Don’t Lose Yahoo Traffic By Not Optimizing for Bing

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As you’re probably aware, the plan for the deal between Microsoft and Yahoo that dominated many of the headlines this summer, is for Bing to take over Yahoo search, in terms of algorithmic ranking. Basically, Bing will handle the back-end, while Yahoo will handle the front-end design of the new Yahoo Search. That should be happening next year sometime. Are you ready for Yahoo’s switch to Bing? Share your thoughts.

With Bing taking over Yahoo Search, webmasters are going to need to evaluate their need to address their own sites with regards to optimizing for Bing. While optimizing for Bing is generally a good idea anyway, those who see a good deal of traffic from Yahoo Search, are going to want to give this some special attention.

Presumably, it doesn’t matter if you rank well in Yahoo now, if you don’t rank well in Bing. At least it won’t matter when the change comes. If you’re ranked number 1 in Yahoo, but you’re on the 7th page in Bing, you’ve got some work to do.

Ranking Number 1 in Bing

iCrossing Search Strategist David Shapiro gave some good advice in a recent blog post. To summarize, he said if Yahoo is driving a significant amount of traffic to your site, you need to determine what keywords you rank well for in Yahoo, but not in Bing, and before next year, you need to work on raising these rankings. He also said you need to determine which Yahoo terms you rank 6-10 for that may return "Quick Tabs". 

"With the way Bing displays search results for these queries, ranking 6-10 is significantly less valuable," says Shapiro. "Bing returns the top five results for the primary keyword you entered, then displays the top three results for up to five related terms, providing a list of 20 possible listings for the user to select."

Dave Shapiro "If you currently rank 6-10 for any of these keywords you should work on building links to move up into the top five, and focus on achieving top three results for the terms that Bing has chosen for the Quick Tabs, especially considering these terms are more targeted and likely convert better," he adds. 

There are differences between Google and Bing, but Microsoft’s stance on SEO isn’t all that different than Google’s. There are different algorithms at play, but both like quality, relevant links and good content. In fact, if you’ve optimized for Live Search in the past, you should be happy to know that Bing’s not that different from that either.

"There have been no major changes to the MSNBot crawler during the upgrade to Bing," Microsoft says in a Bing white paper (pdf) for webmasters. "However, the Bing team is continuously refining and improving our crawling and indexing abilities. Note that the bot name hasn’t changed. It will still show up in the web server access logs as MSNBot."

Do yourself a favor and read that white paper. As Shapiro says, you would also do well to make sure your sites are listed with Bing Webmaster Tools. He also suggests that in some cases, it may be a good idea to increase your paid budget, just to circumvent any lost organic traffic in the transition period.

There is a good chance you are getting a lot more traffic from Google than from Yahoo, so if that’s the case, luckily you still have that going for you. In addition, social networks like Twitter and Facebook (not to mention blogs) are driving a lot of traffic to websites as well.

Read this for more tips on optimizing for Bing. On a semi-related note, you may also find this article on getting more traffic from Bing’s Image Search useful.

Are you concerned about losing Yahoo traffic once it switches to Bing? Tell us.

Don’t Lose Yahoo Traffic By Not Optimizing for Bing
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  • http://westcoastvinyl.blogspot.com West Coast Vinyl

    Great tips to get a jump for ranking in Bing!

  • http://www.seosean.com SEO services SEOsean

    That’s for the heads up, it’s a great idea to get started early on this. I wonder how similar the results are really going to be though… I guess we’ll soon see!!

  • http://www.specialist-gifts.com Michael

    Hi there I am a small online business in the UK and most of my online traffic comes from the other one yes you guessed it Google. I think it would be great if both worked as one it would give Google a little bit of healthy competition which is not a bad thing. So yes I would welcome it that’s my thoughts!!

    A quick plug for my site we offer unique unusual gifts for men and women not forgetting Christmas decorations.



    Decorative living

  • http://www.lwflowers.com Sean Marcellus

    I am the webmaster for http://www.lwflowers.com, yesterday I was looking for solutions to a coding problem. Bing returned 3 (irrelevant) results and the same search in Google returned 6 pages, enabling me to resole the issue.

    • http://www.beyonddezign.com Guest

      well there is a lot you could do to fix your rankings, but i think one other thing you need to focus on is how your customers view your website, if you were to spice up your website make it more pleasing to the eye and make it customer friendly, then you would get better rankings and more sales. just my thoughts

  • Dave

    What I like about having different Search Engines available is that it offers you different options, since they have different algorythms. If I can’t find something on GOogle, I can check Yahoo, Bing, etc. So if Yahoo eliminates its own algorythym in favor of Bing, its one less search option for all of us.


  • http://www.vicktrade.com Fania

    Thanks for sharing. nice tips

  • http://www.climatechangemagneticenergy.com global warming

    We are extremely please that we will have some competition with the outlaw google! They shoot you down know matter what you do or want to serve the public, ( INCLUDING NON PROFIT RESEARCH!) Which we are!
    After many thousands of hours trying to bring my web site up for one major key word on google. They don’t want my site to show. But strangely on BING it’s BINGO!
    They are not prejudice and hold you not in fault and you can place for key words.

    On another subject.
    Your site this one, you should do some back links to it so it will rank higher on google. This page does not rank. WHY?
    If it had some rank. One may get some benefit from a link!

  • http://www.cultureship.com Corporate Culture

    I agree, competition’s good. I think one of the things it could usefully stir up is people paying attention to the breadth of their content. What I mean is instead of just agonising over a couple of keywords pumped into a small space and titles and tags, the surefire way of getting picked up is to build extra, useful content right around your proposition. Informative articles, user guides, blogs and high quality (and high use) backlinks will always get you noticed, whatever the particular search engine set-up. Malcolm.

  • http://www.pokermoneyclips.com/ Jason

    The old MSN was good, but I’m not really a big fan of Bing as of yet. They have me indexed, but they indexed me wrong from as far as I can tell. Google has me #1 for the searches in question as does Yahoo. Bing on the other hand is returning pages from my site that have absolutely nothing to do with the keyword in question, leaving me to wonder how they can claim to be a “relevance” search engine when my FAQ is ranking higher on their engine than my site dedicated to the subject matter.

    I went through the pain of submitting to their webmaster tools section and still haven’t seen results. Being that Google is the most popular search engine and I have backup social network traffic I don’t think I’ll waste any time worrying about losing a few hits from Yahoo and Bing. Long live Google.

    • http://www.toysonwheelsvariety.com Toy Man

      Totally agree with you Long Live Google. It is the only search that I can actually type in what I am looking for and have it come right up. So why do I have to sift through pages with bing, and yahoo?

      What is the old saying ” you can’t please all of them all the time” Google has a good head start and I hope they stay out in front.

      • Guest

        Well. Type away… As far as I can tell, they (sort of) know what you are going to type (repetition and al…) and so put what you’re looking for on top ;). Talk bout predictive !

        Try it…go from your farmiliar (too others too) office (company search) to a cyber-cafe and try the same search (within a short period of time) ..Hmmm, how’s that possible ;).

        Boy they got us all fooled…or not?

  • http://www.andrew-brundle.com John

    Great article, this. I too have encountered some of the quirks and strange results described above.

  • http://www.practicalsports.com Outdoor Treker

    God help us all,

    Optimizing for different search engines is a major chore, then re-optimizing every time their is an update, Then all the optimizing i have done for Yahoo is now going to the wind. Having one less search engine for competition, I don’t see how this good.

    Its kinda like free trade, they say its free, but its not, and definitely not fair.

    Well, back to the grind

  • http://www.shapirit.biz Ricardo Goldberg

    Thank you Chris for (as usual) a gr8 article!.

    I think that we, the people, are Crazy and they, the others, have lost their mind, the SEO game between SE’s cannot be played by small/little/micro business that struggle with small budget.

    Should the answer be to make every page or two optimized for different SE’s so each page will have its own SE?,
    Should I open different websites for each of them?.

    They play their game of who has the biggest… list of web traffic, and we, the users are just a symbol in the equation.

    I stopped careing about my position in the lists, I cannot fight this madness… SE’s WHERE MADE TO SERVE PEOPLE FIND OUR SITES AND NOT FOR MAKE US FIGHT TO BE FOUND.

    Am I wrong or I went crazy?… crazy I guess.

  • http://www.terafore.net terafore

    From an SEO standpoint I like Bing better than Yahoo so I’m glad they’re taking over rather than the other way around. Thanks for this article and compiling the links!

  • http://www.best-short-stories.com bestshortstory

    Great article, Chris. Lot of great info. I’m constantly looking to better optimize my site for the search engines.

  • http://www.surveymoney.x10hosting.com Guest

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    This has saved my house from foreclosure and I wanted to share this story so that others with the same plight might do the same thing.You can work from home and make a living it does take a while to get up to $2000 a month. I made about $500 my first month and this is month 3.

    This is a legitimate paid survey opportunity with no upfront money needed.I have detailed exactly how I did this on my webpage here http://www.surveymoney.x10hosting.com you may have to copy and paste that but check it out I detail exactly how to this for free.

    • Guest

      what does this have to do with the subject of Bing? Find someplace else to post your spam.

  • Guest

    There’s a rip-off of this paper on a french SEO site :


  • http://Free-DateHookup.com Jason

    It’s definitely a sad day that we are loosing Yahoo and will be left with, taking a phrase from hip-hop, Bling. Yahoo made significant contributions to the search engine world that Microsoft can never match. This is a merged business model that no one will profit from in the end much like Time-Warner and AOL. It’s a shame that after all these years the group at Microsoft still doesn’t get it.

  • http://www.gucci-shoes.biz zhangjudy

    do you support bing rank service

  • http://learn.typemock.com/ Unit test

    But does anyone know at exctly which date this will occur ?

  • http://www.pennyleisch.com Penny Leisch

    I tried Bing as a search engine and didn’t get any resources worth using. As a writer, author, resume specialist and owner of http://www.pennyleisch.com, I do a lot of research. That makes me wonder what we do to our sites with the other search engines when we optimize for Bing.

    My small company is not up there with the big guys in ranking anyway. Therefore, I’m not sure it matters, but I completely quit using Bing after the first week. If other users do the same, it won’t help me to expend the effort. That said, my tech support will look at the white paper and tools, but I won’t invest a lot in it.

  • http://daxii.com Need help ?

    Optimization steps are well known and i dont think there is a special optimization for a single search engine.
    the best Optimization is for ur users.

  • http://www.britishproductsdirectory.co.uk Syd Partridge

    I have a good ranking in Google and Yahoo. I used to have the same in MSN live.
    Within weeks of Bing appearing I lost my ranking. I have spent more time on the Bing forums than I care to admit trying to resolve the problem with no sucess.
    It is fairly obvious that many, many others have the same problem.
    I get most of my traffic from Google so I’m not prepared to potentially risk loosing this by optimising for Bing.
    If Bing returned relevent results it might be worth considering.
    I would suggest that Bing use Yahoo’s back-end not the other way round.

  • http://www.TopYields.nl Guest

    I forgot about Bing after trying a few searches, because basically it only returned crap. Luckily my site gets most of its hits from Google, so I hope this whole Bing thing will fail miserably.

  • kyle

    I dont like yahoo as a company in general…..i hope they fail in go out of business all together …as far as Bing its a Google replica plain and simple

  • http://www.aclusa.org aclusa

    i think bing is do powerfull search engine in the future. but not in this day. as far as i know, google always upgrade it’s performance to fight “bing”.

  • Guest

    Optimising specifically for one particular search engine seems ridiculous, if you follow proper white hat seo techniques and create quality websites then you should feature well in all search engines.

    The thing I like about bing compared to google is that you dont have a ridiculous sandbox time span that can last years, so if you cant rank well in google at least you can get results using bing

  • http://www.dotCOMReport.com SEO basics

    if you want to keep up you have to make changes it’s that simple.

  • http://www.online-rich.com Free Money Making Opportunities

    Bing is too infant for the moment, though it is great if they decided to give it a push. As for now it is hard to imaginge how both Bign and Yahoo are going to work together.

  • http://islandtropicalman.blogspot.com/ Islands Tropical Man

    Bing brings me more traffic then google, it is so hard to get to the top of google search result page as compared to Bing.

  • Guest

    Ping Is Good


  • http://nayak-nayak.blogspot.com/ pravakar

    Thanks for your great tips. Bing ascribes more importance to keyword density in the title tag, and in content

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