According to the latest comScore numbers, Microsoft sites got around 3.7 billion searches in October. While that’s only 19.5 percent of the search market share, the numbers are high enough to suggest that Bing should not be ignored – especially if your site targets an older or wealthier audience.
It’s important to remember that optimizing for Bing is similar to optimizing for Google in many ways. Rule number one for both search engines seems to be high-quality content. A new post on the Bing blog details exactly what they’re looking for.
Content Quality for Bing Has Three Pillars
Bing uses three factors to assess content quality: authority, utility and presentation. Authoritative content simply has to do with trust. If Bing can determine that the content on your site is a trusted source of expert information, it will be much more likely to rank you higher. Bing examines social media, cited sources and author identity when confirming authority. Professional, well-known sources in a specific field will always rank more highly. For example, when searching for something finance-related, Bing will likely rank results authored by somebody like Suzie Orman more highly than a lesser-known writer. This doesn’t mean you can’t get to that level though – it will take some time and diligence to establish yourself as an authority, but it can happen.
The second content quality pillar, utility, mainly has to do with how useful the content is to a reader. Does your content answer a user’s question? Does it demonstrate depth of research and contain a lot of supporting information? If so, it’s more likely to rank higher on Bing. Having relevant multimedia content such as graphs, images and video can help with this as well.
Lastly, Bing is looking for well-presented pages. High-quality content often has an accessible design that makes it easy to read and navigate to within a site. Ads play a big role here as well. If your site has too many ads that get in the way of your content and aren’t relevant to your site’s topic, you may find it difficult to rank very highly on Bing. Ads that are difficult to tell apart from your actual site content can decrease your presentation score too.
High-Quality Content is Must for Bing… And Google
Microsoft states that content quality is one of the top ranking factors for Bing, along with topical relevance and context. However, for people who have been in the content business for awhile, this is nothing new. Back in 2011, Google listed a number of factors related to content quality that will help a site rank more highly. They emphasized trustworthiness, authority, comprehensive information, usefulness and tasteful ad presentation. Those factors still hold true today. Basically, if you concentrate on creating high-quality website content, you won’t have to worry too much about optimizing specifically for Bing. Great content will be valued by any search engine and, more importantly, by your visitors.