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May 4, 2010

8 Things Bing Won’t Tell You

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Every major search engine provides hints and tips about how to optimize your pages for improved rankings on their sites. But when you read these guidelines you quickly see that most of it is just their own wish list. Things like ‘Write for humans not search engine bots – or – do not hide keywords with a font matching the background color.’ It is all good advice but kind of general and already well known (for the past decade.)

But there are always things a search engine will not tell you. And, of course, these are the things that make all the difference in your SEO efforts and results. That said; here are eight things that Bing does not want you to know (or you can skip to the Magic Formula section at the end):

1.) Your Domain Name Matters – A Lot

Search for just about anything on MSN / Bing and at least three of the top five matches will have some version of that keyword as the domain name. For example if you wanted to optimize for the keyword ‘my domain’ you should try to get the domain name ‘mydomain.com.’ If that is taken, opt for ‘my-domain.com.’ If that’s taken try for a name starting with ‘mydomain’ and ending with a word that is commonly associated. This is called LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing. A good example would be ‘mydomainname.com‘ or ‘my-domain-name.com.’ BTW, Bing treats dashes as a space so as long as long as the dashes merely separate words, they are treated much like the non dash version.

2.) There is No Sandbox

Here’s some great news for anyone just getting started. Bing does not seem to care about the age of your domain name. There is no ‘sandbox’ like Google has. Many people, myself included, have registered brand new domains and had them ranking in a matter of days.

3.) DotCom Trumps DotNet

Today some search engines like Google will often give .net and .com virtually the same value, and possibly higher value for a .org that is for a recognized non-profit organization. Bing however appears to prefer the .com version. You can even see instances where a ‘.co.uk’ site gets high rankings simply because it uses the exact keyword in the domain name and .co is close enough to .com.

4.) We Like Sub Domains

Most web hosts will let you add sub domains to your website. On Bing, if you have the sub domain mydomain.mydomain.com you are in for some potentially great rankings. The same is true if you have my.domain.com, but
to a slightly lesser degree.

5.) Less is More – Part One

We have been trained by Google to try to have hundreds of pages of quality content on every website. Bing adheres to the old policy that they are indexing web ‘pages’ not web ‘sites’ (like Google says they do, but Bing apparently really means it.) This means each page is treated on its own merit so a site with one page has the same chances of being ranked as a site with 100 pages, because each page is genuinely treated individually.

6.) Less is More – Part Two

The same rule as above goes for on-page text. Pages with 800 to 1,200 words seem to do best on Google but on Bing the reverse is true, with 250 to 500 words being the magic number. Just do not overuse your keyword.

7.) Links are Nice But Not Required

Forget about spending your life building an ever growing number of inbound links for Bing. They do not need them. Your site, for now at least, is judged by its own merits, page by page.

8.) Be Bold not Strong

The original SEO method dating back to 1996 was using the H1 or ‘strong’ heading tags in your HTML. Forget them for now. Bing gives higher priority to how you would express importance in a word processor document; larger font and bolded text as the main markers.

Summary: I build hundreds of Bing (formerly MSN) targeted mini sites every year using the information above (as it has evolved) and the results have been consistent top ten rankings. You can do it too!

Here’s my magic formula for a one hour top ranking:

  • Get the .com version of a three to four word keyword as the domain name (dashes are fine.)
  • Use the domain name as the page heading in a bolded font, slightly larger than the paragraph text.
  • Write 400 words of natural sounding text using the keyword up to five times.
  • Mention the keyword once in the first sentence and once in the final sentence of the page – then up to three times scattered throughout the remainder.
  • Bold one instance of the keyword. Italicize one instance of the keyword. Use one instance of the keyword as a link back to the same page.
  • Always fill in your Title, Description and Keywords META tags. That’s it.

Good luck and take care!

PS: This works for Yahoo too.


Mike Small is the president of DotCom Pirates,a different kind of SEO company dedicated to helping website owners optimize for pennies on the dollar. DotCom Pirates offers Do It Yourself and Turnkey SEO packages starting at just $49. Please visit http://www.DotComPirates.com for more information and our no obligation SEO gift.

12 Responses to “8 Things Bing Won’t Tell You

    avatar ravi says:

    Hey, Good blog you have here.Thank you so much for your blog.

    avatar Reinier says:

    Hey, Thank for sharing such a valuable tips..
    I never heard bolding keywords inside the articles but i’ll sure give it a try.

    avatar Inge says:

    Thanks for an interesting article … hit a nerve with me as Bing just dropped my Namibia Tourism Portal completely, after initial fair rankings of multiple pages.
    It’s still doing great for Namibia-specific keywords in Google, Yahoo, and most other SEs; it seems I did most things right (as per your suggestions); there’s only genuine, original content and I do regular updates (site still under development but there’s already plenty of content).
    The only change before the Bing drop was that I took on 1 full page advertisement but even its content has relevance to the overall purpose of the site.
    Any idea what happened here?

    avatar Kim Burner says:

    Very good article! I have a Zencart site. Been trying to get listed on Bing to load my products similar to Google with base feeder with no success.

    avatar Jeff says:

    so are saying Bing looks at meta keywords (unlike Google) to determine a page’s content?

    Interesting input on how Bing works. The search engines have puzzled me for a while.

    When I first started my website I got most of my traffic from MSN/Bing. After a year Google was my main provider of traffic by far. For the last 3-4 months the Bing traffic has increased a lot. This rise makes good sense as the site scores high on your “Bing Checklist”

    Thanks for the read.

    avatar Lanna says:

    Thanks so much for providing these useful tips. No doubt that I am going to bookmark this article for future reference.

    It is good news to know that Bing does not have sandbox. Not like Google, once your site is in a sandbox it will be there for a long time or even forever.

    Tip 6 is very helpful to me that it gave me a general idea of how many keywords I should have within an article. I used to be confused with this area but not anymore.

    It is also good to know about tip 7. That means I don’t have to work as hard as building links for Google. No one likes to build links because it is a time-consuming task.

    avatar Vic Farron says:

    Good article, most of it is the same as google. Bing does not appear to take notice of speed when loading a site. My site ranks well with the search term ‘hanging garment deliveries’ taking top 3 in the organic section, where as the term ‘hanging garment’ shows at shows at no 2, and ‘hanging garments’ shows at no 3.
    Any ideas why this should be?

    Really good post. Being client centric, we tend to focus much of our resourceson Google. So this is great primer for seo specialists and clients alike.

    I love this article and it came at just the right time for meas I have a couple of new sites and I was wondering what it would take to get them indexed in Bing.
    Thank you very much

    We proof read the essay, before sending the final file to you; this is not done by most of the essay writing companies.

    avatar Salil says:

    Hi, I just wanted to ask, how does bing treat .co domains? Can a webmaster geo target .co domains in bing?

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