For most website owners, Google is the only consideration when it comes to search engine optimization. In many ways this is an accurate stance, since Google is the world’s largest English language search engine by a large margin.
However, Bing still captures more than 30 percent of search activity in the United States and also has much less competition for high ranking search results compared to Google. That means it’s still a factor to consider when optimizing your website for SEO.
Here’s what you need to know.
Keyword SEO on Google and Bing
For most webmasters, keywords are the primary consideration for SEO, and there are some stark differences between Google and Bing.
In recent years Google has come to rely on sophisticated content analysis techniques and other “smart” methods for determining how high a page should rank. Accordingly, strict keyword guidelines are out, replaced by a favoritism for high quality, organically distributed topic phrases.
By contrast, Bing still relies on older methods that emphasize exact keyword matches, especially in your page titles, meta content and section headers. While keyword stuffing is still frowned upon by Bing, inserting several relevant keywords in your content will be more of a factor for Bing than Google.
Linking Factors for SEO
Backlinks are links to your site from other websites. Both Google and Bing put a high priority on quality backlinks from trusted, reputable websites. However, the way that each search engine determines the quality of each backlink varies. Google uses its own PageRank algorithm to determine how “trusted” a backlink is. Though the exact algorithm is heavily protected by Google, tools like the Google Toolbar can give to an approximation of a site’s PageRank. Bing, on the other hand, emphasizes a website’s domain age and extension to determine backlink quality. With Bing, typically .gov and .org domains are more trusted than .com domains and old domains are more trusted than newer domains.
Social Media’s Impact on Search for Google and Bing
SEO experts suspect that Google puts some weight on social media links and referrals, but Google officially denies this is the case. In contrast, Bing openly states that it heavily emphasizes social media activity when calculating search rank. If you are looking to improve your Bing rankings, focusing on building a strong social media presence can provide a boost.
Using Quality Content to Improve SEO
Google and Bing both place a lot of emphasis on high-quality content, especially when it encourages users to continue viewing a website for extended periods. However, Google tends to emphasize the quality of a website’s writing above all other considerations, while Bing also focuses on the visual and multimedia elements of a webpage.
In general, both search engines use the quality of your website to determine how high it should be ranked. Bing may still reward a few more SEO “tricks” than Google, but the bottom line is that you’ll struggle to dominate search results without solid content and a professional website.