What Bing Won’t Tell You – But You Need to Know
Every major search engine happily gives you published hints and tips on how to optimize your pages for improved rankings on their sites. But when you read these guidelines you quickly discover that most of it is just their own wish list. Things like ‘Don’t write for search engine bots – or – do not hide keywords with a font matching the background color.’ It is all good advice but kind of general and already well known (for at least the past decade.)
But there are always things a search engine will not tell you. And, of course, these are the things that make all the difference in your SEO efforts and results. That said; here are 8 things Bing doesn’t want you to know (In a hurry? Jump to the Magic Formula section at the end):
1.) Your Domain Name Matters – A Lot
Search for just about anything on MSN / Bing and at least three of the top five matches will have some version of that keyword as the domain name. For example if you wanted to optimize for the keyword ‘my domain’ you should try to get the domain name ‘mydomain.com.’ If that is taken, opt for ‘my-domain.com.’ If that’s taken try for a name starting with ‘mydomain’ and ending with a word that is commonly associated. This is called LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing. A good example of this would be ‘mydomainname.com’ or ‘my-domain-name.com.’ BTW, Bing treats dashes as a space so as long as long as the dashes merely separate words, they are treated much like the non dash version.
2.) There is No Sandbox
Here’s some great news for anyone just getting started. Bing does not seem to care about the age of your domain name. There is no ‘sandbox’ like Google has. Many people, myself included, have registered brand new domains and had them ranking in a matter of days.
3.) DotCom Trumps DotNet
Today some search engines like Google will often give.net and.com virtually the same value, and possibly higher value for a.org that is for a recognized non profit organization. Bing however appears to prefer the.com version. You can even see instances where a ‘.co.uk’ site gets high rankings simply because it uses the exact keyword in the domain name and.co is close enough to.com.
4.) We Like Sub Domains
Most web hosts will let you add sub domains to your website. On Bing, if you have the sub domain mydomain.mydomain.com you are in for some potentially great rankings. The same is true if you have my.domain.com, but to a slightly lesser degree.
5.) Less is More – Part One
We have been trained by Google to try to have hundreds of pages of quality content on every website. Bing adheres to the old policy that they are indexing web ‘pages’ not web ‘sites’ (like Google says they do, but Bing apparently really means it.) This means each page is treated on its own merit so a site with one page has the same chances of being ranked as a site with 100 pages, because each page is genuinely treated individually.
6.) Less is More – Part Two
The same rule as above goes for on-page text. Pages with 800 to 1,200 words seem to do best on Google but on Bing the reverse is true, with 250 to 500 words being the magic number. Just do not overuse your keyword.
7.) Links are Nice But Not Required
Forget about spending your life building an ever growing number of inbound links for Bing. They do not need them. Your site, at this time at least, is judged on its own merits, page by page.
8.) Be Bold not Strong
The original SEO method dating back to 1996 was using the H1 or ‘strong’ heading tags in your HTML. Forget them for now. Bing gives higher priority to how you would express importance in a word processor document; larger font and bolded text as the main markers.
Summary: I build hundreds of Bing (formerly MSN) targeted mini sites every year using the information above (as it has evolved) and the results have been consistent top ten rankings. You can do it too!
Here’s my magic formula for a one hour top ranking:
A.) Get the.com version of a three to four word keyword as the domain name (dashes are fine.)
B.) Use the domain name as the page heading in a bolded font, slightly larger than the paragraph text.
C.) Write 400 words of natural sounding text using the keyword up to five times.
D.) Mention the keyword once in the first sentence and once in the final sentence of the page – then up to three times scattered throughout the remainder.
E.) Bold one instance of the keyword. Italicize one instance of the keyword. Use one instance of the keyword as a link back to the same page.
F.) Always fill in your Title, Description and Keywords META tags. That’s it.
Good luck and take care!
PS: This works for Yahoo too.
Mike Small is the founder of DotCom Pirates (DotComPirates) A different kind of SEO company, DCP is dedicated to helping website owners optimize for pennies on the dollar of what traditional SEO companies charge. DotCom Pirates offers DYI and Turnkey SEO packages to meet any budget, starting at just $49 for a complete SEO package. Feel free to stop by for your free SEO gift anytime.
Yahoo SEO Techniques
Different Search Engine Means Different Algorithm
All search engines have their own algorithms to determine the value and, therefore, positioning of websites. While the majority of SEO work tends to concentrate on Google because of the sheer weight of searches they receive it would be foolish to discount or ignore the other major search engines. Yahoo is considered one of the big three along with Google and MSN and by concentrating a little more time and effort on Yahoo optimization it is quite possible to gain a good amount of traffic. With ultra competitive keywords it may actually provide an easier way to generate search traffic than gearing all your efforts solely towards Google.
The Most Important Yahoo Optimization Factor
The first, and most pertinent point is that Yahoo judges content to be the most important factor in their algorithms. They do still consider inbound links and other factors but they are attuned to the way of the content site and they love sites that provide keyword-optimized content in large mass. While that may make it sound easier than concentrating on generating a huge base of inbound links as you would for Google, Yahoo optimization presents its own challenges and its own unique quirks that you should consider.
Looking At Keyword Density
Because of the relevance that Yahoo places on the content within your site, the keyword once again becomes a vitally important aspect of your research. While Google have been striving to promote sites that use organic content and webmasters and SEOs have been optimizing with around 2% to 3% keyword density Yahoo prefers a much greater density level. The danger, of course, is that giving Yahoo what they want may cause Google to deem your content as being keyword stuffed but there is another difference between the two algorithms that can help to counteract this problem.
Using Stems, Inflexions, And Variants Of Keywords
Yahoo is very heavily language based. This means that it is, strictly speaking, more aware of the nuances of the written language. It will include synonyms and inflexions of a keyword when considering your keyword density; something that Google does not consider to the same extent. This means that it is possible to optimize for both without diminishing your ranking with one another.
How To Optimize For Yahoo Without Getting Penalized By Google
Google likes a density of around 2% and Yahoo likes a density as high as 7% or even 8%. This means that you can effectively use 4 variations of a single keyword or phrase and a density of 2% for each. This offers further advantages. With Google you are now gearing your content towards four different keywords and offering the level they want, and you are still providing Yahoo with the much higher density rate that they require. Because you can include plurals and further stems of keywords this means you can write in a much more natural tone.
Using The Near Forgotten Meta Tags
One area that a lot of SEO professionals and webmasters alike now tend to overlook is the Meta tag. However, Yahoo appears to still give consideration to the keyword and description tags in particular. This is quite rare in the case of most search engines and Google certainly do not look for keywords in your Meta tags. Do not attempt to dupe Yahoo, though, and only include keywords that genuinely appear on your page and are relevant to your topic.
Regular, Fresh Content Is King
You’ve probably heard the saying that “content is king” and this is even truer when considering Yahoo optimization. The more content you provide the better. This may mean making regular additions to your site but it will generate the kind of results you are looking for. Blogs are also a very good way to continue adding relevant content to your site that Yahoo will smile down on.
The Lazy Yahoo Bot
Compared to other search engine spiders the Yahoo bot is a comparatively lazy animal. It doesn’t crawl as often as other bots and it certainly doesn’t crawl as deep into your site to find all of your pages and index them. This means you should pay extra attention to creating a legible sitemap and keeping it updated as regularly as possible. Yahoo has a sitemap submission feature that is similar to Google’s and using this is heavily recommended to try and ensure that Yahoo stays on top of the infrastructure of your site and ranks you accordingly.
Inbound Links And Controlling Them Yourself
Inbound links are still important to Yahoo, but again a lot of emphasis is placed on content. Textual relevance seems to be one of the most important factors so having control over your inbound links and being able to determine the pages where they appear and the anchor text of each is important. Perhaps the best way to generate inbound links for Yahoo optimization is to use the article directories to your benefit.
Yahoo Optimization Conclusion
Google may be the search engine that everyone talks about and optimizes for but ignoring Yahoo would be foolish. This is especially true because while the Yahoo algorithm is quite different to the Google one and other algorithms, it is still quite easy to optimize for both. The most important factors to remember are to use relevant Meta tags for every single page of your site, include as much content and update your site with new content as often as possible, and update a sitemap both on your website and with the Yahoo sitemaps function.
WebWiseWords specializes in SEO writing geared toward any search engine or any SEO guidelines. They can create website content pages, articles, blog entries, and more that utilize search engine optimization rules to help promote your site with all of the major search engines, not just Google.