If you monitor search engine traffic to your website, you may notice a distinct change in the coming weeks. Bing™ is set to start delivering results for Yahoo!® searches, and this is going to have an impact on anyone who gets visitors from either of these search engines. When the transition is complete, you’re still likely to see results labeled as coming from Yahoo!, but they’ll be “Powered by Bing,” and the change is going to make you either happy or apprehensive.
Let’s look at two scenarios:
- If you already have high search engine positions on Bing and you get good traffic from that engine, you’ll probably be enjoying more traffic just in time for the holiday season. Yahoo! represents up to 18% of the market for searches, and Bing-powered results can represent a traffic windfall, especially if your site has performed poorly on Yahoo! in the past.
- If your site currently gets good rankings on Yahoo! but not on Bing, then you’ll have the opposite problem. In a manner of speaking, your traffic-generating results are going to be replaced. While there have been several estimates as to when the full transition to Bing results on Yahoo! is going to take place, we have already observed several cases in which Yahoo! is intermittently showing Bing results in its search engine rankings.
So how can you get better search results on Bing? In reality, optimizing your site for Bing is pretty much the same as optimizing it for Google. You have to have good, compelling content that a search engine wants to read. It has to be organized and categorized in a way that helps the search engine classify it.
While Google and Bing place different emphasis on certain facts about your website—including such things as the site age and the domain name—there isn’t necessarily a “do this, not that” guide for getting better rankings on one engine over the other. Both engines are hoping to serve up the most relevant results possible, so you should work to make your site easy for search engines to read and understand. Web.com has people who can assist you with search engine optimization (or SEO), which is designed to make your site more prominent on all search engines.
Bing and Google also rely on links that originate from other sites that point toward your site. In fact, Google based its original “secret recipe” for search results on the way sites linked to each other. As a small business owner, you can usually ask vendors and customers to link back to your website, and there are some specialized packages that can get you links from local directories and other sources.
If you consider the needs of the end user, optimizing a website for Google or Bing—or the search engines of the future—doesn’t have to be a complex process. Generally speaking, people who type queries into search engines are expecting to find a resource for information, a specific product, or a specific service. When you add content to your website and then organize it well, you’re contributing to a better Internet, and search engines are more likely to reward your site.
Most often, we find that sites get more search traffic when they contain in-depth information. This allows a search engine to display your site for a diverse array of searches that are relevant to your business. Even with “official” Yahoo! results fading into the sunset, there are still plenty of opportunities to capture search engine traffic and turn it into sales.
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