Let’s say that since about 1998 both SEOs and webmasters have focused on ranking in Google, leaving other search engines like Bing to the side.
A typical phrase in the SEO world is:
If you rank well on Google, you rank well on Bing
This is not necessarily the case.
Microsoft’s search engine has begun to be significant, especially in searches on tablets. They themselves say this:
“To better optimize user intent across devices of different screen sizes and aspect ratios, while providing a smooth and aesthetically pleasing experience, we at Microsoft completely redesigned the Bing home page on Amazon Fire tablets using React + Redux”.
Quote from Microsoft
Some numbers that we can extract to know if we are interested in doing SEO for Bing.
Bing has a 33% market share in the US, around 25% in the UK and around 9% in Spain with 175 million monthly searches and 8 million unique users per month.
Why We May Be Interested In Doing SEO In Bing
Let’s see some compelling reasons:
- There is less competition, or it is not so strong. Very few webmasters bother to check how they rank on Bing.
- The rise of voice apps like Cortana.
- Apple offers image results from Bing.
- 90% of Window 10 users don’t change Bing.
- Clicks on Bing Ads are cheaper.
- Bing Ads and bids for keywords with brand names.
- Windows 10 is active on more than 700 million devices.
- Understanding SEO with Bing is easier than with Google.
Boosting A Website On Bing
Doing SEO on Bing is less complicated than doing it on Google. Although Bing has also incorporated algorithms with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, Microsoft’s search engine still maintains certain elemental SEO factors.
SEO On Page In Bing
Like Google, Bing likes webmasters to create quality, easy-to-find content on the web.
However, it does not like websites with little content (thin content) or with many intrusive advertisements.
Jan Pedersen, Chief R&D Scientist at Bing refers to content quality as three factors that define the website or page:
- Authority (trust of website and author)
- Usefulness (if the content is useful)
- Presentation (design and usability)
Bing makes a clear reference to “easy navigation” therefore, the user experience is very important for this search engine. The good user experience is measured through Pogo sticking.
If we have a well-structured website where users are able to quickly find what they are looking for and it is easy for them to move through the different pages created, then the website will rank well in Bing.
Keeping the most important pages of your website near the Home, page helps Bing understand what’s important about your site.
Titles And Meta Titles Are Factors In Bing
The exact keywords are more important in Bing than in Google where semantics reaches a higher degree, therefore, optimizing the meta titles with keywords or exact phrases to get a higher click rate will benefit us.
The H1 and H2 tags optimized with the exact keyword improve the positioning in Bing.
This is what Bing explains about using the H1 tags:
“H1 tags help users understand what they are about to consume and determine if the content on the page matches their needs. The H1 has more to do with usability than direct SEO. If you subscribe to the idea that SEO is about usability, then you are on the right track”.
Quote from Bing
Domains that include a keyword tend to rank better on Bing. The same thing happens with using the exact keyword in the URL.
Loading Time Of The Page
If Bing is very supportive of the user experience (UX), then it will support a fast web.
But this does not mean that having a fast website is something decisive or very important. You have to find a balance between speed and utility for users.
Bing is also not very happy about developers using JS or Flash as it can block Bingbot.
Bing has recently updated its user agents, the perennial ones being the following for PC:
- Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm) Chrome/WXYZ Safari/537.36 Edg/WXYZ
- Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/WXYZ Mobile Safari/537.36 Edg/WXYZ (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www. bing.com/bingbot.htm)
How Does A Migration Affect Bing?
If we make a change of URLs or domain, it is okay to make 301 redirects. These are the most advisable within Bing to avoid losing the organic ranking that you have.
Optimizing Images In Bing
The search engine needs to figure out what’s inside an image to rank it, so we need to edit the <alt> tag on images just like with Google.
Bing has a powerful image search algorithm, used by Apple for example.
Data Logging In Bing
Just as important as JSON data markup is for Google, it is for Bing.
Bing only supports Offer and Product microdata. The landing page microdata must be static. For example, prices cannot fluctuate based on user data (such as browser, cookies, or IP address).
Bing supports markup in a variety of scenarios and specifications, such as:
New Bing Penalties for Inorganic Structures
Bing penalizes websites that maliciously attempt to obfuscate website boundaries, covering some old (like Doorways) and new (like subdomain leasing) attack vectors. Here’s a definition:
“Someone that is activating multiple sites hosted under different domain names, each targeting its own set of search queries, but all redirecting to the same destination or hosting the same content”.
Subdomains or content in subfolders such as coupons.myweb.com and sales.myweb.com are similarly frowned upon on Bing and are a cause for penalty.
If you “rent” or create a subdomain of your own website in order to host different content, you expose yourself to a penalty from Bing after they review the case.
About HTTPS for Bing SEO
Vincent Wehren, senior program manager for Bing, said that HTTPs is not a ranking factor.
Internal And External Links In Bing
On the one hand we have the internal hyperlinks that Bing looks favorably on. And on the other hand, the external links to which we link (outwards), where Bing warns that we must be cautious.
The anchor text in the internal hyperlinks with keywords plays a very important role for Bing. We just have to be careful not to over-optimize, since that can harm us with Google.
On external links or backlinks, James Murray, EMEA product marketing manager at Microsoft Bing, explained that they are becoming less important, but still play a decisive role in the factors of Bing.
“Search is evolving to be more conversational, as people interact with their devices and search for information in more conversational ways. Microsoft is at the forefront of conversational computing, and we want the Bing search experience to be an efficient and productive experience for our users. We will continue to update and refine the Bing search experience to reflect this”.
Quote from Bing
The Importance Of Social Networks For Bing
Bing collects social signals as an important factor to be able to rank within the search engine.
Microsoft understands that currently social networks are fully integrated into the daily life of the vast majority of Internet users, therefore, it gives it a great value weight.
They give the following example when someone asks if it is better to optimize a page or social signals:
“Thanks to the integration of social signals, a niche player can get ahead of entrenched sites to capture eyeballs through the force of being viral. This is not to say that social media alone has the power to guarantee you rankings, but when unique content, good user experience (UX), and social media are combined, the net result can lead to favorable rankings”.
Quote from Bing
However, if they detect that a user account is gaining followers very fast or includes buying followers, like twitter, Instagram, etc, then you may see a drop in organic ranking.
Things To Avoid Doing To Avoid Being Penalized On Bing
The search engine has some interesting SEO points that we can use to our advantage, but it also has some warnings to follow if we want to rank high in it.
- Do not intervene in link schemes
- Do not buy links and less of low quality.
- Avoid participating in social networking schemes like Twitter.
- Avoid duplicate content.
- Do not do keyword stuffing or write for the search engine, but think about the users.
- Do not create automatic redirects that take users to another website.
- Avoid Machine Generated Content (MGC)
Clarity: Bing’s Web Optimization Tool
Bing has released Clarity, an analysis tool for webmasters with which we can visualize user behavior and thus be able to improve the conversion of our website.
With Clarity from Microsoft, we can visualize the movements that users make with the mouse on our website and from there make data and decisions about design or usability improvements that will help us boost conversions.
The Ads in Bing
Bing also supports advertising in its search engine, and also allows a greater number of ads than Google.
For example, for the search for “digital marketing in Houston” up to 10 ads appear before the organic results.
However, one of the advantages of advertising on Bing is its lower cost per click.
Now we know much better how the Bing search engine works and how to do SEO in this search engine without getting into trouble.
If you want to increase your ranking in Bing, you just have to follow these tips.
The main difference between Bing and Google is that Bing relies more on user experience and social signals and Google on content and mentions.
The decision of whether you want that percentage of traffic that Bing can bring you an extra 10% or more or not is a question that you must answer yourself.
My opinion is that a “10% advantage is a good advantage”.