It is becoming increasingly important to create quality content if a website is to feature prominently on search engine results pages. Recent changes to the way some leading search engines lists their results has left many websites with poor quality content struggling to be found. Many people are also making the mistake of not tailoring their site to search engines other than Google. Bing accounts for around a third of the world’s searches, yet far too many web developers optimise their site only for Google. There are a number of steps that can be taken to increase a website’s chances of being found via a Bing search.
Link to me
The days of flooding sites with links in the hope of increasing visibility are over. Changes to search engine algorithms mean quality is now triumphing over quantity. Bing uses web crawlers to look for editorial links that are contained within quality sections of text. Links should be built into text without affecting the standard of the copy. Links should also be relevant to the site they are placed in; Bing web crawlers will place less emphasis on randomly placed links. The key to websites reaching the top of search engine results pages is quality.
Bing will place greater importance on sites that contain original, well-crafted copy designed to inform or entertain. Their web crawlers will identify duplicated text and often remove it from their index completely. Every page should contain at least three hundred words and focus specifically on one subject area if possible.
Quality Search engine optimised copy is essential if websites are to feature prominently on Bing pages. The best way to ensure success is by skilfully including keywords and phrases into text without diminishing the quality. Official advice from Bing suggests that pages should be limited limited to 150KB in size if they are to have the best chance of being found. They also advise that important information is not included in multimedia software such as Silverlight or Flash. The Bing search bots are getting better at picking relevant text from such sources; however, the only way to ensure that relevant text is found is by including it in the main body of a website.
Good for the User
Websites should always be organised properly with a logical hierarchical structure in place. The home page should be designed to offer only the broadest range of information without getting into too much detail. A brief overview should form the basis of an effective home page; however, there should also be a clearly defined navigational system in place that ties specific subjects together in logical and sensible ways.
Official Advice from Bing
Bing’s official advice suggests that the navigational aspects of a site should be at its surface and the detail should be buried a little deeper. Search engine web crawlers and bots will conduct their searches for relevant keywords and phrases in this hierarchical manner.
Web developers also need to address their coding if a website is to reach the summit of Bing’s search engine results pages. All sites should include a sitemap and be registered at Webmaster Tools. Title, description and header tags should always be used effectively and in order. Only one header should be included on each page if possible. Using multiple headers can dilute the impact of each one and give all of them a lower chance of being given prominence. Bing recommends that no more than two hundred characters are included within header tags and only relevant and concise language is used. Title tags are also a very important part of the search engine process so the main keyword or phrase should always be included in them.
Not the same as Google
Many people are making the mistake of tailoring their approach to Bing in much the same way they do with Google. These search engines work in very different ways and very specific approaches should be used for each one. Google’s search engine algorithm is a little more complex than Bing’s and tends to index sites a little quicker. Speeding the indexing process up on Bing may be achieved by the site administrator posting regular updates and additional content on a regular basis. Bing’s search bots will also respond more quickly where a site has a number of good quality authority backlinks; found on reputable sites from government or educational agencies. It will be relatively difficult to place backlinks on these sites but the effort will reap rewards in the long run. Bing also places a lot of emphasis on the use of effective anchor text. Bing suggests that the anchor text should mirror the HTML title wherever possible.
Don’t be bullied by Penguins
Many websites have fallen foul of the recent changes in search engine algorithms and have paid the price. However, many people view these changes as a positive step; great content that is grammatically correct and informative will now be rewarded with higher placements on results pages. Writers now have to fully research their subjects and ensure copy is engaging and well-constructed. Websites that can demonstrate to Google and Bing they are rich in content and quality will finally get the attention they deserve.