Have you ever noticed how different the results can be when using an identical search term on Google versus Bing?
There are many alternative search engines to Google, each with their own set of ranking signals. Just because a business is the top hit on Google, it may not have the same results on another search engine.
A study done in December 2015 determined that about 75% of people use Google, so this is the search engine you’ll want to cater to most with your optimization. Approximately 8% use Yahoo search, and 7% use Bing. The rest are spread amongst various other, less popular, search engines.
So, while Google is still the leading search engine, you may want to consider the combined 15% of searches originating from Bing and Yahoo. If you’re thinking that seems like a lot of work, it might soften the blow to know that Yahoo is powered by Bing, so you only need to optimize for one instead of both.
Here are some of the key differences to consider when optimizing for Bing/Yahoo:
1. Keyword positioning
While Google’s search algorithms have changed over the years to put less weight on meta tags and keyword prominence, Bing still relies heavily on such things. Therefore, on-site optimization is still very important to Bing, whereas mobile-friendliness, social activity and new content have increased in importance for Google.
Where Google uses popularity and online reviews as a ranking signal, Bing has a preference to provide search results based primarily on proximity.
Google prioritizes newer sites and brands that are using modern social media practices, and have prominent “hype” across social platforms. Alternatively, Bing ranks based on reputation, giving more prominence to older sites over new content like Google.
Ultimately, it’s important to optimize for Google first and foremost. That said, with Google’s constantly evolving search rankings, it’s equally important not to abandon the tried and true methods of on-site optimization to make sure you stay visible.