There’s a new Bing update that Nigerian websites and companies need to know about. Mozilla released version 34 of its Firefox browser on the 1st of December 2014.
This update ensured that all searches on Mozilla were done through yahoo search engines and guess who runs the algorithm for yahoo search engines? Microsoft Bing.
From our website, Google has over 226 searches, while bing gathers 71 searches online. We can see that both traffic sources are important for the website, and focusing on just optimising google results and not paying attention to yahoo results will only lead to issues.
hat data tells me everything I need to know.
Traffic coming from Bing-
- Has more new session users
- Visits more pages
- Spends more time on site
Since 1998 SEO’s have purely focused on ranking sites in Google, for 16 solid years Google has had the sole attention of nearly every single SEO on the planet.
This had made Google’s search results highly competitive against people that have fine tuned their SEO skill sets for more than a decade.
Bing however has been largely ignored, the general theory is that if you ranking well in Google you will rank well in Bing as well.
But that is not the case – the algorithms are very different, just compare search results for the same term and you will quickly see what I mean.
So it is important that you understand those key differences to take advantage of Bing’s search engine power
Bing Ranking Factors
What makes Bing search results different from google SERP factors? Here are some top bing ranking factors:
User Engagement Is Very Important
One of the strongest signals in Bing is user engagement, having strong user engagement will increase your rankings in Bing.
They measure this through a term known as ‘pogo sticking’ which is when someone performs a search, clicks on a result and then clicks back to return to the search results.
If lots of people visit your site from the search results and click the ‘back’ button then this is a clear indication of poor user engagement to Bing.
However if lots of people visit your site from the search results and do not go back to them to continue searching – this is a very very strong signal.
Click Through Rates Matter
Bing also measures click through rates from it’s search result pages and uses that data combined with the user engagement data above to improve its results.
For example all things being equal, if the #1 position gets a 20% click through rate but the #2 position gets 40% – this is a clear indication that the #2 result is more relevant.
This means you have to write your titles and descriptions with humans in mind while being specific with your keyword. Think keyword based click bait.
Social Signals Do Matter
There is a lot of debate on whether social signals impact Google search rankings.
I can categorically tell you with 100% certainty that they do and I’ve been using them to rank consistently for the past 2 years. I revealed exactly how at the recent BHW/UnGagged conference.
So rather than getting caught up in the change debate you should be making social signals a core part of your SEO strategy now. It affects you rankings in Google and it affects your rankings in Bing.
However Bing actually return posts from Facebook & Twitter embedded directly into search results that stand out from normal web results.
Bing has a much stronger reliance on social signals than Google – use that to your advantage and you will see benefits in both search engines.
Google introduced Authorship allowing people to claim content they have written so Google can determine who are the true experts in any given industry.
Granted they have removed the pretty little pictures from search results now, but Authorship is here to stay.
Bing has it’s own version of Authorship after they integrated Klout verified snapshots.
The Bing search results will then show-
- Your LinkedIn summary
- Other social profiles
- Klout score
- Influential topics
- 2 most influential moments from Twitter in the past 7 days
- 2 most influential posts from Instagram in the past 90 days.
You can also take advantage of the Bing connected pages feature.
Backlinks Are Less Important
It is important to note is that backlinks are less important in Bing then they are in Google.
If you compare the search results between Bing & Google you will notice that the top ranking sites in Bing have noticeably less backlinks.
However Bing does favour ‘editorial’ type links from within body content rather than coming from a sidebar, footer or list of links and site relevancy does matter.
Inbound Anchor Text Is More Important
Bing puts more emphasis on the anchor text usage than Google does. So if you want to rank for ‘Blue Widgets’ you need links that use the ‘Blue Widgets’ anchor text.
Bing isn’t as good as Google at keyword matching – so while Google does well with recogizing synonyms and context around a keyword, Bing need spoon feeding specifically.
However the risk here is that over optimising your anchor text will trip the Google Penguin filter.
So the trick here is to make sure that the links coming from high authority sites focus on exact anchors while the other use a mix of anchor terms.
That will allow you rank in Bing while dodging Google Penguin.
Keyword Domains Matter
Having your keyword in your domain name will help you to rank in Bing easier. It isn’t critical but it does help.
However Google does have a filter for exact match domain names so it is best to use a domain that includes your keyword but isn’t an exact match.
The only problem with that is…
Page Authority Is More Important
The other thing that you will notice when comparing search results is where Bing doesn’t place as much weight on backlinks, it does place weight on site authority.
It is much harder to rank a new domain in Bing than it is in Google. Having an aged domain will give you an extra leg up across Bing’s results.
So if you have an older domain that includes your keyword you are golden. If you just have an older domain your in a strong position as well. Where you don’t want to be is with a brand new domain.
PageRank Is Irrelevant
PageRank is a measurement of authority created in the early days of Google although it is not as relevant as it once was and hasn’t been updated for a long time now.
However it is important to note that Google PageRank does not seem to have any correlation with Bing SEO rankings – makes sense.
Content & Keyword Density Is Important
Bing prefers sites that have lots of unique content. They place much higher value on longer more engaging content than shorter content.
Just like they are behind Google in how they process language in anchor text, the same applies to your content as well.
You need to feed Bing the specific keyword you want your page to rank for. It is much better to focus on 1 page per keyword with Bing, but again be careful you don’t trip Google Panda by offering duplicate content.
Also Bing tries to eliminate duplicate content at the point of indexing. Redundant content is recognized and eliminated from search result pages but may still be available in the index.
Site Structure & Code Is Important
Bing offer a few interesting pieces of advice around your site structure and coding.
First of all they advise that content should be organized close to the surface. In other words no content should be more than 3 clicks away from the homepage.
You should also use a broad to specific structure flow. So you might go with SEO > Link Building > Blog Networks or Garden > Furniture > Chairs for example.
General Onsite Optimisation
Onsite optimization is similar for Bing SEO as it is to Google. You want to make sure your using meta title & description tags which include your exact match keyword.
Bing places a lot of emphasis on title tags but keep the user engagement signals in mind.
You should only have 1 H1 tag per page to establish the main topic then use the H2 and H3 tags to talk about sub topics.
It is also worth noting that sometimes Bing will swap out your meta description with your H1 tag in the search results so be creating with your headings – don’t just rely on exact match headings.
HTTPS Is Not Part Of Bing Ranking Factors
Google recently announced that HTTPS is now used as a ranking signal – although a very minor one.
Bing Lead Program Manager Vincent Wehren said that HTTPs is not a ranking factor and they would not bring it in because they don’t want to mess around with rankings based on a factor that has no real relevance.