Different search engines use different algorithms. Currently, Google is the most popular search engine. But Bing’s share of the search engine market has been increasing, so it makes sense that someday you might consider trying to rank your website in Bing, not only in Google, if you plan to further increase your organic traffic.
This article will do a comparative study of the factors commonly used by both Bing and Google to rank websites. Two sets of websites will be thoroughly studied in terms of onsite and offsite factors. The data gathered will then be analyzed in such a way as to establish clear differences between them (Bing and Google) in terms of ranking behavior. The differences in ranking behavior arise because of differences in the search engines’ algorithms.
Comparative Study Background
To provide a much more reliable study, we’ll use a consistent keyword and the same sets of websites, and then get ranking results from Bing and Google.
We’ll use the following constants in this study:
Keyword: PHP Developer
Website 1: www.php-developer.org
Website 2: www.addonsolutions.com
Below are their ranking results in Bing and Google:
Based on the above ranking results, it is interesting that php-developer.org ranks poorly in Google for the targeted keyword, while addonsolutions.com is in the ninth position. The rank results are based on Google.com US and Bing (both checked using the US IP address).
However, the ranking results are almost exactly the opposite in Bing, with php-developer.org now ranking in the third position for PHP Developer while addonsolutions.com is nowhere to be found (not even in Bing’s top 200 search results).
This wide discrepancy in Bing and Google ranking results is the focus of this comparative study. Our goal is to find out what factors Bing favors and Google does not, vice versa.
With this information in hand, any SEO can optimize their website for the Bing search engine, or for both Google and Bing.
Below is a snapshot of the onsite differences between the two websites:
It is surprising to see the addonsolutions.com has so many onsite issues (those items in red) as compared to php-developer.org. It does not use keywords in H1 or internal links, and it even has canonical issues (both non-www and www versions exist) as well as /index.html and / canonical problems.
In fact, if you search for the domain name of addonsolutions.com in Bing, the non-www version is returned instead of the usual www version.
Recommendation: The fact that php-developer.org ranks highly in Bing hints that this search engine heavily weighs onsite factors in its ranking algorithm.
You will need to put more emphasis on improving your onsite SEO if you need to rank well in Bing search engine.
Domain Profile: Age of Domain, Indexed Pages and Server Location
Take a look at the domain profile comparison below:
Addonsolutions.com is around twice as older as php-developer (in terms of years) and about three times as big in terms of indexed pages. The server is located in the US.
These factors are known to be highly favored by Google in terms of ranking: old domains, big websites and geo-targeting. Even so, PHP developer is ranking better than Addonsolutions.com in Bing.
Recommendation: The age of your domain (measured from the date of registration), number of indexed pages and your server’s location are not important ranking factors in Bing, based on the results above.
Is it possible that php-developer.org ranks well in Bing because of its keyword in domain name? This might not be conclusive, but additional examination of results using different sets of competitive keywords shows that this is true:
According to the results shown in the screen shot above, Bing has more than twice the tendency to highly rank websites using the exact keywords in domain names. For example, for the keyword “stock trading,” Bing has four domains in its top ten that contain stock trading in their domain names.
Recommendation: Because of this tendency observed in Bing, using targeted keywords in your domain names offers some strong advantage in Bing search engine optimization.
Google is known to rely strongly on link analysis and quality of links. Let’s find out if this is true with the Bing search engine.
Below is the raw comparison in terms of inbound anchor text “quantity” and “percentages.”
You might noticed that php-developer.org performs strongly in terms of quantity and percentages of anchor text containing the targeted keyword.
In terms of raw quantity of links containing the targeted anchor text (whether coming from the same or unique domains), php-developer.org has an estimated 390 links, while addonsolutions.com has only 33.
How about the quality of these links? Note that the above comparison is plain quantity, and does not measure the quality of those links.
Quality of links in Google is defined based on two criteria: links coming from relevant/authoritative domains, and links that are editorially given and do not look sponsored or manipulated.
If we are going to compute quality as:
Quality (total score) = back linking domain relevance x link location
The link location can be used to determine the quality of the links, as to whether it looks editorially given or sponsored/manipulated.
For example, if the link appears within the text content, it appears to be editorially given, while the links that appear in the footer section do not; instead, they look sponsored or manipulated. The latter is also true with links appearing as an image or somewhere else (not in the content/body text), such as in a blogroll.
Links appearing in directories, forums and comment posts of course appear to be less editorially given/important than those that appear as part of pure content or an article.
For the purpose of analyzing the quality of links, considering the criteria explained above, the following rating system is formulated for link location:
1 point - link appears in footer or other portion of the web page (not in the body).
2 points - link appears in a blog roll or special resource section of the website and not in the content.
4 points – links appear in the content /article
Domain relevance rating system:
1 point – no relevance at all to the targeted website.
2 point - medium relevance, not direct (for example, if back links are from SEO websites pointing to PHP websites), or not directly related but somehow connected to each other.
4 points – links coming from a directly relevant website. (PHP to PHP-based websites)
Below is the result of analysis of the two websites using the above ratings:
It is clear why addonsolutions.com ranks highly in Google. It has higher quality inbound links than php-developer.org using above criteria.
Even though php-developer.org has the advantage in terms of quantity, quality is even more important when it comes to ranking in Google.
Based on the data and analysis provided above, to rank in Bing, you need more links using the targeted keywords in anchor text. The more exact, the greater will be the impact. You will need to concentrate on getting a high percentage of links that contain the targeted keywords in the anchor text.
Note that following the above approach will not necessarily give you a high ranking in Google. As you can see, these factors are not considered ”important” in Google link analysis, because Google’s algorithm focuses heavily on the relevance, location and authority factors of the linking domain, and not just on the number of links.
Bing’s algorithm may evolve to further improve its search results, so this analysis and these recommendations may not be applicable in the future.