SEO for Bing: Microsoft’s ‘decision engine’

Ever since Microsoft’s ‘decision engine’ Bing was revealed back in May 2009, a lot of website owners have asked themselves three questions.

  1. How do I rank highly in it?
  2. Is it different to Google?

And most importantly:

  1. Will my website explode?

Many people have invested much time on internet message boards in a bid to answer these questions. Read on if you would like to too…

Et tu Google lover

Even if you despise Bing, never touch it and continue to reach tenderly for the big, friendly Google monster that you know and love, you shouldn’t dismiss Microsoft’s search engine out of hand. After all, a growing number of people prefer to Bing their way to websites, and you’ll want users from across the web to find yours – not just the crowd who use Google.

I must stress that until a Bing representative comes forward with strict guidelines on how to optimise your site for their search decision engine, then nothing is for certain. Lacking those, we’ve compiled our own rough guide on how to get your website up to the Bing standard.

Our Golden Rules

  1. Your site should have a high quantity of good quality inbound and outbound links. “Outbound links!” you cry. Yes. It seems that linking to other sites is looked favourably on by Bing.
  2. Your site should have lots of good quality, original content. It should be consistently good, regularly updated and and relevant to your target audience (to be honest, this is just good practice anyway).
  3. Your domain age plays a big factor. Older, trusted sites with consistently fresh content will fare very well. It wouldn’t be surprising to see marketers buying old domains because of this factor.
  4. 300 words of content. That’s right. 300. Unlike other search decision engines Bing – apparently – really likes pages to have this amount of text.
  5. Don’t bother blogging (well, not as much). It would appear that Google appreciates blogs a lot more than Bing.
  6. Titles, titles and more titles. Make sure your title tags are spot on because, without them, you may as well close down your site. Okay, perhaps that’s a big extreme: but as long as your title tags are all present and correct on your own page and the pages that it links to, then you should be fine. Bing LOVES them.

Overall it would appear that the same usual SEO practices will put you in good stead with Bing. It’s just that Bing seems to enjoy certain things a bit more than Google does. To recap, you need:

I genuinely like Bing. I think it looks fresh, it’s pretty quick and it has enough innovative features to hook a few users who are fed up with Google (visual search is one thing I am genuinely excited about).

But do I use it?

Nope.

Not a chance.

But I don’t want to miss out on the traffic it can send me.