Google has maintained its status as the de facto search engine for the web for almost 2 decades now. Microsoft has spent billions to just maintain second place. However, Bing’s market share is still in the double digits. Also, since Bing powers Yahoo search, the combination of Bing and Yahoo’s search share is about 30% and that’s nothing to ignore.
With Windows 10 merging many of Microsoft’s different departments into one operating system, with some pretty decent reviews, and the new Edge browser, I believe that Bing might gain some market share.
Is it Worth it To Optimize For Bing?
The answer is yes. A conversion from any source is always a welcomed conversion.
I’ve spent some time reading other articles on what elements and properties need to be optimized, and guess what, Bing cares about the same things Google does.
Here’s an abbreviated list of items that others say are important for Bing:
- Quality Content
- Use links to discover new content
- Penalize sites with abusive link schemes
- Fast loading times
- Canonical tags
- On-page optimization
- Clean URLs
- Keyword usage
- A solid local and social media presence
- Among many others
Those are the same things that Google is looking for! In fact, you’ll see that Bing Webmaster Guidelines aren’t that much different from Google Webmaster Guidelines. Perhaps there is a universal golden rule of search engine optimization.
Believe it or not, the majority of Bing’s demographics tend to be people who are not savvy enough to change the default search engine in their Internet Explorer. These are people who are content with the default settings of their Windows installation.
I believe having a Bing Webmaster Tools account and actively working with this tool to correct issues on your website will provide the best opportunities to rank better in Webmaster Tools. This is because Bing provides more options, settings, and analytics for your website than Google Search Console.
Optimizing Bing Places is Easier that Google+ Local
Yep, this is where Google fails miserably, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. Bing Places is the easiest local listing and map site to optimize, claim, and verify for a local business. This means you have no reason to not do it.
Google+ has had a lot of trouble getting users to actually use their Google+ platform, to the point where they are finally dropping the requirement that you need a Google+ profile to use Google services. Bing doesn’t require this at all.
Bing does seem to factor social media more into their results than Google. This is probably because Microsoft does not have a social media platform of it’s own. Meanwhile, Google has been struggling to keep Google+ relevant.
It’s smart that Microsoft hasn’t attempted to barge into the social media fight. Instead, they are working to make it easier for Windows and Microsoft software and hardware users to have a better experience with their products by better implementing existing social media networks into their products and services.
Thus, having a solid social media presence is also a stronger factor for Bing.
Microsoft has been undergoing a massive cultural transition that mimics many of the objectives that Jim Collins lays out in Good To Great. The fact that they’ve exited their anti-trust era, shed Steve Ballmer, failed miserably with their original mobile platform, and have recognized that Windows is now almost on equal footing with Mac OS, the company has revised itself—in a very short time—as being much more serious with their approach to the future of computing.
I expect Bing to gain a little more traction in the search engine market share in the coming years, but will always lag behind Google.
To get back on track, optimizing for Bing is just like optimizing for Google. So don’t waste your time trying to find the holy grail of optimization techniques strictly for Google. Instead, focus on making a great website for all users and make them technically available for all search engines.
Steve Scott is the CEO & Director of Training at the Tampa SEO Training Academy. He has taught SEO skills to people from around the world and currently offers his hands-on search engine optimization training workshops in Tampa to individuals and businesses of all sizes. Corporate SEO training classes and consulting are also available.