Dominate Bing: SEO Ranking Tips & Tricks Video Transcripts (A Primer)
- Note: This is the transcript of the Video entitled: Bing – SEO Tips to Ranking on the New Bing/Yahoo Monster (If you prefer to see the video, simply follow the link to the appropriate page)
Hey folks, Matt from Eliseon.com’s Search Engine Optimization Level 3 R&D department here, and by the end of this video you’ll be ready to start optimizing your site to get better rankings on Bing. Wait, scratch that. I want you to OWN Bing, not just get better rankings…see, Bing just upped the ante and is bringing their A-Game.
And Bing is one search engine that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, especially now that Bing and Yahoo are in the process of merging and once combined, could make up as much as 28% of the search market. That means access to something like 154 million searchers (62% more than Yahoo alone). So don’t be too quick to discount them – I’ve personally had several small websites gross an average of $500 – $2500 a day from organic rankings on Yahoo and Bing and implement true organic link building techniques.
Just Like the Sopranos
This reminds me of something. As many of you know, our Head Guy, Damien, is heavily involved in the media and music industry (it’s kinda his thing), so like any proper media groupie he talks about it all the time…we loves us some movies and TV. So now, when I hear the name Bing, I can’t help but think of that sweet Bada Bing nightclub from The Sopranos.
Come to think of it, there’s a similarity here – two formerly competing families (Bing and Yahoo) joining together against a common enemy (“He Who Must Not Be Named”) for the future of their families, businesses and the right to dominate their turf. So now these previously feuding families are banding together to take down their Rival – and it could prove to be a big win for both searchers and online marketers in the long run.
Oh, and be warned – I tend to draw from the vast pool of Sopranos and other late-night-too-much-coffee shows to teach you a thing or two…
Alright – so how to be successful on Bing…let’s get to it!
How to Succeed With Bing SEO
Both Bing & Yahoo seem to put more trust in pages that they find naturally through links pointing back to them than in pages that are submitted directly to the search engines. So if your site has links pointing to it, then Bing & Yahoo will find it…if not, then you’d better get some links!
Yeah I know…nothing new there but sit tight, we’re only on the appetizer – the main course is still on it’s way…
“So what kind of links are important?” You ask…Good question!
First let me say – never swap links with disreputable sites that have been penalized, or guess what? Your site will be too. The best way to find out if a site’s been banned is to type in their site name and search to see if they show up in Google, Bing and Yahoo. If not, chances are they’ve been naughty (no presents from Santa Bing for them!) And even if they aren’t banned, they obviously aren’t showing up so linking to them would be a total waste of time.
Next – build links slooowly and consistently; think organic link building. Only add new links each month at a rate equal to or less than 10% of your current backlink amount. So if you have 500 backlinks now, add no more than 45 – 55 new links per month to stay below the radar. You can track your links through your site analytics or at Alexa.com. Remember slow and steady – link building’s a marathon, not a sprint!
Bing prefers Quality (a select few powerful authority site links) over Quantity (bunches and bunches of mediocre links), so each backlinks should be relevant to the page or domain it’s linked to. And make sure they have your keywords in the anchor text.
A link to www.BobsGolfBalls.com could say:
- Bob’s Golf Balls
- Buy Golf Balls
- Unique Golf Balls by Bob, etc. – they need to be relevant and make sense.
‘Buy Golf Balls Bob’s Golf Balls Unique Golf Balls For Sale Cheap’ – that’s just not natural and according to Bing, no self-respecting authority site would put that kind of anchor link text in the middle of their content. Just doesn’t make sense.
Now the best way to get powerful links that thrust you to the top (meaning more traffic…and we looooove more traffic) is to offer something of value on your site that causes savvy bloggers, social media power users, website publishers and online searchers to jump at the chance to link to you. You want your content to be so buzz-worthy, interesting and utterly invaluable to them that they actively seek you out and link to you like mad!
Yeah, I know this is pretty basic stuff, but trust me when I tell you that basic is good.
Basic makes money.
Basic buys you a Mercedes, pays for your kid’s college and keeps you livin’ large.
On-Site SEO Optimization for Bing
So, on to the next important point in on-site optimization for Bing – CONTENT!
Bing only returns a few of the top relevant sites for each search query and they completely eliminate all duplicate content so that each result returned is as unique and beneficial to the searcher as possible. Don’t freak out – this is a good thing…it not only gives the searcher a better choice of answers to their queries, but also gives lower-ranking sites that normally would have been pushed far down on the page (due to duplicate content listed above them) a chance to be seen.
Bing is pretty strict on their duplicate content policy and a lot of content falls into this category that you may not have thought about, such as Article Marketing, Blog Archives, Spun and Scraped Articles, PLR, Old Cached Versions of your Pages, Others using your content on their sites and Affiliates using the same product descriptions. Let’s break these down, since I want you to be informed and empowered…
- Article Marketing – this is using other people’s articles as content on your site. The Internet Marketing crowd is getting whacked big time on Bing for using articles by other ‘gurus’ on their site. You gotta write something original, folks. No way around it.
- Blog Archives – if you have a blog, avoid having your date or category archive pages indexed. These can be easily blocked using your robots.txt file. (If you’ve never done this before, just have your web guy do it for you).
- Spun/Scraped Articles – these are slightly changed or strategically fused versions of an original article. You know the old recipe – “one paragraph of this, mixed with a dash of an RSS feed from that, and throw in a few new words on the side…” Stay away from this – the Bing bar doesn’t do ‘mixed drinks’ – they want pure, original goodness.
- PLR – if it’s available to everyone, then everyone’s using it, so spit it out in your own words before posting.
- Old Cached Pages – if you’ve recently redesigned or restructured your site, be sure to use 301 Redirects to prevent duplicate content issues.
- Others Using Your Content – use Copyscape or DupeFreePro to see if your content’s being used on other sites, and if so, ask them to remove it or change the version that’s on your site.
- Affiliates Using Same Product Descriptions – create fresh product descriptions with unique viewpoints so that it’s different from everyone else selling that same product. And for descriptions, the longer the better!
So, take everything I just said and melt it down and what do you have?
Fresh, original and relevant content for your site that will bring ‘em in by the droves!
Bing also suggests you stick to one topic and no more than two keywords per page. And contrary to popular belief, Keyword Density isn’t as important as the placement of keywords in your text. While Bing looks for keywords and phrases in your title and header tags, link anchor text, meta descriptions and scattered naturally throughout your text, it also looks for keyword proximity. So the closer your keywords are to each other, the better.
So what else is Bing looking for specifically when it comes to indexing and ranking your site?
Before I tell you that, let me say a quick word about Bing, Spam and Black Hat SEO.
Bing and Black Hat SEO
While it’s been pointed out that Bing’s spam-detection system isn’t as sophisticated and thorough as Google and Yahoo, it’s quickly advancing, especially now that Bing has access to all of Yahoo’s spiffy technology. So while a lot of marketers out there will be taking advantage of the merger chaos by using a number of dirty and unethical Black and Grey Hat techniques to potentially boost their rankings, keep in mind it’s only temporary and their chances of being blacklisted for unscrupulous practices increases daily as Bing improves their algorithm and fully merges with Yahoo.
And Bing, like Google and Yahoo, takes a zero-tolerance approach to spam, so if you are participating in underhanded practices like link-farms, splogging, unnatural and excessive unrelated link exchanges, etc., it’s just a matter of time before you wake up and find your money site is no longer indexed and you have to start all over from scratch, if you’re lucky enough to even be allowed back in. A smart marketer wouldn’t even take that kind of chance. And I know you’re a smart marketer!
As good ol’ Dylan said “These times they are a-changin” It’s time to do things right, ethically and with long term success in mind. Too many people take stupid chances for a hundred bucks today, when they could do it right and make $5000 next month. (our lawyers said I have to tell you that this is not a guarantee of income or financial claim and that just by reading or hearing this paragraph you will probably not make $5000 next week…yada yada yada…)
8 Must Haves If You Want to Rank High on Bing
Ok, so let’s talk about the top 8 most important things Bing looks for and likes when indexing and ranking your site – this is important so pay close attention:
- KEYWORDS! – Bing wants you to have your most important keywords and phrases in almost every possible place – URL, domain, title tags, header tags, inbound link anchor text, image tags, body text and even meta description tags (although this last one is not as important as the others). And your most important keywords should be as close to the front as possible, and each title/tag should be unique for each page. But word to the wise – no keyword-stuffing! It needs to sound perfectly natural when read out loud by a human!
- Quality of external links – Quality is better than quantity overall. So it’s better to have a handful of really powerful, relevant, natural links from authority sites already ranking well, than to have thousands of worthless, spammy links from low quality sites.
- Quantity of external links – Even better if you can have thousands of really powerful, relevant, natural links (this is the coveted Holy Grail, my friend)
- Descriptive, user-friendly and keyword-relevant text near the top of each page – in other words, optimized body text. Make your page content informative, interesting, and totally on-topic with your keywords and site theme. Use your main keywords a few times, where it seems natural and makes sense, and make all your content easy to read and crawl (no java, flash, frames, etc.) and put it as close to the top of your page as possible…like a bullhorn screaming “LOOK HERE FIRST! This is the page topic!”
- Age of domain – when possible, buy an already established domain (at least a year old) and this can help with rankings, especially if your keywords are in the domain name.
- Well-developed, relevant and original content, updated frequently, and geared towards your intended audience (and not Bing’s web crawler!)
- Text navigation links – these are crawlable for spiders whereas images, like nav buttons and clickable images, aren’t.
- XML and HTML sitemaps (you can even submit your XML Sitemap directly to Bing through their Sitemaps Tools in Bing’s Webmaster Center.) If you’ve got videos on your site, also use a video sitemap. This just makes all of your pages much easier to find, crawl and index. And we like that, don’t we?
Leverage Bing’s Great Set of Webmaster Tools
Speaking of tools, Bing’s Webmaster Center Tools is great! Sign up for an account and once you’ve got the validation code on your site you can then track all your stats and see what Bing’s web bot found when it craw+led your site. It can provide tons of valuable details on your ranking and your site in general, and is crucial to helping you build a better organic SEO campaign for your site. So go sign up. Doooo iiiittt.
Another important aspect of getting a higher ranking is making sure Bing’s web crawler, MSNbot, can actually access all aspects of your site so it can index it fully. Here are some really good tips to make sure your site is prepared when MSNbot comes-a-calling so you can get the best possible ranking. But a word of warning – some of these may require the help of your webmaster or some smart techno-geek, so only tackle them yourself if you know what you’re doing…you do not want to screw up something important up!
Here we go – Bing’s Quick Tips for SEO Greatness:
- Use friendly URLs – keep them simple and static. If they keep changing then they’re harder to keep indexed and even harder for people to remember, bookmark and share. Go with something like MyMainSite.com/MyBlog
- If you have navigation made of images, be sure you also have text navigation on each page or the spiders can’t find and index them.
- Check for useless or invalid page coding and broken links. You can check your source code at w3c.org
- Keep all pages to a reasonable size (102-150kb for a page with text only). If you have images make sure they’re a decent size that doesn’t take like 2 hours to load.
- If your site uses session Ids or cookies, make sure they aren’t used for crawling. If you use one of these, then the spider can get confused and may not crawl your entire site because it may not be able to eliminate the urls that are different, but point to the same site. Call your webgeek for this one .
- Use Bing’s Webmaster Center tools to check for blocks or site crawling errors. This is a super cool tool so take advantage of it!
- Make sure your Robots.txt file is not blocking MSNbot or it’s IP range. (Why you would want Bing’s spider blocked is a mystery, but I wanted to mention this just case you are one of those 3 or 4 people that do and will send me hate mail for not mentioning it…)
- Each page should be no more than 3 clicks away from your home page and be easily accessible by at least one static text link somewhere on your site. You don’t want crawling your site to be like a treasure hunt in the Amazon Jungle…
- Watch out for malicious software (malware) or your site could be labeled as dangerous and will be tossed out of the index faster than the passengers jumped ship on the Titanic…
- If you move a page, set up the page’s original URL to redirect people to the new web page. Use a 301 Redirect but realize you may lose some of your ranking punch or PR – sometimes that just doesn’t make the transit so well.
Now you have a powerful arsenal of knowledge, tools and techniques to fight your way to the top of Bing for your chosen keywords. This is really good stuff – it works. It makes da money.
But you have to use it – it doesn’t work through Osmosis.
Take what you’ve learned and go right now and try it out, then come back and tell me your results. Remember, you’re not alone in all this. We’re here for you so drop me a line with any questions, ideas or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org
And have no fear! There are more videos coming – awesome stuff on Elite Linking Strategies for 2010, Elite SEO for Videos, plus one hell of a ‘Ranking For Google’ video – it’s all yours and it’s all free…no strings attached!
See you on the other side…
Matt “Prove It” Griggs
Filed Under: SEO Tutorials