SMX West: The Search Police Video With Google’s Matt Cutts & Bing’s Duane Forrester

Matt-&-Duane-Excellent-Search-Aventure One of the highlights from the SMX West show a week ago was the session named "The Search Police: Matt & Duane's Excellent Search Engine Adventure." The panel featured Google's Matt Cutts and Bing's Duane Forrester as Bill & Ted with Danny Sullivan playing Rufus. Matt (Bill) and Duane (Ted) both give presentations and then answer questions from the attendees. Here is the full video: There were a lot of nuggets that came out of this video, from the next Penguin and Panda updates to link networks being discredited and penalized to a discussion of whether the PageRank indicat [...]


New: Bing Sitemap Plugin Helps Webmasters Create XML Sitemap Files

bing-webmaster-tools-featured Bing announced, on its  Bing Webmaster Blog, a new feature that helps webmasters create two types of XML Sitemaps. Bing created a server-side application that works on both IIS and Apache servers that helps you create a comprehensive Sitemap and, also, a recently updated Sitemap. The binaries can be downloaded at the Microsoft download site. How do the two Sitemap files differ? The first is a comprehensive Sitemap of all URLs seen in server traffic, and the second is a Sitemap dedicated to store URLs that have changed recently. Duane Forrester explained: Having both comprehensive an [...]


Bing Tags Expands, Makes Pages Linked To Your Profile Public

bing-search-featured Search engines continue to go old school, encouraging people to "tag" content in a way that makes it feel like it's 1999 all over again. Today, Bing makes another push in that direction, making content you tag with "Bing Tags" more visibile. Honestly, I feel like this tagging crazy is simply Google and Bing falling down on the job. It used to be that we praised search engines for moving away from the tagging that was popular with them in the mid-to-late 1990s. That's because they were getting smart enough to know that every word on a page was effectively a tag rather than forcing human bein [...]


US Senate Committee Asks Google, Yahoo & Bing To Fight Bait-And-Switch Moving Scams

google-yahoo-bing-government-featured The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation has written to the major US search engines of Google, Yahoo and Bing asking them to examine how some moving services are using "bait-and-switch" tactics on customers who find them through search results. Moving Ripoffs Each search engine received the same letter, covering how a committee investigation found that consumers are doing searches for topics relating to moving services and encountering companies with names that seem similar to large, reputable brands. Consumers pay what they believe to be a moving deposit but [...]


SERPs.com Google & Bing “Weather Report” Tool

serps SERPs.com has quietly launched a SERPs Volatility Index, which aims to work like the MozCast tool to track search results fluctuations and help webmasters know if there was an algorithm update at Google and Bing. While MozCast only tracks Google, SERPs.com tracks both Google and Bing. SERPs.com also shows a 30-day and 90-day volatility charge. It works a lot like the MozCast solution in that it tracks the top keywords for 1,000 popular websites on Google and Bing, adding up to tens of thousands of keywords being tracked. The tool is also updated daily. Here are static screen captures [...]


The Difference In Keyword Research For SEO vs. PPC

keywords-featured Often when I complete a keyword research project for a client, they ask me about keywords I may not have included, or they want to know what the relative competition on the keywords looks like. This happens often enough that I thought I would remind everyone that while research for SEO and PPC can go hand in hand, they’re actually very different. First, think about what your goals are with each medium. What are you trying to do, and what constitutes success in that area? Next, think about how the keywords will be used. Where, when, how often? Finally, consider what your margin for erro [...]


Bing Webmaster Tools Reports Adds Percentage Changes

bing-b-logo Bing has added percent changes, deltas, to some of the various reports within Bing Webmaster Tools. The percent changes show the difference from the period selected to the same time period before that. So if you selected the past 30-days, Bing will show the percent change from the previous 30-day period. This applies for Clicks from search, Appeared in search, Pages crawled, Crawl errors and Pages indexed. Specifically for the pages indexed, Bing will show you the percentage change between the last day of the selected period and the last day of the prior period. Bing will also show t [...]


Yes, Bing Has Human Search Quality Raters & Here’s How They Judge Web Pages

bing-search-people-raters-featured A web page that definitively satisfies a searcher's intent is "Perfect," and should appear at the top of Bing's search results. On the other end of the scale, spammy web pages and pages that almost no searcher would find useful are deemed "Bad." That's a bit of how Bing instructs the people in its Human Relevance System (HRS) project to grade web pages. It's explained in a 52-page document that Bing calls the "HRS Judging Guidelines." The HRS project is similar to the Quality Rater program that Google uses. Microsoft's version has been around in some form since shortly after MSN Search b [...]


Bing Launches Way to “Disavow” Links, But Why?

disavow-links-featured For years, Google's webmaster guidelines have noted that attempts to manipulate Google's algorithms with artificial external link profiles (paid links, link schemes and the like) are violations and that Google may take action (by removing the site from the index or lowering its ranking).  This year, Google starting alerting site owners with "unnatural links", recommending that they remove them. Google also launched a new algorithm called Penguin, aimed at flagging sites that attempt to manipulate Google's guidelines with spam techniques such as artificial link profiles. One of the recommen [...]


Bing Offers Advice On Google’s Penguin Update: Diversify

Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager at Microsoft Bing, wrote a blog post on the Bing Search blog named Penguins & Pandas Poetry. The post is about Google's latest Penguin update and how SEOs and webmasters need to be better prepared for such updates. The basic advice is simple, SEOs and webmasters need to do one thing - diversify. Duane is not just saying, focus on Bing and make sure your site does well there too. Yes, if you lose all your Google traffic, ranking well in Bing is nice but since Bing only has about 30% marketshare, you are still missing out on a lot of traffic. [...]


No, Bing Doesn’t Support Pagination Attributes to Consolidate Pages In A Series

bing-pagination-featured Last week, the Bing Webmaster blog published a post about how Bing handles rel="next" and rel="prev" attributes. On the surface, it seemed as though Bing was announcing that it now supported these tags in the same way Google does. Last September, Google announced support of the rel="prev" and rel="next" attributes to designate paginated content, which enables site owners to cluster multiple pages of content into single entities so that indexing and other values can be consolidated. However, the conclusion of the post included the following, which didn't align with Google's treatment of [...]


How The Bing Toolbar May Accidentally Submit Private Pages & Ads

bing-b-logo Microsoft has confirmed that they do discover and index URLs that they find through users surfing the Internet with the Bing Toolbar installed. This can be a concern for those who know certain URLs are only accessible if the individual knows about it and navigates to the URL with the Bing Toolbar installed. For example, YouTube has a setting where you can share a video privately with someone else by giving them a special URL. If the user they are sharing that URL with has the Bing Toolbar installed, Bing can technically discover the URL, assuming the page is not blocked via the NOINDEX [...]


How Microsoft Removes “Junk” From Bing Search Results

bing-junk Dr. Richard Qian from Bing's core search team wrote a blog post on the Bing Search blog named Bing Search Quality Insights: Reducing Junk. This is part of Bing's ongoing effort to provide search quality insights on how Bing works. Bing here explains how they handle removing bad links from the Bing search results, and also have they handle junky or empty snippets. Junk links include: Dead Links Soft 404 Parked Domains Junk or Empty Snippets include: Junky Snippets Empty Snippets Dead link examples are pages that return a 4xx or 5xx error code is returned from an HTTP r [...]


Keeping Up With Google: Bing Launches New “Search Quality Insights” Series

bing-google-featured Want to understand better how Bing creates its search results? Bing has announced a new "Search Quality Insights" series to provide a more behind-the-scenes look at its search engine. You know, like "Search Quality Highlights" series that Google launched last December. What's going on with these? And how does Bing's latest post help Google on anti-trust grounds? Google Seeks Transparency In Google's case, I view the Search Quality Highlights series as Google trying to deal with accusations, especially by those on the anti-trust front but even from places like the New York Times, that Google [...]


Bing Webmaster Tools Adds Markup Validator

The Bing Webmaster Blog announced they have added a new feature to the crawl section named Markup Validator. To access this new feature, login to Bing Webmaster Tools and click on the "Crawl" tab. Then on the right side or bottom left side there is an option to click on "Markup Validator." Duane from Bing said that while not all code validation issues have an impact on your web page from loading or rankings, "having the syntax incorrect can affect our ability to use the data as you intend." The tool scans for: HTML Microdata Microformats RDFa Schema.org Open Graph Her [...]


Google & Bing Have “Won A Major Victory” Over Content Farms, Study Says

panda-winning-featured Search engines have "won a major victory" in their battle against so-called content farms. So says the current issue of New Scientist magazine, in an article that's also available online. New Scientist asked University of Glasgow computer scientist Richard McCreadie to study 50 search queries that are "known to be a target of content farmers." One example query given is "how to train for a marathon." McCreadie studied those queries in both March and August, and the magazine says "the results show that Google and Microsoft have won a major victory" against content farms. The results are s [...]


Banned Holiday Deal Sites Return To Bing

bing-deals-ban-featured Holiday deal sites that Bing banned from its search listings just before the busy shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday have now been allowed to return. They include a site run by the group that created the entire Cyber Monday concept. Banned: Not Your Usual Suspects We reported previously how the sites had gone missing, something Bing described as keeping with long-standing policies against "thin" content but which came out-of-the-blue to some site owners. The banned sites included CyberMonday.com, which is run by Shop.org, the group that created the entire Cyber Monday concep [...]


Bing Bans Holiday Deals Sites, Including One By Group That Created Cyber Monday

bing-deals-ban-featured Ironically, the trade group that created the Cyber Monday concept had its own CyberMonday.com site lost in cyberspace this week. Lost, that is, if you tried to use Bing to find it. The site, along with some Black Friday deals sites, have been deliberately dropped from Bing as being too "thin" in content. Bing's Version Of The Google Panda Update If "thin is bad" sounds familiar, that's because Google kicked off this trend earlier this year. The Google Panda Update was a change in how Google ranked web pages, designed to penalize pages deemed to be content-light. Google's change didn't rem [...]


Bing On Mobile Search & SEO

If you read this column on a regular basis, you may think that Google is the only game in mobile search. The fact is, SEOs optimize for traffic, and Google is the mobile search market leader, so it is often the focus of our mobile optimization efforts. But it’s not the only game in town. As someone who uses mobile search often, I am more often than not frustrated at the number of sites in the results that make me do extra work pinching and zooming to get the information I need. I’m hoping a mobile search engine can come along that will provide a better user experience than Google. An [...]


The Meta Keywords Tag Lives At Bing & Why Only Spammers Should Use It

keywords-meta-tags-featured I was happy. I was joyful. I thought the meta keywords tag had finally died last year. But Bing recently said that it does use it. After some back-and-forth, I can confirm further that it does, but as a signal for finding spammers, not for improving rank. Meta Keywords Tag 101 If you want the history of the meta keywords tag, how it emerged, how it declined, how to use it if you stupidly decide you still want to, see my detailed post from the past, Meta Keywords Tag 101: How To "Legally" Hide Words On Your Pages For Search Engines. Surprise! Bing Says Meta Keywords Is A Signal But really, [...]


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