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YOU Should! Here’s Why
Bing – I imagine you’ve heard of it? This new little search engine? If you’re like me, you probably don’t pay that much attention to it…. and you probably don’t worry about how you rank in Bing, either. Not much traffic comes from Bing, does it? They are small potatoes compared to the almighty Google, right? Yeah, well…. the days of ignoring Bing are just about over. There are some major changes rolling out now. Here’s what you need to know and what you need to do about it.
…and they lived happily every after….
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, Bing and Yahoo met…and decided to form a partnership – a search alliance.
They made an agreement to share resources and work together in an attempt to claim more of the online search market share that Google has dominated for years.
I didn’t think much about it when I was reading the details months ago. I knew it would have some impact, but it never crossed my mind that it would work out like this.
Now, I’m gonna admit that I rarely check on my rankings in Yahoo. Whatever traffic I get from Yahoo is such a small percentage of my over-all traffic that it never concerned me all that much.
But, when the question was asked, I got to poking around online and found out something that really caught my attention.
It was recently announced that both Bing AND Yahoo
will be showing BING results in their search engines.
It is starting out now in their testing phase as they are incorporating a certain percentage of results from Bing into the results shown at Yahoo. If all goes well, I imagine the full change will be rolled out soon after. Now, the Yahoo blog has claimed that they might wait until after the holiday season to finalize this change, but who knows? I keep reading different thoughts and claims so as usual, we wait and see.
Now, Yahoo will still LOOK like the Yahoo we’re used to – and Bing will still LOOK like the Bing we’re used to…. but search results on BOTH sites will now be coming from Bing. This change is slowly rolling out. It’s been claimed that all US and Canada organic results will be fully powered by Bing (Microsoft) as soon as August or September. But again, I keep reading different time frames.
What Does This Mean To YOU?
The main response to this is usually, “So what? What does that mean to ME?“
Here’s what it means for you…
If you currently have good rankings in Yahoo, but NOT in Bing… kiss those Yahoo rankings good-bye. Whatever your ranking is in Bing will be what your new Yahoo ranking will be, too.
Considering Bing is so new and their index of the web is still so very small, it’s really possible that they don’t even KNOW about your site yet…and you won’t have any exposure or chance for organic traffic from Bing OR from Yahoo.
But still, who cares, right? Google is the only search engine you need to worry about, right?
Well, yes…. and no.
What Does This Yahoo/Bing Alliance REALLY Mean?
They are going after market share… BIGGER market share. The online search business is BIG business…and the Bing/Yahoo folks want more of it.
Take a look at this chart from Comscore.com showing the market share for the top search providers online.
Google has a strong 62.6% share of all searches online. Even tho their share is down a bit for June 2010 that is still a LOT of searches going through their search engine.
Now look at Yahoo at 18.9% and Microsoft (Bing) at 12.7%. What’s gonna happen when those two search providers really start working together? I’ve read folks saying they expect the Yahoo/Bing alliance to achieve 30-35% of that online search market share very soon.
Now it’s making a bit of a difference, isn’t it? In my humble little opinion, if Bing gets it together, gets more of the web in their index and starts returning really good and relevant results, I bet they could get more than 35%. I’ve haven’t been a fan of search results from Bing.
In fact, I’ve barely paid any attention to them… until now.
Oh, wait, here is another interesting tid-bit. You know the search option on FaceBook? That is powered by Bing. It’s getting more interesting now, isn’t it?
Google SEO vs Bing SEO
Here is a really good video from WebProNews that talks about the differences in Google SEO and Bing SEO. It’s time to learn how to rank in Bing – because that will get you ranking well in Yahoo, too.
What To Do About It
We’ll talk more about the “how to rank in Bing” stuff in a moment, but first let’s talk about “Now What Do I DO About This Bing/Yahoo Thing?”
First, go to Yahoo and search for your keywords… compare them to how you rank in Bing. Whatever you see in the Bing results will be what you will soon see in the Yahoo results, too.
Are your rankings in Bing ok? If so, great! If not, you’ll need to do something about it.
As I mentioned earlier, Bing is still new – their index is still small with a LOT of web content still left to be discovered. If your site can’t be found in Bing at all, you need to tell Bing about it…help them find you.
There are a couple ways to do this.
How To Tell Bing About Your Site and/or Web Page
First, consider adding your site to the Bing webmaster tools. They are updating this area for webmasters in an attempt to…well, to get their index better and increase their market share =)
There is something called Microsoft Silverlight 4 which is this little application your install and then Bing webmaster tools is able to tell you a lot about your site from what Bing knows…and these stats can go back as far as 6 months. Things like indexed pages of your site, crawl stats, top search queries and click thrus, and the ability to help them find specific urls on your site that they haven’t found are all parts of the tools area for webmasters inside Bing.
The tools aren’t bad – not Google webmaster tools by any means, but it’s ok and they claim they will be adding more and more tools and stats inside the webmaster tool area as time goes by.
If you don’t want to add your site to their tools there are other options to be able to tell Bing about your site or web page to help them find it, crawl it, and add it to their index.
You can submit your site or url to Bing here. Simple form, not much to it. It won’t happen quickly, but at least you are headed in the right direction for trying to rank in Bing.
If you have an xml site map for your site, I highly suggest you submit your site map, too.
Submitting your site map to Bing is a bit different.
You need to copy the query string below, paste it into your browser, and then change the “www.YourWebAddress.com” part to the web address of YOUR site map.
Then, simply click “enter” like you were going to that web address. Bing will display a “thank you” message when it is complete. Complete instructions on how to submit your sitemap to Bing are here.
Ranking In Bing – How To Rank In Bing?
Right now, Bing seems to love pages on big sites that have lots of content. For example, Wikipedia pages sure seem to rank well in Bing which makes me think they like pages with LOTS of content and lots of links OUT.
Bing also seems to be liking many article directories and big content sites. And they seem to like older, more “aged” sites, too. In my testing I’ve seen many Wikipedia pages, articles on article directories, Squidoo lenses, eHow articles, news sites, and Blogger blogs ranking really well when, in my opinion, they might not be the best result for the query (just my personal opinion on that).
For a very popular and competitive phrase in our business, I saw TWO Blogger blogs ranking at the top in Bing – and neither of these two blogs show in the first two pages of a Google search for the same phrase. Odd – especially since Google OWNS Blogger/Blogspot.
While Google and Bing (and the current Yahoo) like keywords in the domain name – Bing seems to like hyphens a bit more than Google does. Again, just my observation…and the index at Bing is small and new so this is subject to change as their index size increases.
Bing also seems to not only love lots of content on a web page, but they seem to NEED it, too. In my niche site guide, I talked about a test I did with a totally BLANK website. Google loves it… the current Yahoo loves it…but Bing loves it NOT. There are no words to “read” to tell them what the page is about to help them decide how to rank it, I guess.
What About Backlinks… Does Bing Use Them To Rank Your Web Page?
Yes, Bing uses back links to rank your web pages in their index however, they don’t use them the way Google uses them as a ranking signal.
With Google, high-quality backlinks to your web page are really, really important – and they are one of the three most important ranking factors for Google (read about all three ranking factors for ranking in Google NOW here).
Google loves backlinks – it’s a major part of their patented Page Rank formula. The anchor text of your links plays a major part and so does getting links from .edu and .gov sites (read this to learn the easy way to find .edu sites and .gov sites for backlinks to your site).
Bing also likes backlinks, but Bing likes LOTS of links from LOTS of different domains. The anchor text of the link doesn’t seem to be as much of a factor, or a factor at all. I’m not quite sure Bing is “smart enough” to read anchor text of a text link and use it as a ranking signal for their index.
What they DO seem to do is count links from web pages that are on the same topic as the page being linked to. They seem to get that info from the words in the title tag of the page doing the linking.
For example, if you have a site about puppy training and someone links to YOUR site from their web page about dog training – regardless of HOW they links (click here, good anchor text, straight url…whatever), Bing seems to really value those kinds of links.
And again, they (Bing) seem to like LOTS of links from LOTS of different domains.
(that was a hint that they seem to like my article marketing strategy).
Here’s a little tip: As you find backlinks to your sites/pages, check and see if the url for the page linking TO you is already in the Bing index. If it’s NOT in the Bing index, submit it. That link won’t help your ranking in Bing if Bing doesn’t know about it.
How about another little tip?
Remember how I said I observed these different sites that Bing seems to really like right now? Try getting links on those sites to your web pages. Also, learn how to get links from .edu sites and .gov sites – I think those sites are considered authority sites that Bing will love, too.
For more tips on how to rank in Bing, Mark has a good blog post that you can read.
Focus On Bing SEO or Google SEO?
Bing is a different beast than Google… SEO and ranking are not the same.
We’ve talked about How Google works in this post (with a great flowchart type image to help understand it all)…and we’ve talked about Google’s latest big change, Google Caffeine, in this post called Google Caffeine – What It Means To YOU.
If you got this free report about how to rank in the “new” Google, then you know the 3 major factors that affect your Google rankings now…and how to make it all work for you. (by the way, that is a REALLY good free report. Be sure to print it out after you read it. It has a lot of info that you’ll want to keep at your fingertips like I do).
We talk a LOT about how to rank better in Google, but I’ve never talked before about ranking in Bing.
Last month (June 2010) Bing only accounted for 1.56% of my search engine traffic here at PotPieGirl.com – but so far this month, I’ve seen a nice jump in traffic from Bing…and I think it will continue this way. For some of my niche/info sites, Bing is already accountable for over 11% of my search engine traffic this month.
I think it’s time to start paying attention to Bing.
I’ll still be keeping my focus on ranking in Google, but I will start paying more attention to Bing ranking factors now, too. While one more thing to worry about is not overly welcome, when you’re in this business, you have to stay flexible and aware of what’s happening in the industry…and adjust accordingly.
Will YOU start paying more attention to optimizing for Bing traffic now?