So by now nearly everyone has heard of Bing, the new “decision engine” from Microsoft. It’s an obvious challenge to Google, and naturally SEOs and Promoters want to know the answer to the obvious first response “how do I optimize for it”. I will offer up some suggestions and theory.
Obviously Bing just became public recently, and I haven’t done any real optimization tests with it, nobody really has. But we know it comes from the MSN engine, and I’ve had a lot of experience with that. I’ll explain a few theories I have, based on experience with MSN, and as a searcher on Bing.
What is Bing?
Bing is the new search engine developed by Microsoft, as a replacement for Live.com. In my opinion Bing won’t be a “Google killer” but I don’t think it’s designed to be. I think Microsoft sees it an improvement over Live, and a slight difference in approach. In their own words:
We took a new approach to go beyond search to build what we call a decision engine. With a powerful set of intuitive tools on top of a world class search service, Bing will help you make smarter, faster decisions. We included features that deliver the best results, presented in a more organized way to simplify key tasks and help you make important decisions faster.
Yes, I agree that is pretty vague. But to sum it up, it’s Microsoft’s replacement for Live, with a retooled engine, different interface, and a few extra cool tools. So far as a searcher, I really like it.
So how do I optimize?
So far these are what I’ve heard are the best factors for success in bing:
1. Domain Age.
Other SEOs tell me domain age is very important with Bing. So recently purchased domains are probably not your best bet. And if you are expecting instant spidering by google, think again. Google has only crawled a percentage of the net, and they’ve been doing this for 10 years. Bing is just getting started. If you have an older domain you’re good, if not hit a good domain auction site like Afternic or TDNAM and see what you can get. Remember, even if it has a lousy name, you might still be able to get rankings because of the age, and still pick it up cheap.
2. Get Links from Optimized sites
Yeah, this sounds like a no brainer, but hear me out. Any site that has keywords from a certain niche in their title, and links to you using those keywords will help. Think of how google was around 2004-2005. I have been hearing about good results just using this simple method to boost your rank. You can build your own mini network and accomplish this quite easily. And as always, pick a niche and focus on it.
3. Backlinks are not necessarily the answer
Having said what I did in #2, don’t be too heavily reliant on backlinks with Bing. Their algorithm was created after the disaster that paid links and link farms created for google. Don’t count on them putting a lot of weight into backlinks. Looking at side by side comparisons it would seem sites with less backlinks are still beating out larger sites on bing.
4. Fresh content isn’t your instant in.
Over the years pretty much everyone has Google’s number when it comes to updating. The more you update, the more google likes it. This does not appear to be the case with Bing. So you can rest easy knowing you wont have to create 10 pages a day to do well. But you do want to focus on those pages to make sure they’re relevant.
5. On page optimization
This appears to be a very strong factor with bing. If you dont know what on page optimization is, google it (a little joke there) and look into it. Good keyword count and relevance, usability and validation are all pretty important on Bing. Keep your code clean, small and relevant to the topic.
6. Don’t link spam.
Maybe this one appears fairly obvious, but link spamming is not the way to win on Bing. They have algorithms in place already to combat that. Google was a little slow to adapt, and sometimes still gives love to these sites, but Bing won’t. Focus on another method of optimization.
7. Authority Matters.
Focus on authority because it matters. This is not good news for free sites, blogs and the like. It would appear professional organizations and large corporations or government sites carry a lot of weight with Bing. If you are not considered an “authority” in the industry you’ll have a harder time. So figure out how to do that.
In closing, it’s way too early to tell any rock solid tips or secrets about Bing, but we have a few guidelines. I have a feeling with time, it will be much like Google, or even better. What I mean by that is, if you make a good honest effort to provide good content and spread it around, you’ll do well on Bing as well. Optimizing for the “big three” isn’t all that different between sites, and it won’t be for Bing. Keep it honest, keep it real.
Also, check out bingle which is a good site to compare Bing results vs Google. I have been hitting this a lot lately to try and make comparisons.