SEO | October 20, 2014

How Does Bing Search Work?

Here at Liberty we talk about Google a lot. As the largest online search provider, by quite some way, it dominates over its competition. But there are other search engines out there. Here we take a look at Bing!

Why should I optimise for Bing?

It’s a good question. If Google has such domination why bother wasting your time on Bing. Well, in effect Bing is your back-up plan. Imagine a new Google algorithm is released and your site is penalised. It may be removed from search results for a set period of time, so how are customers going to find your site then.
At least with a good position on Bing you can guarantee a small amount of traffic to your site while your Google issues are figured out. This may not be the same amount as you’re used to, but some is better than none, isn’t it?

Optimising for Bing Vs. optimising for Google

These websites may both be search engines, but they do differ slightly in the way they work. Therefore you must optimise your site differently for each. To do this, we suggest you look at the following things:

Relevancy

You may find yourself asking “how does Bing decide what results to show?” Well, a lot of this comes down to relevancy. Bing will scan all documents for the frequency of root words (for example, ‘running’ will be shortened to ‘run’) and will cut out the irrelevant words, like conjunctives. These frequencies are then given a hash value or an ID number.
So, when a term is typed into the search bar, the roots of the words are found, a hash value is calculated and found in a frequency table. The outcomes that contain this result are called essential pages and only the highest scoring pages will be chosen. These pages then go through a second process…

Click distance

Bing combines a page’s relevancy along with its click distance – this is how many clicks of the mouse it takes to find the content. This can be analysed using URL depth property; the longer URLs are considered less important due to their distance from the homepage.
So if a URL has a URL depth of 4 or more, i.e. 4 backslashes or more, Bing will not rank it, even if it is linked to from the homepage.
Relevancy and click distance are important factors, but Bing will also take into account a user’s search history when
displaying search results.
The way Bing works is relatively simple in comparison to Google. It has been rumoured that Google uses over 200 ranking factors to determine what should appear on the first SERP, ranging from proven factors to the more speculated, but keywords, quality content and good backlinks remain essential.

Social media

Bing has got one up on Google when it comes to its approach to social media. Bing integrates social media results into its searches, so if a friend on Facebook has endorsed a company you will see it!

SEO copywriting

If you have been optimising your site for Google then you will know the importance of keywords. Although Bing uses these, Google is much cleverer about using them.
Whereas Bing relies on the frequency of words, or keywords in the meta tags and page titles, Google looks at the page as a whole, and is more likely to mark the page as spam if a word is overused. It’s a delicate balance to optimise for both search engines.

So will you be looking at Bing?

Now you know a little more about this other search engine, will you be optimising your site to appear on its results pages? If you’d like to learn more about Bing or Google, then send us your questions or tweet us at @LibertyOnlineUK today!

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