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Optimising For Google And Bing – How Different Are They?

Posted on by David Folan

With Bing and Yahoo set to merge soon, the Bing search engine will account for close to 30% of the search engine market share, meaning it could be quite beneficial to optimise for both Bing and Google in the not too distant future. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to make great changes to the optimisation methods you currently use as an analysis by SEOmoz shows that the two engines seem to be becoming more and more alike However, that doesn’t mean they are without differences.

Both engines still use the number of exact match anchor text links as a very important factor when ranking pages, although it seems Bing is slightly more “naive” with Google placing more value on the quality of links. In both cases the diversity of links is much more important than the raw amount, meaning more links from the same domain produce less link equity compared to less links from multiple domains.

Bing does, though, have some interesting features that might set it aside from Google. For example, when users roll over results, Bing have added a website information preview box which can in itself be optimised to improve click through rates. It will comprise of the H1 tag, provided it is different from the title tag, the first paragraph of text, any contact information it can find and will even play a YouTube video on the page. This can be turned off with the addition of a meta tag.
There is also an option for social sharing, where you can, for example, click to share an image search via Facebook, Twitter or email.

Most of the data from the SEOmoz analysis gives a lot of useful information when it comes to SEO, so here is a brief summary of their findings:

  • Both engines place high value upon having an exact match in the domain name, although hyphenated exact matches are considered to be less valuable.
  • .com extensions perform better in the rankings than others, especially with Google.
  • Having keywords in a sub domain is not as valuable as in the root domain, especially when it comes to Bing.
  • Image alt attributes seem to play a part and are worth optimising for.
  • The shorter the URL the better, especially with keyword-match domains
  • Bing places additional value on a website’s home page as compared to inner website pages. Google does this to a lesser extent.

There are other minor differences between the engines, such as Bing has slightly more accurate geolocation results and will even list local cinema times when you search for a film. You can ask Google to remove a site link, but cannot with Bing. Google Base is free to submit to, but Bing Shopping is paid submission only. You have to manually submit to Bing by email if you want to be included in their news.

In summary, you may have already known, or at least assumed some of that, but it is interesting to see how the Google and Bing ranking factors compare Something else worth knowing is that while Bing and Yahoo are merging, they will both remain as separate search engines with Yahoo simply using the Bing search engine data.

I hope you have found this useful!

2 Responses to Optimising For Google And Bing – How Different Are They?

  1. I’ve noticed Yahoo gives a massive priority to an exact match domain, for a new site with very little SEO I was at 40 in Google but 5 in Yahoo for the domain name keywords.

    Will be interesting to see if this changes when merged with Bing

  2. it’s incredibly hit and miss, some of my clients rank well for keywords on Google and poorly on bing and vice versa but I really can’t see a pattern or reason.

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