How SEO for Bing differs from Google

If Google’s great innovation was organizing the Web around editorial votes, or links, Yahoo! went in the opposite direction for many years: analyzing the websites themselves and returning search results based around on-page factors. Today,Yahoo! is powered by Bing, and so it puts much more faith in links than it used to. However, Bing’s technology holds onto this page- based legacy in some important ways.

Most optimizers appreciate the fact that on-page factors matter to Bing because it makes optimization easier. Google’s system of needing to essentially ask for other websites’ votes is much more difficult than just following best practices when building your site. Exactly what those best practices are is a subject of ongoing debate, but a few basics are beyond controversy.

Keywords in Content

The biggest difference between Bing and Google is their respective emphasis on keywords within the content of the site. I have already discussed the main ways that keywords matter to Google—namely when they appear in anchor text, the meta page title, and the URL. But Google does not care very much about keywords in the content of your site. That’s why, when optimizing for Google,most people just write their keywords whenever they come up naturally in the site’s content. Aiming for a particular “density” of keywords in your overall word count is a relic of the past and can actually have negative effects with Google.

Bing is much more receptive to keywords written within the text of your pages. Many webmasters report great strides in their Yahoo!/Bing rankings just by using keywords more often. This isn’t to say that you want to sacrifice syntax or intelligibility, of course; spam is spam, and every search engine knows it when it sees it. But you might see a bump in your ranking just by leaning a bit more heavily on the keywords you are optimizing for. Playing around with these keywords for maximum effect in this area is a must, especially because Bing is constantly refining its keyword detector. Someday, keywords inside content may matter less than they do. But for now, sprinkle liberally. First-page rankings may blossom.

Meta Page Titles

Another area that Bing seems to care a lot about is the meta page title.You already understand the importance of this bit of code to Google, and it matters at least as much to Bing. Run a search for any popular term on Yahoo! or Bing, and you will notice that most of the first page results will use that exact term in their meta page titles. Google, in contrast, tries to return results whose meta page titles have the same words that the user searched for but not necessarily in the same order. So if you search for best brownie recipe, Google doesn’t differentiate too much between web pages whose meta page titles are “The Best Darn Brownie Recipe” and “Mom’s Recipe for the Best Brownie Ever” even though neither of those titles contains the exact phrase best brownie recipe. Bing, on the other hand, is more likely to rank a web page at the top if it has that exact phrase in its meta page title.

Meta Description Page

Meta description tags are a factor about which Bing cares a lot more than Google. This description text then become the two lines of text that show up underneath the blue underlined heading of every search result. Unlike meta page titles, though, they usually don’t show up anywhere on the web page or browser after you’ve clicked the search result. They exist merely to improve the experience of using the search engine.

Google cares about meta descriptions a small amount. Bing cares about them a good amount more, specifically looking for keywords in the meta description that also appear in the meta page title and on the page itself. That trio of keyword placements is a killer combo in Bing’s eyes.

So when you are doing seo for Bing,make sure your page’s meta description includes your keyword at least once and that the same keyword appears in your meta page title. For instance, if your site sells scuba gear and your keyword is caribbean scuba gear, a good meta page title and meta description is this:

Top Caribbean Scuba Gear | Snorkels, Masks, Tanks & Cameras Elite scuba gear for Caribbean divers at any level


Another important on-page factor to Bing is headings. Headings are the text at the top of a page, usually in larger letters, announcing the title or subject of the page. They’re sort of like a meta page title except they’re in the actual content of the page, front and center to visitors. Headings used to provide one of the bases of the early search engines’ algorithms, but as soon as people started manipulating headings so that more traffic would come to their websites from search engines, headings became de-emphasized. Google, for instance, gives headings almost no weight in its algorithm. Bing must not have gotten that memo, though, because it still factors headings into its algorithm quite a bit. Because most webmasters understand the importance of writing headings with real people in mind, optimizing your headings for Bing is a sensitive issue.You have to be one of those people who excelled at high school English assignments where you had to use vocabulary words in a sentence. I walked to school surreptitiously today.

Remember that? Those are the types of skills needed for sewing keywords into headings naturally (well, better ones than that). For example, if my keyword were eco-friendly cleaning and I were looking to write a page that is well optimized for Bing, I’d make a page with the following heading: How Eco-Friendly Cleaning Can Tidy Up Your Home and Your Planet My keyword sounds natural in that heading, making it good for both human beings and the Bing search engine.When Bing’s spiders see that you have used the same term in both the heading of your page and the text of your page, it might conclude that your site specializes in whatever that keyword is. If this sounds simplistic, it is; so enjoy it. Bing will probably eliminate easy-to-manipulate on-page factors like this one in time.


About the Author: studio scoops