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Bing blog sets marketing example

Bing home page{EAV:8392fbd8b021cc1b}A new post on Bing’s official UK blog caught my eye today and I thought it was worth highlighting for a number of reasons. Online marketing specialist Lee Smallwood has written about how to optimise your website for the Bing search engine. Some of his tips I will summarise below, but what pleased me about the post is that it’s a great example of a company using its blog to allow other people to post external views on itself.

Many businesses would be aghast at the idea of allowing customers to write about them and then publishing those on the official website of the business. Those types of businesses think opening the kimono (to coin a business buzz phrase) is dangerous; that it’s better to control the marketing message by broadcasting what you want customers to hear rather than letting customers in to do your marketing for you.

This is an important consideration for businesses large and small because, as I said in How social media has changed marcoms, marketing and communications is about everyday, ongoing conversation, with the “story” changing depending on the social network you are using. 21st century marketing is as much about allowing the customer to be heard as it is about broadcasting to the customer; it requires more two-way conversation.

In Lee Smallwood’s article, he talks about Bing not being the biggest search engine and not being as good as Google at handling spam. I applaud Bing for publishing that when many other companies would find any kind of criticism insulting. The fact is undeniable though, Bing it not the biggest search engine, it’s not the most important in terms of driving traffic and it does take longer to get indexed.

Smallwood’s article says despite all that, you should take it very seriously and think about Bing optimisation just as you think about Google optimisation.

Here are some of his tips:

  • Bing places a lot of emphasis on anchor text with backlinks, and it also pays a lot of attention to HTML titles. This attention is especially true when the HTML title and anchor text are related.
  • When it comes to measuring backlinks, Bing places priority on top level domains linking in, more so than on the page rank of the linking page.
  • Bing prefers quality backlinks over quantity.
  • Size of page seems to be important – a page with no pictures should be smaller than 150kb (which is actually not that small).

Read the full article here.

Conclusion: From an SEO point of view, this advice creates a dilemma for webmasters. Google doesn’t like too much repetition of the same anchor text (reportedly) but Bing does, Google prefers page quality over the TLD linking in, but Bing is the other way around. If it comes to a trade off over which one to optimise for, Google will win the priority battle because it drives the most traffic.

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