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Bing making headway – time to optimize?

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday July 11, 2009 )

Has Microsoft finally got search right? While Bing isn’t about to topple Google anytime soon (or perhaps ever); it does look like MS finally has a winner. So how do you optimize for Bing? Should you even bother?

According to StatCounter, Bing overtook Yahoo! this week in US usage; with 12.9% of the US market – ahead of Yahoo!’s 10.15%. StatCounter’s CEO pointed out that the spike may be in part due to favorable coverage by the New York Times and therefore short-lived, but StatCounter’s data suggests that it is “slowly but surely closing the gap”.

Earlier this month, StatCounter said June figures showed Bing had 8.23% market share in the US behind Yahoo! at 11.04%; with Google at 78.48%. These figures were based on an analysis of over 1.3 billion search engine referring clicks from the StatCounter network of 3 million sites. Of those clicks, 336 million were from US visitors.

So should we all be rushing out and optimising for Bing? For the small online business owner with plenty to do already, my advice is no. I always recommend optimizing for Google and if you do well there, that also bodes well for decent rankings on Yahoo and Bing. After all, Yahoo and Bing’s market share combined still isn’t anywhere close to Google’s slice of the search engine pie.

However, if you are interested in optimizing your site specifically for Bing; Microsoft offers the Bing Webmaster Center to help troubleshoot the crawling and indexing of your site, submit sitemaps and view statistics about your sites; and also this document (PDF) from Microsoft; relevant section being “What do I need to do for SEO with Bing?”.


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