New Webmaster Guidelines For Bing
SEO professionals and webmasters often pay a great deal of attention to Google in their SEO efforts, so other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo get left by the wayside. However, if you truly want to maximize opportunities to increase traffic and website conversions, it’s important to take into account all guidelines set by each search engine.
Recently Bing launched its own webmaster guidelines, which offers a basic roadmap to follow if you want your content to index or rank high in their search engine. Some of the highlights include:
Rich, engaging content - There’s that big “C” word again, which has and always will always rule the internet. If you’re not producing unique content that provides visitors with what they’re searching for, you may as well not have a website. Bing says that websites that are thin on content, contain mostly ads, or redirect visitors to other websites too quickly will not rank high. This is definitely the time to buckle down and really think about making time or investing money in a quality writer to create content to keep a website sticky.
Organic links - As with Google, Bing likes to see that links to a website are grown organically and will not tolerate paid links or participation in shady link schemes. A “quality” link according to Bing is one that comes from a website that Bing already knows and trusts. Getting these quality links from trusted sources goes back to creating great content that is worthy of sharing and linking to.
Social media - Social sharing is here to stay, so employing a social media strategy that gives you influence will pay off in how a website is ranked. If you don’t already know, Bing does provide a “Social Results” in their right sidebar to give you top posts from your social networks whenever you do a search.
Indexation - If you want traffic from Bing, or any other search engine for that matter, they need to know you exist. Using Bing’s Webmaster Tools and Sitemap Upload will help them index a website.
As for SEO, Bing says, “...performing SEO-related work is no guarantee of rankings or the possibility to receive traffic from Bing.” However, they do acknowledge that SEO is a valid practice that can improve a website and help content easier to discover.
According to Bing, the main areas to focus on when optimizing a website include:
1) Relevant title, meta, alt, and H1 tags that help clarify what exactly the site is about.
2) Internal and external links. The amount of links should be reasonable and point to related content.
3) Implement social sharing to make it easy for visitors to pass on content to their networks.
4) Make it easy for the search engines to crawl a site.
5) Site structure that consists of clean and keyword-rich URL’s, valuable content, and easy navigation.
6) Appropriate on-page SEO practices that includes fresh content using proper targeted keywords.
One thing that Bing does not talk about are incoming links from external websites, which is one of the main focus points when optimizing for Google’s search engine.
As always, some of the things to avoid when implementing SEO on a website are cloaking, link schemes, social media schemes, meta refresh directs, and duplicate content. In other words, do things the right way and you’ll never have to worry about a website being dinged for shady SEO tactics.
In addition to the new webmaster guidelines, Bing has released a series of free webinars that cover a variety of topics including SEO 101, Authority Building, Crawling Basics, and more.
As you can see, the Bing’s guidelines for webmasters are more of an overview of best practices rather than specific details as to what the search engine uses to determine the ranking of a particular page or site. These guidelines could actually be applied as general optimization principles regardless of what search engine you’re trying to get indexed in.