Google and Bing Give Advice to Webmasters at SXSW

Bing: We Use Roughly A Thousand Ranking Signals

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Danny Sullivan spoke with Google’s Matt Cutts and Bing’s Duane Forrester on a panel today at SXSW Intertactive. Google and Bing sharing a stage usually makes for some search engine-related entertainment. You might recall Cutts and Bing’s Harry Shum bickering about the whole “Bing stealing Google results” ordeal a while back. Today’s discussion was a great deal more tame. In fact, there was no bickering at all, despite a brief joke about the Google/Bing debate by Sullivan.

The session basically consisted of a small(ish) overcrowded meeting room at the Hilton where the seats quickly filled up, leaving probably a third of the crowd sitting on the floor, which made for some difficult maneuvering for those trying to work their way up to a microphone to ask questions.

When asked about the JC Penney situation, Cutts said, “We’re still taking action.” On black hat tactics, he said that Google’s response (penalties) tend to be “roughly proportional” to how serious the offense is. You might be penalized for 30 days, but if the offense is something that is more obviously deliberate, Google’s response  is “going to be stronger.”

To those affected by such a penalty, he recommends the old reconsideration request (found at google.com/webmasters). He says he does pay attention to people who tweet him, but he wouldn’t recommend that as the primary way to go about things.  Forrester’s response was along the same lines – you can tweet him, but it will probably get lost in his timeline.

There wasn’t a lot of new information given in the session, although where Google has its classic “over 200 signals” for ranking, Forrester said Bing has like a thousand. Not sure if that was a big exaggeration or not. He didn’t present it that way. It is interesting that there could be a difference of nearly 800 signals that the two search engines use.

Google and Bing Give Advice to Webmasters at SXSW
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  • http://www.krishp.com Krish Purnawarman

    If you list all the signals do you think you can come up with 1000? I wonder !

  • http://managemydream.com/ KamakshiSri

    The surprising part was that “there was no bickering at all”. It’s something so strange and more stranger than it was Bing using 1000 signals for ranking.

  • http://www.onlinepharmacynoprescription.co Samuel P.

    Google: We use 200 different signals to rank a website…
    Bing: We have more than a 1000…

    LOL! Seems like a school yard fight!

    What 1000 signals?! Has the Bing representative used his search engine recently?! Apart from it being extremely slow updating it’s results to me it seems it has been the same since 2005…

  • http://woodlandsadagency.com Woodlands Ad Agency

    I sure hope Google and Bing are truly cracking down on black hat tactics. Especially people putting non-existent addresses in Google Places just to get the local ranks.
    Only time will tell, right?

  • http://signature.eu.com/we-promote/search-engine-marketing/ Kent SEO Company

    Google has made no secret of it’s desire to improve the quality of SERPS and it’s stance on Black Hat SEO techniques is well documented. The point about Google’s penalty being “roughly proportional” to how serious the offense is worrying for many clients who outsource their search marketing to SEM specialists (Yes I’m talking about “Bright Builders responsible for damages done by a counterfeit golf club website” article posted John Vinson last week).

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