Here's what you need to know about SEO for Bing vs Google

Digital360 on 8 May 2017

When it comes to search engine optimisation, one size does not fit all. What works for Google may not work for Bing and vice versa. As Bing’s search share steadily grows, it is increasingly important to understand these differences and how you can use them to your advantage.

To help you achieve this, here is an overview of what you need to know about SEO for Bing vs. SEO for Google.

But first, is Bing a thing?

Many businesses might question the relevance of SEO for Bing. If your website is optimised for Google, why should you care about Bing? To begin with, Bing currently has an alliance with Yahoo meaning search results are "powered by Bing." While this may change given Verizon's recent purchase of Yahoo, for now they control around 30 percent of the market, according to comScore. This means that if you optimise for Bing, you also optimise for Yahoo and improve your search rankings across the board.

Importantly too, different demographics use different search engines. The majority of Bing users live in the U.S., have annual household income of $100,000, and fall in the 35 to 44 age bracket, according to statistics compiled by Bing.

The search engine receives 524 million unique searches worldwide, 50 million of whom do not use Google. Bing also reports that its users spend 25 percent more time online than other Internet browsers. By optimising for Bing, you reach a wider spectrum of the market and target a public with 20 percent more buying power than the average Internet user, according to Bing data.

The other advantage of SEO for Bing is that you minimise potential drops in traffic. If for instance, Google changes its algorithm you will maintain your site visits via Bing as you update your website.

Similarities between SEO for Bing and Google

Before looking at the differences, it is worthwhile to note that there are similarities between SEO for Google and SEO for Bing.

Both, for instance, show preference for brand names in their search rankings. If your business does not fit this category, there are factors the search engine uses to rank websites. Good quality backlinks will improve your SEO for Bing and Google. The difference is that Bing places greater weight on the quality rather than the number of backlinks.

Likewise, both search engines give preference to business websites with relevant content and proximity to a user's location. Ensuring your content is optimised with geo-specific keywords will give you a big advantage in both Bing and Google search results.

For more information on how to locally optimise your content, consider consulting an SEO agency.

How is SEO for Bing and Google different?

There are a many subtle and not-so-subtle differences between SEO for Bing and SEO for Google.

Perhaps the biggest difference is the influence of social media. Bing has heavily incorporated social media into search rankings. For instance, Bing users can see whether people within their network have recommended a page. This includes Facebook friends, Twitter followers and even Pinterest boards. Bing has also clearly stated in the past that social media plays a major role in SEO and search engine rankings, which is in contrast to Google.

Multimedia is another important point of contrast. Bing is more likely to give a higher ranking to websites with photos, video and audio than Google. Unlike Google, Bing can read Flash, meaning media-rich websites tend to fare better on Bing.

Other more nuanced difference concern keywords. While Bing rewards exact keywords, Google reads the broader context around a keyword and recognises synonyms. In the case of double-meaning searches, Bing favours local search results where Google favours the most popular websites.

How to get started with SEO for Bing

To improve your SEO for Bing, it is important to revise your current SEO strategy. Speaking with an SEO agency can help you clarify how to best update and modify your current campaign.

Once you are clear of your long-term SEO objectives, the first step is to submit your site to Bing Webmaster Tools. At first, Bing may take a little while to crawl your site. Once this is done, you can expect to see your search ranking for Bind take effect and improve.

Given Bing’s preferences for social media signals in SEO, it is also a good idea to review your social media stats and how they can be improved. You may need to consider whether you should better integrate social media on your website, focus on a specific platform or change your campaign to receive better results.

In the same way, looking at how multimedia can play a larger role on your website – without affecting page loading times – can also help your Bing search ranking.

To learn more about SEO content for Bing and Google, contact one our specialists.