabilities, rewarding comprehensive and contextually relevant content. Bing, while historically more focused on exact match keywords, is also improving its semantic search capabilities through deep learning techniques.
- Overall, while there are similarities between Bing SEO and Google SEO, it’s important to consider their unique approaches and ranking factors when optimizing your content for each search engine.
Bing SEO and Google SEO diverge in their preferences for optimizing different types of content. They can be listed as:
- While Bing SEO allows for the optimization of various content formats, such as videos and audio, Google primarily focuses on text-based content.
- Therefore, it is advisable to include transcripts alongside video content to make it accessible to Google’s crawling capabilities.
- Regarding metadata, Bing and Google have distinct policies, particularly concerning meta keywords.
- Meta keywords, tags, and descriptions are forms of metadata embedded in the HTML code of your content, providing information to search engines about its topic.
- Google’s stance on meta keywords is complex. Its search algorithm has not relied on meta keywords for ranking purposes for over a decade due to concerns of abuse.
- However, well-crafted meta descriptions and meta titles can attract readers’ attention, resulting in higher click-through rates (CTRs) from organic searches. Google values higher CTRs, and they can contribute to improved rankings.
- Consequently, while meta keywords may not directly impact Google’s rankings, effective meta tags and descriptions can still enhance your visibility.
- On the other hand, Bing SEO places more significance on meta keywords, tags, and descriptions. Bing considers these elements as important indicators for SEO.
- By incorporating relevant meta keywords and informative meta descriptions into your content, you can potentially boost your rankings on Bing’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Bing and Google differ in their treatment of various content formats and the role of meta keywords.
- While Google focuses on text-based content and uses meta descriptions to influence CTRs, Bing SEO allows for the optimization of different content types and emphasizes the importance of meta keywords, tags, and reports for SEO.
- Understanding these distinctions can help tailor your optimization strategies accordingly for each search engine.
While Google remains the leading search engine, it is important not to disregard Bing, which has a considerable market share. Integrating Bing into your SEO strategy can be advantageous. Optimizing your website for Bing SEO increases your visibility on Bing’s search engine results pages (SERPs), potentially leading to higher traffic and improved conversion rates.
Developing compelling and high-quality content plays a crucial role in enhancing your visibility on SERPs. Additionally, optimizing the technical aspects of your website can contribute to improved rankings on both Bing and Google.
Therefore, incorporating Bing into your SEO efforts can have a positive impact on your overall search engine performance.
1. Is Bing good for SEO?
Employing SEO strategies for Bing can serve as a valuable alternative. While investing in paid advertising on Microsoft Advertising, Bing’s counterpart to Google AdWords, is a viable option, focusing on organic brand visibility is equally important.
The optimization techniques required to improve rankings on Bing often align with those used for Google. Therefore, by implementing effective SEO practices, you can enhance your brand’s visibility on both search engines.
2. Is Bing SEO better than Google SEO?
Although Bing places slightly less emphasis on backlinks compared to Google, they still play a significant role in Bing’s SEO rankings. Similar to Google, websites with a greater number of backlinks tend to rank higher on Bing.
However, Bing places increasing importance on the quality of backlinks rather than solely focusing on quantity. Therefore, having high-quality backlinks is crucial for improving your rankings on Bing’s search engine.
3. How do I increase Bing SEO?
To enhance your SEO performance, it is beneficial to utilize the Bing Webmaster Tools. These tools can assist you in optimizing your website according to Bing’s on-page SEO factors. It is also essential to maintain a solid and engaged presence on social media platforms.