There’s no denying that Google is the top dog when it comes to search engines, but Bing isn’t so far behind.
This means if Bing SEO isn’t part of your strategy, you’re missing out on some serious search market share.
If the thought of learning how to optimize your search results ranking on a whole new platform seems like it’s not worth your time, it is. Let’s dive in.
What You’ll Learn:
- Bing vs Google – Market Share
- Is Bing Better Than Google?
- Brand Preferences & Website Type
- User Engagement by CTR
- Social Signals
- Bing vs Google: Backlinks
- Understanding Page Authority
- Content and Location
- Important Technical Factors
- User Interface
- Image and Video Search
- Local Maps
- Bing vs Google SEO: Webmaster Tools
- FAQs: Bing vs Google
Our Expert’s Insights on Bing SEO vs Google SEO
Our Senior Director of SEO, Seth Kluver says, “Understanding the differences between Bing SEO and Google SEO allows you to create a well-rounded optimization strategy that maximizes your website’s reach and performance across both search engines. Not only will this lead to higher visibility and increased traffic, but it will also boost your website’s overall competitiveness in the online market.”
Effectively reaching your online audience requires a strategic approach that encompasses the preferences of both Google and Bing users.
While Google places great emphasis on high-quality content and reputable backlinks, Bing leans towards relevant information with strong social engagement.
To maintain a well-rounded digital presence, it’s crucial to tailor your website to satisfy both search engines’ requirements.
Conduct in-depth research on how Google and Bing operate, and optimize your website to accommodate the unique preferences of each platform. By doing so, you’ll unlock the full potential of your online visibility and effectively broaden your reach.
Bing vs. Google Market Share
Google may be king but Bing shouldn’t be ignored.
As of July 2023, Bing held 9.19% of the global market share for leading search engines. While that’s still significantly less than Google, it’s more than the shares owned by Yahoo, Baidu, YANDEX, and DuckDuckGo combined.
It also means that there are millions of users on Bing that you could be missing out on if you’re too focused on Google. In fact, as of February 2023, Bing was surpassing 3 billion users a month. By making small tweaks to your content to rank higher on Bing, you could be gaining exposure to whole new audiences.
Bing is also getting into the AI chatbot game. After the release of Bing Chat, integration with the popular ChatGPT, the search engine started seeing over 100 million users a day. Within 48 hours of the announcement of the launch of Bing Chat, over 1 million people joined the waitlist. How’s that for the search engine everyone forgot about?
Why Bother with Bing SEO?
1. There’s Less Competition – With Bing, you’ll still get a decent amount of traffic but without fighting through all of the competition on Google. Bing only has around 9% of the market share of search users. While that might not seem like a lot, it’s still millions of people that you could better position yourself to get in front of.
2. Certain Demographics Use Bing More – Bing has a strong presence among white-collar professionals who are likely to use the search engine during the work week due to its integration with Windows desktops and the Microsoft Office Suite. This audience represents a more mature and educated demographic, with an average age of 45 and half of them holding a college degree. Bing users earn over $100k annually and tend to spend 35% more online than Google searchers. They also tend to lead settled lives, with 46% being married and 30% having children at home.
3. Bing Won’t Keep You Guessing – One of the reasons why Google’s SEO is so hard to master is that Google is constantly changing its algorithms. What worked for you last year is probably not going to work this year. Bing, on the other hand, wants to give companies reasons to use their platform. Therefore, they’re making it more user-friendly by keeping their algorithm steady.
Is Bing Better Than Google?
The landscape of search engines is more varied than you might initially think, with Bing and Google standing out as distinct platforms with unique features.
Simplicity and convenience have made Google the search behemoth it is today, and it commands a major portion of search traffic. But Bing especially shines on desktop platforms and in markets like the United States.
The functionality of both search engines might be similar; however, Google offers more core features overall. The contrast also extends to their index size and crawling, with Google boasting an index of hundreds of billions of web pages.
Bing is estimated to have an index of between 8 to 14 billion web pages. The handling of image and video searches further distinguishes Bing, with many users finding it more dynamic and informative.
With their individual strengths, optimizing for both Bing and Google is a smart move for reaching a wider audience online.
Let’s take a closer look at the ranking factors you should take into account when it comes to your Bing search optimization efforts.
Brand Preferences and Website Type
When it comes to performing well on Bing, the search engine’s algorithm is looking for things like quality, credibility, user engagement, page load time, location, and relevance. It also puts a lot of stock in a site’s sitemap, backlinks, and redirects.
In addition, Bing’s algorithm is dynamic, meaning that if the search engine detects that a certain ranking criterion seems to be more important than another, it will start to assign more weight to that specific criterion.
Bing also prefers content that is properly cited and relevant. If they’re going to push your content to their users, they want it to be credible. They also want your content to be easily accessible to the reader. This means if you’re forcing readers to scroll through pages of content before they can find the answer they’re looking for, Bing isn’t going to like it.
Keep your content relevant, user-friendly, and accurate to find success on Bing.
User Engagement by CTR
User engagement should be a primary focus of any marketing strategy, period.
But when optimizing for Bing specifically, it’s important to know that engagement is a pretty critical factor for the search engine.
One way you can measure user engagement is through click-through rates (CTRs). To calculate your CTR, use this formula: clicks/impressions = CTR.
Consider a scenario where identical ad campaigns are run on both platforms. After a week, an ad on Google gathers 10,000 impressions with 200 clicks, resulting in a CTR of 2%.
The same ad on Bing, with a smaller user base, receives 5,000 impressions and 150 clicks, yielding a CTR of 3%.
Even though Google supplies more impressions, Bing’s CTR comes out higher, indicating a more engaged user base.
Despite having a smaller traffic volume, Bing often garners more user interaction, lending marketers a clear perspective on how to effectively balance ad spend and optimize marketing strategy across the two platforms.
When it comes to incorporating social signals into its SEO, Bing presents a rather distinct approach compared to other search engines.
Social signals, which can be anything from likes and shares to retweets or upvotes on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, are considered crucial ranking factors by the Bing algorithm.
Imagine you own a local bakery and continuously create engaging content about your goods on your various social media pages. Your cupcake post on Facebook gains thousands of likes and hundreds of shares, while your Twitter thread depicting the baking process accumulates countless retweets.
On Bing, these social signals – the likes, shares, and retweets – are noticed by their algorithm, and are utilized as indicators of your site’s relevancy and quality. By accounting for the positive public response to your content, Bing is more likely to rank your website higher on its search engine result pages, thus driving increased organic traffic your way.
So, businesses with significant social engagement can potentially experience heightened SEO success within Bing’s search environment, thanks to their unique approach to observing and weighing social signals.
While Bing tends to put less emphasis on backlinks than Google, backlinks are still important to Bing’s SEO rankings.
Sites with more backlinks tend to rank higher with Bing, just as they do with Google. However, the quality of those backlinks is increasingly more important than the quantity.
Bing even offers a helpful link explorer tool, the Site Explorer, to better understand the value of the links on any given page.
Instead of seeking to index every piece of content available on a domain, as Google does, Bing actively removes pages from their index if they are found to not have enough link authority or value to rank on their search results.
What this usually means is that for a page to maintain a place in Bing’s index, it must have at least one external website link to it. This critical Bing ranking factor can hurt your company’s ranking if ignored.
Some backlinks that you should be interested in are:
- Editorial backlinks
- Guest blogging backlinks
- Business profiles
- Guest posts
- Sponsored links
Understanding Page Authority
Page Authority is a predictive score used to determine a single web page’s ability to rank within search engine results pages (SERPs). Not to be confused with Domain Authority, each individual page measure is derived from a proprietary algorithm and incorporates several factors, including the number, quality, and relevance of inbound links and overall site quality.
Both Bing and Google utilize some form of Page Authority in their own way.
Google’s Interpretation: Google does not publicly acknowledge a specific “Page Authority” metric. However, it has a similar concept known as “PageRank.” This algorithm evaluates the quality and quantity of links to a webpage to determine its importance. Google’s understanding of Page Authority, then, is indirectly indicated through PageRank.
Bing’s Interpretation: Bing’s ranking algorithm generally places importance on social signals and user engagement, in addition to the relevance and quality of external links, which indirectly influences a page’s authority in Bing’s SERP.
While Page Authority isn’t a term specifically utilized by Bing or Google in their official guidelines, it is a conceptually vital part of SEO terminology and practice. Both search engines, although having different algorithms, do share some functional overlap about Page Authority, i.e., they use several factors to determine a page’s eligibility to rank on their SERPs.
Content and Location
Relevant and quality content correlates strongly with good Bing SEO ranking, just as it does with Google.
Like Google, you’ll want to focus on including related keywords in the content. As always, write your content for your reader – not the search engine. Google’s sophisticated algorithm focuses on the contextual understanding of the keywords rather than their mere presence or absence. However, with Bing, you can gain some ground by strategically placing exact-match keywords in your meta descriptions. Bing seems to give more weight to this metadata than Google.
Bing also seems to be more likely to reward pictures, videos, and audio due to what is known as “entity understanding”, while Google relies much more on text-based content. This means that having a more dynamic website that incorporates high-quality content with original media may help to better position your site for high rankings on both search engines.
When it comes to local searches, Bing also tends to showcase small businesses, assuming the searcher wants the most proximal results. Whereas, Google tends to sway in favor of larger, more established companies, giving preference to what it sees as the most credible results.
Navigating SEO across Bing and Google is all about understanding subtle nuances and tailoring your strategy to suit the specifics of each search engine. Remember, you’re not just chasing algorithms, but creating a comprehensively optimized user experience across multiple platforms.
Core Web Vitals: Google has been continually prioritizing speed and mobile responsiveness as essential ranking factors. While site speed plays a similar role in Bing SEO as it does with Google, Bing doesn’t stress the importance of mobile-first indexing and Core Web Vitals quite as much as Google.
Canonicalization: Website owners should use these codes when two pages are too similar to be differentiated by the search engine. Google is good at determining a site’s canonical URL even if it is not coded properly to return the Canonical URL. Bing didn’t in the past, but now it does support the Canonical tag. However, they still have some issues with it.
301 and 302 Redirects: While Google prefers a 301 (permanent URL) redirect, a 302 (temporary redirect) will not usually cause any major issues with indexing. Bing, on the other hand, will interpret a 302 as a 301, after they crawl it a few times and for that reason, most people use 301.
Make sure you’re paying attention to these key technical factors when optimizing for search.
While both Bing and Google exist to serve a similar purpose—providing users with relevant search results—they do so in their unique ways that are apparent in their differing user interfaces.
Bing’s user interface leans towards a more visual experience, complete with dynamic daily images and a richer presentation of results. While Google emphasizes relevance, user experience, and frequently updated content, Bing offers credit to older, well-established websites, optimizing its search towards a different user demographic.
It’s fair to say Bing provides higher-quality image search results compared to Google – a compelling edge for visually-centric searches.
Search optimization isn’t a one-size-fits-all. While Google persists as an essential platform for SEO efforts, Bing’s unique SEO attributes position it as a valuable player in the game of search engine optimization.
Understanding these nuances in their user interfaces and SEO preferences can help you make an informed decision and develop a balanced strategy that brings out the best in both search engines.
Image and Video Search
When it comes to images and videos, we see another divergence in the approaches that Bing SEO and Google SEO take.
Google’s focus leans towards data relevance and an immersive narrative of information, whereas Bing amplifies its user interface with vibrant visuals and eye-catching imagery.
Google searches, for example, tend to be more textually rigorous, prioritizing a wealth of information and options that often make it a top choice for those seeking depth on a topic.
In contrast, Bing delivers a more image-centric result for the same search query. This more visual display can be particularly appealing to users looking to sift through information in a visually striking and easily scannable format.
Bing’s video search also shines, offering a thumbnail preview of videos when hovering over, an engaging feature that encourages interaction.
In essence, your choice between Bing SEO and Google SEO in terms of image and video search could be influenced by whether you prioritize a data-rich environment or a visually engaging one.
Google Maps is renowned for its detailed accuracy, a rich repository of business information, and familiarity for most internet users. Its robust features, such as Street View and user-generated content in the form of photos and reviews, provide a comprehensive view of local businesses.
Bing Maps, on the other hand, treads a unique path. While it may not be as popular as Google Maps, it impresses with its visually immersive and user-friendly interface. Bing Maps incorporates a distinctive “Bird’s Eye” feature, providing detailed aerial imagery of locations. This can offer users a unique perspective and foster better location understanding.
However, for local businesses planning their SEO, it’s crucial to maintain a presence on both platforms since Bing and Google cater to different demographics. Catering to both ensures broader visibility and reaches a wider audience.
Regardless of your preference, both Bing Maps and Google Maps provide valuable local search results. It ultimately comes down to the distinct features each offers and where your SEO strategy aligns.
Bing vs Google: Webmaster Tools
Google Search Console
- Data and Reports: It provides detailed reports on your website’s performance, mobile usability, and search traffic. External and internal links, along with the most significant keywords, also form part of the reports.
- Coverage and Enhancement Tools: Google Search Console aids in site improvements, focusing especially on mobile-first indexing and Core Web Vitals.
- URL Inspection Tool: Offers insights into how Google views a specific page by examining the indexing status and viewing the crawl report.
Bing Webmaster Tools
- Data and Reports: Just like Google, Bing provides detailed reports about your website’s performance, clicks, impressions, and more. However, it also includes a unique SEO analysis tool that identifies optimization opportunities.
- Site Scan: A feature that Google lacks; Bing’s site scan allows you to examine and understand the SEO issues present on your website.
- Keyword Research Tool: While Google has phased out its keyword tool in the Search Console, Bing continues to offer the Keyword Research tool in its package, helping with content strategy and optimization.
- Both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools offer XML sitemap submission, allowing the search engines to better understand the structure of your site.
- Both platforms offer disavow links tools. This can be pivotal if you wish to inform Bing or Google that certain links to your site should not be taken into account for your site’s ranking.
- Both provide detailed data on how their respective crawlers view your website, and whether they encounter any issues when crawling and indexing your content.
The choice between the two often depends on an individual’s preference, one’s marketing objectives, and where a large chunk of your audience comes from. It can be beneficial, however, to use both to get a holistic view of your website’s performance and potential optimization opportunities.
Bing vs Google: FAQs
1. What are the key differences between Bing SEO and Google SEO?
While Bing SEO and Google SEO share several fundamental optimization principles, there are some notable differences. First, Bing places more emphasis on the exact-match domain names and keywords in domain names, while Google prioritizes content quality, user experience, and relevance. Bing is generally considered to be more transparent about its ranking factors, whereas Google’s algorithms are more opaque. Finally, Bing often favors older, more established websites, whereas Google emphasizes fresher, more recently updated content.
2. Are Bing and Google different in the way they handle meta tags and backlinks?
Yes, there are some differences in how Bing and Google handle meta tags and backlinks. Bing tends to give more weight to meta keywords and meta descriptions, whereas Google has explicitly stated that it no longer factors meta keywords into its ranking algorithm. When it comes to backlinks, Google places a higher emphasis on the quality and relevance of the referring domain, while Bing may prioritize quantity alongside quality for better rankings.
3. If my website is optimized for Google, should I also optimize it for Bing?
Optimizing your website for both Bing and Google is recommended, as each search engine serves a unique audience. Although there is considerable overlap in best SEO practices for both, tailoring your optimization strategies for Bing-specific factors will help you tap into its users and gain more exposure. As Bing has a significant market share in certain niche industries, it’s wise to ensure your website is easily discoverable and performs well in Bing’s search results, in addition to Google’s.
Meet Your Business Goals With Ignite Visibility
Whether you’re looking to optimize your website for Google or Bing – or ideally both! – Ignite has you covered. We’ve helped hundreds of businesses manage their website optimization strategies, and our SEO experts are ready to support your business, no matter what industry you’re in.
Ignite Visibility can help you:
- Optimize your website for Bing and Google
- Create an effective SEO strategy with a holistic approach
- Create dynamic content for a more engaging user experience
- Handle all the technical aspects of SEO for Google and Bing
- And more!
Sound exciting? Reach out to us to get started today!