Bing Gets Webmaster Guidelines, Here's What They Say About Paid Links

Chris CrumSearchNews

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Bing announced that, like Google, it now has its own set of Webmaster Guidelines.

"As we update these guidelines over time, we’ll post notices here at the blog to let folks know to review the changes," says Bing's Duane Forrester. "Changes should be infrequent as these current Webmaster Guidelines cover most major topics. They are not exhaustive and you should not expect to find deep, technical answers in them. They are intended to help most business owners understand the broad strokes of search marketing."

The guidelines can be found in Bing's Webmaster Help center under Content Guidelines. There are sections on: 404-Pages Best Practices, Link Building, Marking Up Your Site with Structured Data, Markup: People and Markup: Products and Offers.

Pay attention to these, and maybe you can avoid getting hit by some future Bing version of the Penguin update (though if you follow Google's, which have been in place for years (though they have been updated), you'll most likely be safe in Bing too. Still, something about Bing's guidelines seem less threatening.

For example, here's the section on link buying from Bing's:

You may choose to buy a link from a trusted website. This is your choice, but you should know that as Bing begins to see a pattern of links from one website turning off each month, then new ones showing up for a month or so from the same domain to new websites, we begin to understand the website is selling links. Thus, any links leaving that website will be suspect. Search engines are very good at seeing patterns so think carefully before purchasing a link in search of elevated rankings.

That said, buying a link on a busy website can bring you direct traffic, so it does remain a valid marketing tactic. Just be careful how often you employ this tactic lest Bing form the impression you’re buying links to try to influence your organic rankings.

Bing also has a series of Webmaster webinars coming up. Check out the blog post for the schedule.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.