Monday, December 10, 2012

Optimize For Bing SEO - Keep It Simple Stupid

SEO optimization for Bing search is something far too few SEO bloggers talk about. In a greedy web world, so much of the focus is spent on how to evade Google's ever strangling noose and it's horrific grip on the internet. The highly-profitable obsession with ranking in Google has always put Bing SEO in the back seat. For Mac Affiliate Marketers - it's no secret that in the post Penguin - Panda update era, Google has so devalued pages with affiliate links in them, the decimation to your organic website traffic from Google probably has you largely clinging to the crumbs that Bing and Yahoo organic search can still deliver.

In it's recent BING IT ON Bing vs. Google search challenge, Microsoft dared us to compare Google and Bing SERPS and encouraged some to SWITCH their default browser engine to Bing. I did just that a month or two ago. Living with Bing search results has been a frustrating and informative process of understanding Bing and it's quirks and limitations A LOT better.

"KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID" is what I learned foremost. The utter lack of search query handling sophistication became apparent quickly. Bing just can't seem to handle more than 2 or 3 keyword sequences well AT ALL. Typing 4, 5 and 6 word phrases seems to leave Bing utterly confused as to what your search INTENT really is. Try something like a search on Best Fitness Books Of 2012 and Bing will deliver an utterly laughable set of CRAP results. Keep doing this with other 4-5 word phrases -- and you'll soon realize that Bing has some serious problems that Google handles with intelligence. Then try Yahoo - and see how the algo's Yahoo applies to Bing's database is far, far more sophisticated! Yahoo actually delivers modified Bing database results far more in line with your search intent than Bing does.

THE SEO FOR BING TAKE-AWAY: It seems browser Page Title and on-page H1 and H2 tags should be kept short, simple and highly targeted to your top money keywords. "Best Food Blender" or "Cheap Camping Tents" is the most you should go for. I also noted Bing will often grab your on-page H1 header as the first sentence of the Description in your SERP result listing. They seem willing to bypass conventional Meta Description tags you may have crafted and focus on H1 header instead...

BING SHOWS FEW SERP RESULTS: Something interesting - and disconcerting - is the LIMITED NUMBER OF PAGES of results Bing returns. Sometimes it's only 1 or 3 pages -- so unlike Google, there may NOT even be 10 or more pages of results for searchers to dig through! Bing so HEAVILY PRUNES DISPLAYED RESULTS that being past position 30 of SERPS may be utterly irrelevant.

BING FAVORS HUBPAGES: One little thing I noticed trying to live with Bing is it seems to LOVE HUBPAGES.COM - (at least currently...) So one supplimental SEO for Bing strategy might be to create succinct 2-3 keyword loaded Hub Page URL's to try to get them into Bing's top SERPS. (Google on the other hand seems to favor SQUIDOO lenses.)

BING LIKES BLOGS - LESS SO FORUMS: Unlike Google, who seem to be giving Forum Postings VERY high Page One rankings (even if the Thread/Topic is YEARS old!) - Bing doesn't seem to care much for indexing forum threads. Blogs have a clear preference in Bing - and surprisingly they like Google-owned BLOGSPOT blogs!

BING LOCAL LISTINGS AND CITATION SITES:  Of all the Local sites, Bing clearly shows a preference for, City-Data, Manta, and MagicYellow -- but as for other local sites....

BING PAYS ATTENTION TO FOOTER LINKS: This one is really strange -- if you have a unique Brand or Company Name - and use that linked in the footer of your (site / sites) Bing seems to pick up on it. I've often done this with several of my affiliate sites (i.e. "Copyright 2013 MacSEOTips" and Bing is more likely to pick up on that linked reference in the footer than from nearly anywhere else on page! Just bizarre.

BING AND BRAND RECOGNITION SEO: Searching Bing for truly UNIQUE names and brands is quite an eye-opener. Your name or brand typed in quotes in Google clearly shows EXACTLY which AUTHORITY DOMAINS - in RANKED ORDER - they know about you on page after page of Google SERPS. Well, try that with Bing and you'll once again see how BRAIN DEAD Bing can be as a search engine in general.

All the above are just casual observations. As I delve deeper into analyzing Bing SEO rankings in depth, I'll post an ACTIONABLE hit-list of "How to SEO optimize for Bing" In the interim, spending some serious time studying and observing your own sites and how well (or not) they rank in Bing SERPS might help you improve your on Bing rankings - and protect your affiliate sites from Google's ever-tightening noose.