Microsoft Giving Search Engine Optimization Advice for Bing!

Jun 19, 2009 | 1,668 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Close on the heal of Microsoft releasing PDF called "Bing: New Features Relevant to Webmasters" he company has launched IIS SEO Toolkit during the SMX Advanced.

The PDF introduced by Microsoft talks about the user interface changes the company has launched with Bing. You will also find answers to questions like “how the interface changes might impact site owners”?. The PDF also throws a light on search engine optimization.

What can be Learned from Microsoft’s Advice?

The documents discuss about primary differences between Bing and Live Search that play a crucial role in functioning of a website. The first search results page will no longer be showing results 6 through 10 for the query. Infact the page includes categorized results after the 5 listings that will match your initial query.

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Long Tail Opportunities

The document of Microsoft talks about more than 300 factors that can be used to determine the categorization and knowing about categories that are entity-Dependant. With the new result criteria, website owners will get to know what all entities they should have on site to get it optimized for top results.

Best Match

The concept of Best Match has recently been introduced by Bing. In case Bing is confident that the very first result is what the viewer is searching for, it will be noted as the “best result”. There are chances of the result containing additional details like box for searching within site, links to pages and phone numbers.

But this is certainly not a good news for the search result no.2 site owner.

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In case you don't want your site to appear as best match, want to correct the phone number, don't what the internal site search surfaced or want to remove links from the site, the request can be forwarded at

Document Preview

Document preview helps in increasing qualified traffic by providing additional content from the website in a hover. In Microsoft’s words, “helps searchers find the content they want faster, without leaving the SERP until they are ready”.

Microsoft says that it helps in increasing qualified traffic, but there are some webmasters who think that searchers get the content they want through it even without leaving the SERP at all. If you want to opt out of the feature, add the following to the section of each page:

In case you don't want the feature to be used on any website page, return the directive in the server HHTP head as:

x-robots-tag: nopreview

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It is true that everything on the document preview comes from the site. You can get some information from external sources also. For example, if the website is in Flash and Microsoft can not extract the data, it might turn to a third-party source and use local information like address or phone number. If you don't want the third-party data to be used for the listing, send an email at

Flash Extraction

According to Microsoft, flash-based websites are mainly responsible for 21% of all empty index descriptions. It is said that these website do “limited data extraction” and generate descriptions for one-third of those. Flash sites may also use anchor text of the incoming links.

Even Google has been using the incoming anchor text as data source for missing titles and has now evolved its ability to extract the flash data.

Using Microformats

Documents encourage the use of structured data like microformats, Microsoft is saying that it is not using this data for ranking, indexing or crawling.

Instant Answers

The “One-Box” style instant results that provide data for answering the query are not a new thing in Bing. But, these are gaining prevalence.

Local Listings

You will see more local results being heavily featured on Bing. If you add your website to Local Listing Center of Bing, you will have more opportunity to get featured in these results.

Searcher Behaviour

Microsoft is providing interesting data about searcher’s behavior that is based on the number of internal studies done from analysis of search logs and toolbar logs.

The company has found that searchers refine the query, bounce back to search result or leave the search 50% of the time. It is also found that searchers repeated 24% of the queries during a session.

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Although, the PDF does not provide much of new information about SEO but Microsoft should be credited for removing 6 results out of 10 and placing categorized search results. It is difficult to say what effect these changes will make on the traffic pattern but the biggest change will be if Bing is successful in bringing Microsoft’s goal of increasing the search share.

Though the guide is not as good as the one by Google (which can be found here: Google SEO Guide) but is definitely a good step by Microsoft.

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Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Microsoft Giving Search Engine Optimization Advice for Bing!
4.thumbnail Microsoft Giving Search Engine Optimization Advice for Bing!