Bing This: Major Changes and Search Optimization for Bing

Bing This: Major Changes and Search Optimization for Bing

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about optimizing for Bing. So to separate fact from fiction, and to provide some helpful tips, we thought we should address a few frequent questions.

Q: What is Bing?
A: Bing is Microsoft’s recently re-branded search platform. Microsoft calls it a “decision engine”, rather than a search engine. Although, it’s really still a search engine. Micosoft used “Live.com” as their search platform in the past, but now you will notice, live.com redirects to Bing.com.

Q: Does MSN search use “Bing Technology”?
A: Yes, MSN search actually uses the Bing search algorithm, and actually drops the searcher into a Bing results page. So no, you do not need to optimize for MSN any differently than Bing.

Q: What will change with the Yahoo!/Microsoft search partnership?
A: The Yahoo search infrastructure will be controlled by Microsoft in mid-2010. Until then, both engines will likely operate independently. At that point, there will finally be a pretty serious competitor for Google. So you can rest assured Google is working on some fairly clever things to try and differentiate itself even more by that point.

Q: What are the major changes in Bing?
A: A variety of changes/additions have taken place. Primarily smarter search functionality provides more “rich” results, including more images and better localization with the enhanced map platform. Also notice the specialized channels for things such as travel, which provide quite robust shopping comparison options. Finally, there is much more integration with other MSN and Non-MSN platforms. Do a search for a sports celebrity and see what I mean with Fox Sports stats integration. Or try a celebrity that “tweets” often and see the link to his or her Twitter profile above all of the search results.

Q: Is the advertiser cash-back program still available for e-commerce?
A: Yes, it’s still available. There are some criteria to apply and the process isn’t that easy, but it does provide a solid ROI option since it’s a CPA (cost-per-action) model. You’ll need to be able to maintain your datafeed, be based in the US and meet a few other criteria in order to apply.

Q: What major changes should be made for optimization?
A: We’re working on tests to reverse engineer the elements of primary importance in the Bing ranking algorithm. Here are a few hints (we can’t give out all of them to our competitors, now can we) about what we have found the Bing ranking algorithm likes:

  • Bing likes older domains, plain and simple. bad news for new domains, good news for older ones.
  • Bing likes content (more like it’s bigger rival). More than 300 to 350 words per page has a very positive effect.
  • Bing likes bulleted lists and descriptive word strings, but use subtle optimization.
  • Bing likes optimized page titles, and page specific metadata, more than it’s bigger arch-rival.
  • Bing likes fresh content. a lot.
  • Bing likes relevant outgoing links more than past versions. and incoming links more than past versions as well.
  • Bing likes “personal” information. It’s a unique option for certain optimization tactics.
  • Bing doesn’t crawl deeper pages as well as Googlebot. XML sitemaps will help.
  • Bing doesn’t like pages with an optimization ratio above 3.5% to 4% very much (at least the way Lucid calculates our optimization ratios).
  • Bing doesn’t seem to care much about sloppy code.
Scott Kaufmann
[email protected]

Scott is a lover of all things technology, marketing, investing and entrepreneurship. Scott volunteers on the board of the Phoenix Mens Arts Council and as a mentor for SeedSpot (a Phoenix based social startup incubator).

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