Since MSN launched their new search engine Bing, many webmasters are wondering if there are any tips and tricks to optimizing for Bing. With Yahoo planning on using results from Bing to power their own search, Bing has moved up to the second spot besides Google – at least in theory. MSN is constantly trying to increase its market share so the stiff competition between Google, Yahoo and MSN has powered a lot of competitiveness over the years. Now that Yahoo is focusing on other areas besides search, we can expect Bing to start competing more heavily directly with Google.
MSN traditionally favored and gave added value to pages and websites that were more focused; in other words, each page should have a topic of its own and the site’s content should be faithful to the topic. If your site has scattered interests, then untargeted pages may not rank well in the search engines. This indicates that MSN gives a lot of importance to keyword density. When you have too many topics of interest on the same page, the keyword density will be diluted and the search engine will have difficulty assigning value since it can’t discern which topic is the main area of interest of your webpage for any given search. You should come up with a site structure that will help you concentrate on a single topic on each page.
MSN also does not like pages that are heavily loaded with graphics because the page size increases beyond optimal size of the pages. It is best to have web pages under 150 KB not including the images. MSN also recommends static links for your web pages. You should have a minimum of one static link for both users and search engine spiders to gain entry into your website.
MSN cannot read the image files so all the important content of your website should be presented as HTML text. If it is not, then your website will not gain relevance for the keywords that are most important to your website. Use labels for any images, and tag relevant images with keywords so the search engine knows they are relevant.
It’s best to include a sitemap for your website when optimizing for Bing – but this is nothing like the Google sitemap. You just need a regular HTML page with the structural linking of all the pages in your website to ensure that the MSN spiders index all the pages of your website. MSN spider does not drill down completely into your navigation menu, so without such a map they can skip some of your pages – which might be some of your most your important pages. Adding a site map helps MSN spiders to visit all the pages and index them. If your visitor sitemap is well put together, this is all you need.
MSN also recommends to webmasters that all web pages on the site be accessible in three clicks. This helps both website visitors in finding the information they need quickly and easily and helps search engine bots to reach your pages easily. Bottom line; if you want to place well in Bing rankings, focus on high quality content well optimized with keywords and plenty of inbound links – although links do not have to be sorted and pursued according to webpage PageRank as they are with Google.