Bing Rankings Cheat Sheet

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Ranking In Bing: What You Need To Know

Google is important but they aren’t the only player out there. According to recent numbers, Microsoft’s Bing now generates 30% of all U.S.A. searches (half Yahoo – which is Bing-powered and half from the web site.)

It’s becoming more important that you be sure your site is optimized for Bing.

So what does Bing look for?  Here’s a cheat sheet you can use to optimize your site for Bing.


  • Bing likes “editorial links” which means links that come from within body content and not just a list of links on a resources page or in a directory.  They do place some value on all links, but the links that help you the most will be the “editorial” style ones.
  • They like to see some relationship between your site and the site linking to it (relevance).
  • They like links from authority sites. (Duh!)

Domain Names:

  • Bing likes domain names that use the keywords.   Ex: if your site is about classic cars, go for a domain name that uses that phrase.  Don’t stuff lots of keywords in your domain name.  Go with the primary keyword phrase for your site.
  • Bing likes older domain names so now is not the time to give up a domain name with good history and start over.


  • Bing tends to favor lots of content.  Smaller sites don’t do as well.
  • They seem to place a higher value on pages that have at least 300 words.
  • Use keywords in your body text.  Don’t overdo it though!
  • Create strong themes on each page by only covering one topic per page.
  • Don’t plagiarize – always either use your own unique content or properly credit the source of the content you are posting (but even with proper credit, you don’t want any engines to view your site as having a lot of duplicate content).

Side note: Here’s Bing’s take on duplicate (redundant) content:  “Basically, redundant content is recognized by the search engine during indexing, and often redundancies are eliminated from the index, or at least they are removed from the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant queries.”

  • I’m going to state the obvious here: they don’t like hidden text.
  • Bing really likes to see the phrases exactly as people would search for them used on the page (but c’mon people, be sensible, this isn’t license to create a bunch of gibberish pages with phrases that don’t flow well and that are filled with typos)

Site Structure/Code

  • Make sure your pages are a reasonable size.  They suggest keeping pages with no images under 150 KB.
  • Don’t put important text in images, script or Flash.  They want the “meat” of the page served as plain text.

Bing’s comments on Flash: “If your site uses animation technology, such as Silverlight or Flash, there’s good news and bad news. First the good news: bots are getting better and better at extrapolating text content from these sophisticated presentation technologies. But now for the bad news: it’s still a hit-or-miss game (frankly more miss than hit), and the use of these technologies is ultimately not a good bet for SEOs.”

  • Be very organized in your site structure – they recommend keeping your page “fairly flat” – which they further explain “That is, each webpage should only be from one to three clicks away from the default webpage.”
  • Bing suggests using a ‘broad-to-specific” flow – start with a general overview on home and then funnel into topic specific pages.  In Bings words: “introduce your content theme, provide basic overview information, and present the information navigation scheme for the site. Thinking in terms of building an organizational chart of content will help you “bucketizeyour content into logical groupings and landing pages.

They go on to say “…keep the content organization closer to the surface. You don’t need to plunge deep as you get into detail. Instead of going vertical, expand your content horizontally. Stay shallow, using many first and second level directories instead of burying your content in deep silos. This pattern of information flow will help users more easily find what they want to see and help the search engine bot crawl the information on your site.”

  • Each page should be accessible by at least one static text link.

On-Page Optimization

  • Add a Sitemap and register at Webmaster Tools.
  • Use Title tags, Description tags, Header Tags (use them in hierarchal order) and use the <strong> tag to emphasize keywords in the body content.
  • Rules for Header (<h1>, <h2> etc) tags: They suggest you only use one <h1> tag per page.  You won’t be punished if you use more but you diminish the value of all of them if you use more than one.  Use the one to establish the main topic for the page, with the primary keyword phrase.  You can use <h2> and <h3> deeper in the page for your sub-heads and to further support the main topic.  Don’t exceed 150-200 characters in your Header tags (in other words don’t stuff large chunks of content into your Header tags)
  • Bing places a lot of emphasis on Title tags, so be sure to use your primary keyword phrase for each page in the Title tag.
  • Make sure your robots.txt file isn’t blocking the bots or creating any other issues.
  • DESCRIPTIONS IN THE SERPs: Bing and Yahoo sometimes use the text in the first H1 header on the page to supplement or replace what you have in your Meta Title and/or Description tag.

Here is a great little table from Bing that shows the 4 parts of the results on the SERPs and where they pull the info from:

ComponentPrimary Sources
Title<title> tag, Header <h> tags
SnippetMeta description tag, page content, description from
PreviewPage content, extracted page data, commonly clicked links

Sample of a search result in the SERPs from Bing:

sample listing

  1. Title
  2. Description/Caption/Snippet
  3. URL
  4. This is the arrow that leads to the preview

Not Ranking Well In Bing?

Rick DeJarnette from Bing’s Webmaster blog has this to say:

“The reasons for poor ranking are nearly as myriad as the number of sites on the Web… And frankly, it could be that those competing sites have seriously invested in search engine optimization (SEO) efforts when you have not. If your page ranking is not where you want it to be, your site may be due for a serious examination, one that looks for problems to solve and uses optimization techniques that are meaningful to both human visitors and search engine bots alike. You may be ready to consider a site review.


Important to check out if you may be in trouble

So there ya have it.  Review your pages and see how you measure up.  Bing is increasing in important and getting ahead now is wise.

NOTE: All quotes from Bing come from their Blogs (linked from here:

Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing for – a full service SEO, Web Design & Development and Social Media Firm. Since 1998 Jennifer’s... Read Full Bio
Jennifer Horowitz

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  • Yoni Kariv

    Hey Jennifer
    Thanks for the wonderful tips. As a “local” man, I’m asking my self what are Bing’s Rankings Algo for Local listings.  As you know while searching in Bing’s SERP you’ll usually see a 5pack of local listings &  below the organic results.
    After you’re great tips for the the organic positions, I was wandering how Bing organize his local listings rankings

  • Bsburns

    Excellent info. People tend to think only Google…but Bing is also a very important search engine and should certainly be considered when it comes to online visibility. Bing has shown a huge upswing in traffic use….so like they say, don’t place all your eggs in one basket!

  • Kurt

    Under Site/Structure Code
     “They suggest keeping pages with no images under 150 KB.” I think you mean over 150KB”.

    • English fails again …
      I read this as “they suggest keeping [pages with no images] under 150KB”
      I see that you read it as “they suggest keeping pages with [no images under 150KB]”
      I believe the first line here is the author’s intent. 

  • Anonymous

     Thanks for the great info. I think that as Bing continue to grow their market share that these factors with be even more valuable. As Bsburns said, most people tend to be narrow minded and only think about Google but that should change in the coming years

  • Morgan Rees

     How does this post apply to Bing specifically. These are all factors that need to be considered for all engines. Lame

    • Yep, in general it does apply to all engines but there are some specifics related to Bing here.  Sorry you think it’s lame.  Can’t please ’em all!!

  • Faizan Khamisani

    thanks for the greate info. This info will help alot of marketer who target bing and yahoo for there sites.

  • Interesting article…but my favorite thing was that this page was served up with a huge GOOGLE AdWords ad right in the middle of it!

  • Very helpful post.  From my experience Bing loves urls with the exact keywords you’re targeting. If you’re lucky enough to own one of those you’ve got a huge step up on your competition.

  • Deb

    I see that Bing is also placing strong emphasis on social media input. A site with a lot of “LIKES” may rank higher than one with all the SEO bits in place — simply because people respond to recommendations from friends and assosciates.

    Most of these tips are the same as those needed for Google.  Are there some real, material differences in the two?  (Google vs. Bing?)

  • Thanks for this info. Although I am not so sure whether bing will beat Google as the No.1 search engine, I am sure that bing will certainly increase their search market share. 

  • Cannot find any difference in these tips between Google and Bing. If one optimises for Google,you are optimising for Bing.

    Is there a difference in local search?

    • I think there are differences because our company ranks #1 in Google, and fluctuates between #6-8 on Bing… Our company also participates in social media while others in our industry for the same keyword barely do (or don’t at all) and rank higher in Bing.

  • Terrabellicapromo

     how is that different from google?

  • Gui

    How is that different from Google ranking factors? …

    • Google and Bing vary a little in their criteria – they look at and value links differently.  Bing seems to have more specific criteria for page content and organization of topics.

  • guest

    this is just super-general, shallow article about what SEO is. You just replaced Bing with Google. Put a little more work into it next time.

  •  Well this is a great post and very informative, the links which you provided at the bottom are also helpful. As far as seo on-page issues are concerned I could not find anything new .

  • blofair

    very much helpful topic i think good job ma’am 

  • Ozzyozzzy

    useless article, has nothing to do with Bing, just a general on-page SEO list!

    • Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback.  Sorry to have disappointed.  This info is proven to work well for Bing results and it’s backed up by some of their published advice.  If it works in Google too, that’s a bonus not a bad thing.  People want magic fairy dust or insider secrets but it doesn’t exist.  There are no big secrets.  It’s pretty simple and like it or not, this is what Bing looks for!

  • Glynn Rieckhoff

    Great checklist for doing SEO for Bing!

  • nice article .. it gives one the insight about how search engines want our website to be so that our webpage ranking goes up and how search engines benefit from it . win-win situation

  • It seems to me that Bing’s ranking factors are almost the same as Google, but they weight the various factors differently.  The domain age is really thing only thing in there that I noticed that Google doesn’t claim to factor.

    I would love to see an article that specifically targets the differences between the two (either in factors or weight of the factors).

  • Bing still has room for growth, so it is worth taking into consideration for sites.

  • I agree, the optimization techniques we should use to rank in Bing are nearly identical to those used to rank in Google. I do like knowing that Bing prefers editorial links, but I’m pretty sure Google is the same as far as that goes too. Either way, great information provided here. Very useful.

  • I’m not seeing the market share.  I looked at 5 sites, 5 very different niche topics, 5 very different marketing strategies.  None showed me search volume from Bing + Yahoo combined above 5%.

    Mind you, this is Canada, I think more Canadians use Google over Yahoo or Bing (more Google services are available to Canadians).  Very different results too, I find local results to be way off the mark favouring KW stuffed domains with KW stuffed pages that would never make Google’s top 20.  In many cases, companies that have built landing pages to capture traffic are getting results just because they have keywords in the domains, relevance seems to have little to do with it.

  • Rileydiegoa

    Good writing. Keep up the good work. I just
    added your RSS feed my Google News Reader..


  • Rileydiegoa

    Well Whattadya know, yet
    another great site to add to my reader!

  • Rileydiegoa

    I found your blog when I was looking for a
    different sort of information but I was very happy and glad to read through
    your blog. The information available here is great.

  • Rileydiegoa

    What a great post, I actually found it very
    thought provoking,  thanks

  • Now this is a great post contains a lot of tactics which we need … I usually rank less on Bing rather then Google…

  • Great article.  Being new to all of this, I have read plenty of stuff about Google but had not considered Bing and certainly didn’t realise they had managed to secure that bigger a chuck of the market.

  • naidu june

    Informative info..

  • Afrin

    This is a wonderful article.I want to know more . This is really helpful.

  • Most of us seems to forget that there are still other search engines other than Google. We should remember that Bing is the second search engine based on search engine market shares. Though for some what Jennifer wrote here are just the basic practices on onpage but we need to remember that the basics should be our foundation for optimizing our webpages for Bing. Thanks Jennifer for coming up a very useful resource here.