I can pretty much guess right that when you hear "Search Engines", the first thing that comes to your mind is the search engine giant - Google.
To most people,
Google = Search engine(s).
But NO! Way back, I used to think that as well too.
No doubt, Google owns the largest share in the search market, and it's the dominant search engine with over 3.8 billion searches per day.
And about 90% of searches made on desktops are done via Google.
If you're like many others whose only focus is Google - and forget that there are other search engines, I present to you - your biggest untapped opportunity...
Wouldn't it be great to optimize for only one search engine and have the traffic coming to your site through 2 or 3 different search engines?
Hi, today I'm going to show you a "no-longer-a-sleeping giant but a waking up giant" in the search engine market - it's not new; it's something you might have heard countless times.
But there's a lot of things you don't know about it.
It's Bing (Microsoft)! It doesn't come near Google. But guess what:
- It's easy and faster to rank your web pages.
- Traffic converts much better.
- It accounts for about 36.8% of the desktop search engine market in the US.
Isn't that massive?
Hold on… that's not all!
- Unlike Google, it's SEO-friendly.
- Fewer competitions.
- Here you don't have to deal with complicated webmaster guidelines. It's simple and straightforward.
- A Search quality blog to enrich your knowledge of SEO best practices.
- Intuitive interface design - you'll love…
Bing Search Engine is big
# Core Search Entity Jan-2021 Feb-2021 Point Change
Comscore search share report for desktop shows that Bing accounts for 26.3%.
Yahoo and AOL are owned by Verizon Media which is formally known as Oath. But long before Verizon took over Yahoo, Microsoft has had a good partnership with Yahoo and has been powering its search engine for some years now.
In early 2019, Microsoft and Verizon Media announced an update to their partnership, which saw Yahoo, AOL, and Bing forming a strong 'combo'.
What this means…
Microsoft's Bing now serves as the exclusive search platform for Verizon-owned media - including Yahoo and AOL.
What this means for you as an SEO
From the report of Comscore analysis, we can see what Bing - in combination with Yahoo and AOL brings on board for SEO advantage.
36.8% is a massive one - more than one-third of the whole desktop search traffic.
An opportunity to optimize for Bing and show up in Yahoo - one tweak for two big search engines.
Why You Should Add Bing To Your SEO Strategy
#1. Low Competition
Most marketers are focusing on Google because its large shares mean high competitiveness. Everyone wants to rank on Google with little or no plans to rank on bing.
Or, maybe based on the general belief that once rank on Google ranks well on Bing. But that's not so.
On Bing, there are few competitors vying for the front page, and with little effort on your side, you can achieve a top spot on their search engine result page faster than you'll on Google.
#2. Higher Conversion Rate
Visitors through Bing are said to:
- spend more time on their visits and
- visit more pages,
Which results in a lower bounce rate and higher conversion rate.
While this is not a general claim, many marketers such as award-winning internet marketer Mathew Woodward, Tony Edward Senior SEO Manager at Elite SEM, and Masha Maksimava, VP Product & Marketing Awario, have dug into their data and found Bing SEO - converting much higher than Google did.
#3. Bing Is SEO-Friendly
Bing is open to marketers about its ranking factors, unlike Google. And offers more tools for diagnosis, which web admins can use for free.
The Bing Webmaster Tools is great for SEO!
Bing explicitly stated in its guidelines what and how you should optimize your site to rank well.
Apart from that…
You get a whole lot of tools in there, including backlinks explorer and almost everything you'll ever need to configure your site, getting it started, and making it SEO-ready.
It also has an SEO analyzer that you can use to analyze your website.
Plus, you get a $100 free Bing ads credit.
I recommend you visit their webmaster guidelines page now if you haven't.
#4. SEO Toolkit
The IIS SEO Toolkit is a powerful set of tools anyone can use to improve their site's search engine discoverability and quality. It gives you a site performance analysis report, including slow pages and broken links that can impact user experience negatively.
#5. Bing Teaches You SEO
Bing Search Quality Blog offers SEO best practices and generally educates you about the world of search - which you can apply on all search engines.
Plus, this blog tells you everything you need to know about Bing, including sharing their experiences on what works - and what won't move a "needle" on their SERP.
Something you don't get in Google.
Imagine Google publishing a blog on what they've been testing and sharing the result with you as a guide to optimize your Website on their SERP.
How good would that be?
That takes me to the last point I'm going to share with you. It's quite interesting.
#6. Direct contact with Webmasters Team
Imagine your site is flagged or hit for any reason you have no idea about.
imagine you could resolve whatever SEO-related issues you have with your site without hiring an expert…
Bing is incredible when it comes to helping web admins.
All you need is to contact Bing Webmaster Team to educate you on why and what you could do to resolve it - and possibly resolve it for you.
There's nothing as exciting as having some people around you to solve your problems.
Bing SEO Optimization & Ranking Factors - How You Can 3x Your Search Traffic and Double Your Revenues
Bing ranking factors are similar to that of Google. But how these factors are applied...and the weight of each one varies significantly.
That is, what Google uses as a strong signal may not have much weight on Bing.
Below is a list of the most important ranking factors to consider when optimizing for Bing.
1. User Experience
Bing Places much weight on how the users engage with your Website. And thus, a strong ranking signal.
They measure this by how the users find your content useful. If a user clicks on a result and lands on your site - and moments later bounces out to click on another result, Bing perceives that the user must have found your content not useful.
This simple act performed by the user is referred to as Pogo Sticking. And it could ruin your entire SEO.
The more the number of people who click on your site and read your content without returning to search results, the better your chances of ranking higher on Bing.
When optimizing for Bing, ensure your content is unique, relevant, and one that users will find useful.
2. Keywords In Domain
Bing's usage of keywords is quite different from Google's.
The latter uses a series of algorithms to understand semantic search - searchers' intents and extract meaning from any given context.
Google relies on machine learning and artificial intelligence such as its RankBrain algorithm to achieve this.
But, Bing exclusively stated in its Webmaster's guidelines and advice that we use targeted (exact) keywords wherever possible - including in domain.
And domains like:
Will rank on bing for the keywords "buy new wears."
3. Keywords In Title Tag, H1 And H2 Tag
Having your exact keywords in the domain helps you rank; placing keywords in the title tag, H1, and H2 tag will also help you rank a lot better.
4. Meta Keywords And Descriptions
Way back in 2009, Google disregarded the use of the keyword Meta tag, and soon after, Yahoo and Bing followed suit.
But while meta keyword is completely dead in Google, it's still alive on Bing - much as a negative ranking signal, though.
However, having your target keywords in the description can help you rank well on Bing. Again, this is not a ranking signal in Google.
Bing doesn't place as much weight on backlinks as Google does.
Google uses link equity coming from a linked domain (PageRank) to gauge trust.
On the other hand, Bing also values quality links from authority sites, but how they judge quality links is a bit different. Bing put more emphasis on
- Domain extension
- Domain age
Your site will rank well on Bing if you get backlinks from authority sites such as from .gov, .edu, or .org domains.
It is much easier to rank an old website on bing than to rank a brand new domain - domain age matters a lot on Bing.
Bing's position is - natural (organically acquired) links from old websites, and .gov, .edu, or .org is a gold.
Also, while acquiring links from authoritative domains alone will get you going on Google, your link profile together with do-follow must contain the target (exact match) keywords as an anchor text when someone links to you.
6. Social Signals
Bing uses human interaction and engagement metrics on social media as a ranking signal.
In its Webmaster's guidelines, Bing stated that
"Social media plays a role in today's efforts to rank well in search results. The most obvious part it plays is via influence. If you're influential socially, this leads to your followers sharing your information widely, which results in Bing seeing these positive signals. These positive signals can have an impact on how you rank organically in the long run."
Google, however, has denied speculations that social media plays a small role in ranking websites on SERP. But, as the social web grows to be important, this may change soon.
If you want to rank well on Bing, you'll need to include social media in your strategy - paying close attention to your account while monitoring social mentions across the web.
7. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Bing combines the data from user engagement with the Click-through rates (CTRs) as a ranking factor.
When optimizing for Bing, there are two things you'll want to keep in mind;
- Write content for humans first.
- Strategically position your target keywords in both the title tag and the meta description.
Create content that directly solves any problem or addresses any question a user might have.
That way, you win!
Google, Bing only loves you when everyone else loves you.
8. Bing Authorship
Both Bing and Google once used authorship to claim their content as a means webmasters or authors can use. And then use it as an authority and trust signal to score the writer on their search engines.
But, Bing authorship, an integrated Klout verified snapshot, is now dead.❌
And John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools announced the death of Google Authorship in Google Search and will no longer track data from rel=author markup.
While Google now tracks data using entity and schema markup - in a big knowledge graph, Bing's solution is an option of connected pages on their Webmasters Tools. You can take advantage of it by adding your profiles, verifying and submitting them.
9. Site Structure
Bing's advice to webmasters is that - the content on your site should be organized - such that it will only take a maximum of 3 clicks away from the content you intend to rank for from the homepage.
This means the organization of your site is important, just as it is on Google.
So, if your site doesn't take this structure:
SEO > strategy > how to gain backlinks
SEO > strategy > backlinks > how to gain backlinks,
consider restructuring it. The depth of clicks is important in site crawling controls.
10. HTTPS Not A Ranking Factor
Part of what Google uses to rank web pages organically is a layer of SSL on the traditional HTTP, which adds security. But, this is not so on Bing as they see no relevance in it.
Here's what Bing Lead Program Manager Vincent Wehren said:
"HTTPS is not a ranking factor. We don't want to mess around with rankings based on a factor that has no real relevance."
Bing usually prefers content that's fresh and updated with the latest information.
12. Location and language
Bing considers location - where the user is searching (country and city), including the language. This is most important when you want to optimize the Bing Places Portal.
13. Page Load Time
Page load time can affect user experience positively or negatively. And since user experience is a strong ranking factor, expect page speed to be a strong signal.
When it comes to penalties, Bing is friendly and not as hard on webmasters as Google does.
Plus, you have little to worry about, and the webmaster guidelines are quite clear and straightforward.
In a recent update to their webmaster guidelines, centred around how content is ranked,
Bing says offensive statements are one of the things that can lead to content demotion:
"Bing may demote content that includes name-calling, offensive statements, or uses derogatory language to make a point), the completeness of the content, and transparency of authorship."
You can't game them with:
- Relevancy factor
- Credibility and quality factors and
- User engagement signals
...else, you lose.
Things webmasters should avoid when optimizing for Bing:
Scraped content: Scraping content is considered copyright infringement and may not add any value to your Website.
Automatically generated content: Using a script or any computer program to automate content and publishing it with no effort on your side should be avoided.
Malicious behaviour: Bing says malicious behaviour can lead to demoting or delisting your content. You should stay alert and monitor your site.
Because Bing does not care whether the suspected malicious behaviour is intentional or someone hacks into your site.
Affiliate programs without sufficient value: Bing wants you to create quality and relevant content around your affiliate products. If your affiliate sites do not add any value to users, Bing may demote or even delist your site.
How To Check For Penalty
Go to Webmasters Tool > click on summary Tools > look at the "Site Status" if it shows you - Blocked,
Then, you've penalty issues.
But, that's not the end of the world…
Here's a post on the Webmaster's blog you can follow to get back on track.
June 30, 2020 updates to Bing webmasters guidelines
Christi Olson, the Head of Evangelism at Bing, on June 30, 2020, announced on Twitter...
"We sought to modernize the guidelines to provide more clarity and easy to understand insights on how Bing discovers, indexes, and ranks content."
This update was a complete revamping of the entire section of its guidelines. And what one can say major changes since 2012.
If you're curious to know more (which you should) about these changes and see them for yourself, follow this link: updated webmasters guidelines.
But before you go… here's the summary of the "IMPORTANT" updates, and it's centred around content:
(1) How Bing finds and indexes your site
(2) What to do to help Bing understand your pages
(3) How Bing ranks your content
(4) Abuse and Examples of Things to Avoid
Side note: all these points are what we've expanded earlier on. So this section of the article is to point you to the recent updates.
Another thing you should pay close attention to is the fact that Bing now monitors the rel=" sponsored" and rel= "UGC" link attributes, which Google introduced back in September 2019.
Bing, when asked by Barry Schwartz, says:
They're monitoring it for adoption, but at the moment, it's not as strong of a signal for us.
[Follow the next tweet and insert an image.]
The new guidelines are super interesting. It would be best if you considered visiting their Webmaster's guidelines.
It has Important information for you on how they see and rank your web pages.
Summing It Up….
We can see that Bing is incredibly a great tool for every SEO.
Plus, it makes life pretty much easy for you to optimize and rank your web pages.
If you've not started with Bing, your chance is now. With traffic from Bing, you can 2x your revenues.
One thing I didn't mention is that:
With a click, you can import your settings from Google to the Bing console.
I hope you find this useful.
Got any questions, ask me now!