English language aficionados couldn’t have failed to recognise that Binging isn’t yet Googling. Such is the dominance of Google that its brand name – like Hoover, Photoshop and Xerox before it – has become synonymous with its own product.
Yet recent research by comScore suggests that Bing is growing more popular, accounting for 20% of the online search market in the US. And in the world of SEO and content, this presents a balancing act for sites seeking to maximise traffic.
Fortunately, Search Engine Journal’s Pratik Dholakiya offers advice that will help frazzled editors and marketing executives create content for both Bing and Google.
1. Still focus on keywords etc
When Google let fly its Hummingbird algorithm, it meant a new paradigm for search – namely, user intent. Instead of purely using keywords, anchor text and tags to assess the contents of a page, Google was suddenly able to perform semantic search by analysing language patterns and deeper meaning. Bing, on the other hand, still relies on the more outdated mode of assessing content, meaning that those keywords, tags etc. continue to matter.
So research your keywords carefully and deploy with care. Google will punish your search rank if you use too many keywords, even if you enjoy better Bing scores. Google is coy about exactly how much keyword use constitutes bad “keyword stuffing”, but this video gives you the general drift:
2. Don’t forget to front load
While Google takes the time to crawl all of a web page’s content, there is some suggestion that Bing looks at the first 100kb only. Whether that 100kb includes imagery and other media is not clear, but Dholakiya advises that you place keywords near the beginning of a page – likewise, Bing will only recognise the value of a backlink if it is located in that first 100kb.
3. Use good imagery, but avoid Flash
Bing excels Google in recognising the contents and quality of imagery, and can even ‘read’ Flash imagery. Alas, Google is much less developed. Dholakiya advises not using Flash at all, and to please the Google gods, says it is still worth tagging pictures and videos with relevant textual info to describe the contents.