You’re probably already optimizing your site for Google, but what about Bing? Don’t make the mistake of ignoring this search engine.
Google might be the most dominant search engine, but it isn’t the only search engine worth focusing on as a marketer. Microsoft’s Bing has a growing market share and can be a formidable contender in your fight for visibility.
You can diversify and reach an even wider audience. Like Google, Bing can provide an insane amount of traffic flow to your website, and it’s free to utilize. All you need is a little know-how and time.
This guide will provide some tips for optimizing your site for Bing. But first, let’s take a quick look at the state of Bing and what’s new.
What’s Bing SEO?
Bing SEO is the art and science of getting your site to rank on the Bing search engine (including Bing Places for Business or Bing Local).
Bing (formerly Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search) is a web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft. The service has its roots in Microsoft’s previous search engines: MSN Search, Windows Live Search, and later Live Search.
General Overview of Bing as a Search Engine
Bing, a search engine created by Microsoft, was introduced in 2009 after taking over from Live Search (which was introduced in 2006). Just about the same time, it also began to power Yahoo search.
According to a 2013 comScore web trend report, Bing poses a real threat to Google. That’s because it’s controlling a small but growing market share (at 6.79%).
Google has dominated the search engine market share ever since it stepped into the scene (in 1997). It’s always maintained over 90% of the market share.
Bing Vs. Google: How’s Bing Different from Google
The two search engines are very similar, but they spot a few differences.
Both Bing and Google use crawlers to find websites for their indices. Also, both offer ads that are relevant to search results. Each search engine also provides webmaster tools for improving your listings and ad performance.
Bing has some features that Google doesn’t have, though. Some of these include:
- Doing an image search on Bing is preferable because of its higher quality results. You can even narrow down your image search by layout. It also lets you see licensing information for each image at first glance.
Bing also pioneered infinite scrolling long before Google decided to also embrace the feature.
- Bing makes video search a breeze. Google might own YouTube, but Bing takes video search to a whole new level. For instance, when you search for a video on Bing, the results will show up as a thumbnail grid, allowing you to watch the video without leaving Bing’s SERPs.
- Perhaps the most incredible difference between these two search engines is their influence on the fast-growing subsection of online search: those conducted via voice-assisted devices. It’s a close race between Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The two account for 94% of all smart speakers on the market.
You have to note that Bing powers Amazon’s Alexa.
Bing Statistics (2022)
- In June 2021, Bing exceeded one billion unique monthly visits. The number had started to drop in February but would pick the following month and has maintained an upward trajectory ever since.
Bing Has a Mobile Search Click Share of 34%
Still lower than Google, but impressive. Google leads as always, with a 74% search click share for both tablet and smartphone. However, in the tablet department, Google overthrows Google by 1% click share.
69% of Bing Searches Are Related to Big Brands
According to Ahrefs, more than two-thirds of Bing searches are related to some of the big brands you know.
Here are some of the popular terms that appear in most Bing searches:
- Facebook: 14,350,000
- YouTube: 11,250,000
- Google: 9,490,000
- Gmail: 6480,000
- How to fix a problem in Windows 10: 6,420,000
In the US, Bing accounts for more than 30% of searches
Google might be the most dominant search engine in many parts of the world. However, in the US, it’s closely rivalled by Bing.
50% of US citizens use Bing as their Default Search Engine
In March 2019, more than 126 million unique users performed more than 6 billion searches on the search engine. That’s too high a number for a search engine that most marketers have put on the back burner.
On top of that, more than 62 million people say they use both Google and Bing, with 66 million claiming they only use Bing.
Between 30% – 40% of Bing Searches are Related to Cars, Travel, Finance, and Health
Search stats show that 30% to 40% of those using this search engine only browse for these four particular topics. That’s something you should keep in mind if your business happens to fall under the four categories.
Bing Demographics Stats
71% of those Who Use Bing Are 35 Years Old or Older
Bing can boast of a mature audience.
Here’s a simplified breakdown of its users by age:
- 18 – 24 years old: 10.9%
- 25 – 34 years old: 17.8%
- 35 – 44 years old: 17.8%
- 45 – 54 years old: 19.8%
- 55 – 64 years old: 16.8%
- Above 65: 16.8%
As you can see, most Bing users are 35 years old or older. 18 to 24 years old only account for about 10% of its user base.
50% of Bing Users Have Graduated from College
Nearly half of Bing users have graduated from college. That makes it safe to say the search engine’s user base is more educated than other search engines.
17% of its users graduated with an advanced degree. That explains why so many people consider Bing the search engine for the well-learned.
But that might as well be attributed to the fact that most of those who use Bing are affluent, as mentioned earlier.
Women Account for About 50% of Bing Users
Another interesting statistical fact about users is that nearly half of its users are women. That piece of information might not seem helpful, but once you start using the platform for advertising, it will serve as an invaluable insight into what type of product or service sells well on this search engine.
Google Vs. Bing Statistics
The Most Searched Term on Bing in 2020 Was Google
Ironically, the most searched term on Bing in 2020 was its biggest rival. In stark contrast, the most searched term on Google was “Coronavirus.”
Google Holds 86.64% of the Search Market, with Bing Coming in Second at 6.79%
But on the brighter side, this number is way higher than Yandex, Duckduckgo, and Yahoo.
Bing Receives About 90 million Searches Per Day
Google boasts about 3.5 billion searches per day. On the other hand, Bing receives about 88 million searches per day. Take that multiple by 30 days, and the result is 2.65 billion searches per month – not too shabby compared to what other search engines are getting (such as Duckduckgo, which only received 30 million searches per day).
Key Benefits of Bing SEO
As a small business owner, Bing SEO comes with its share of perks.
Here are seven benefits of Bing SEO:
With everyone going after Google and neglecting the supposedly “small fishes” in the search engine pond, Bing SEO might just be the easiest way to get your site some long-tail traffic.
The 6.79% market share might not be enough to persuade Google-junkies, but let’s not forget the search engine has grown by 41.03% since 2019. It shows that the masses are slowly beginning to move away from Google, and it’s just a matter of time before the gap completely closes.
Bing Traffic has a Lower Bounce Rate than Google
We’ve already established that Bing users are more affluent, mature, and learned. They’re mostly older people, above 35 years. This age group has the highest buying power. Besides that, Bing users have also been found to click more pages and affiliate links.
Same Optimization Techniques
Bing’s SEO is very similar to Google’s. It doesn’t have drastically different rules or algorithms. The only difference is that Bing is more open about and clear about its ranking factors. Meaning, it will take you less effort to reap Bing’s SEO benefits than Google’s.
Bing SEO is an excellent opportunity to access a more targeted, less chaotic audience. Bing users are, on average, more affluent, mature, and educated. Building a Bing SEO strategy will provide you with the opportunity to focus on a more highbrow market.
Bing’s WebMaster Tool
Bing Webmaster Tools is just as good as its Google counterpart. It offers the same SEO tools and data. Plus, you don’t have to create a new account. Since it’s an extension of Microsoft’s developer platform, everything is designed to work together flawlessly.
Bing’s Local Search
Bing has the same local search benefits as Google. However, its algorithm for rating businesses and ranking them is much more accurate than Google’s.
Easier Purchase Links
Bing displays their results in a “real-world context.” That way, users can easily buy products and services, unlike Google, whose results offer users a chance to learn rather than encourage them to make a purchase.
Unique Search Queries
Bing is big on unique search queries. The search engine displays them a lot. And in most cases, users searching for them usually have a high intent to buy.
5 Ways Bing SEO is Different from Google SEO
Bing and Google might share the same ranking signals, but you can’t just copy your Google SEO strategy over to Bing and expect it to work. You have to adapt your onsite optimization techniques for Bing’s audience.
Here are five ways that Bing SEO is different than Google SEO:
Google and Bing interpret keywords differently.
Not long ago, Google introduced MUM (Multitask Unified Model). This update focuses on understanding the searcher’s intent and interpreting contextual cues based on their past interactions with other websites.
Otherwise dubbed as semantic search, this in part relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning (such RankBrain) to understand a page’s content.
Google has mentioned that RankBrain is the third most crucial ranking factor in the ranking algorithm. That means exact match keywords don’t carry the same weight they used to, not quite as much as creating comprehensive articles and topical pages for your visitors.
Bing has yet to update their algorithm to the same level as Google. They still use broad match keywords. That’s why, in their Webmaster Guidelines, they advise you to try as much as possible to use targeted keywords.
In other words, you have a better chance of ranking if you use exact keywords, especially in your domain name, meta descriptions, as well as H1 and H2 tags.
The second difference is that Google gathers contextual clues in their users’ search queries based on the websites they have visited, whereas Bing prefers to show local results first.
Also, if the queried search term has multiple meanings, Bing will try to provide other options in the sidebar.
For Google SEO: Write comprehensive web pages backed by intensive keyword research. But what’s even more important in Google’s eyes is maintaining topical relevance rather than focusing on exact match keywords.
For Bing SEO: Bing still uses the old-school approach. They expect your content to feature exact match keywords in the title, meta tags, body, as well as H1, H2, and H3 tags.
However, you do not want to over-optimize your content for these keywords. Their algorithms are smart enough to detect any foul play. So, be sure only to use an exact match keyword if it fits. Otherwise, you’re better off not forcing it at all.
Still on keywords: Google mentioned in 2009 that they stopped paying attention to meta tags, at least not in their ranking.
However, that only applies to Google. With Bing, meta keywords are still as impactful and functional as ever.
Levy Online came to this discovery with one of their clients. The client came to them with very good Google rankings. However, the same ranking didn’t reflect their Bing and Yahoo ranking.
The client was performing poorly on these two search engines. Upon closer inspection, they discovered that the client didn’t have a mediaonemarketing.com.sg/googles-may-4th-2020-algorithm-update/.
So, they chose to fix this and boom! The site started to rank on these two search engines.
Again, this is no excuse to abuse this hack. You do not want to stuff your meta tags with keywords.
The Key Takeaways
On Google: Meta keywords have zero impact on your ranking
On Bing and Yahoo: Using an exact match keyword in your meta title and description could significantly boost your ranking.
Both Google and Bing value backlinks and the reason is simple. Backlinks show that someone somewhere found your content useful and trusted it enough to watch to share it with their audience.
Google assesses trust by measuring PageRank (the link equity passing through backlinks into your destination page). High PageRank links carry a lot of weight, and one such link is worth more than dozens of spammy, low-page rank links.
Bing also measures link equity, but they don’t have a specific metric attached to it. They have a slightly different approach. For example, Bing Places puts a lot of emphasis on domain age and extensions.
That means they’ll be quick to rank any website with lots of organic backlinks from well-established domains, especially. Edu and .gov ones.
Bing also measures trust by looking at the number of backlinks a page receives. The more links a page gets, the more it will rank. However, their algorithm is advanced enough to sniff out any unscrupulous link-building strategy.
So, I’d suggest you pay more attention to the quality of links you attract rather than quantity. I’d also caution against getting so many backlinks at once. If the links don’t appear to come in naturally, Bing may suspect foul play and, as such, punish you for that.
The Key Takeaways
For Google: Focus on generating high-quality content and authoritative backlinks.
For Bing: Focus on getting lots of organic backlinks from well-established sites, especially websites with .org, .edu, and .gov domain extensions. Remember also to pay attention to domain age when enlisting these domain names.
So many SEOs have speculated that Google uses social signals as a ranking element. However, Google came forth to deny these claims.
It’s, therefore, safe to say that social signals don’t play any role in how Google ranks websites.
On the other hand, Bing has been very vocal about using social signals as a ranking element. Bing thinks that if you’re influential socially, many of your followers will be inclined to share your information widely. Bing see these as positive signals.
It’s simple: if you want to rank on Bing, then your ears must at all times remain on the ground, especially with your social circles. Learn to engage your audience, and get as many people as you can to comment, share, like, and tweet your posts.
The Key Takeaways
Google: Treat social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) as any other indexed page.
Bing: Uses social media pages as a ranking signal. Meaning, your search results will show your business’s social media following and rating.
Bing has been pushing the envelope when it comes to multimedia content. That explains why they even have the “Entity Understanding” feature.
What this feature does is to make Bing analyse the product or service you are selling in detail. Instead of just crawling text, they’ll try to crawl the various types of multimedia content, such as audio, video, and images, to understand your content better.
They also crawl flash websites.
However, Google relies heavily on text-based content while completely ignoring flash-based websites. High-quality images and videos matter. They just don’t carry the same weight they do on Bing.
For Google: They emphasize text-based content while completely ignoring flash websites.
For Bing: They put a lot of emphasis on multimedia content (video, images, and audio). It makes a lot of sense to try and break up your content into different types of media.
They also have no problem crawling flash websites.
Other SEO Differences
The five differences we’ve mentioned are the major ones. But there are quite a few minor ones that are also worth noting.
While Google crawls and indexes web pages regularly, Bing does it infrequently. Google will also try to index every page on your website, while Bing will only focus on a few key ones.
So, the only way to get all your pages indexed by Bing is by manually submitting them to the Bing site for indexing.
You also want to use Bing Webmaster Tools to increase the crawl rate. Just visit the Webmaster tool and click on Crawl Control. The tool also allows you to submit your sitemap. All you need to do is click on “Submit a Sitemap.”
You also want to include a path to the sitemap via robots.txt. You don’t want to miss this important step, especially since it’s a ranking signal.
6 Tips for Bing SEO: Do this to Rank High on Bing
So, what SEO strategies and techniques work specifically with Bing?
They might still work with Google, but not to the same degree.
Listed below are six such strategies and tactics to consider using:
Link Quality Over Quantity
It’s no secret that backlinks matter. But the quality of those links is critical.
I have seen websites rank well with less than ten excellent links to their website. I have also seen sites with hundreds of links struggling to get even ten visitors a week.
So, please do not fall into the trap of thinking that all you need is more backlinks.
Quality over quantity, always.
Now let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Bing is anything but stupid. They understand that some people buy links. And of the ways they can tell this is when a site suddenly gets 10,000 links in one day or when a website suddenly gets 1000s of backlinks from unrelated sites from different IP addresses. Bing’s not dumb enough to fall for that.
Here’s what they have to say about it:
So, please don’t buy backlinks on Bing!
Instead of investing so much of your time and energy to get hundreds of low-quality backlinks, focus on getting only a few from high authority websites that Bing already trusts.
There are two types of links that Google values:
- Organic backlinks from relevant and trusted sources
Particularly, links from domains with .edu, .org, and .gov strike gold with Bing.
- Bing always acts in favour of links from old domains. That’s because Bing considers age as a criterion of search engine trust.
Start guest blogging on relevant websites with authority to get more relevant backlinks. Start reaching out to other website owners in your niche, offer them free content and see if they can publish it on their website. If they agree to publish it for you, remind them to link back to you.
Also, like Google, Bing advises you against unscrupulous link building strategies. They want you to stay away from paid links, reciprocal links, links hacked or compromised sites, link schemes, and any other related Blackhat link building gimmick some people still use.
If they suspect you’re using any of these link building shortcuts, then they won’t hesitate to delist you.
If your site is already up and running, you can start by performing a backlink audit on it. There are a few tools to help you out with this, top among them being Ubersuggest.
Here’s what you should do for the backlink audit:
Step 1: You can start by visiting Uber suggest.
Nothing complicated. Just visit the domain name checker and enter your website’s URL before hitting submit.
The tool will prepare a detailed report on your link profile.
Step 2: Go through the Report to Analyse Your Link Profile bit-by-bit
The report carries so much information. But for the sake of this article, we only want to focus on the backlink section.
Here’s the information you’ll find:
- Your Domain Name Score: On a scale of 1 to 100, how strong is your website in terms of authority?
- Page Score: On a scale of 1 to 100, how strong is a URL in terms of authority and link connection?
- Link Type: Is the link in question image or text-based?
- Anchor Text: An anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. You don’t just randomly choose anchor text. You have to be strategic with selecting this part of the text.
Here’s an article you want to read to learn and understand the role that anchor texts play in ranking websites:
Remember to also watch out for spammy websites linking back to you. Email the webmasters behind them to remove those links. If you can’t take them down, then disavow them.
Pay Attention to On-page SEO
Google has a sophisticated search algorithm for crawling the content on your website. However, Bing is a little bit old-fashioned in its approach.
Exact Match Keywords
As we’ve already mentioned, Bing still relies on exact match keywords
They’ll weigh exact match anchors more heavily than partial match ones. For example, when you search for “best coffee making machines” on Google, you’ll see that many of the search results don’t have exact match anchors.
However, if you search for “Best coffee making machines” on Bing, almost all the results will have an exact match anchor.
Unlike Google, Bing expects you to use keywords precisely as they are, without making any alteration to them.
While we still recommend using these keywords naturally, check to see if you can naturally sprinkle them in your content title, meta title, and meta description. Be sure to also include them in your H1, H2, and H3 tags.
Also, while Google dismisses meta keywords and descriptions, using them can significantly boost your CTR and Bing ranking.
Write High-quality, Multimedia Content
Google doesn’t prioritize multimedia content. However, Bing is way more generous in that regard.
Also, like Google, Bing loves content that’s easy to read and digest. However, Bing also wants photos, videos, infographics, etc., to go with the text-based content on your website.
According to Bing, there are three pillars to high-quality content:
First, Bing just wants to ensure that your content can be trusted. They’ll start by analysing the content itself, its author, and the website it’s published. They’ll also look at the web anchor graph and a host of other factors to try and establish your website’s authority.
These factors include social signals, name recognition, cited sources, and the author’s authority. As for the content you write or commission, it should be helpful and relevant to your audience. It should also have a clear message and convey an idea in a well-organized, easy-to-follow manner.
So, start paying attention to how you format content. You also want to make sure you have listed the author with links to their social media profiles and other content.
Pay Attention to social media
While Google treats social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., as any of their indices, Bing has a different approach.
According to Bing, social media activity is a great indicator of your website’s popularity and authority.
So, you should start paying close attention to the number of visitors, likes, shares, and tweets your content gets on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The more exposure your content gets, the better exposure it’ll get on Bing too.
Side note: Bing warns web administrators against buying fake followers, likes, or any form of social media engagement.
Use Bing’s Webmaster Tool to Improve Your SEO
Bing’s Webmaster Tools can be a valuable ally in your SEO journey.
You can even submit your sitemap and subscribe to receive alerts about your site’s whereabouts.
It’s a straightforward process that requires one to verify their website by:
- Placing a provided XML file on your website’s server
- Coping the meta tag to their site
- Adding a CNAME record to their DNS
There’s nothing complicated about any of these. But if you find it a little bit confusing, then perhaps you should ask your web developer to help you out.
Once verified, your dashboard will fill up with all the important SEO details about your site. You’ll get to see things from Bing’s SEO point of view.
List Your Business on Bing Places
If you’re also targeting local traffic, then be sure to claim your business on Bing local. For example, when someone searches for “a dentist Singapore,” here’s part of the Bing search results they get:
If you optimize your local listing and focus on getting more reviews, you’ll get a spot here.
The odds are pretty good that you’re already ranking on Bing, though not as good as you could have with a few tweaks here and there. So, use whatever tips you’ve learned here to get the most out of this search engine and everything it has to offer.