Until 2012, ‘Search = Google’, Starting from 2013, ‘Search = Google + Bing+?’
When SEO’s think of optimizing a website; the only search engine platform that plays base to all their efforts, innovative ideas, and moreover what they blindly depend upon without having a second thought is “Google”. We refused to think out of the box, owing to the dominant position that Google holds in the search engine world. But things keep changing and never remain the same always. As New Year is widely accepted as a time to start fresh, and people make resolutions to better themselves, SEO too needs a refresh based on a forecast. Why don’t you concentrate on Bing optimization too? Reasons are many…
Bing’s increase of share in the search engine market, right after the epic Google updates (four within two weeks) hit regular Google dependents for their business. And, there is none to deny the fact that Microsoft powered search engines, Bing and Yahoo together occupy 25% of the total search engine market share. Again, very recently was released the Bing webmaster guidelines.
Have you ever felt that Microsoft’s ‘Scroogled’ OR ‘BingItOn’ campaigns launched against Google showcase at least 10% truth, if not for a whopping 100%? Please do not mistake me for making biased statements; the reason is I am no big fan of Bing too. I never say that it is perfect. Bing needs tweaks done to the way it is presented now. And possibly by the end of year 2013, Microsoft & Yahoo might manage to occupy 40% of the search engine market share. Now as an SEO, I would like to suggest you that there are people who use only Bing for searching online. What would you do if your website is not optimized over Bing for those users? You always have a chance of losing at least 5 potential customers who use Bing per month. It might worth you around $5000 or even more.
Checklist while doing Bing SEO
Content is for people and not for search engine bots
What do you expect to read from a website that is been redirected from a search engine’s results page, on searching for the key phrase – ‘online crockery ware’? Obviously, the various designs and patterns of crockeries available in market today labeled with affordable rate tags matching our budget. In case you land over pages that display the keyword “online crockery” unnecessarily over 10 times and lacking the data you need, what would you do? Just close the window and curse the search engine or the website and go for the next website displayed just below the ‘first ranked one’ expecting it to be even worse. This is when you say ‘SEO is trick’. But was that the real SEO procedure? Will you over optimize a keyword in SEO? If you do, that is Black hat.
That’s the reason why Bing asks webmasters to develop content for people to read and not for search crawlers. They encourage you using “rel=canonical” for duplicate pages for the purpose of paid search. Optimizing the right content in the right place does wonders to the conversion process. What is the purpose of you doing SEO to website and it doesn’t convert into business leads? You have to create creative content to your website forgetting that you do SEO. If you are placing thin content on your website, flooding it with ads, mark my word, you are not going to rank well in Google, despite the top rated efforts you take to rank your page.
Social plays a major role
So how does social media participation improve your rankings? Having accounts in all of the available social media networks help OR even updating them regularly helps? NO. Having social accounts and updating them regularly, plays base to your efforts in conquering the social media industry. But never stop with these. Your social links should be shared and liked. Your fan page should be answered and rectified for concerns. Your reputation management should be optimal with no negative reviews rising to the top. There are even insane business people who try to rank on top by means of collecting negative reviews for their brand. But this never helps you in the long run. Bing integrates social media updates with their regular search results, as you know. Results from Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare are those included, and that matters a lot since Facebook and Twitter are the top two social media networks available at present and Foursquare, an emerging location-based social networking web and mobile application.
Page Loading Time
Similar to Google, Bing pays attention to your websites’ page loading speed. Bounce rate plays its part here; higher the bounce rate lower will be the time stayed by a visitor in your website. This automatically tends Bing to assume that your website is not liked by users, and brings you down in SERPs. Check the navigation pattern as an average user will have no patience when your web pages take more than 6 seconds to load, no matter how special your page content is. Each second counts!
Bing requests website owners to keep their sitemap clean and updated to allow Bing bots to crawl the websites’ fresh content regularly. Old URLs whose content had already been removed out of the website are advised to be removed out of the sitemap.
Unlike Google, where we use “click here”, “see this video”, “here is the complete description” – as anchor texts, Bing advises to use targeted keywords to support other internal pages. Don’t you feel this to be an added benefit to your website? However be careful, don’t overdo exact matching or else Bing might come again with a “Peacock Update” targeting exact match anchor texts.
Avoid these Black Hat methods for Bing
Avoid link scheming – Creating 2 way or 3 way links to your website, practicing low quality link buying, bookmarking done in huge numbers just for the purpose of getting a link back to your site, blog commenting over low quality sites with links. These are all link scheming practices if done in the unnatural way. Rather than exchanging links it is advisable to build relations with people in your related industry. Knowing about a website and its credibility is essential before you put your heads into link exchange and link sharing.
Avoid cloaking – Bing hates this technique where webmasters manage to show a particular type of content to the search engine bots and an entirely different one for the users.
Avoid duplicate contents – Bing is not comfortable with webmasters using more duplicated content across multiple URLs, which might end-up in a situation when Bing will stop counting on some of those URLs over time. The usage of ‘rel=canonical’ will not be a solution in this case. If excessive parameterization becomes the causative agent of your duplicate content problem, then Bing urges webmasters to use the ‘Ignore URL Parameters tool’.
Avoid Meta Refresh Redirects – Bing prefers webmasters using normal 301 redirects instead of using the Meta refresh redirects, those resides within codes, which after a preset time interval redirects visitors to a different content.
Avoid social media schemes – Recently Facebook and Twitter were flooded with fake followers, for which the social media giants had taken immediate steps and their followers list is more or less real now. There exists yet more techniques, where you will be able to auto follow those who follow your social profile, which in turn results in an equal number of followers and following for your brand. In such cases Bing treats your influence to be of low quality. Avoid faking your social media influence.
Bing says “Search engine optimization is a valid practice which seeks to improve a website, making content easier to find and more relevant.”
It’s easy for you to optimize your website over Bing due to the lesser competition for the time being, compared to Google. Also Bing’s search ranking algorithm is less complicated compared to Google, which becomes an added plus to your website’s easy ranking possibility.
Tricky is what, you should keep in mind that your website exists the same for both Google and Bing bots to crawl over. What is an allowed practice as per Bing guidelines is a penalty factor as per Google guides. Over optimization up to a certain level and keyword match in anchor texts can be done in Bing whereas you will get hit by Google’s Panda if you do so. A confused state for webmasters prevails. Have an optimistic approach and never wait for a high level experimentation on your business website since everyone is aware of the deadly penalty by Google updates and the meager percent of people who recover out of them.