Bing SEO refers to the methods and best practices developed to help businesses improve their search visibility on Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
Bing search engine optimization practices can be applied for Yahoo as well since the companies announced an agreement on July 29, 2009, in which Yahoo uses Bing’s search algorithms to field its queries. Currently, there is very little cross-marketing between the platforms.
Bing has long attempted to differentiate itself from Google, while providing an equally reliable product, but the core premise of search visibility across both platforms is that content is king for SEO.
Bing’s Duane Forrester reminded search marketers, “Never lose sight of the fact that all SEO ranking signals revolve around content of some kind.”
Bing and Facebook social data for SEO
Among the search factors used by Bing that are not believed to be included in Google’ algorithm are Facebook-derived social insights.
Since October 2010, Bing has included Facebook Likes in it search results, informing searchers when a listing in their results is Liked by a Facebook friend. While users must be logged into their Facebook accounts in order to see this information, the addition has provided a differentiating search signal for Bing. Items that have Likes from Facebook friends will receive a boost in rankings for logged-in searchers’ individual results.
The use of social data is an example of the personalized elements search companies have included in their rankings, and this component of Bing makes Facebook marketing good practice for SEO.
In September 2011, Bing announced the addition of Adaptive Search to its algorithm. The method allows Bing to factor previous search queries into the rankings compiled on Bing SERPs.
Using Adaptive Search allows Bing decipher potentially ambiguous search terms – essentially words that could have any number of meanings.
A good example is the word “Apple.”
Searches for “Apple” will yield results for the popular electronics company. But some may be looking for varieties of the fruit, rather than information on the iPhone or the new MacBook. Adaptive search will note the user’s search history when building its results. Should their history include other queries for the electronics company or its products, it’s likely that those results would appear.
Without search history for electronics or fruit, results for both possibilities will appear within the top four or five search rankings. Moreover, queries for the electronics company are more popular, so it’s likely that it will be higher.
Bing SEO efforts must account for this element of the search engine. Keyword strategies should factor in context as much as possible without making them too long or unwieldy. With this in mind, markup up a site with schema.org to indicate the more precise meanings of potentially ambiguous search terms can help brands come out toward the top of relevant searches.
More Bing SEO resources
Here are links to a number of Bing search optimization resources marketers can use to enhance their SEO campaigns:
- Microsoft’s free SEO toolkit: http://www.microsoft.com/web/
- Bing’s Webmaster Tools: http://www.bing.com/toolbox/
- Bing search optimization “getting started” checklist: http://onlinehelp.microsoft.
- Bing Webmaster Tools: Enhanced SERP features overview: http://onlinehelp.microsoft.
- Bing’s Stefan Weitz on social search as the future: http://www.brafton.com/news/
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- Bing Webmaster Tools: Why is my site not in the index? http://onlinehelp.microsoft.
- How is Bing different from other search engines? http://onlinehelp.microsoft.
- SEO tips to boost Bing rankings as Microsoft fearlessly battles Google: http://www.brafton.com/blog/
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