5 Crucial SEO Tips For the New Binghoo (Microsoft Bing Overtakes Yahoo Search)

August 4, 2009 - Written by Gyutae Park  

google-whaleAs you’ve probably heard from various sources around the web, Microsoft and Yahoo have officially agreed on a search deal that will inevitably change the landscape of the industry and greatly affect the jobs of many SEOs.

To recap, some of the main terms of the deal are as follows:

  • The agreement lasts for 10 years and Microsoft will have exclusive access to Yahoo search technologies and data. Microsoft will then be able to incorporate these technologies into its own search engine, Bing.
  • Bing will be the exclusive algorithmic search engine for Yahoo, both paid and organic. In other words, all searches on Yahoo will be powered by Bing. Yahoo will, however, have the freedom to display the results and control the user experience however they wish.
  • The deal will likely take up to 24 months for full implementation, pending shareholder and legal approval.
  • To see the complete details of the deal, see this post: The Microsoft-Yahoo Search Deal, In Simple Terms

Back in February of 2008 when rumors of a Microsoft/Yahoo deal first surfaced, I wrote about how an SEO can prepare for Microhoo, the MSN and Yahoo combo. A lot has changed since then, and now that the deal is actually happening, I want to provide you with an updated list of SEO tips on how you can prepare for the coming Bing Yahoo merge (Binghoo?).

What are the biggest changes for SEO and how can you best prepare for them? Let’s dig in…

1. Continue to focus on Google
There’s been a lot of hype about Bing and Yahoo over the past couple of weeks, but Google is still the king of search. There’s no doubt about it.

As shown in the comScore chart below, Google has search market share of around 65% in many markets.

june search share

Yahoo and Bing combined only account for about 28% of searches. Sure, Bing will become more important in the coming years and will be worth optimizing for, but you should always focus on Google first.

2. Act on Yahoo search services now – or kiss them goodbye
With Bing set to replace Yahoo’s search algorithm, many of Yahoo’s services are up in the air including the following:

  • Yahoo Directory (a good link source)
  • Yahoo Site Explorer (including link data)
  • Yahoo SearchMonkey and BOSS (a great platform for search apps)
  • Yahoo Paid Inclusion (pay your way into the Yahoo organic listings)
  • Yahoo Maps (will be replaced by Bing Local?)
  • Delicious (although new features indicate it will stay)

Whether these services will be up when Yahoo Search is replaced by Bing is yet to be determined. If you want to take advantage of any of these features, it may be now or never. For example, you can enroll in the Yahoo paid inclusion program and hope everyone else drops off in the final months or you can buy a link in the Yahoo directory and hope it stays up in some form or another once the transition happens.

There may be opportunities to profit from these Yahoo services before they fall off. However, I’d stay away from them for any long term marketing strategy.

3. Do your competitive link research before it’s too late
A key Yahoo feature that’s relied upon by many webmasters and SEOs is the Yahoo Site Explorer. The tool offers by far the best link data out of any search engine and can be used for competitive intelligence (i.e. emulate competitors’ link profiles to move up in the search rankings).

If Yahoo were to discontinue the tool, link building strategies would change drastically. Although established sites stand to gain from the absence of public link data (with larger barriers to entry), new sites would find it very difficult to clone competitor links. Furthermore, the absence of public link data would encourage webmasters to buy links because they can more easily do it under the radar.

Of course, Bing may incorporate Yahoo’s link data or Google may come up with its own link source for webmasters. However, my suggestion to you is to take advantage of the Yahoo link data before it’s gone. Emulating competitor links is something you should be doing with your SEO anyway, so this is the kick in the butt you need to get started.

I recommend using the SEO Spyglass tool to analyze competitor link data in Yahoo.

4. Optimize for Bing
Once Bing begins to power Yahoo search, the Bing/Yahoo combo will control approximately 25-30% of searches. That represents significant amounts of traffic that you shouldn’t take lightly. My guess is that the Bing algorithm will change once Yahoo technology is incorporated, but you can still optimize for Bing now by following some of the below tips:

  • Obtain exact match domains whenever possible. Both Google and Bing give bonuses to sites with domains that match the search query exactly (e.g. CreditCards.com can rank for the keyword “credit cards” with a lot less links than other more authoritative sites). In Google, the bonus is given to 1-3 word keywords without hyphens only for .org, .net. and .com domains. Bing, however, seems to be a bit more flexible, offering the bonus to domains with and without hyphens for many more TLDs including .biz, .info, and .us. Bing also seems to favor sites with keywords in the subdomain or root domain.
  • Get lots of fresh, diverse links as usual.
  • Sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools if you haven’t already done so. The tool offers you insights and data into how Bing views your site – which will help you to optimize accordingly.
  • Optimize your digital assets. The search results in Bing are very rich and incorporate more images, videos, and maps than Google. Aim to get yours listed for more visibility.
  • Look at the related searches on the left hand column (shown below).
    Since these take up some primary real estate (compared to at the bottom of the page in the Google results), you can bet searchers click on them to refine their searches. Optimize your pages using these keywords whenever possible.
  • Look out for any loopholes you can take advantage of. Since Bing will gain in search marketshare, you can expect more spam in the results. Of course I’m not suggesting you spam or engage in blatantly blackhat tactics that will get you banned, but you may be able to find some subtle SEO tricks to gain in rankings. (Hint: monitor competitive keywords in Bing like “buy viagra” and look at what the top sites are doing to get ahead.)

5. Build your SEO for the future
If you remember, I wrote that the window of opportunity is quickly closing for independent webmasters. The coming Bing Yahoo deal only solidifies this trend. With just 2 major search engines in the game, it’s going to be increasingly difficult for new sites to gain in the rankings and establish themselves without a big advertising budget. Barriers to entry in the online world are getting bigger every year and SEO is going to get more difficult for new sites. What are you waiting for?

Hopefully these tips help you to better understand the Bing Yahoo search deal and how you can prepare for the changes. What other SEO tips do you have for the new Binghoo? Leave them in a comment below.

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Comments

35 Responses to “5 Crucial SEO Tips For the New Binghoo (Microsoft Bing Overtakes Yahoo Search)”

Melvin on August 4th, 2009

Great writeup. Im not sure though on how would I optimize my sites for Bing. I haven’t really tried Bing at all.

 
EarningStep on August 4th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

actually i have review about bing . i really love their new search engine

 
4MIN on August 5th, 2009

Bing and Yahoo will not be able to get even to 50% in competition with Google. While all may be.

 
Igor Kheifets on August 5th, 2009

So far Bing didn’t bother me at all, but now, since Binghoo is born, it is time to take those guys seriosly.

~Igor

 
Raza Imam on August 5th, 2009

Since SEO seems to be getting tougher, why not just forget it and focus on social media, on and offline branding, and paid search? You wrote a few months ago how Google is starting to count bounce rates and other factors when ranking pages. This just tells me that the search engines are making SEO much harder and that the way to go is to make your site sticky, and generate a LOT of traffic to it.

Rae Hoffman did a post in January called “You Don’t Need SEO to Rank in Google” The point is that lots of traffic to your site is a positive signal to the search engines. She says in the post:

“My nofollowed link from Twitter is more valuable to me than my dofollow link from TechCrunch because it sends me traffic on a regular basis that sends the right signals to Google while bringing actual human beings to my site.”

Moral of the story: major in marketing and minor in SEO.

Miguel on August 10th, 2009

Great Points. I think that while it is important to build and maintain a website that is SEO friendly, it is more important to create organic traffic to your website using blogs, branding techniques, and other customer awareness programs. Once again, like you said, minor in SEO and focus on marketing.

Thanks,

Miguel

 
 
Tanner Christensen on August 6th, 2009

It will be interesting to see how Binghoo effects traffic to major websites. I know that Yahoo! traffic accounts for 20% of my big websites.

@Raza SEO is still essential, even if you focus your efforts on social media and networking. Remember that SEO isn’t for the search engines as much as it is for the user experience. 😉

 
Keegan on August 7th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I do see results from building links still but for the most part I focus on good content and links in press release.

I hadn’t heard that Bing was lunching a youtube want a be. I look forward to seeing that.

 
ReferenSEO on August 7th, 2009

In France, Google has still 90% share of market. So Bing/Yahoo isn’t still the most important for SEO.

 
Mike Huang on August 7th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Bing seems great, but all that money spent just so it could get up to Google? Seems kinda pointless since Google still is top.

 
Eric on August 8th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Even though Google is 70% of my web site traffic, Yahoo provides over 50% of the revenue for the same site. Puzzle that one. Hopefully the combined efforts of Bahoo will increase my total revenue.

 
Rahman Mehraby 4 SEO Services on August 9th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I think content retains its status no matter what new algorithm enters the game. Moderately keyword-enriched relevant content using long tail keyphrases cannot go wrong.

Quality links will stay useful as well. Of course, the more, the better! The link building process should continue regularly and consistently.

Deploying images, videos and rich media in general are the future of the web, to which search engines should adjust themselves too. This, in my mind, is another field where we need to focus to.

And social media marketing shouldn’t be ignored as the links from those sites are counted and indexed by Google and even Bing. This is what I think will remain important to SEO world.

 
website seo services on August 9th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Well written and explained post. I really enjoyed reading this post. I haven’t tried bing at all and because of this fusion I’ll check out the site. For now I would really focus on google since this is on top. Thanks again for sharing this awesome information and more power.

-richard

 
Sean Morrissy on August 11th, 2009

I’ve found that slightly spammier techniques tend to work better with bing. This tells me that they’re still quite a way behind google, but they’re probably getting better.

Still won’t really change my approach for SEO. Give people what they want and SEO becomes a lot easier. I don’t think Google really have much to be worried about here, after all, Google has become a verb as well as a company name 🙂

Sean

 
John on August 13th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

You didn’t mention anything about user data. Microsoft have gone on record in recent times to say this is something they will focus on. Over look this and (IMHO) you are making a huge mistake.

Usabilty is the SEO of the futrue!

 
IMBuzz Riches Bonus on August 17th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I surely believe Bing will be the next ‘big’ thing, step away Google. 😀

 
James on August 18th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I lol’ed at the fish graphics… ;D However i think that Microsoft should be the smaller fish that eats a bigger one…

And yes I totally agree that bing is on the rise (tho i was doubtful of its success when it started) but i kinda like bing more than the old live search (at least they provide different background templates)… I could see it being a major treat for google in the future(don’t see it happening yet), however if they engage in direct competition, its going to be one veryy veryyy tough fight and i think at that time everyone should run for cover!

 
Chris Peterson on August 18th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Hi,

It must be really appreciated how comprehensively you have covered all the aspects of SEO of future.

However, it would have been really informative if you could cover the Bing SEO tricks to gain in rankings in detail.

Thanks

 
peluang usaha on August 18th, 2009

Bing have to build strong image as good search engine to challange google.

David

 
doruman on August 24th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

The article is well thought, detailed and show logical conclusions about the future of SEO and big search engines for the near future. Even if it`s not so easy to appreciate correct the real percentage from sharing the market between the three “giants”; Microsoft and Yahoo have agreed a search deal, but Google bring us Caffeine, that seems to be the next algorithm for their search engine.

If you has the time to look to some comments as could it be the exemple from a little above “You Don’t Need SEO to Rank in Google”, or if you saw the latest WordCamp San Francisco video show of Matt Cutts, the chief of web spam team at Google, it`s not so hard to understand as Social Networks, video presentations, the quality of the content and SEO rules of common sense already have a huge role in the searches for results for any web site/blog.

 
32LED on August 25th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

An interesting point that has just been announced by Yahoo is they will still exist as a search engine. Microsoft will control the backend data and Yahoo will display results on their existing front end. Yahoo have also stated they will be adding more search features to their offering. I’m getting confused now – is Yahoo saying their search results will differ from those supplied by MS? If so, how will affect the way they rank sites? Time for a lay down, my head hurts!

 
wisdom teeth removal on August 27th, 2009

Gave me some useful ideas here however I am still not sure how the Yahoo/Bing deal will go down… I surely will miss Yahoo site explorer if it goes… However Bing gives good results for search.

 
unlimited on August 30th, 2009

As advertisers we like adcenter for the great conversion rates of Bing’s traffic.. With Yahoo though we are forced to buy clicks from junk partners that send nothing but fake clicks.. It’s a daily job to monitor all the new bad-domains to block.. And you have to PAY for all that.. 😛

With the current merge of Yahoo and Bing let’s hope the new “team” will do it RIGHT by giving the advertisers the choice to pay only for real yahoo/bing searches.. just like Adwords and adcenter allow (for now?).

Just my 2 cents

Cheers!

 
Oussama Moursil on September 12th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I don’t think that yahoo and bing will be able to surpass the classical search angine. Because yahoo still turning around and fighting crisis and can’t get out of it while microsoft presented bing that has nothing to do with what google offer. There is some changes but not what we expected and it still show results for websites that has nthg to do with what we look for. Problems of ranking in bing style remain the same as live massenger. I mean that today you’re on the first page of search result tomorrow u’re lost why? who knows?

 
32LED on September 13th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Oussama, they may not have to surpass Google. There’s seeming to be a growing trend of distrust amongst Google users. For one, the company’s retention, and usage, of data they gather on you isn’t helping them in the popularity stakes.

 
trade show exhibits | Scott on September 28th, 2009

hi Gyutae,
I like your name “Binghoo” 🙂 Great post.
BTW, your “recent posts” sidebar section has some ads on top of it which makes it hard to see the recent posts. Kind of annoying. I’m using a Firefox browser. You may want to check it out.
~ Scott, trade show exhibits

 
Brett on September 29th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Nice article! Just started learning all i can about SEO to try and help increase the rankings of a few of my sites and this will be a good starting block!

 
Paul the Accountant on October 8th, 2009

Interesting, going to go and sign up for Bing Webmaster tools now and see about optimising for it

 
Batik & Handicrafts on October 25th, 2009

Google is superior not only in terms of search results but also in terms of performance speed…is Microsoft’s Bing engineering good?

 
gerald | link company on December 13th, 2009

Good article that you have! Now I learned all about SEO to try and help improve the rank of my site. This definitely would be a guide.

 
seo karachi on January 6th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

Well i believe Google will still dominate however you have posted some good tips for bing but i usually dont optimize sites for bing and yashoo as they follow Google’s route..

 
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