Is Bing the New Google?

The short answer is not yet.  But that doesn't mean Bing is out of the running completely. While Bing's share of core searches, 17.4 percent, isn't in the same league as Google, who dominates with a 66.7 percent share, it is steadily rising. When compared to Yahoo's consistently decreasing 11.9 percent share, Bing is becoming what Yahoo no longer is: a search engine that is a viable alternative to Google.

bingbing

The problem for Bing has never been stealing audiences from Yahoo; instead, they have to figure out how to get users of Google to make the switch. Earlier this year, Microsoft attempted to sway users with Bing it On, which demonstrated Bing's effectiveness in comparison to Google (and ultimately it's similarity, too). While the company claims that people prefer Bing over Google for top web searches, the core search shares show that most people are still choosing Google over Bing.

How Will Bing Sway Google Users?

Two new developments may be the key to attracting more Google users to Bing. First, Siri is now using Bing as it's default search engine. While Apple is not committing fully to Bing Google is still the default search engine for Safari –  the switch does allow more users to be exposed to Bing. Although, they will be exposed unknowingly. There is no branding when you do searches on Siri, and this may be a way for Apple to ease into using Bing without causing user upset. Most likely, Apple is trying to avoid a repeat of the Apple Maps fiasco. Still, the integration of Bing and Siri is a good exposure for Bing. 

The second development is the incorporation of Bing into Windows 8.1. The new capability means that Windows 8.1 users can simultaneously search their hard drive and the web. The key for Bing was keeping results relevant. NBC news reports that over time the system applies dynamic ranking to your results, based on your prior clicks, just like when you search the Web. Another revolutionary aspect of Bing's approach are the "Hero" pages. When you search certain people, places, or things you get a side-scrolling page of local files, streaming media, news and background information.

The integration of Bing directly into Windows makes the line between what's on your computer and what's on the Internet harder to define. Time will have to tell if this is a development that significantly closes the gap between Bing and Google, but the exposure certainly can't hurt.

What search engine do you use most often? Do you use one outside of the "Big 3" (Google, Bing, Yahoo!)? Chime in on our Facebook page or @mention us on Twitter.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bing: 4 Reasons You Want Links

Bing’s Duane Forrester has posted about how Bing evaluates content quality and how it looks at links. He says you want links for a few reasons:

  1. Because they alert us to your website when it’s new or has new content
  2. Because they are a vote of confidence in your site – quality websites tend to link to other quality websites
  3. Because those links can send you direct traffic
  4. Because, over time, they can help establish a footprint that points to your authority on a topic (think guest blogging)

The main point is pretty much: Links are not everything when it comes to ranking in search engines. Nothing new there. Still, it never hurts to listen to the policies as they’re explained by the search engines themselves.

Duane Forrester says: You love links. We love links. Build for the right reasons.

How Many Links Do You Need?

On how many links you need, Forrester says, “Not as many as you may think. Again, as with so many other areas of search optimization, there’s no exact number here.  On popular phrases with lots of query volume, to rank well will require more links from trusted, quality websites to boost your rankings.  Less popular phrases can often require many less links pointed at your site to see the same lift in rankings.  This is where a targeted link building approach can pay off for you.”

The take-aways of the post, Forrester says, are: Don’t buy links, great content builds links, prove to users you’re a trusted authority (and links will follow), and social media can help grow links.

mashable

Bing's Perspective on Quality Content

contentSince the Google Panda Update first launched back in February (and really for some time before that), there has been a lot of discussion about search quality throughout the industry – the quality of the content that search engines are returning in their results.

This is the whole reason the Panda update exists. It’s all about improving the quality of results. Some will dispute the success of that, but it is the reason for better or for worse.

But what about Bing? It doesn’t command nearly the search market share that Google does but, as it powers Yahoo search, it’s really the only major competitor in town.

Whereas Google had a list of questions one could ask themselves to asses the quality of their site, Bing has published a list of things to avoid, which reads as follows:

  • Duplicate content – don’t use articles or content that appears in other places.  Produce your own unique content.
  • Thin content – don’t produce pages with little relevant content on them – go deep when producing content – think “authority” when building your pages.  Ask yourself if this page of content would be considered an authority on the topic.
  • All text/All images – work to find a balance here, including images to help explain the content, or using text to fill in details about images on the page.  Remember that text held inside an image isn’t readable by the crawlers.
  • Being lonely – enable ways for visitors to share your content through social media.
  • Translation tools – rarely does a machine translation tool leave you with content that reads properly and that actually captures the original sentiment.  Avoid simply using a tool to translate content from one language to the next and posting that content online.
  • Skipping proofreading – when you are finished producing content, take the time to check for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and for the overall flow when reading.  Does it sound like you’re repeating words too frequently?  Remove them.  Don’t be afraid to rewrite the content, either.
  • Long videos – If you produce video content, keep it easily consumable.  Even a short 3 – 4 minute video can be packed with useful content, so running a video out to 20 minutes is poor form in most instances.  It increases download times and leads to visitor dissatisfaction at having to wait for the video to load.  Plus, if you are adding a transcription of your video, even a short video can produce a lengthy transcription.
  • Excessively long pages – if your content runs long, move it to a second page.  Readers need a break, so be careful here to balance the length of your pages.  Make sure your pagination solution doesn’t cause other issues for your search optimization efforts, though.
  • Content for content’s sake – if you are producing content, be sure its valuable.  Don’t just add text to every page to create a deeper page.  Be sure the text, images or videos are all relevant to the content of the page.

If you’re living up to Google’s definition of quality, you probably won’t be doing too bad in Bing either, and if you’re doing well in Google, you’re probably getting a lot more search referrals from Google than you could ever get from Bing anyway, but it’s still helpful to get a look into Bing’s own thinking on this issue.

 

Thanks to Chris Crum of Web Pro News