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 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, which is run by, 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 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, [...]

Bing Webmaster Tools Integrates Yahoo Traffic Data

bing-logo Bing Webmaster Tools now has fully integrated in Yahoo's traffic numbers as well. So if you have seen a spike in your Bing Webmaster Tools traffic charts, this is the reason why. You should see your impressions and clicks data spike up, while the click through rate numbers may fluctuate from the norm as well. Since Bing now fully powering Yahoo search's organic results, virtually in most geographic locations now, Bing has decided to integrate their data in the tool. There are many webmasters who would love an option to filter this data by search provider, i.e. see Bing vs Yahoo [...]

Google & Bing (Still) Handle Underscores & Dashes Differently

It's one of the longest-running SEO questions around, and still something many of us get asked by clients, readers, conference attendees and so forth: Should we use dashes or underscores in our URLs? Google re-opened the discussion recently with a new YouTube video that highlights how Google currently handles dashes and underscores, and also reminds us that Google and Bing differ on this bit of SEO minutiae. Many of you will recall this was a pretty hot topic a few years ago when Google originally announced that both dashes and underscores both served as separators, and then backtrac [...]

Bing Webmaster Tools Enables HTML5 Interface

I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable this morning that Bing Webmaster Tools no longer requires Silverlight. Now, if you login to Bing Webmaster Tools without Silverlight installed on your computer, you can see all the reports, graphs and charts that you were unable to see days ago. In July 2010, Bing revamped Webmaster Tools adding some additional reports and information but did not remove the requirement of having Silverlight to view the detailed reports. Vanessa Fox said this was a major draw back to the tool since "most of the data is available only graphically, and not as a down [...]

Meet +1: Google’s Answer To The Facebook Like Button

google-plusone-featured Nearly a year after Facebook Like buttons spread out across the web, Google has announced its own rival, the +1 button. It launches today as part of Google's search engine, allowing you to "+1" the search results and ads that you like. And in a few months, it'll be arriving at a web site near you. Is +1 (pronounced "Plus One") part of the new social network that Google's long been rumored to be building? Or is +1 simply that "social layer" that Google has said would come and isn't really meant as a rival to Facebook? Yes. Come along -- let's see how it works now, where it might go, an [...]

Lessons Learned at SMX West: Google’s Panda Update, White Hat Cloaking & Link Building

An amazing amount of great information came out of SMX West this week. Below is a summary of some of what I found to be the most actionable and useful. Google's Own Words About the Farmer/Panda Update Google's Matt Cutts said that while the change isn't 100% perfect, searcher feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. He noted that the change is completely algorithmic with no manual exceptions. Blocking "Low Quality" Content Matt reiterated that enough low quality content on a site could reduce rankings for that site as a whole. Improving the quality of the pages or removing the pages alto [...]

Bing Webmaster Tools Launches New Link Reports; Google Webmaster Tools Changes Theirs

Bing Webmaster Tools has relaunched inbound link reports for verified site owners (as announced at SMX East back in October). I dove in to check out what the new reports include. Google has recently revamped their inbound link reports, so I made note of those changes well. Read on for more details. Want a quick summary? Here you go. Bing Webmaster Tools: Total incoming links over time (currently the previous three weeks) Total incoming links to each page on the site (up to a maximum of 20,000 pages on the site) List of incoming links and corresponding anchor text (up to a maximum o [...]

What Social Signals Do Google & Bing Really Count?

Both Google and Bing have added many social search features over the past year. There's also been talk about using "social signals" to help rank regular search results. But are either of the major search engines actually using those social signals to rank regular search results? A bit, they tell me. In particular, your stature on Twitter could help influence how a page ranks in web search. I gave Bing and Google six questions about how they use social data from Twitter and Facebook. In particular, I wanted to know how that data influenced regular web search results, not the impact it ha [...]

Bing Uses Click Through Rate In Ranking Algorithm

Bing has just confirmed at SMX East that they use click through rate (CTR) in their ranking algorithm. I personally walked over to Steve Tullis, Senior Program Manager Lead, Bing, Microsoft and asked him if he really said they use click through rate in the ranking algorithm. He said, yes we do - but it is one of the many factors. In my live blogging coverage of the "ask the search engines" panel, I wrote that Steve said they "are using the data to improve the search results. He is saying it in a way that implies it is not site specific but more overall. Not on an individual level." I [...]

Bing To Add Link Reports To Webmaster Tools & Google Adds More Data To Query Reports

Yesterday at SMX East the Bing Webmaster Center team announced new features for their Webmaster Tools. The new features include the link report that went missing when they relaunched Bing Webmaster Tools and a feature called Link Explorer. And today, Google quietly added percent change data to the query reports in Webmaster Tools. The new link report shows links gained and lost over time. It also shows you where the links came from and you can even export them. Here is a pretty hard to see pictures I took of the Link Report on my iPhone during the presentation yesterday at SMX. T [...]

Yahoo-Microsoft Organic Transition Happening, Site Explorer, Search Monkey Holding For Now

The Yahoo-Microsoft search transition is picking up momentum. Yahoo announced a number of things today relevant to the change over. They concern the organic search transition, SearchMonkey and Site Explorer. Yahoo announced that later this week the organic transition will commence for PC and mobile results in North America: This is an important step toward our goal of improving the overall relevance of Yahoo! organic search results and attracting a larger audience to Yahoo! Search, to ultimately put your ads in front of more potential customers. You'll want to make sure that you're pr [...]

All New Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools

Today, Microsoft launched a revamp of their Bing Webmaster Tools. I talked to them back in June, when they previewed the tools at SMX Advanced, and they told me that they were starting from scratch and rebuilding the tool from the ground up. So how are things different? They say they are focused on three key areas: crawling, indexing, and traffic. They provide charts that enable you to analyze up to six months of this data. Note that none of this information is available unless Silverlight is installed. See more on that later. Crawling, Indexing, and Traffic Data Microsoft tells me that [...]

Microsoft To Replace MSNBot With BingBot October 1, 2010

The Bing Search Blog announced that on October 1st, MSNBot will be renamed to BingBot. Bing has been testing a beta bot since November of last year. On October 1st, the beta label will be removed from the Bot name and it will be named BingBot. You should see the following useragent in your log files: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0 + Note, if you already have directives for MSNBot in your robots.txt file, BingBot will obey those directives. It is important to note that if you have two different directives, one for MSNBot and one for BingBot [...]

SMX Advanced Session: SEO For Bing Vs. Google

SMX Advanced kicked off this morning in sunny Seattle (yes, seriously) with a packed house for the opening session of the SEO/Social Media track, "SEO for Google vs. Bing: How Different are They?" I won't be recapping all of the sessions I attend today and tomorrow, but will do my best to share any interesting info that comes out of SMX Advanced. (Oh, and I will be live-blogging the two keynotes.) Janet Miller of Search Mojo opened the session with what she described as a "big picture" look at the differences between the two engines. She explained that, for some of her company's clients, Bi [...]

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