E-Marketing in Minneapolis David Vinge, eMarketing Dashboard : Search Optimization For Bing

Monday, June 22, 2009

Search Optimization For Bing

So how do you search engine optimize (SEO) your site for the new Bing "decision engine"? Well, the same way you optimized your site for the old MSN Live Search. It appears that the search results are essentially the same - only the user interface is different.

The Bing "decision engine" presents searchers with more selections in the "related searches" area on the left of the page, which will include "previous searches" as well. For some searches "similar to this" results appear in the right hand column. (Some brand managers won't like what they see.)

The results for some queries on the US version will include a "best match" result at the top. So how do you get to be a best match. Not so easy. According to Bing, "Best match is driven algorithmically and is based on the destination that previous users have gone to. When the proportion of users going to a single site reaches a certain threshold then we create a “best match” to that site. We’re not limited by searching for a brand name." So go to Bing and search for "Minneapolis e-marketing" and click on the link for eMarketing Dashboard 3 million times. Thanks I appreciate it.

Microsoft is spending $80 to $100 million promoting Bing so it's no wonder that their market share is up. (Thanks Google Analytics for adding Bing to the list of search engine referrers.) But it's easy to buy first time visitors, the challenge is to retain those visitors over time. I suspect that Yahoo will suffer more than Google by this new concept in search.

So what should you do now. Go to Bing and submit your site if it is new or not found in the Bing search results.

Then go to the Bing Webmaster Center and sign up. Once you verify that you own your site you will have access to details on crawl issues, back links and outbound links and a quick test of how your pages perform for specific keywords. The link reports are very helpful as they provide a "page score" for each site you link to or that links to your site. It may be time to clean out those links to poor scoring sites. You can also provide a link to your site map to ensure that all pages are indexed. If Bing has a problem indexing a page it will tell you in the Webmaster Center.

Next, if you missed it, review the four part series, Optimizing Your Very Large Site for Search, that ran on the blog for the Live Search Webmaster Center Team last January. Don't have a large site or don't have complete control over your servers? Follow their advice the best you can.

Once your site is optimized, be sure to search Bing for topics included on your site and look at the "related search" results. Are there relevant topics that should be a part of your site? Build your pages, optimize and search again. Repeat as necessary. The most important step in SEO is to create useful, accessible content.

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