#seo411 Recap: Google v. Bing

By Paige Payne | Jun 17, 2010
More Articles by Paige


Google vs Bing

Our most recent #seo411 Twitter chat session featured the comparison of Google vs Bing in the realm of SEO. Here’s a review of what we talked about in case you couldn’t make it.

Q1: What are some major differences you’ve noticed with the SERP layout set ups?

Answers to this question reflected mostly personal preferences.  @JanetDMiller shared that she was a fan of the preview pane on Bing, specifically for videos that play when you mouse over YouTube listings in the preview pane.  The left hand navigation was a widely disliked feature- for both Google and Bing.  Additionally, many were not fond of how Bing has recently begun giving fewer search results followed by additional suggested searches.  Furthermore,  the suggested searches can be a bit wonky. For example @JanetDMiller noted that a search for “SMX Advanced” gave the suggestion of “Advanced Bionics.”

(Personally, the conspiracy theorist in me believes that the five results followed by suggestions are motivated by Bing not only trying to increase the number of searches, but also PPC clicks.)

Q2: Do you choose to optimize for one search engine over the other?  If so why?

Many said they focus most of their attention on the number one search engine, Google, at the start of an SEO engagement. Additionally, as of  today, best practices seem to work on all engines.

Q3: Does Bing weigh content differently than Google?

Historically, Bing has always seemed to place a higher emphasis on fresh content.  Changes to content on a page are quickly index by Bing bots.  As a result, Bing rankings tend to be more volatile.  However, with Google’s recent algorithm updates- in particular the QDF factor- the two are becoming more alike.  Google does, however, tend to place more emphasis on personalizing results.

Q4: Are inbound links as important to ranking on Bing as they are for Google?

Bing tends to be picker about the kind of links it values.  For Bing, it’s important to submit links to niche or similar content sites.  Also, using their Webmaster Tools is a good way to for you to see which of your inbound links search engines rank highly. 

Q5: What are your thoughts on @RandFish’s SMX presentation on Bing v. Google? http://bit.ly/bsvPkl

With the understanding that there could be compounding variables and that correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation, most found it rather interesting and worth a read. Points people found most interesting were URL length, link diversity, and the hyphen effect.

Q6: What are some of your favorite attributes of either search engine?

Attributes mentioned were the auto-background image on Bing, Bing’s preview pane, and the new social sharing buttons for images and other results.

Q7: Is it easier to achieve SEO results on one of the search engines as opposed to the other?

Most agreed it is typically easier to rank on Bing than on Google.  That being said, according to @Jstatad, a #1 listing on Bing gets about the same amount of traffic as a #5 on Google.

Q8: Do you find that SEO tools differ from one engine to the next?

Not really.  Tools are very similar for both Google and Bing.

Q9: What tools would you suggest for each particular search engine?

This question brought us our sound effect for the week – “Chirp Chirp.” Again, regardless of engine, the same tools are used.

Q10: What’s the biggest takeaway from today’s chat?

While Google  holds the lion’s share of the search market today, both can be valuable.  Many noted that they have found Bing to convert at a higher rate, just a lower volume.  With the era of Yahoo powered by Bing quickly approaching, things should get interesting. Nevertheless, in the spirit of the World Cup:

You don’t want to ignore the small guy on the team, he may just be the quickest goal scorer.    – @MediaCollective

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For more information on Google v. Bing  check out @janetdmiller’s SMX Advanced presentation.

Also, be sure to join us next Tuesday (6/22/2010) at 2pm ET for #seo411: Search Engine Sitemaps found on our #seo411 Twitter chat schedule.

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