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Bing SEO & Ranking Factors - The 'Big Bing' Is The Biggest Opportunity In SEO Today

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by MatthewWoodward, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. MatthewWoodward

    MatthewWoodward Senior Member

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    A lot of people do not pay attention to Bing SEO or ranking factors and purely focus on trying to rank in Google and nothing else.

    However over the last couple of years Bing's market share has been slowly increasing as Microsoft try to challenge Google in the search arena.

    If you were paying attention this week you will have noticed a fundamental shift in search that is going to affect us all.

    [h=2]The Big Bing Has Already Happened[/h]

    I'm officially dubbing the term 'The Big Bing' to mark the day that a simple browser update changed the world of search forever.

    Mozilla released version 34 of its Firefox browser on the 1st of December 2014.

    At the very top of the release notes is a critical piece of information that is going to change the search landscape forever.

    [​IMG]

    Firefox have removed Google as the default search engine and replaced it with Yahoo!

    If you didn't know - it just so happens that Bing powers Yahoo's search results.

    Interestingly they also removed Google as the default search engine for Russia as well which suggests they might remove Google as the default from other country's in the future.

    [h=3]What Does That Actually Mean?[/h]

    Let me get straight to the point - US search share for Yahoo jumped from 9.64% to 29.4% overnight for users of the new Firefox.

    Google usage dropped from 82.14% to 63.46%. In 24 hours.

    [​IMG]

    That is a critical change you should be giving your full attention.

    Let's not forget that this impact was felt just 24 hours after the update was released which means there are still millions and millions of people that haven't updated, yet.

    [h=2]Is Bing Traffic Valuable?[/h]

    I have heard lots of claim from people that Bing traffic isn't worth as much, it doesn't convert, people don't buy things and so on.

    So I decided to look at my own data to measure the quality of Bing traffic and this is what I saw-

    [​IMG]

    That data tells me everything I need to know. Traffic coming from Bing-
    • Has a lower bounce rate
    • Visits more pages
    • Spends more time on site
    • Subscribes to my list more
    • Clicks more affiliate links


    Take a look at your own data before passing judgement though!

    [h=2]The Great Bing Advantage[/h]

    The best thing about change, is people hate change. Change pushes people out of their comfort zones and humans are wired to avoid that.

    So for those that are willing to evolve with change there is a great opportunity here.

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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 'The Big Bing' (it will catch on).

    [h=2]Bing Marketing - Free Tools & Resources[/h]

    So with that said and before we get into the top Bing ranking factors you need to familiarise yourself with all of the free Bing marketing tools & resources.

    Unlike Google, Microsoft actually produce a number of very helpful tools & guidelines for Bing SEO.

    It is also worth noting that Bing are very SEO friendly as evident from the tools they offer.

    [h=3]Bing Webmaster Guidelines[/h]
    First of all you should have a read of the Bing Webmaster Guidelines and get yourself upto speed.

    It is no way near as long/complicated as Google's guidelines so it won't take you long to read and absorb.

    [h=3]Bing Webmaster Tools[/h]
    The Bing Webmaster Tools is superb - if you haven't got your site setup in there yet do it now.

    It provides an awesome suite of tools including a backlink explorer! You can also see exactly which keywords you rank for, how your site indexes, diagnose problems and much more.

    As of right now you will also get $100 of free advertising credit to play with - sweet!

    [h=3]Bing SEO Analyzer[/h]
    The Bing SEO Analyzer is also a great tool to discover if your pages are following Bing SEO best practices.

    Just enter your URL and it will return a list of suggestions to improve your rankings across Bing & Yahoo.

    [h=4]Microsoft SEO Tool Kit[/h]
    More of an unknown tool the free Microsoft SEO Tool Kit is a desktop application that spiders your website to find SEO problems.

    It is very easy to use and well - it is 100% free so what is not to like!

    [h=4]Bing Webmaster Blog[/h]
    Just like Google there is also a Bing Webmasters Blog which you should have a read through & subscribe to.

    Some of the posts are actually quite entertaining and often have golden nuggets buried within!

    [h=4]Bing Search Quality Blog[/h]
    Imagine if Matt Cutts and all of the Google search quality/anti spam team published a blog sharing what they've been trying & testing.

    Well Bing do exactly that with their Search Quality Blog that offers some amazing insights into the world of search.

    [h=4]Contacting The Bing Webmaster Team[/h]
    Last but not least, perhaps one of the best tools is the ability to contact the Bing webmaster team.

    So if your site does have problems or gets hit for any reason - you can easily get in touch with the team directly to work things out.

    [h=2]The Top Bing Ranking Factors[/h]

    So what makes Bing tick at it's core?

    What are the key differences between ranking in Google & Bing?
    Here we go-

    [h=3]User Engagement Is Very Important[/h]
    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.

    [h=3]Click Through Rates Matter[/h]
    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.

    [h=3]Social Signals Do Matter[/h]
    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.

    [h=3]Bing Authorship[/h]

    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.

    [h=3]Backlinks Are Less Important[/h]

    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.

    [h=3]Inbound Anchor Text Is More Important[/h]
    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.

    [h=3]Keyword Domains Matter[/h]
    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...

    [h=3]Page Authority Is More Important[/h]
    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.

    [h=3]PageRank Is Irrelevant[/h]
    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 rankings - makes sense.

    [h=3]Content & Keyword Density Is Important[/h]
    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 trys to eliminate duplicate content at the point of indexing. Redudant content is recognized and eliminated from search result pages but may still be available in the index.

    [h=3]Site Structure & Code Is Important[/h]
    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.

    [h=3]General Onsite Optimisation[/h]
    Onsite optimization is similar for Bing 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.

    [h=3]HTTPS Is Not A Ranking Factor[/h]
    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.

    [h=2]Bing Search Engine Penaltys[/h]
    We don't know a whole lot about Bing's penaltys but what we do know for sure is they are a much friendlier beast than Google.

    There are certainly no crazy black and white animal updates to deal with here!

    [h=3]The Bing Spam Filter[/h]

    The Bing Index Quality team have published a few articles about the types of things they look for that are worth reading-

    They go as far as to show you actual case study examples along with a lot of details about each update they make.

    It is very important that you stay ontop of your outbound link profile and make sure that you are only linking to clean and related sites. Bing will punish you for this seriously.

    Reciprocal linking will also get you in trouble but if you have any experience with ranking sites in Google you will already know to avoid that practice.

    It is clear that Bing's spam detection methods are much further behind the times than Google's which gives us a longer leash to play on.

    [h=3]How To Check If You Have A Bing Penalty[/h]

    Bing also make it very easy to check if your site has a penalty or not.

    All you need to do is go to Bing Webmaster Tools and click on the Summary Tool.

    Next look at the Site Status section - if it says Blocked: Yes - your site is penalised.

    If this is the case with your site then take a look at this post to learn how to get out of the penalty box.

    [h=2]Are You Prepared For The Big Bing?[/h]

    The Big Bing has already happened and over the coming months it's control of the search market will grow rapidly thanks to the latest Firefox update.

    In 24 hours Google usage dropped from 82% to 63% while Bing/Yahoo usage jumped from 9% to 29% - those are numbers you cannot ignore.

    That impact is measured from simply changing the default search for the USA. I will not be surprised to see future Firefox updates replace Google for other countrys as well.

    So have you prepared for The Big Bing?
    The future of search is changing - whether you like it or not.
     
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  2. LostConnection

    LostConnection Senior Member

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    Haven't had as good of a read in a long time mate, thanks for this! Definitely good info for me to keep in mind when doing SEO for clients, Bing might just be the key to bringing in more clients.

    Hope to see you at the UnGagged in London Matthew!
     
  3. sikandar

    sikandar Senior Member

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    Nice inputs ....but how to please both Bing and Google?
     
  4. sashablack

    sashablack Elite Member

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    ehh I don't know, its up and down with me ... even though BING might be on the rise ... it will never be the same as google ... and who really uses bing? I don't know not one person around me :)

    -Sasha
     
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  5. RVit12

    RVit12 Regular Member

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    totally agree with you, and thats why I'm focusing on bing/yahoo mainly
     
  6. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    And then people who use FireFox simply change it back, I would guess the change in searches will be tiny. Then there is the fact that many people have turned away from FireFox as it progressively got worse and worse each and every update.
     
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  7. Hawkster

    Hawkster Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    i have been focused on yahoo/bing ever since i learned about the changes. I have a particular domain thats only 8 days old on page 2 of yahoo. I cant really explain how it got on page 2 so soon but it is lol. Hopefully it'll be ranked number 1 real soon.

    One of my other sites also has a lower bounce rate from bing traffic.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  8. aussiejack

    aussiejack Regular Member

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    For SEOs living in Europe it might be worthwhile meantioning that there are efforts in the European Union to break google´s monopoly. Just some days ago there was a resolution (non-binding though at that point) to decouple the search engine market from other company departments. That would mean a split up of google effectively.

    Definitely there will be some major changes in the next years.
     
  9. im2020

    im2020 Newbie

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    Very nice info. I have been searching for this as i am getting decent traffic from bing. My video site gets good bing traffic
     
  10. hatblackguy

    hatblackguy Regular Member

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    Agree with you on this part, the type of visits from Bing convert surprisingly well, I notice this for two of my sites.
    maybe be users of Bing want to mingle less and business more...
     
  11. FutureProofSeo

    FutureProofSeo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member UnGagged Attendee

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    The majority of the bing serps are ads.

    And the issue is if you optimise for bing, you over optimise for google.
     
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  12. prab1996

    prab1996 Elite Member

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    Well there is increase in traffic for yahoo and yahoo seo is different then bing, not sure how it will make bing more important.

    And ranking in yahoo is very-very easy. I have ranked there many times for many keywords. but never got significant traffic.

    Important : the image you have shown is like i show weight loss image on my ads. That does not shows increase in global traffic but only tells about difference between two versions of mozilla. According to it yahoo only gained 20% traffic from mozilla and it will be 20% of 16% firefox users. (it wont affect much)

    Yep ,
    if you can get 1k clicks from google and then get 100 leads will means that they converted @ 10%. But, you will only get 100 clicks from bing and even if they converted double then google i.e. 20% still that will be only 20 leads and that is why numbers matter more then %.
    -=-
     
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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  13. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Penaltys .
     
  14. klingt

    klingt Newbie

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    Eye-opening stuff. I've never optimized for bing, but I think the next penguin might boost attention there. It'll certainly be interesting to see how it plays out.
     
  15. west555

    west555 Regular Member

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    Great post as always
    I started to focus on Bing and Yahoo even before this firefox change and now you fed me with some more useful info that i missed before


    P.s. I already see people with ideas on how to "fake" some of the things mentioned above :) And thinking about making my own :)
     
  16. SEO Power

    SEO Power Elite Member

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    An increase in the number of Firefox users searching with Bing/Yahoo isn't noteworthy given the number of web browsers available to users. It's not like Firefox is the only browser in existence. Until Bing/Yahoo gains significant overall market share, I'll keep optimising for Google.
     
  17. shaamblitz

    shaamblitz Newbie

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    Great share I'm mainly giving preference for Google because Bing algorithm totally different not seen any updates regarding on online too would like to try this methods
     
  18. MatthewWoodward

    MatthewWoodward Senior Member

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    Thanks - Yes I'll be there don't worry, got a couple extra treats lined up as well this time around.



    Read the article



    Never say never!



    I wouldn't focus on them mainly, but I wouldn't certainly bring them into being a core part of the strategy.



    The data so far doesn't suggest so but yes its more than a possibility, crazier things have happened in this world!


    I'm still seeing my bing impressions shoot through the roof as of this morning and I've spoken to a number of people running Bing ads who are also enjoying much much higher volumes of cheap traffic.



    Hahaha I love it when that happens



    I've been keeping a close eye on that it will have a major impact on things EU side.



    Have you been on Google lately?


    And its possible to optimise for both if you box clever, I offer advice throughout the article on how to do that without upsetting any animals.



    There are more than ideas out there ;)



    Ask anyone who runs Bing ads how their traffic has been this week.
     
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  19. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Bing has been the default for IE with new computers for several years now and I've been advertising using Bing for some time now as it is easy pickings.

    Chrome still appears to be the big dog in browsers though according to http://www.w3schools.com.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know that Bing will ever be as big a dog as Google, in fact i doubt it will be, but it is not to be ignored. I actually have some mirror sites up that I use to target Bing's algo that do very well there. The traffic is nothing compared to their Google targeted partner sites but back when I started seeing new computers coming in with Bing as the default SE in IE several years back (I am a part owner in a computer sales and service store), I knew there would be a revenue source that could put a couple dollars in my pockets.
     
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  20. everythingred

    everythingred Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Back when I had an Adsense website, it was people from Bing clicking my ads.