Microsoft’s search engine Bing did not have, until recently, Webmaster Guidelines, which made its search engine rules quite hazy for many. A few days ago, however, Bing has introduced a set of Webmaster Guidelines that suggest to webmasters who want to rank their sites high what they should do. Here’s a concise summary of the key points of these guidelines:
Content needs to be deep, clear, free from typos and major grammatical errors, up to date, and accessible.
Thin content, even if it is optimized for search engines, will not help websites achieve a top Bing ranking, especially if the site is full of ads and banners. It’s clear that Bing shares Google’s view: content is king.
Links should be organic, coming from as many high-ranking and reputable websites as possible.
Purchased links have little value, and websites that rely mostly on link schemes will not only rank poorly, but also invite penalties if they abuse link buying. In this respect, Bing is just like Google after the Penguin updates.
Slow page load times will impact rankings .
Slow loading speeds can be the result of bad coding/web design, poor hosting, content overload, or black hat SEO. Regardless of the cause, Bing aims to provide users with the best search engine experience possible, and thus will favor those websites that load fast.
Too much SEO might do more harm than good.
Although the Webmaster Guidelines don’t say this openly, it’s implied by the section on SEO that websites which rely exclusively on SEO to rank well, and ignore content creation, organic link-building, and building a presence on social networks, will not rank well. If you want to be on the first page of Bing’s search results, don’t abuse SEO.
Social media content will help websites increase their search engine rankings.
Bing looks for positive social media signals, such as Likes, Pluses, Re-tweets, Diggs, and especially Shares. Websites that are influential on social networks, constantly creating a buzz, are more likely to reach high rankings. It’s not clear how exactly Bing measures the value of social media buzz – and probably will never be – but it’s evident that the more attention you receive from social media users, the higher will your organic search engine ranking be.
Finally, Bing warns users not to take part in social media schemes that artificially try to boost the rankings by exploiting a network effect.