Should you SEO for Bing?

Posted on July 13, 2009

 

Microsoft’s latest search engine offering, Bing, has created something of a stir since its launch. It’s been backed by a frenzied media campaign and is attempting to muscle in on the market share currently dominated by Google, but should Bing cause your SEO practices to differ in any way?

Before thinking about that question, you should remember what Google itself says about search engine optimisation:

Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”

The important part there is to avoid doing things just for search engines. If you find that you’re making changes to your website with just search engines in mind you’re probably changing your website for the worse.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t SEO your website, of course you should. What this means is that you should SEO your website in such a way that your users benefit as well.

For example, if your company is based in Lancashire and you’re only servicing customers in Lancashire, there’s no point optimising any areas of your website for London.

The same principle can be said for Bing. When you’re performing SEO on a website you do so with the intention of making the website easier for search engines to read. You need to add the relevant information and in such a way that it can be indexed. Therefore if you’re doing this, and it’s right by Google, there’s no need to accommodate another search engine such as Bing.

Of course, the fact that Bing has such a low share of the market is also a factor. While Bing still trails Yahoo in searches in the UK there’s no need to consider giving Bing any special treatment.

Ordinarily in business you wouldn’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket, but when the basket is Google you can be sure that your eggs are safe, so long as you don’t try to cheat with your eggs.

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