Bing algorithm word cloud image

Bing has come a long way in the past few years.  As of September 2013, it has approximately 18% of the search market versus Google’s commanding 66.9%.

Bing, however, cannot be ruled out.  It is the default search engine on a new Windows computer and is highly used on mobile devices, especially Windows Phones, iPhones and iPads via Siri since Apple switched to Bing from Google in iOS 7.

Siri still uses WolfgramAlpha, a computational answer engine, to answer many questions, but when it comes to local business listings, Bing is their primary source.

Another major user of Bing is Facebook, as Bing is integrated into their search box.

Bing shows business locations in search

Did You Miss These Algorithm Updates?

That being the case, as many of us know, algorithms must be updated for search engines to improve the accuracy of their results.  Unlike Google, Bing doesn’t make any public announcements of their major updates.  Unfortunately, many webmasters have been focused on Google and missed many Bing search updates.

The most recently known major update for Bing was in September 2013 when they integrated “One Microsoft” vision to include Pole Position, Page Zero, and Platform Independent.

Page Zero is a new function in Bing that helps a user get an answer or take an action before they even see the first results page.  It is very similar to Google’s suggestion tool.

The Pole Position helps Bing suggest the correct results, especially for mobile users.

Platform Independent enables Microsoft to improve user experiences across an ever growing range of devices, especially all mobile devices, that were previously released only to Windows Phones.

The last update before then was the “Birthday Update” in June of 2013 on Bing’s fourth birthday.  The last known update previous to that was a “no index” update in May of 2012 which included a mass de-index of urls, most likely an attempt at spam filtration.

Historically, Bing has released other significant updates every spring and fall including localization, exact matching domain and brand results, spam classification against holiday deal sites, Facebook friend results, and even a Panda update in 2011 that was similar to Google.

How to Optimize Your Site for Bing vs. Google

1. Shorter URLs are likely a good best practice because they seem to be rewarded higher positioning.  Typically, the fewer the words, the more value each word receives from Bing’s engine spider.

2. Bing consistently displays the homepage of a website versus its subpages about twice as often as Google so make sure you optimize your homepage more than your subpages.

List your site on Bing Local to optimize for local search

3. Make sure your site is listed on Bing Local – which is typically one of the first things to appear on Bing’s local search results.