Google vs. Bing: How to Maximize Your Search Rankings for Both

On the Internet, Google is in charge.

Or at least that’s how it seems in direct response marketing. Google Ads raked in over $116 billion in 2018 and show no sign of slowing, as the tech titan continues its dominance.

Optimizing your site for Google is also the first thing most marketing teams focus on, and understandably so. After all, Google makes up about two-thirds of U.S. searches and a majority of searches in (nearly) every country in the world.

However, we all know there’s an elephant in the room, and that elephant is named Bing.

Bing’s search volume is dwarfed by Google, but still makes up about 30% of U.S. searches (when combined with Yahoo!, which is powered by Bing).

Although Google is the search engine of choice for most potential clients, there are some key differences between Google and Bing that might make Bing a stronger fit for some businesses. The demographics of Bing users skew older than Google users, and their CTRs are typically higher.

If you’re not focusing on SEO for both Bing and Google, you’re not taking a holistic approach to your marketing strategy. But does focusing on one sacrifice your position on the other?

Of course you can! Fortunately, you can thrive on both Google and Bing and maximize your search rankings for both. Let’s dive into the key differences between Google and Bing and walk through the key changes you can make to find the sweet spot on both!

Google vs. Bing: 3 Differences and How to Balance for Both

1. Keyword Strategy

Keywords are among the largest considerations you should make when optimizing your website for search. And as it just so happens, one of the biggest differences between Google and Bing is how they approach keywords in search results.

Google has prioritized something called “semantic search,” which uses machine learning and AI to guess user intent. Rather than just focusing on the keyword itself, Google factors in other contextual cues and page content when it serves results to its searchers.

Bing, on the other hand, is much more straightforward. The keyword is still the central focus, so including a wealth of keywords within your text, meta descriptions, and title tags does the most good.

Keyword Strategy: The Sweet Spot

Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice Google to rank better on Bing. Please both search engines by developing comprehensive pages and articles that directly relate to your researched keywords. Make sure to actually include the keywords—but don’t overdo it!

2. Weighting Backlinks

Both Google and Bing value backlinks big time. If a large, reputable website felt something on your site was good enough to share, it shines positively on you. But Google and Bing have slightly differing takes on it.

Google focuses on the PageRank (a Google algorithm measuring the importance of web pages) of the site linking back to your site. A more prominent site like Forbes will weigh much more heavily than, let’s say, someone’s independent blog—or a spam site.

Bing prioritizes high-quality links like Google does, but with a twist. Domain extensions and domain age play a much larger factor, so getting links from well-established websites and .org, .edu, and .gov extensions will really help your search rank.

Weighting Backlinks: The Sweet Spot

Maximize your backlinks for Google and Bing by avoiding spammy, low-quality links and instead aiming for backlinks from prominent websites that have been around for a while—including .org, .edu, and .gov extensions. It’s hard work, but you’ll be rewarded.

3. Social Media

You really can’t diminish the value of having a social media presence in today’s marketing environment. However, your likes, shares, and followers will impact you differently depending on the search engine.

Google claims that social signals do not play any special role in your page ranking (though many suspect the opposite). So, if an article you’ve written goes viral, it may not affect your page’s rank significantly.

Bing is very up front about the importance of social media to page rank. As they put it, being “influential socially” leads to your followers sharing your information widely—and Bing notices that over time.

Social Media: The Sweet Spot

Social media may not be a key part of your sales funnel, but there’s only upside from a search ranking perspective. Put time and effort into your social media marketing, and you’ll benefit over time on Bing (and just maybe on Google, if those rumors are true!).

Get to Work and Get Your Ranks Up

Google may be the biggest search engine around, but failing to optimize for Bing is a missed opportunity. Fortunately, there are simple ways to maximize your search rankings for both without sacrificing your rankings on either. So, get started with your new SEO strategy today! Your organic search traffic will thank you.

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