Important SEO Tips to Rank No.1 on Bing and Google



There are striking similarities between Bing and Google.

Sites for top brands rank the highest and No. 1 sites are dominant because they have quality content, as well as strong social media signals and backlinks.

Those are the timeless conclusions from a 2013 Searchmetrics study. (Searchmetrics is a top provider of digital marketing software and services.)

Seemingly, the study confirms what I’ve long maintained — if you rank well on Google, you’ll show up well on Bing and Yahoo.

While Google might be No. 1 in market share, my sense is Bing is more accurate than Google and is less politicized. So in ranking high on Google, small brands must work harder in order to profit from cyber strategies. 

For other than top brands, the study reveals only 24.7 percent of Web pages that show on the first page of Bing results also appear on Google’s first page.

The study analyzed 10,000 popular keywords and 300,000 Web sites ranked in the top 30 search results on Bing. (See correlation data here.) 

The study’s key findings: 

1. Bing and Google give brands special treatment; helping them rank higher in search engine ranking pages (SERPs). Top brands dominate on both search engines. However, Google’s algorithm seems to be a little more effective at identifying brands and separating them from non-brands.

“Brands rank in the top positions even if they don’t meet certain criteria that non-brand sites have to — or don’t meet them to a sufficient extent,” says Marcus Tober, CTO and Founder of Searchmetrics.

“For example, brand websites rank in the top positions on Bing and Google despite using keywords in the title or description much less frequently, offering less content on average and having a lower number of internal links. These are things that non-brand sites seemingly have to do more if they want their pages to rank well.

“And both Bing and Google consider it natural for brands to have comparatively more backlinks with the name of the company in the link text alone — what we refer to as ‘brand links’ — and still not be rated negatively as would happen for non-brand sites.” Why isn’t the influence of brands clearly defined on Bing as on Google?

The brand factor seems mainly to affect the very first position in Google’s results, whereas for Bing, the first four to six positions show some kind of influence that seems to be caused by the brand factor,” says Mr. Tober. “It seems like Bing is less sure about which sites belong to top brands and so deserve special treatment.”

For other than top brands, the study reveals only 24.7 percent of Web pages that show on the first page of Bing results also appear on Google’s first page.

2. Backlink numbers are closely linked to higher rankings on Bing. While both Bing and Google try to reward pages that have a profile of backlinks that looks natural — not as though it was artificially created by linkbuilding experts — Bing seems less rigorous about this than Google.

“A natural link profile means a site should not simply have a large number of perfectly optimized links that include keywords it wants to rank for in the anchor text. It should have a proportion of ‘no follow’ links which do not convey ranking benefits on search engines and links that contain neutral ‘stopwords’ such as ‘in’, ‘and’, ‘to’ in the anchor text — as well as links that are generic words like ‘there’, ‘here’ and ‘page’,” explains Mr. Tober.

But Mr. Tober says the link profiles of high ranking pages on Bing are still significantly dominated by pages with both a higher proportion of links featuring keywords and smaller proportions of no-follow links, as well as fewer links with stop words.

The study shows about 53 percent of the backlinks of Web sites ranked among the top 30 results on Bing contain keywords in the anchor text, which is about 10 percent more than Google). Two percent of backlinks of pages ranked in the top 30 on Bing contain a stop word. While on Google it’s 10 percent.

“The number of backlinks seems to be the most relevant metric for Bing, whereas the majority of the other backlink features — such as no-follow links or the presence of stopwords in the anchor text — seem not yet to be as relevant for rankings as they do for Google,” says Mr. Tober.

3. Social signals are closely linked to higher rankings. Web sites that rank in the top positions on Bing usually have a large number of social signals according — shares, likes, comments, plus ones and tweets. Plus, the worse the ranking, the lower the number of social signals. But Mr. Tober says correlation is not the same as causation.

“There’s a lot of debate in the search industry about whether social signals directly influence rankings or are just closely correlated with rankings – because highly ranked pages will get more traffic and so attract more shares, likes, plus ones etc.,” he points out. “On the one hand, the data cannot help us say definitively which is true — but on the other hand, social signals are an important user quality signal which you would very likely expect to be taken into account by search engines.”

4. Quality content is important for search rankings. The quality of content on web pages is an important ranking factor. As with Google, in Bing searches pages with more text are positively correlated with rankings indicating that higher ranking pages have more text.

But on average, pages ranking in the top 30 Bing results feature about 100 more words than URLs ranking in the corresponding positions on Google.

“If we assume that the existence of more text is an indicator of quality, then quality content is linked to higher rankings on Bing as well as Google, according to our study,” says Mr. Tober. “On Bing we actually found that this relationship exists up to a limit of around 700 words on average — after this the correlation tended to decrease. So you can’t just go on adding text in the hope it will continue to drive a more positive rankings boost.”

In Google searches, the higher the number of images on a Web site, the better the ranking in general. For Bing, the correlation of the number of images is much lower. Search engine algorithms also take into account keyword semantics and clusters of keywords related to a topic when presenting search results.

5. Consider vital on-page technical factors. Certain on-page factors tend to have a low correlation because they are present on nearly every page that appears in the top 30 search results on Bing and Google.

“These factors tended to be the very basic on-page factors such as the existence of H1 headings, a keyword in the meta description and site speed,” says Mr. Tober. They are almost ever-present and should not be disregarded by SEO teams.”

He says the low correlation for these factors does not mean they are not important.

“Fulfilling certain on-page criteria is now not about achieving a favorable ranking; rather, it is the opposite: It is simply negative for the rankings when web pages do not meet these criteria,” he asserts. “On-page factors are therefore considered more of a prerequisite for ranking higher in search results pages.”

From the Coach’s Corner, related Internet tips:

SEO: Strategic Primer for a No.1 Rated Blog — For a popular blog, you must understand the process — important basics in search engine optimization (SEO).  If you’ve been blogging for awhile, you know success doesn’t keep come automatically. SEO is arduous work. You must have a strategic blogging goal. 

Optimize for Bing to Achieve 30% Reach on Internet — Yahoo and Bing are expected to combine for 30 percent market share. If you haven’t already, start optimizing your Web site for Bing. Here’s how. 

Checklist: 14 Strategies to Rock on Google — Periodic changes in Google’s search criteria and algorithms have indeed hurt many Web sites. But it’s possible to bullet-proof your site’s prominence on Google by taking 14 precautions, which is worth your time and energy.

“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”

-Bill Gates


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Checklist: 14 Strategies to Rock on Google



Periodic changes in Google’s search criteria and algorithms have indeed hurt many Web sites.

But it’s possible to bullet-proof your site’s prominence on Google by taking 14 precautions, which is worth your time and energy.

Google has perennially owned about a 66 percent search-market share in the U.S. and a 90 percent share worldwide.

Combined, Bing and Yahoo have about 30 percent in the U.S. Most of the other search engines are also powered by Google.

So, obviously, it will behoove you to take full advantage of strategies to maximize your presence on Google.

Here’s a checklist:

  1. Make frequent changes on your home page. But be sure it’s all about quality and relevance to Internet users.
  2. For content marketing, regularly blog about relevant topics (see Google Speaks Out About Frequency vs. Value).
  3. Interact with your target audience using the salient social mediums: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Here are 8 Tips to Optimize Sales with Social Media, But Beware of a Red Flag.
  4. Be very careful about what you post – keep it professional and on business. Don’t assume that your professional profile can be separate from your personal life. Did I say be careful?
  5. Be aware that Google is influenced by links from the news media, quality online press releases distributed by authoritative firms, and other sites with a strong Google page rank (PR).
  6. Be careful about your other links. Do not allow weak Google PR pages to link to you. Minimize your links to other sites, as Google will perceive you as being manipulative.
  7. Make certain your profile or bio is professional and consistent throughout. Use the same picture.
  8. Insert relevant videos.
  9. Check your Internet reputation on a frequent business. Here are Best Practices to Optimize Your Brand, Manage Your Web Reputation.
  10. If you have employees, develop and implement a social media policy regarding your business reputation.
  11. Change your passwords frequently – make sure they’re strong. 6. Separate business and your personal life. Avoid posting compromising photos, text or videos.
  12. Accelerate your site’s download speed, which is important. See Google’s Continuing Quest to Increase Page Speeds and In SEO, Your Site’s Download Speed Matters to Google.
  13. Understand what matters to Google – see Google Insights – 23 Key Questions about Your Web Site.
  14. Despite what you might read, pay close attention to your use of meta tags and key words. They will influence Google and the other search engines.

By the way, don’t be fooled by the incessant hype about Facebook. Your Web site and prominence on Google will always be more important than what you do on Facebook. (See Winners and Losers in Facebook’s Invasion of Google’s Turf.)

My only regret about Google: That it hasn’t found a way to restart its real-time feature with Twitter. If you use the 14 recommended strategies, and if Google and Twitter get back together for real-time results, you’ll really rock.

Oh, here’s more good news — surprise — these strategies work on Yahoo and Bing, too.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more resource links:

10 Tips to Optimize Your Web Site for Higher Sales — If you haven’t optimized your Web site for sales, you might want to reconsider. There are more and more indications that online shopping will continue to grow.

Startup Toolkit to Make a Hit on the Internet — Just like your bricks and mortar location, your Internet presence will be strong if you always remember why people will buy from you.

By Adding Bells and Whistles, You Risk Losing Money with a Slower Site — At alarming rates, many top e-commerce Web sites risk losing sales because they’re too slow according to a study. Here are ways to accelerate the speed of your Web site.

“The only thing Google has failed to do, so far, is fail.
-John Battelle


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 





Vital in SEO — Google’s Tips to Increase Download Speed



How fast does your Web site download?

Google announced that it determines site rankings, in part, by download speed. That was the message back in April, 2010.

“We mentioned site speed as early as last year, and you can watch this video from February where I pointed out that we still put much more weight on factors like relevance, topicality, reputation, value-add, etc. — all the factors that you probably think about all the time,” wrote Google software engineer  Matt Cutts in a recent blog.

“Compared to those signals, site speed will carry much less weight,” he added.

Speed saves costs

But another blog, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, also mentioned site speed: “But faster sites don’t just improve user experience, recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs,” he explained.

“Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings,” he added.

Personally, I wonder if being fast qualifies as a green initiative.

Google also makes these suggestions:

  • Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
  • YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
  • WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages’ load performance plus an optimization checklist.
  • In Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world as in the chart below. We’ve also blogged about site performance.

Mr. Cutts also wrote that Google’s official blog provides even more tools.

“…Google’s webmaster console provides information very close to the information that we’re actually using in our ranking,” he added. “In addition, various free-to-use tools offer things like in-depth analysis of individual pages. Google also provides an entire speed-related mini-site with tons of resources and videos about speeding up websites.”

He also says “big sites” will not get a competitive advantage in the added factor of site speed.

“Often even a little bit of work can make big differences for site speed,” explained Mr. Cutts. “So I think the average smaller web site can really benefit from this change, because a smaller website can often implement the best practices that speed up a site more easily than a larger organization that might move slower or be hindered by bureaucracy.”

In addition to downplaying load speed, he emphasized Internet users would appreciate the fastest-possible user experience.

this change highlights that there are very constructive things that can directly improve your website’s user experience,” he concluded.” Instead of wasting time on keyword meta tags, you can focus on some very easy, straightforward, small steps that can really improve how users perceive your site.”

My sense is that site speed does indeed play a vital role in search engine optimization. If you haven’t already, you might want to make certain that your site downloads fast as possible.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Good Blogs Have Nothing to Fear from Google’s Updates — Alarms bells are sounding all over the Internet after Google’s seemingly incessant algorithm updates. The search engine’s changes can be unnerving for bloggers, but there’s no reason to panic. Use patience and tenacity to succeed. On another page, I’ve written about five factors to get peak Google results.

5 Factors to Get Peak Google Results for Your Web Site – Study — What do top Web sites have in common? Successful sites produce a high number of Facebook and Twitter messages, but the sites minimize the volume of ads on its pages according to an authoritative study. Those are the salient lessons from a 2012 study by Searchmetrics, a search and social analytics firm.

Google Speaks Out About Frequency vs. Value — Are you concerned about your Web site’s popularity on Google? Here’s how the search engine differs from users in Web site content value vs. frequency.

“SEO is not synonymous to JUNK E-MAIL.”

– Matt Cutts


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Why Achieving Strong Results on Google Is Easier with Social Networking



As a consultant and business-coaching writer, I enjoy doing a lot of reading. My email is filled with tons of material every day on topics ranging from finance to technology.

Sometimes, it’s hard to stay abreast of it, but it’s enjoyable and informative.

One of my favorites to at least scan is Website Magazine (www.websitemagazine.com). They are up-to-date on their information.

An article on how to succeed on Google by Dante Monteverde, known as the SEO Corner Columnist, is really informative and reassuring to Web site entrepreneurs.

Most Web site owners have had to work hard at mastering Google in organic search or search engine optimization (SEO). That’s true for me. Compared to Bing, Google has been quirky to say the least.

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But with social media optimization (SMO), it’s getting a lot easier on Google. It’s easier on Bing and the others because of SMO.

If you’re a little late to the party, this means Google’s blended search process includes social content with the organic elements, such as images, news and videos. That’s a much easier process for most of us.

Here’s the link to the article: SEO for Google Social Search.

 Google spokesperson Matt Cutts maintains social media doesn’t impact your Web site rankings.

But an authoritative Website Magazine article by Travis Bliffen, of Stellar SEO, raises some thought-provoking questions as I point out in this article: Social Media Debate: How or Whether it Influences SEO

Further, there are  five factors to get peak Google results for your Web site.

Top sites produce a high number of Facebook and Twitter messages, but minimize the volume of ads on its pages.

And, oh, in case you’re concerned about the effect on your blog by Google’s frequent updates, don’t worry – good blogs have nothing to fear.

From the Coach’s Corner, more social media tips:

8 Basic Social Media Tips for a Newbie in E-commerce — Are you just starting out using social media? Well, if used well, social media is an excellent tool to accomplish two goals – connecting with your existing customers and attracting fans for new business.

HR-Social Media Tips for Best Employee Morale, Culture — Social media affects your company’s culture – probably as much as the employees who engage in water cooler gossip. It’s true. Your company’s reputation is affected internally and externally by social-networking sites.

Monitor Social Media to Learn What’s Said, What Isn’t — No doubt, you’ve heard the expression, “Things aren’t always as they seem.” That’s why it’s so important in careers and personal relationships to engage people – to listen, ask questions and weigh the answers. A savvy marketing executive reminds us that things aren’t always as they seem in social media, either. That by paying special attention you can better understand social-media users.

“The only thing Google has failed to do, so far, is fail.”


-John Battelle


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.