In the past, SEO services and campaigns had good reason to focus primarily on increasing rank on Google. As the most used search engine in the World, a highly ranked site on Google is valuable and worth a concerted effort. However, the Yahoo!/Bing merger has finally begun and with it comes an opportunity to increase your market share.
Backed by Microsoft marketing dollars, Bing currently provides paid search advertisers access to one-third of the search engine market. And, as ComScore reports, this slice of the market comes with users who are more likely to click on ads and more likely to buy. Now is a great time for businesses to capitalize Bing’s consolidated market exposure with targeted SEO efforts.
As Bing currently powers 30% of organic search, SEO campaigns need to be optimized specifically for Bing. Many of the basic SEO concepts that applied to Google or Yahoo! also hold true for Bing but there are some exceptions.
For example, Bing places more emphasis on links surrounded by anchor text and less value on backlinks, a Google favorite. When determining search engine ranking, Bing weighs on-page optimization factors such as title tags, keywords linked with URLs, and internal link anchor text, heavily.
The basics of SEO optimization are the same for Google and Bing: original content with targeted keywords, quality links, and well-designed, cleanly coded sites. The differences between the Google and Bing interfaces – Google’s blended results versus Bing’s related search results, quick tabs and categories – means there are different tactics for optimizing for some of the finer SEO details. Websites should be set up in Bing Webmaster Tools and checked for crawl errors that would prevent the site from being indexed or ranking well.
The Yahoo!/Bing merger is scheduled to be complete by the close of 2012. As the rollover progresses, Internet marketing campaigns will have the benefit of dual analytic reports. SEO efforts can be re-calculated as search advertisers better understand how the changes are impacting links, traffic, usage trends, sales, etc.
As the effects of the merger continue to trickle down to the search engine user, an increase in Bing use is expected. In order to maximize your overall return during the rollover; it’s best to align your site with Bing now. Additionally, the Yahoo!/Bing merger will provide paid search advertisers a legitimate alternative to Google Adwords by effectively combining two search markets that were previously fragmented. For those advertisers who have relied solely on Adwords for their paid search for various reasons, the merger presents a tempting opportunity to reallocate funds.