Why you shouldn’t ignore this search engine
Bing is often overlooked here in Australia, with a low market share of only 3% (according to Statcounter.com) is it really worth the effort?
In this podcast with Fabrice Canel from Bing, I discover some interesting features of Bing, and some amazing tools to help you with your whole DIY SEO approach.
Tune to hear why you need to give Bing a second look.
Tune in to learn:
- What is Bing’s Market Share in Australia?
- Is doing SEO for Bing the same as doing SEO for Google?
- What role does Schema play with Bing?
- Does Bing use Meta descriptions to rank sites?
- Does Bing use speed as a ranking factor?
- Does Bing care about secure sites?
- What can Bing Webmaster tools help us with?
- More about Bing’s SEO analyzer
- Tips on setting up Bing Places Profile
- What’s the best way to check rankings on Bing?
- Where is Bing focusing resources in the next year?
- What Fabrice recommend as your first three steps with Bing?
Listen to the podcast
This episode is proudly sponsored by Ahrefs which offers tools to grow your search traffic, research your competitors and monitor your niche. Ahrefs helps you learn why your competitors rank so high and what you need to do to outrank them. Start a 7-day trial for $7 (Psst this is not an affiliate link.)
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Fabrice is 21 years search veteran at Microsoft. Fabrice is a Principal Program Manager leading the team crawling, processing and indexing at Bing, so dealing with the hundreds of billions of new or updated web pages every day!
In 2006, Fabrice joined the MSN Search Beta project and since this day, Fabrice is driving the evolution of the Bing platform to insure the Bing index is fresh and comprehensive and he is responsible for the protocols and standards for Sitemaps.org and AMP on Bing. Prior to that MSN Search, Fabrice was the Lead Program Manager for search across Microsoft Web sites in a role covering all aspect of search from Search Engines technology to Search User Experience… to content in the very early days of SEO.
Kate Toon: So, Fabrice it’s love … Am I saying that right? Just before I start.
Fabrice: Yes, you said right like a French.
Kate Toon: So are you French?
Fabrice: I am French and US citizen now.
Kate Toon: I have a French husband, there you go.
I’m going to start by cutting to the chase. Yeah? In Australia, what market share does Bing have in comparison to Google?
Fabrice: I don’t know, top of my head. So I will look a bit and come back to you and that is not 50%.
Kate Toon: It’s less than 50-
Fabrice: Less than that. So, when I’ve got this question, this is often people are surprised by the answer when we say Bing 30% market share if not now 36% market share in the US, because there is different view of the data. Different companies computing market share. So, one thing is … often what people forget is we are look at the logs and forget that Bing is not Bing. Bing is also Yahoo, it’s also lots of web properties that operate by Bing, and if you start swimming away, think, Oh, this is another percentage, this is not a single digit. It’s more than this.
Fabrice: Additionally, this is Bing is in general, a higher where are your market share on desktop and mobile, and so you need to really slice and dice your data, aggregate your data to over a two market share on your site, and on front faces, you need to look not only on market share but also about conversion. Mean Bing may … due to it’s high percentage of market share on desktop, may convert better than mobile.
Kate Toon: Yeah, so I’ve been looking at some stats around that, and the conversion rate from the click through rate, and the conversion rate on Bing seems substantially higher than Google’s. So although it may have a slightly, I think, a much smaller market share in Australia, there’s still a huge value in being present there because those people who do use it, are more likely-
Kate Toon: to convert. So let’s talk about that. Let’s hope, if we are going to start digging into Bing, and I’ve got some specific questions, but in general, if we’ve been doing SEO and optimising our sites and trying to make our content good to please the Google Gods, will what we’ve been doing satisfy Bing as well or is it completely different?
Fabrice: Yes, is the answer. I mean, yes, what you do for Google will benefit also Bing, will benefit Baidu, will benefit Yandex. Because doing things that is common with Google, mean at the end side matters for our sites is hosted by Microsoft is there. So we are working jointly with Google on some of the protocols for search engine optimization. And so yes, IMAP might be a great way to get your content discovered on the databases. About text files is so common, nearly common to box search engine. So these are kind of common things that make sense, because at the end bases the industries from their quality, accessibility to the content or accessibility to the both to the content.
Kate Toon: Yeah.
Fabrice: Yeah, I think initial tags and all these things make sense for all engines.
Kate Toon: I like that. And I think, people might think that Google and Bing are a kind of, you know, hate each other and are fighting but actually, there’s a lot of areas of the web, where you guys are collaborating to create common markup across the web, across all searches and one example of that is Schema. So, what role does schema play with Bing and how does it work there?
Fabrice: So, first of all is this is helping certain thing to understand the content. For a fact you may have complaints, offence you may have free form mean you can edit your web page with notepad or whatever editor and you may do mistakes editing the content. So, Schema help search engine understand the content. But whatever you do at the end, this is just a hint, it is not definitive. We see people doing mistakes in Schema between first name and last name. If you are not born in the US, first name, what is first name last name, I’m lost. And so, basic things, basic of date format, is it month here day here, or is it another format. So whatever is provided is just hint and the engine are doing their own thinking on the data that is provided.
Fabrice: So this is helping, but it’s not the truth. It’s not the truth of you see for spammer and people with a five star rating everywhere. But it’s just informing search engine about what you want to tell to the engine or to the user. Great, thank you. But we make your own decision.
Kate Toon: Yeah. Now what happens if people are making errors? Is that going to have a negative impact on their ranking and Bing or is it, or will Bing just ignore them? Like if it doesn’t, if the Schema is poorly written?
Fabrice: Yeah, it may both mean that we avoid having five star in all rulings.
Kate Toon: Yeah.
Fabrice: [inaudible] And so yes, it may have an impact, but this is all we clearly don’t know twice that or we clearly think that at the end, this is a maybe a senior customer service. To say despite what you hear, yeah, it’s not good, this is not the way we decided.
Kate Toon: So as with all, as with Google as well, we shouldn’t try and manipulate Schema and be putting reviews on things that don’t really deserve reviews and adding in, don’t be naughty. I guess it’s the same rule for Google as it is for Bing. Don’t be naughty.
Fabrice: Don’t be naughty, but mistakes is okay.
Kate Toon: Yeah.
Fabrice: Don’t be afraid. We, everybody do mistakes. So, that’s fine.
Kate Toon: I love that. That’s great. And you have a market validator in Bing.com toolbox so I’ll include a [crosstalk 00:06:34].
Fabrice: [crosstalk 00:06:36]-the ability to view any kind of page you can enter any page on the internet. And you read disclosures on [inaudible 00:06:42]over format we see both.
Kate Toon: Great, I’ll include a link to that in the show notes. So let’s get down to some specifics with Bing and some questions that have come from my digital master chefs group. And the first one is, does Bing use the content of the meta description to decide where a website should rank because we know that Google, doesn’t but does Bing?
Fabrice: So, when we say does and does not those and those numbers don’t lie, because these days is really not about the title equal 05 way meta description equal 01 way then all this kind of stuff but we was search engine 20 years ago, these days is you for the voltage to the engine, and the engine is a dust on the page. So the pitches, we associate the legacies equity versus expectation of a Christabel. So I think good meta description and the engine, a good title and the engine because it’s useful for display of caption Sufism, caption names and description and services are used by search engine.
Fabrice: When you said no to us, again, don’t know what Google is doing. But I can assure you that we use everything in the page outside of meta keyword and everything matter on the page.
Fabrice: Because why not? This is information that is provided by webmasters who decided to not use description? not me. but need somebody will but I don’t care services people provide this information in their pitches, maybe we should live it because maybe this is helping people to find this content.
Kate Toon: Yeah, and I guess the same applies just as with Google you wouldn’t keyword stuff, the meta description because it’s so important, not just for helping the search engine understand what the page is about, but more importantly, I think, click through, you really want that little meta description to really describe the content of the page and give people a reason to click through to your listing, not someone else’s. So I think I think that’s pretty clear. Now you mentioned there kind of skimmed over it, that you don’t use the meta keywords tag. So that’s a bit of a myth with being most people think that you still do use the meta keywords tag, but you don’t. I just wanted to clear that one up. Yeah.
Fabrice: You can always find a place where we may match. But it’s clearly not used as [inaudible] for Bing. Mean that, again, we’ve always content to the engine, and the engine is much cleaner. So you will always find a page where someone will be able to match on the table, but clearly do not do that, do not spend your time populating the world.
Kate Toon: Yeah, okay. It’s old school people. Okay, so let’s go through some other ranking factors that people are very conscious of these days. And it does Bing you speed as a ranking factor? So will it you know, lower the ranking of sites that are slow to load?
Kate Toon: Yes- Ah quick, that was an easy one! Oui! Oui oui!
Fabrice: Oui! Yes. Yes is the answer that we use and lots of senior Page Speed is one of them.
Fabrice: Does it matter? Oh yes, it matter. If you have a site that takes five minutes to load, you won’t have customers on your site for too long. And you won’t have Bing customer going to your sites. This is not only because search engine will detect that, this is also because it will be in the mind of a customer that says, oh, when I see this link, this is a bad link. This takes five minutes to load, I will not click on it.
Kate Toon: Yeah.
Fabrice: And services, obviously everything matter including speed, speed, all of the content. But you may have also site but not as fast but well. And so do not be too much on speed, speed, speed, everything matter. Speed is just one of the criteria.
Kate Toon: I like that. So talking of criteria. Another thing that’s obviously been a big thing in the world of Google is SSL certificates and moving from HTTP to HTTPS. Does Bing care about that as much as Google?
Fabrice: Yes, mean but you know, you can disclose what move and 80% of the links at the HTTPS is dead. So clearly we have been gutted. Honestly, yes, because people have neglected. So does it matter so much? as own King, senior, so first is site as HTTP and HTTPS. In general, we [inaudible] HTTPS indexing because people prefer HTTPS indexing. And we don’t want to index the content twice,
Fabrice: But services in general, I don’t say that. We prefer HTTPS. Again, you can find good content on HTTP. We encourage people to move to HTTPS is more secure.
Kate Toon: Good customer experience as well not just about pleasing the Bing Gods.
Kate Toon: Okay, so obviously Google has Google Webmaster Tools and Bing has Bing Webmaster Tools. And I’ll include a link to that in the show notes. What are some of the functionalities that we can use Webmaster Tools for?
Fabrice: Well the first thing is Bing has Bing Webmaster Tool that more importantly this is Bing API. Bing Webmaster Tools API is mean that not only this is a tool that you can go to connect to the tool to access information in the tool of a site maps provide correct information. But more than that, this is API’s where you can fully automate to get access to the data or do things with Bing Webmaster Tool.
Fabrice: When typical session verses Google is but we offer ability to submit far more URLs to Bing. Mean we are all about real time and indexing mean, all about availability for webmasters to get their content and indexing Bing in circles, by automating publication of content to Bing, as soon as the content is published on your site, you press submit, you will invite this podcast, you press submit the you know that you have the ability to get your content immediately and accept Bing once a month after you publish it, because it’s supported. Bing that we have a submission API, but a low up to 10% URL a day more we can discuss, but up to 10% URL a day.
Fabrice: Us availability to submit URLS to Bing. We see a lot of adoption of these API’s to submit URLs to Bing and more certain is coming in this area. But people are pretty happy because they can get they can sleep when we know what their content is index. And so we have just to focus on biting good quality content. They don’t care anymore about discovery, about coding, because just this inside about, hey I just publish a new URL is really good senior for us to get this content called.
Kate Toon: Fantastic.
Fabrice: This is just one example. But it’s a popular example there but is driving usage and people really enjoy it.
Kate Toon: Yeah, I didn’t know that. That’s that’s a great thing. So we do we do other things. Will will help us find broken you know, 404 errors, will It help-
Fabrice: [crosstalk] We are investing a lot over the next month. We are [inaudible] extension of Bing submission API to Super farmer. We have our submission today. But you have the whole kind of the whole knowledge of Bing focused sites. Yes, you have dead links. Yes, you have malware information on your site. Yes, we tell you what to do, yes which is we provide SEO keyword analysis.
Fabrice: Yes, we provide the ability to buy keywords, including of some of the markets, you have a discount mean, but you can have free marketing campaign if you like, at least to start marketing campaign. For those sites information is available. One thing that I really like is the side explorer, think about your explorer in Windows or a nice way where you can move the size the folder of you laptop PC, Mac, whatever you like. we have a semi Bing webmaster tool where you can use other folders, other files within this folder and provide information such as with linking to you that links and all kind of information. this is something that is also really popular to have people buzzing to know what is indexed by Bing.
Kate Toon: Perfect. And you have another separate tool which is called the SEO analyzer, what sort of things is that gonna tell us about our site?
Fabrice: It’s mobile page. This is basic information, just as are you missing your title tag? Are you missing the descriptions tag? And so on, this is a SEO analyser page. Useful, yeah.
Kate Toon: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, I think a lot of people don’t know how to find that that basic information. So I think it’s a great tool to have. Obviously, all these tools are free, which is awesome. And now talk to us bout Bing places. How do we go about setting up a Bing places profile and what sort of things can we have on our profile?
Fabrice: So you Bing it and you find it. And so yes, we offer a programme for businesses to register their places in order to get them this information manage. Because of them, this information may be available on the web, may not be extracted from the web, because a lot of business are being used templates so search engine as the ability to, to forgive easy to manage their businesses online. To help us to surface this information when people are searching for values, businesses as to and so on.
Kate Toon: Great, I’m following through the link to the Bing places site as well as people can see where to add that in. And now if I want to check where I’m ranking on Bing in the search results, what’s the best way to be checking my rankings?
Fabrice: You Bing it. Mean that at the end is a tool when Bing searches a page. Mean that you could and try to see if your links are surfacing and if your links are not surfacing, then you switch to Bing Webmaster Tools to understand why the links are not surfacing. Just a thing to look at this is is your content index? Is your link an index? Then this is, you can look at keywords. Always looking for this keyword. Maybe this link isn’t surfacing, look for other keywords where this link should be potentially you are expecting but is order of keywords. So you can do this kind of keyword research, keyword analysis without synonyms and so on for this keyword what is driving and change your content to match the intent.
Fabrice: Again, step one is is my content with the index? Look at Bing Webmaster to if you cannot find it. Maybe this is completely missing, maybe we have issue to face content, maybe we have issue to process this content. So Bing Webmaster Tool will tell you again, do we have issues with this content. If we don’t have issues and this issue is index then you focus on the content, keyword research and so on. Can help you to dig into the problems that maybe surface in the content.
Fabrice: And then this is about developing an audience. Because if you try to compete with facebook.com homepage for Facebook, there is very, very little chance that you have any chance in the next six months to be position one for Facebook, because facebook.com will more likely be listed for Facebook in the following weeks and following month.
Fabrice: So you may not have a chance to be on Bing. And often this is not because you won’t get Google. But you should be on Bing because Bing has its own decision to select what to index and so and nobody’s perfect. Google is not perfect. We are not perfect. And so, again, we make our own decision about content.
Kate Toon: Yeah. So what role does personalization play with Bing though? So with self googling surely, we’re going to see slightly better results, can we take away that personalization with Bing?
Fabrice: Personalization mean a lot of things. So I will ask you some question about what do you mean? Are you meaning AP testing your content to see different version of content specific for Bing verses the user? Are you cloaking? Or do you mean I personalised my content for audiences where Bing should see different content? Just some of the example of what definition cover.
Kate Toon: I guess mean more if I continually visit my own sites and then I try and Bing it to see where I’m ranking, surely Bing is going to push my site to the top and maybe give me a false impression of how well I’m doing just because it knows that that’s the result I’ve previously liked and enjoyed. So is there a way of strip and also location based personalization so if I’m searching for, you know, a plumber and Bing knows that my IP address or my mobile phone is currently in Sydney, it’s going to show me Sydney based results? Can you strip that away from Bing. Obviously Google has incognito search, which isn’t perfect, there’s still some personalization there, does Bing have an equivalent?
Fabrice: So browsers have incognito or in private mode. And then [inaudible] you have still a problem in this mode of user coming to the engine, we have an IP address. And the idea is mean vision for search engine. Where are you coming from? And also is this most but this incognito or in private, your browser is also sending in general the language you accept language as part of the HTTP to tell what’s your ability system prefer, what you prefer in terms of languages. So no matter what you do, there is no one mode. That is a global mode for certainty.
Fabrice: By default, which is that every query coming to Bing or Google will have some kind of decision already to tell hey I’m coming from this region, or I’m coming from this language this preferences. And so there is the challenges that there is no one, there is also that is kind of a location to your language.
Fabrice: And so this is kind of a two motion and then yes, we may do we have over 70 motion, but makeover classes of user and so on. And so there is no winning one mode, but this is a Bing or Google to answer question you don’t really know, there is no way to know what worldwide user we see in each innovation.
Fabrice: Or else you can Skype. You need to, you need to create, you need to have systems that will be creating on each and every zip code in the US to see what does success look like in each zip code in the US and worldwide. Some story. It’s hard
Kate Toon: It is hard. And so got a question from Carrie Bennett, who’s on the call here. And she asks, you know, where is being actively putting resources at the moment? Like what’s being focusing on in terms of improving the engine or whatever to make it more popular search engine? You know, like, what are the plans for Bing over the next year or so to kind of, what are they investing in? I guess the question.
Fabrice: So overall we can not disclose exactly where we put ourselves in and so on. But I think there is some, I speak about my team. I can’t speak about other teams.I can’t speak globally but let me speak first about my team.
Fabrice: My team is responsible of having a fresh copy of your [inaudible] Something that they understand well. Meaning, if your site is missing from Bing and your site is relevant, this is a big problem for me. I want to get a conclusive fresh copy of the internet that they understand well. If I succeed in this fresh copy of the internet, then Bing can succeed. Because I’m the backbone of the internet. I am the one that is downloading the internet and then of course and then those.
Fabrice: So the goal for my team is always to be more concessive, to not miss when one URL, to always be fresher, to always be able to have a fresh copy of each and every pang on the internet.
Fabrice: As soon as you publish your podcast I should have it. As soon as if you have to update your podcast, you did a typo, you want to change it, I’ve got to have it in the internet. Then this is the compulsiveness, the richness, the understanding of each and every page. And then I need to do a great job. I also need to know so many other things, excel sheets. It’s always work in progress. And then if I generate all good feature you can not be able to detect this especially in English especially is no Japanese and so on and so on. A lot of features and lots of features as an [inaudible]
Fabrice: Then this makes the life easy for people to retrieve this content, assuming this is good quality content, this content has a chance to be positioned one over sites, over URLs.
Fabrice: So my goal is to still continue with no stop goal of having each and every page on the internet once again beyond every change on the internet, and I think the page definitely process and chose to generate it and magic is a good place a good record for each week you to be able to ease the work of the people who are retrieving the content to find the best content on the internet.
Kate Toon: Okay, that’s a good Northstar goal, that’s great.
Fabrice: You can have it forever.
Kate Toon: Yeah you’ll never be finished, ever, ever, ever.
Kate Toon: But at least you’ll always have a job, so that’s important. So to finish up with obviously we’ve got various people on my courses they’re all [inaudible] you know so small business owners, commerce store owners, if they’ve never considered Bing before what would you say maybe the first three steps for them to get involved with Bing What were the first three things you’d recommend that they do?
Fabrice: The first thing is maybe there is no problem because Bing it try to find your side. Mean that we should not ask people to do things. But before it is my goal is not to have people doing things. You can help me by default I should be great, my team should be great at the next content. Sometime we need a little bit of help.
Fabrice: So the first thing is trying to find your site on Bing, try to play with Bing, to try to find your site. And if you already cannot find it, yeah, maybe, maybe you’re preventing us to index your content.
Fabrice: So still your site on Bing webmaster tool to see what is happening. And maybe we need a little bit of help, maybe we need a little bit of love. Sometime you are preventing your caller from accessing your content. And then let us index it. Let’s see if we can retrieve your site and then scan stuff to people and snowball effect. Mean that, oh yes, you will start to Bing customer coming to your site. And as Bing is marketchure is increasing in each and every market year over year.
Fabrice: You may get some more and more users we go and you receive the benefit of being an at Bing. But fundamentally at Bing we must start to give you additional insight. But again, remember my first point, maybe you should not do thing, maybe you’re already there. And just have a look to see if you’re already there.
Kate Toon: Yeah, I mean, obviously before the call, I Binged myself and even just looking at the first page of results, what I got, I got some really interesting insights, just the way that Bing presents the data is a little bit different to Google. So I can see, for example, that my kind of map information is being pulled from start local, and its out of date on because that start local profile is old, and I haven’t fixed it up. And the message description has been pulled through from my main site, is slightly different, it’s actually better than the one that Google’s created. And thankfully, I own the home page, I can see my images, my videos and the blended results. So I’m quite happy. I am still going to go and take time to update my Google Webmasters and just have a play. But yeah, the first step is to Bing yourself, I guess, and I was the delighted by what Bing showed me. It’s all working well for me, but maybe that’s the action that everyone can take at the end of this podcast.
Kate Toon: Fabrice, thank you so much for your time. And I’m going to share links to Bing Webmaster Tools, SEO analyse, Bing places. is there also a good resource library, like if we want to achieve tutorials and things that we can use the understand Bing better, do you have a YouTube channel that we can link to, that has resources on it?
Fabrice: We do blogs, we have a Bing webmaster to blogs, I encourage you, we just blog about API yesterday. So I encourage you to register to that. And this is again Bing Webmaster tool is bing.com/webmaster is the place to go because this is linking you to all the reference, documentation, and information that we do. But yeah.
Kate Toon: Yeah, I will include the link to that too. And if you go to the Bing blog page, which ill include the link to you can see all the recent blogs, the open just published yesterday about webmaster API. And got some interesting stuff here about faster indexing, as you were talking about, about 10,000 URLS per day to Bing, so excellent. Lots there that we can read.
Kate Toon: Fabrice, Thank you so much for sharing your time with us
Fabrice: Thank you so much!
Kate Toon: Merci!
Kate Toon: Au revoir!