SEO for Google vs Bing (SMX Advanced 2010)

Similar SEO Tactics for Google & Bing:

  • Flash: Google and Bing can’t read it. Make sure you have indexable content if your site is Flash-based.
  • XML Sitemaps: Use these! Now already! They are a universal standard. Google and Bing accept sitemaps and sitemap indices. Bing does not currently accept video or news sitemaps. Be sure to register your XML sitemaps in Google and Bing.
  • Google Places & Bing Listing Center: Get your business listed.
  • GeoLocation results: Bing has great local movie results – with show times even! Wow. How can they even do that in 2010. It seems pretty impossible. Like the plot of LOST. And how about those weather results in Google and Bing. Very comprehensive. My dad would enjoy this. If only he used the internet.
  • Sitelinks: In Google, sitelinks show only on the first results. And you can remove sitelinks in Google WMC. In Bing, sitelinks also show on first results, but you cannot remove any of them.

Differences between Google & Bing for SEO:

  • Link Value: Check out Bing’s Webmaster Tools for links data. It’s pretty cool, and Bing indicates the value of backlinks to your site. How about that? Where you at Google? Oh yeah, you’re busy getting tons more traffic than Bing. Keep up the good work!
  • News: ??? I missed this one.
  • Shopping: In Google, the shopping area is completely free. Get your products in Google Base. Bing is paid only. And Bing CashBack is going away soon. 🙁

New Opportunities with Bing:

  • Social Sharing Results: You can share on Twitter and Facebook directly from Bing’s search results page. But the shared link to an image, links to Bing result. Also, to post on Facebook, you must grant access to the Bing application on Facebook. Privacy issues? Where’s Zuckerberg?
  • Swagger Wagon? Anyways, Bing has a module that you can populate with great information (marketing stuff). If you scroll over the video in the preview pane, it will play the video in the module. Another reason to put videos on YouTube.
  • Vampire Squid video is pretty cool. Oh wait. No video. But you get sitelinks and contact info in the preview pane. And you can control that data. Who knew?!?! Bing takes information from your page in this order: H1 tag (if it does not match your title tag). Bing takes the first paragraphs of information from your page. To add contact info, add contact information to the page. Add your address, phone number and email to your pages.
  • BTW, Google’s getting little face time right now.
  • To disable document preview in Bing, use a robots tag called nopreview.

Here comes @RandFish.

Ranking Factor Correlations:

  • Rand is bringing science to this topic. Correlation analysis.
  • Rand claims that H1 tags are not very important. If you believe Rand, you should go to your sites and remove all your H1 tags. Would you do that? I wouldn’t, but I get his point. Don’t freak out about H1 tags not being optimized, especially if you have other more important items that need to be optimized.
  • Correlation does not equal causation. I feel like I’m learning or something. I’d rather be spamming.
  • Shorter URLs are better. Yep. Good stuff. It’s true.
  • .COM domains have a negative correlation?
  • If your URL contains all the terms from the query, very high correlation.
  • Google has a higher correlation for exact match domains. That’s surprising. And for URLs with hyphens. BTW, Bing took a lot of heat for being easy to spam with exact match domain.It’s nice to see data like this for Google, too. To be fair, anchor text could be a factor as well, and that might be skewing the data.
  • Hyphenated matches are less powerful in Google, but more frequent in Bing. When they do occur in Google on page 1, Google has a tendency to rank hyphenated URLs higher. Hmmm… Very interesting. But what about clickthru advantages of hyphens in URL?
  • What about TLD’s such as .gov, .org or .info? Exact match .com is the way to go if you are registering domains. Other exact match TLD’s don’t correlate as well.
  • Keywords in subdomains? Google likes the keywords in the subdomains, if the subdomain appears on Page 1. Bing doesn’t like the keywords in the subdomain very much. Not influenced much at all.
  • KW’s in the subdomain not nearly as powerful as in the root domain name.
  • Bing may be rewarding subdomain keywords less than before.
  • On-page keyword usage: KWs in the body, Alt attribute, URL: Google high correlation. The Alt attribute is interesting. It seems to be influential. Putting KWs in the URL is still a best practice. Simplistic on-page optimization isn’t a huge factor. Maybe you should work on other stuff. Everyone optimizes title tags, so it’s tough to get a true difference between Google and Bing here.
  • How about links? Diversity of linking domains: very important! Diversity of link sources remains more important than raw link quantity. Now that’s important to know.
  • TLD Extensions: .ORG domains are off the charts! Negative correlation on .EDU, meaning that edu sites show up lower on page 1 than the .org and .gov counterparts. More reason to believe Matt Cutts when he says TLDs are not special cased. The .org TLD is interesting. More links? Less spam? More trusted?
  • Length of domain, URL and Content: Longer URLs mean lower performance on page 1. Domain length: not terrible to have long domain names, but is not necessarily ideal. Raw content length seems marginal in correlation.
  • Website homepages? Do homepages do better? Bing really like homepages. Homepages outperform internal pages in the SERPs. Google also has a slight preference, but for obvious reasons.
  • Anchor text link matches. Raw quantity of links with exact match anchor text: not very correlated. # of linking root domains with exact match anchor text: VERY IMPORTANT. One of the highest correlation factors we have seen. Anchor text from diverse domains appears highly correlated.
  • Features with highest correlation: exact domains, domains linking with exact match, # of links
  • Google and Bing are very similar. Optimizing for Google and Bing are quite close, maybe one in the same.

Next up:

  • Sasi Parthasarathy, Program Manager, Bing, Microsoft
  • Matt Cutts, Software Engineer, Google Inc.
    First, Matt says: “This is interesting. Rather than chase after search engines, chase the user experience because that’s what search engines are chasing.” Matt also says wikipedia entries show up more in Bing. Those are fighting words. Matt points out the limited data set that Rand used, pointing out that he might have missed longtail spaces. And then some dude in the audience yells “YES!” What the hell was that? Are longtail searches that exciting? I know, I know. They convert better. Whatever. Have fun converting one out of 10 visits, while I’m converting 100 out of 10,000 visits. Sheesh.

Questions from the Audience:

  • Did Rand exclude wikipedia from his test? Nope. That probably skewed the data.
  • Reminder from Danny Sullivan: Yahoo made it clear that the algorithm at Bing and Yahoo will be identical. So the same 10 organic web results will be seen on Yahoo and Bing. Thanks for reminding me. (Rubbing my hands together. Exxxxxcccccellent. Release the hounds.)
  • If I start my domain with a number, will that help? What are we optimizing for phonebooks? Matt gets 37signals and 37folders mixed up. Matt recommends not using numbers in domains due to branding purposes.
  • What can be done to help Bing index more URLs? Yeah. Great question. Bing sucks at indexing.
  • Matt Cutts just said that Google will be looking more and more at video sitemaps. They will be more and more important, especially with the upcoming GoogleTV this fall.
  • Is Bing going to support the AJAX specs that Google uses? Sasi will look into it. No real answer. Damn.