How to Optimize for Bing

optimize for BingBing introduced almost a year ago as the replacement for the stagnant MSN.com, set out to improve the organization of how searches are compiled. By bringing more order to the pages with the placement of tools that is similar in placement to the Google information contained under “Show Options,”  Bing promised easy navigation in various categories that are relevant to the search query. While it seems to be slow to capture market share, it is making strides with the recent finalization of the marriage of Bing and Yahoo promises to have 30% of the search volume.  According to JR Raphael of PC World in his article on February 18, 2010,

In a nutshell, Microsoft and Yahoo decided to combine their search engine efforts in order to share resources and become more viable market competitors.

Further:

Microsoft will power all the search technology on both Bing and Yahoo. Each site will continue to operate under its own identity; the search-powering switch will be purely under the hood. Yahoo will even be able to maintain its punctuationally challenged “Y!ou and Yahoo!” campaign if it wants.

In exchange for Microsoft’s search, Yahoo will handle the advertising — some of it, anyway. The purple people will head up premium search ad sales for both sites. Microsoft will continue to run its own self-serve advertising and display advertising divisions.

When Bing first rolled out the comparisons to Google and the search results for the same terms were a bit quirky.  How can you rank #1, #2 and #10 on Google for a term and on the bottom of page 2 or 3 on Bing?  Over the past months or so, we have been able to analyze Bing and how they rank pages to determine how to best optimize your site for optimal results.

How to Optimize for Bing

1. Bing Webmaster Center. Add your site to the Bing index crawler to access data and manage your site. Once submission is completed the Dashboard appears with a top menu bar for analysis of Summary, Profile, Crawl Issues, Backlinks, Outbound Links, Keywords and Site Map. They do not support Chrome so you will need to have Internet Explorer 6.0  or higher or Firefox.  Little glitch for Chrome users.

2.  Bing Local Listing Center.  Submit your site and wait for a verification letter in the mail as they do not verify via email or telephone. Prolongs the process however this may be the best kept secret for small businesses.  The search volume is lower but now with teaming up with Yahoo, there is the chance for small businesses to reach Bing users.

3.  Domain Age. The age of the domain name is important to Bing.  They favor domains that are older.  This is not to say that they completely ignore a newer domain name but generally rankings are lower.

4. Title Tags.  Bing pays close attention to title tags which supports their organization model.  Titles with relevant keywords that match the content as is similar with Google.

5. Content.  Bing likes words.  Pages with 300+ words are ranked better.  Words that relate to the title and stay on topic without keyword stuffing.

6. Flash.  Bing is flash friendly and will rank optimized videos with the proper text title tags high. They seem to be much more flash friendly than Google however with more and more videos Google is also ranking them higher.

7. Backlinks.  It appears that they are not as focused on the quality of the link but more the anchor text which relates to the content matching. The better your content the more sites that want to link to it and that gives the authority.

8. Document Preview.  The document preview is the text box that appears next to most results.  This is a preview of what is to come.  This is pulled from the page and is an except of the page where they see the relevance.  It does not pull images nor videos.  Here lies the importance of great content that pertains closely to the title tag.document preview

Overall Bing is similar to Google in a good part of how they rank pages.  The backlinks is the more the merrier on the same topic/keywords where Google adds in that the quality of the link is a factor.  The local business center is good news for local businesses as there is not huge competition in this arena just yet as the search volume is not as extensive as Google. The marriage of Bing-Yahoo will increase their market share so Bing should not be discounted.  It still holds true – create a website and blog that has content that is searched and really matches and pertains to the title.  Keep writing really great stuff and you will be ranked.  It takes time to get noticed and make an impact in rankings.

What have your results been with Bing – consistent to rankings with Google?

photo credit: Betsy Weber

  • Hey, thanks for this article! I registered my site in the Bing webmaster tools. By the way it worked in Chrome for me.

  • Still is not working for me. Hmh. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

  • Suzanne – Thank you for writing this informative post! I tried some keyword searches on the title of my blog and learned of a big disparity in Google rankings (#1 result here) but no where to be found in the first 40 search results of Bing. I'm going to add my site to the Bing index crawler and go to the Bing Webmaster Center after finishing this comment. You're right that the Bing + Yahoo marriage signals a significant event because a 30% share of search engine volume and can make a difference in how easily people find your site.

  • Good article. Thanks!

  • Who knew – optimizing for Bing!

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  • Bing and Google are two different search engines but by simply using the right methods, by observing the way Bing crawls websites, it would be easy to work around Bing. These have been at the top of discussions at http://www.mroptimization.com so I've been gathering information and studying them

  • thanks so much for the link. Many discount bing however it is always a best practice to take the initiative and optimize for it as now it does not hold much weight in the search however it is a more targeted audience and also we never know if they may come out with something so fabulous that some may convert over to using bing exclusively.

    Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

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  • I don't understand the Bing webmaster tools. Using the 'keywords' tool, I type in a few keywords and my pages come up with a page score of five green bars, yet I can't find my site by searching those same keywords. Google seems to do a better job of helping me actually find my site.

    Nonetheless, good info on this page. Thanks 🙂

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  • Rusty

    I have found that too but I also find it with google. There are times they say the people searched and found the site but I go and am at a loss as I cannot find it. Bing is different and has been gaining some ground. Albeit small but they are having an impact on the searches. I like the document preview as a searcher as it cuts down on my time visiting pages that do not really pertain to what I am looking for.

    Thanks for dropping in and sharing your experiences.

  • With a 30% +/- market share of search, it will be interesting to see if the Yahoo / Bing combo increases percent of the search market. Will they increase their combined market share and take a piece of the Google market?

  • they may as now bing is powering yahoo search results. It is too soon to tell but I have not heard much on the negative about people who were ranked and/or using yahoo complaining. Google is expanding their search tools which leaves bing falling behind a bit but while google is introducing new, bing is staying steady which may entice people who just want to have search results and not all the choices.

    I will be keeping a watchful eye on this to see what happens.

  • Nice article, I always optimized my site for Google but its time to check Bing

  • Well done, Right now Bing is third largest search engine and also having some good feature.So as an seo its to best time to optimize for Bing now to get best result in future.And thanks for providing some interesting information.

  • Right now Bing is third largest search engine and also having some good feature.So as an seo its to best time to optimize for Bing now to get best result in future

    • Andy

      They are still far behind and we can see where they are making some ground. Those that have still not optimized for Bing are falling behind. This article is from early 2010 but still very relevant in 2011.

  • I rank high in google, and not at all in bing. Very frustrating. Oddly I ranked well in yahoo.

    • I had run into the same problem. The bing webmaster tools show such a dismal report of traffic. So below the radar. It is kinda scary how far apart Google and Bing are but at the same time it could be reflective of the lower rankings on Bing. I have seen a bit of a spike since Google did accuse and it does appear that Bing copied their rankings but nothing that is earth shattering.

  • thank you very much.

  • Chaslovelace

    My search engine is “optimized for Bing” which causes my Vista managed HP media center to stall and crash. I believe it’s the Bing optimization because that message flases on the screen as the lag and stall begin.
    How do I “UN” optimize for Bing?

  • Shawn

    I want to list my sites (over 10) before finishing the actual websites, I tryed google, and Bing but I always have a problem with the Webmaster Center as I am requested to verify the website first with adding a file… which can not be done as I don’t have any of sites ready yet… thanks to this article I will try Bing local listing center.. hope it works… I am working on the first domain name listing which is http:www.travel2chicago.com
    I will come back and let everyone knows how it worked.