Yahoo7 informs me that; We can expect to see the transition of Yahoo!7’s organic search results (the non-paid listings found on the main body of the page) to Microsoft’s Bing Results during January 2011. So, how do we optimise for Bing?

While no action is required on your part for the organic search transition, if organic search results are an important source of traffic & referrals to your website, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for this change.

Yahoo7 recommend you do the following:

  • Compare your organic search rankings on Yahoo!7 Search and Bing for the keywords that drive your business, to help determine any potential impact to your traffic and sales
  • Decide if you’d like to modify your paid search campaigns to compensate for any changes in organic referrals that you anticipate
  • To help ensure your site is prominently listed in both Yahoo!7 and Bing organic search results. Review the Bing webmaster tools and optimise your website for the Bing search engine crawler.

For more detailed specifics on the Yahoo7 organic search transition, you can read the Organic Search Transition FAQs.

Optimising for Bing:

The SEO differences between Yahoo & Bing have always been subtle. Most webmasters & businesses have generally focused on optimizing for Google only, due to the massive share it has, and almost “hoped” that good rankings from Yahoo & Bing follow. At least now we only have one other major algorithm to worry about instead of 2.

From past experience, I believe that Bing gives more weight to on-page factors than Google, so optimising for Bing meant doing the following:

1. Ensuring your titles & descriptions are keyword rich:
Generally see MORE increases in Bing than Google after refreshing a sites metadata.

2. Keyword rich content:
Provided they appear within content, it is significantly easier to optimise a site for for long tail search terms in Bing than Google.

3. Social Popularity:
Something I have believe in for years. Bing have openly said they “like” using Social Metrics in their algorithm. But hold on, this doesn’t mean you should go like every pages on your site, or pay someone to set up a million twitter profiles – Bing WILL (where possible) analyse who is Tweeting, liking or buzz’ing website pages & (at least) calculate the; A) Influence B) Activeness & C) The Sentiment of the person.

4. User & search friendly URLs:
Bing gives more weight than Google to URL structure & filenames than Google – this includes the names of your folders I.e.

5. Page size:
According to the Bing webmaster guidelines, a page without images should be less than 150 KB in size.

6. Web standards compliance:
Bing on the whole prefers websites with well formed mark-up, where the coding language used can be validated.

7. Back links:
All search engines love back links. But Bing prefers links from sources that themselves have a lot of back links.

As mentioned above, Bing results will be appearing Yahoo7 any day now. Monitor your rankings and react accordingly.