8 Things Bing (Formerly MSN) Won’t Tell You
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:
A.) Get the .com version of a three to four word keyword as
the domain name (dashes are fine.)
B.) Use the domain name as the page heading in a bolded
font, slightly larger than the paragraph text.
C.) Write 400 words of natural sounding text using the
keyword up to five times.
D.) 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.
E.) 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.
F.) 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.
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