How to Rank High on Bing.com
Historically, Google has commanded the largest share of the search engine traffic market. However, that is now changing. Ever since Yahoo started serving up Bing results, it is worth focusing some SEO effort on Bing, especially if catering to US-based traffic. The latest figures from Experian’s Hitwse indicate that Bing’s overall search engine traffic share is creeping up into the 30% range. (Note that this includes both Bing.com and Yahoo).
Before Yahoo starting serving up Bing-powered search results, it may have been more practical to focus primarily on getting a high rank on Google since it commanded the largest share of the search traffic market; for some people focusing as much effort on the much smaller share of Yahoo and Bing (or MSN as it was known before) was often hard to justify. Furthermore, since the search algorithms for Bing and Yahoo are different from Google and can sometimes be in conflict with each other so Bing and Yahoo tended to get less attention.
Things are different now. It is time to take Bing more seriously.
Here are 3 simple tips that will help get websites to rank high on Bing. And since there is some overlap between SEO techniques that apply to Google and Bing, adding these techniques to properly executed SEO should help Google search results as well.
Exact (Keyword) Match Domain Names
Google will often give a higher rank if the search terms exactly match a domain name. Consider our own website, http://www.seo-company-florida.com. As of the writing of this article, it ranks at #1 on both Google and Bing for the search terms “seo company florida” and ranks at #2 on Bing for “seo florida”. This rank is helped by the exact match domain name. Do note that exact match domain names work best with .com, .net, or .org domains and less so for with domain extensions. If you are launching a new website, take the time to see of you can find a domain name (.com, .net or .org) that exactly matches your main search term(s).
Google may not give much (if any) value for the possibly “dirtier” links; Bing does not appear to penalize the “dirtiness” of links as much as Google does so link quality can be a bit lower than Google’s and one can get away with it. However, one needs to tread carefully in this area – it is always best to follow proper SEO techniques and go after links that are of as high quality as possible. Of course this depends on the website being optimized.
SEO for Google is heavily dependent on links. Links from articles, blogs, directories, videos, content pages and all other sources. Google just loves links. When it comes to Bing, things are a bit different. Bing, of course, loves links and places good value on all kinds of links but just not as much as Google. Bing is partial to what are known as “inline links”. So, what exactly are “inline links”? These are links that appear within the content of a web page and within the text of an article or a blog post or a web page. Bing simply does not assign as much value to links from directories, article and video syndication websites.
This is an editorial link that makes sense to the reader because it flows through the content of the paragraph and is contextually correct. Of course, the contextual correctness is not the important thing; it is the fact that the link appears inline within the content that is important. This could be the case with a comment on a blog post, or on a forum
So, to rank high on Bing, one needs to look for these so-called “inline” links. A side benefit will be that since Google simply loves links, the Google rank will also benefit.
Content, Content, Content
Content is and always will be king. In the eyes of the reader and for the search engine robots. Unique content (Google farmer update, anyone?) holds one of the main keys to high SEO rank. Google loves unique content and Bing loves it even more. It is possible to take a 1-page microsite with little content and get it to rank on page one on Google if there are enough backlinks and proper SEO is conducted. Bing prefers content rich websites and it typically does not like to rank sparsely contented websites or pages and tends to disregard the number of backlinks (unless they are inline links). And in order to get inline links, one needs content. Catch 22!
It is important to make sure that the content on a website is relevant and related. If a website ranks in top results served by Google, it is advisable to continue to add unique content pages and link to them from the home page so that the Bing bots can find this content.
We took the time to experiment with the above guidelines. The 3 things that worked well are (1) inline links (2) unique content and (3) exact match keyword domains. This is demonstrated by the rank of http://www.seo-company-florida.com for several search terms. As an added benefit, the above practices will also benefit Google rank. However, one needs to be sure to always follow proper and ethical SEO processes.