Jun 30, 2009

SEO Considerations for Appealing to Bing

by: in SEO

Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, has been live for several weeks and has already made an impact among the search engine community. comScore reported in May that Microsoft had a 8.2% share of search engine volume. Bing's share of search during the week of June 8-12, however, rose to 12.1% - an increase of 3.9%.

The increase in Bing's share of search has prompted many in the search engine optimization industry to take a hard look at Bing and how it delivers its search results. In particular, researchers have looked at the primary differences between Bing and Google.

Domain age, for example, is a factor that appears over and over in the research as a main determinate for search in Bing. Bing gives more weight to sites that have a domain that has been registered a longer period of time.

Bing also appears to give weight to keywords in the title tag of the page. Therefore, SEOs should pay particular attention to the keywords they are focusing on and, when appropriate for the page, include those keywords in the title tag.

Inbound anchor text, keyword-rich text that appears in the copy and links to a particular URL, appears to be another major search factor for Bing. Instead of using anchor text that is around the brand name of the website, anchor text should be used around keywords that can drive traffic to the site in search. Other factors that have been identified to impact search results in Bing include:

  • 300+ words of content on a page
  • Presence of outbound links
  • Bounce rate
  • A robot.txt file that directs the MSNBot to search the page
  • Keywords in the domain name

In our own internal research study, we compared several clients and their top keywords to their competitors on the first page of Bing. We surveyed the top search engine factors listed above and found that for our clients, inbound anchor text was the primary determinate of Bing search results. The more anchor text that was focused around top keywords, the better the competitors and/or clients performed in the search engines for those keywords.