Over the past few years I've focused my blog posts regarding search engine optimization almost entirely on Google. The reason for that is obvious: Google commands by far the largest share of the search traffic market.
That's starting to change some, though. Bing is at the point now where it's worth focusing some of your SEO efforts on, particularly if your market is for searchers in the United States.
According to the latest numbers from Experian Hitwise, Microsoft's Bing now generates 30% of all U.S.A. searches. It's split about half and half from Yahoo (which is now Bing-powered) and the Bing.com web site.
Prior to the Bing takeover of Yahoo's search traffic, for me personally it really wasn't worth my time to do a lot of extra work to rank in Yahoo and Bing. The methods for ranking in each engine were different, and sometimes interfered with each other. So if I ranked well in those engines based on the SEO I was doing for Google, great, but if not, no big loss.
But 30%? That's worth putting some time into. So I've been doing some extra work to get some of my sites to rank in Bing now, too, and with great success. I figured I would share how to do it with you here.
So how does one get their web site ranked in Bing? Fortunately, there's a lot of overlap between what you need to do to rank in Google and what you need to do to rank in Bing. So most of your Google-oriented SEO efforts will pay off in Bing.
A couple of things are different, though, and worth noting.
1. Bing prefers editorial links.
Google loves all kinds of links: links from directories, links from articles, links from blogs. Links in blogroll's, links from resource pages. You name it, Google values it.
Bing? Not so much. Although Bing follows all kinds of links to discover new content, and does place some value on all types of links, the links that Bing values the most -- by far -- are editorial links.
By "editorial link" I mean a link that appears within a block of content. This includes, primarily, links within the content-portion of web pages and the text of articles and blog posts. Bing doesn't put much value on links from directories or resource pages the way Google does.
So to rank in Bing you need to put more focus into gathering these kinds of editorial links. Fortunately, all of these additional links you gain in an effort to rank in Bing will also help your rankings in Google.
2. Exact-match domain names count more in Bing.
I've posted in the past about the value of exact-match domain names in Google. They help quite a bit. By "exact match", I mean that if you want to rank for "dieters blog" it will help your rankings out a good deal to have the domain name "dietersblog.com" (or .net or .org--not so much for the other domain suffixes).
While Google does value exact match domains, Bing appears to put even more weight on this. So if you're creating a new site and have the opportunity to pickup a domain name matching the exact set of primary keywords you want to rank for, do it.
3. More content on the page and on the site.
The last thing Bing appears to need more of than Google is content. Whereas you can rank a basically empty page in Google if you have enough links, Bing favors content-rich sites and doesn't like to rank "thin" sites or pages as much -- even if they're well linked.
So to win Bing's favor, make sure your pages are content rich and that your site contains a lot of related content. For instance, if you're page that ranks great in Google is just a one page sales letter, add a dozen related, unique articles and link to them from the footer of the home page so Bing can find them.
Of the three things I've mentioned in this blog post, getting editorial links to your site has been responsible by far for my ranking improvements in Bing. The other two are a big plus, but, as with Google, it's all about the links -- it's just that with Bing you have to get certain kinds of links.
So be sure to get those editorial links from articles and blog posts, get an exact match domain name if you're starting a new site, and have plenty of subject-related content on the site.
Here's to your success!
Please post your thoughts and questions in a comment below.