Bing Gives a List of 18 SEO Fundamentals

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Microsoft is systematically killing off the mystery of Bing-Yahoo optimization. In addition to a post on quality content that we covered previously, Bing has now told us the 18 fundamental things that webmasters need to know about search engine optimization. Here’s the basic breakdown:

  1. Make sure your site is crawlable by using an XML sitemap, a robots.txt file, and well-structured on-site navigation.
  2. Improve your site structure by using an HTML sitemap and linking to trusted sources both within your site and outside of it.
  3. Create a solid content hierarchy by doing basic keyword research and avoiding placement of your content in rich media such as Silverlight and Flash.
  4. Use a short meta title that has fewer than 65 characters and that’s unique to each page, and try to include the targeted keyword toward the beginning of that title.
  5. Use a unique meta description tag.
  6. Create quality content (following the guidelines Bing provided earlier).
  7. When you build links, focus on keyword-relevant anchor tags that link back to quality content on your page.
  8. Create an RSS feed.
  9. Use markup.
  10. Create a user interface that prioritizes the user experiences; the search perspective on things like page load time aren’t as important as how the user responds.
  11. Encourage social sharing with the use of social buttons.
  12. Don’t cloak your website.
  13. Don’t use link farms.
  14. Don’t engage in three-way linking.
  15. Don’t duplicate content.
  16. Don’t use auto-following on the social front.
  17. Don’t use thin content.
  18. Don’t buy links.

It’s always good when the search engines themselves tell us what they’re looking for. While this list is fairly basic, it does cover the most needed 101 ground. What items, if any, do you feel Bing is missing?

[Sources include: The Bing Blog]

Rob D Young
Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in... Read Full Bio
Rob D Young

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  • Joe

    They could have addressed the no-follow of links issue for sculpting, image seo attributes that are important, video and image sitemaps etc.

    A very transparent short list though, I like it.

  • Newton

    this whole buying links things…. irks me I tell ya… why is it OK to buy links from directories like yahoo and not from relevant publishers? The big takedowns of JC Penny and Overstock seem relevant because they were obviously gaming the system but – if you go through solid linkbrokers… why not? SEO firms do it all the time and let’s face it, if you’re not the “blogger of the century” or a large site to begin with a huge staff breaking new ideas… where do you go to get keyword rich anchors?

  • Wasim Ismail

    This list seems family basics, and something ALL SEOs should follow. Again as your said its always nice to hear it from the horses mouth 🙂

  • Godot

    All the important points gathered into one list. Great stuff.

  • David

    Fairly basic and much the same old. While we all have our own little tweaks that we treasure and think are vital (geo tags or dublin core anyone?) this tends to show that you really need to stick to the common stuff and you should do okay for all of the major search engines.

  • Martin Oddy

    I’m assuming they mean HTML title. The meta title attribute is something quite different.

  • Norm

    Nice to get confirmation that things like page title, description, H1 tags, and location of keywords on page are still important factors. Also, even though over 40% of SEMoz’s SEO roundtable thinks anchor text in backlinks will be descreasing, like Bing I still think this will be a signal for some time to come. I do have a question though. If you have a site that is very easily crawled because of your menu and URL structure, are XML site maps really that important?

  • Anand Kumar

    Yea…….. its quite good see the basics. It will be more effective if you go little deep in the subject.

  • John Cavinchi

    Personally I feel like they’re just covering themselves from anything. All in all they want people to be paying lots of money to SEOs, that way it makes their Paid Advertising seem reasonable, better and more measurable than the alternative.

  • Jeff Weiss

    Pretty basic stuff but the fundamentals are always the most important. If you don’t do at least these things the search engines won’t take you seriously. The meta Title tag is very often overlooked and so are xml sitemaps to some extent. Google picks them up much more frequently than Yahoo and Bing which usually need a manual ping. If it’s outdated they may not look past it and find newer pages that aren’t listed on the sitemap.