SEO for Bing (and Yahoo): a short guide

When we talk about SEO , we don’t talk much about Bing as we spend a lot of time worrying about Google and make sure we optimize our websites for its algorithms. (For the purposes of this article, Bing also refers to Yahoo because Yahoo is also powered by Bing, so it works very similarly)

 

In Web Digital Media Group, we tend to focus our efforts on Google instead of Bing for 2 reasons:

  • Google dominates the search engine landscape with 88% of the global market share , which means that most of our customer traffic comes from Google.
  • Google is the most advanced of all the search engines, which means that generally if you are well optimized for Google, you are probably also optimized for Bing.

So does this mean we should completely ignore the SEO for Bing?

In large part this depends on your situation, but we must also be aware of the fact that Google and Bing use different positioning criteria that could make a difference.

Do I need to optimize for Bing (and Yahoo)?

You need to optimize for Bing if:

  • Your site operates in the United States. In the United States, Bing (and Yahoo) hold a market share of 36% , which means that over a third of all visitors coming to your site come from Bing or Yahoo. Bing also has a significant presence in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Hong Kong, France and Norway
  • If you receive significant amounts of traffic from Bing and Yahoo (just check on Google Analytics in “All traffic”, then “Source / Medium”).
  •  Your target audience tends to be “older”. Older users tend to use Bing more than young users.

If your site meets one of these criteria, you will probably need to think at least a little about Bing and optimize your site for this search engine.

How to optimize for Bing (and Yahoo)?

Below, we list the main points where Bing and Google differ to customize their SEO strategy and optimize for Bing.

Social media –

  • Google does not use social media signals in its rankings while Bing does, which means that a strong social media strategy can help improve your Bing placements.

Non-textual content –

  • Bing seems to be better equipped to understand non-text content such as images, video, audio and even flash, increasing the chances of rewarding such content if it is of high quality. However, we advise caution because although Bing can better understand multimedia content, creating such content could damage Google’s placements, so we recommend a measured media approach.

Local –

  • In local research, Bing puts more emphasis on proximity, while Google puts more emphasis on the brand. Therefore, small businesses are more likely to gain visibility into Bing’s local search than Google. This makes a Bing-focused strategy potentially more important to smaller brands with a local presence; claiming and updating the profile of your places Bing is a good starting point.

Keywords –

  • Bing rewards the keywords with exact correspondence more than Google, which is better at determining the feeling behind the use of keywords. This means that if you want to improve your placements in Bing, you need to make sure that metadata, page content and meta keywords use precise, relevant and high-volume keywords.

Meta Keywords –

  • Google hasn’t used the meta keywords tag for years, while Bing still uses it so it’s worth updating it with relevant keywords if the traffic from Bing is significant.

Tag Canonical –

  • Bing finds it more difficult to determine the canonical version of a page than Google, making the use of canonical tags more important.

Links –

  • Bing puts more emphasis on links from highly reliable domains, especially if those domains have .gov, .edu or .org extensions. Receiving links from these types of sites will give you a greater advantage over Bing.

Crawling –

  • Bing tends to crawl pages less frequently and tends to focus on a smaller and more important set of pages, which means that sending pages to Bing’s Webmaster tools can be an important strategy for getting new ones indexed content and position it faster.
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