Bing Webmaster Guidelines: Does Anyone Care?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Bing recently announced on its blog that it released the Bing Webmaster Guidelines.

According to Bing:

These Webmaster guidelines are broad, but provide guidance on major points such as:

1. Technical SEO
2. Social Media
3. Content
4. Links
5. Things to Avoid

Changes should be infrequent as these current Bing Webmaster Guidelines cover most major topics. They are not exhaustive and you should not expect to find deep, technical answers in them. They are intended to help most business owners understand the broad strokes of search marketing.

Here at Brick Marketing we had an internal discussion about the release of the Bing Webmaster Guidelines. This is pretty big news, right? How can we leverage this with our content marketing efforts? Should we develop a white paper that displays the similarities and differences between the Bing Webmaster Guidelines and the Google Webmaster Guidelines? Or maybe we could create a fancy infographic that would hopefully be shared again and again. After all, this is information that people are going to want. The time that it would take to review and analyze both Webmaster Guidelines and then package all of the information together in one neat attractive document would be well worth it. Or, would it be?

As the discussion went on a few employees admitted that they didn’t even know that Bing didn’t previously have Webmaster Guidelines which brings up a few good points. First, hasn’t Bing been around since 2009? Why are they just now releasing their search engine Webmaster Guidelines? Second, we’d like to think that we’re pretty knowledgeable about SEO and good at what we do. Clearly we’ve been surviving without these Guidelines all of this time, as has every other person in the SEO industry.

After further review of the Bing Webmaster Guidelines it was determined that there really wasn’t anything groundbreaking about it. The Webmaster Guidelines outline that Bing seeks good content, inbound links help establish trust, you should submit a sitemap, page load time is important from a user perspective, 301 redirects should be used when moving content, and what the main focus areas of on site SEO are. All of this should sound pretty familiar if you know anything about the search engines and SEO. One difference that we did notice is that Bing directly states that “social media plays a role in today’s effort to rank well in search results”. The importance of social media isn’t outright stated in the Google Webmaster Guidelines but Matt Cutts has certainly conveyed this many times in other outlets.

We also noticed that there didn’t tend to be too much industry chatter about this release and it happened somewhat quietly. When Google makes any kind of change it’s usually all you read about for days. So we had to wonder- do people even really care that Bing released Webmaster Guidelines? It wouldn’t really be surprising if they didn’t. Google is by far the most popular search engine and people want their website to perform well in Google. If it happens to perform well in Bing too (which it probably will), that’s just an added bonus.

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