Let’s face it; most companies care the most about showing up on a Google search engine results page (SERP). Google controls 67.7 percent of the search market, so that’s where you want to be and that is what will bring you the most success. However, it’s tough to ignore Bing, the third largest search engine (with YouTube coming in second). They might not be your top priority, but is understanding Bing worth your time and effort? Or can you get by with just optimizing for Google?

Why Bing Is Worth the Time and Resources

Optimizing a website and understanding the intricacies of search engine algorithms takes a lot of time and resources, and in fact has created an entire department (SEO) for many companies looking to succeed online. Because Bing has a different algorithm than Google, this then seems to mean that these resources will be spread thin, which leads to that common assumption: I don’t have to worry about Bing.

While Google is always a top priority, the answer to that question and assumption is still a resounding yes, you do need to care about Bing. It is worth the resources and effort for several reasons:

  • Bing receives 18.8 percent of searches in the U.S., and it has been growing fast each year. In fact, this number has over doubled since 2009.
  • Facebook actually uses Bing if they don’t know the answer to something. If someone types in a query, they will return a Bing search result. Facebook receives over 1 billion queries per day.
  • Bing has been ahead of the curve for many different tools, most notably the Bing Disavow Links tool.
  • It will save you time in the long run and help you cover your bases if something ever changes with Google. In other words, you could be number one or two on Google and doing great, but one change of their algorithm could send you to page 100, and then all of a sudden you will have no traffic to work with.

I highly recommend checking out this article to learn more about who exactly is using Bing. For example, Bings seems to be used more in the Great Plains area of the U.S. than the West. Knowing who uses Bing might help you determine just how much effort you really need to put into your Bing knowledge. Remember, for some websites Bing actually does bring in more traffic.

Quick Tips and Tools for Optimizing Your Site Specifically for Bing

It’s true that while optimizing for Google you’re probably optimizing for Bing. You still want to have quality content, good navigation, internal linking and external linking to authoritative sites, and more, but that doesn’t mean the search engine doesn’t have differences. Below are a few of the things to keep in mind that are specific to Bing:

  • Domain age. Bing puts more emphasis on the domain age than Google does.
  • Title tags. These are also more important for Bing, so put the extra effort into improving your title tags (include your keywords!).
  • Local offers more for small businesses with Bing than Google. Google will typically offer the bigger brands on their local SERPs, but Bing will go by location. If you’re a small business, creating a Bing Places page is crucial.
  • Bing integrates social media. This means you should focus on improving your likes and fans on your social networks if you want to show up more often on a Bing search.
  • Flash. It is rumored that Bing handles Flash media better than Google. I recommend you still stay away from it, but if you love it then rest assured that you at least have a chance of ranking with Bing.

Once again, if you’re optimizing for Google you’re probably optimizing for Bing, so your resources actually don’t have to be spread too thin. If you consider some of the differences outlined above, you’ll see that it’s actually quite easy and quick to improve your Bing optimization. The only thing that may take a little bit of time is keyword research, which you can learn more about here.

Quick Reminder: Optimizing for your visitors comes first, ahead of ay search engine. If you know your audience and you don’t want to make a change for Google or Bing’s sake, don’t do it. Your website is about you creating quality content that readers want to read.

Do you spend a lot of time optimizing for Bing? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.