Should You Optimize Your Blog for Bing?
When you think SEO (search engine optimization), you think of Google. But Google isn’t the only player in the search engine game. Although Google is the largest, Bing is another platform that might be worth your time, especially if your blog has a smaller audience.
Let’s consider why you might want to add Bing optimization to your SEO strategy.
Bing Isn’t Irrelevant
In terms of online search, Google is the undisputed champion. That’s been true for more than a decade. We literally use the term “Google” as a verb, which shows how well they’ve dominated the market!
However, Google doesn’t have a monopoly over online search. There are other players in the game, with Bing being the second-largest search engine in terms of global use and US search volumes.
While Bing isn’t on top in any category, they have strong desktop usage, billions of monthly users, and multiple search avenues.
Bing Has Desktop Usage
With global online searches through desktops, Bing ranks second overall. In January 2023, over 8% of desktop searches were done through Bing. Much of this has to do with desktop users, especially those browsing with Microsoft Edge, who do not change their default search engines. They use Bing by default, and the experience is good enough, so they don’t change their default.
When you look at the US specifically, Bing has 13% of the market for desktop searches.
Whatever the reason is, Bing search undeniably has some reach with desktop users. Their true reach is actually larger than 8% because Bing also powers another 2 out of the top 6 search engines.
Bing Powers Other Search Engines
The top 6 search engines globally are:
Bing powers both Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo, and so are over 100 smaller search platforms like Qwant and Ecosia. Optimizing for Bing means you’re also optimizing for many other search engines.
With all their market share combined, Bing and Bing-powered search engines accounted for 12.27% of desktop searches globally in January of 2023. For US-specific desktop searches, this jumps up to 18.81%. While that might not seem impressive, remember that we’re talking about enormous search numbers every month.
A Small Piece of the Pie = Billions of Users
Throughout 2022, Bing.com received an average of 1.2 billion visits per month. These are just the page visitor numbers. On average, there are 900 million searches per day on Bing.
While these are rookie numbers compared to Google, they’re still huge. If you have the chance to get your blog in front of an audience of hundreds of millions of people, some of whom don’t use Google at all, why not give it a go?
Plus, Bing could be changing the search market forever with their acquisition of ChatGPT.
Bing Chat Could Revolutionize Online Search
Bing has some decent numbers right now, but Google is still far ahead in terms of actual usage. However, with the acquisition of ChatGPT and the upcoming implementation of Bing Chat, the search market could see its first shakeup in a long time.
Bing Chat is an AI-powered online search engine that combines the personalized speech capabilities of ChatGPT with the Bing search engine’s ranking factors. This changes how people search, allowing more natural language to be accurately interpreted by the search engine.
Bing Chat also generates a concise answer for users, drawing from different top search results to provide a more complete response to what the searcher is asking. It’s a step ahead of Google’s position zero, which takes a snippet from one of the top search results and puts it front and center.
While this sounds bad for you as a blog owner, Bing Chat is implementing its AI-generated answers in a far better way for content creators than platforms like ChatGPT. Bing Chat cites its sources.
That means your page will be credited if Bing Chat used your content to generate part of its response to a query. Just like with Google’s position zero, not all users will visit the original source, but enough will that it can still help you grow your organic traffic.
Bing Chat also allows users to make follow-up searches more quickly, with those follow-up answers having citations that could lead to your blog.
AI-generated responses mark a massive change in the online search market. While Bing Chat has yet to be fully released (it’s still in limited beta with a waiting list as of March 2023), it has the potential to change how people interact with search engines dramatically. If this is the case, Bing will be at the forefront.
It might be worth your while to buy in early.
Bing Optimization Isn’t Difficult
SEO is a numbers game. With Google, it’s also a bit of a gamble since they’re very closed-off about website ranking factors. On the other hand, Bing is transparent about ranking factors, although they don’t specify how everything is weighted.
Many SEO strategies and best practices for Google will also help your website on Bing. With that said, there are a few notable differences, such as:
- Bing looks at social signals like shares, retweets, and mentions of your pages
- Bing still looks for exact-match keywords in content and metadata
- Bing prioritizes websites with credible domains, as well as existing businesses
If you’ve got an ongoing SEO strategy based on ranking for Google, you only have to make a few tweaks for it to work for Bing as well. Bing has their own analytics program, so you should get hooked up to that and monitor what’s happening with your blog there. You can submit your XML sitemap to Bing, and they’ll crawl the website.
Since Bing search results are far less competitive than Google results, you can expect some progress reasonably quickly if you take the proper steps.
The Issues with Bing
Despite the good things happening with Bing, it’s not all rosy. Remember that Bing is still a tiny search engine compared to Google. If you don’t have the time to learn how to optimize for it or monitor it continuously, you might not find it valuable.
If you’re focused on mobile traffic, Bing is also a bad source. Although their desktop search traffic is sizable, they have less than half a percent of all mobile search traffic. Since Apple moved from Bing to Google as its default search engine, Bing lost most of their mobile search market share. Google had a whopping 96.71% of all mobile search traffic globally in February 2023.
The other issue you might face with Bing is that some of the SEO strategies you need to optimize for Bing are outdated. Bing is far behind Google in terms of what they use to determine the authority of a webpage.
If you get too deep into Bing optimization, it can interfere with your Google optimization. A good example is with keywords since Bing might reward some forms of keyword stuffing while Google would likely penalize your site for readability issues.
Traffic Is Traffic
When running a blog, all organic search traffic is good traffic. Whether it comes from Google or Bing, it’s valuable. Especially if you’re having mixed results with Google traffic, Bing could be a useful source of additional traffic for your website.
While Bing optimization doesn’t make sense for everyone, it could be a good way to boost your traffic, especially if you’re having difficulty competing (or getting indexed) on Google.
What do you have to lose if it only takes a few simple changes to your content to make it appear higher in Bing searches?
Is Bing part of your SEO strategy for 2023? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!
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