Bing’s market share is steadily increasing. They made a deal with Yahoo to serve their ads there. Yahoo made a deal with Firefox to be the default search engine provider, which is steadily increasing Bing’s market share. They’re currently up to over 33% of market share, meaning one out of every 3 searches is happening on Bing networks.
As Bing continues to increase their market share, it makes sense to consider what it takes to rank well in Bing. I’m listing some factors that will allow you to rank better in Bing below. While many SEOs don’t even bother with Bing (thinking that optimizing for Google will also get you ranked in Bing), there are some differences in the way they show the SERPs. If you look at the traffic to your site, and you’re not receiving at least 1 of every 3 search engine visitors from a Bing property, you should consider following the optimization steps below.
Search Metrics Correlation Factors
Search metrics makes note of some ranking correlations that happen in Bing, as compared to Google. A correlation says that these features are shared by top ranking pages, not that these features are specifically the reason for the ranking. However, I think its safe to say that many of the things below actually are favored when it comes to ranking in Bing.
Keywords in Domain
You are more likely to rank in Bing with an exact match keyword domain. In other words, if your domain is “bestredwidgets.com”, your chances of ranking for “best red widgets” is higher in Bing than it is in Google. However, if you look at the correlation data — a keyword in the URL is a slightly negative factor. Keyword in domain = .05% positive ranking boost, where keyword in URL is a -.04% boost. What should you do about this?
As a practice, I typically edit my URL slugs in WordPress to have LSI related keywords in them. I do this because keywords in URL is a powerful ranking factor, and often can over-optimize your page … as the page’s title often becomes the H1 tag, injected into the template many times, as well as becoming the page’s URL slug. By reducing keyword density (by choosing related keywords) in the slug, you not only rank better in Google — it appears it gives you a better chance of ranking in Bing.
Both Google and Bing Love Social Links
There are two types of social metrics — up-votes and links. People who typically say that social signals do not count, they’re talking about upvotes. That is true, getting favorited in Twitter, or “liked” in Facebook, is likely not a ranking factor. However, links from social sites are very powerful, especially if they’re tied to a respected social profile.
There is a very strong correlation between social signals and ranking highly in Bing. Three top correlation factors were +1’s, Facebook Comments and Shares, and Tweets. Note that +1’s are a “vote” type metric, however — unlike favorites and likes, a Google +1 usually accompanies a link from a person’s Google+ profile — so that is the one type of upvote that ends up as a link.
Relevant Keywords and Proof Keywords
A “proof keyword” is simply another term for a “LSI related” keyword — it means a word that typically will show up on a page regarding a certain topic. For instance, an article on airfares would typically have the “proof keywords” of tickets, itinerary, seats, cheap, etc. Of the top 7 correlation factors of ranking well in Bing, five are social signals, and two are keyword related. Those two keyword related on-page signals are “proof keywords” and “relevant keywords”. Proof, as explained above, was more important. Relevant keywords are all the longtail keywords and similar terms you would find in Google’s Keyword Planner tool. When searching for a term there, it provides many other suggestions — those would be the relevant keywords.
Links aren’t as important to Bing
Not until you get down to the 8th correlated factor for ranking in Bing do you see “Number of Backlinks”. This shows that on-page optimization and social media links are far more important than regular backlinks. Of course, getting links will help you rank in Bing, just as they help with Google — it’s just not as important of a metric.
Further down the list, a large number of on-page SEO factors come into play. Issues such as length of URL, length of content, how many outgoing links you have, keywords in external links and many more on-page SEO issues come into play. You could say then, that with Bing — Social is #1, Links are #2 and on-page SEO is #3, in regards to ranking performance.
Bing Ranking and Klout Scores
An author’s Klout score is a ranking factor in Google. In 2013, Google began a partnership with Klout in order to bring top Klout authors to the top of Bing’s search result pages. This is huge — so let’s discuss what Klout is and how to get your Klout score going up.
Klout is a system of measuring someone’s influence online, based on various social metrics. The idea is that you write an article, and depending on how often that article is shared, and talked about, your Klout score will go up. It also includes things such as how responsive you are to interacting with people on social media, and how active you are. If you take a month vacation, for instance, your Klout score would go down.
It’s not hard to understand why Klout is so important to Bing, seeing that it’s top ranking factors are all in the social category. Klout is similar to Google’s Author Rank. Whereas Google is working very hard to discover who is an expert in various fields, Bing has formed a relationship with Klout to discover the same type of information. However — where you cannot easily know what your Google Author Rank score is, it is rather simple to know what your Klout score is, and thus influence your rankings in Bing based on that score.
Though how to improve your Klout score is the subject for another article, the basic gist is that you would participate on all of the top social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, InstaGram and Pinterest. You would continually improve your profiles by relating to other people, building your followers and submitting content that gets shared and liked. With consistency over time, your Klout ranking would improve, allowing your content on Bing to rank better.
In summary, social media is incredibly important to ranking well on Bing. Focusing on improving your Klout score would also make you rank better. Next, links help you rank in Bing, just as Google. Finally, your on-page content is vital as well.
The main difference between Google and Bing would appear that Google is most interested in links, followed by social links and on-page SEO, whereas Bing reverses #1 and #2, by paying more attention to social, and then to links. Of course, ranking well in Bing would also get you ranking highly in Yahoo, as Bing serves the results for both properties.