As most know now, Yahoo! will be changing their search interface to Bing in the coming months. It can theoretically happen by the end of August, though most say it won't happen until late October and there is still a chance that it will have to be pushed off to next year if the transition isn't smooth.
The implications to both paid and organic search are tremendous as many companies focus only on Google for their SEO efforts and only do pay-per-click through Google Adwords. With projections for the new, combined search of Yahoo!, Bing, and their partners ranging from 28%-39% of total search, it is no longer something that anyone can afford to ignore.
Below are some findings that we've made over the last year that have helped our dealers stay on top of Bing. Use them wisely - ignoring "the other search engines" in the coming months would be a big mistake.
SEO for Bing/Yahoo
Like Google, the current Bing algorithm gives heavy preference to links. The difference seems to be in the weight of low-value links versus high-value links. Google has a tendency to give at least a little weight to more common links such as directories and obscure social bookmarks while Bing focuses on higher-value blog, strong social media sites, and general web properties. This could be by design or it may be a side-effect of having a less-frequented directory.
In other words, the combined search traffic of Yahoo! and Bing may shift this closer to Google's bulk style once the overall search traffic increases for the Bing platform after the Yahoo! integration. Then again, it may not.
An example of this is in the search for "Automotive Social Media". The #3 website on Bing, Hasai, is ranked #39 on Google. There is only 1 link pointing to Hasai.com with the anchor text "Automotive Social Media" but it was a high-value, high-PageRank link and by itself propelled the site (which really has little to do with automotive social media other than 1 article) to the top on Bing.
Google is very quick at indexing pages. When they officially launched Google Caffeine earlier this year, the effects were instantly felt and measurable. Pages that may have taken days to index were being found in hours (even minutes) and the spiders seem to crawl more often when a page is updated regularly.
Bing's algorithm gives less weight to fresh content but takes the value of the content more into account. It favors proper saturation of keywords using "natural speak" and seems to pay no attention whatsoever to meta-descriptions or meta-keywords for ranking purposes.
URL structure and the presence of keywords in the domain, sub-directory, or sub-domain name has always been important to Google, but it appears even more relevant to Bing. Searching for "Automotive Website Design" shows that #2 on Bing is automotive-website-design.com.
We couldn't find this website on Google at all going back several pages.
PPC for Bing/Yahoo!
This part is easy. IF you are using PPC as part of your marketing strategy and IF you have the available budget, you should be ready to include Yahoo! and Bing in your budget.
On the other hand, if you have a low budget for PPC, you may want to consider SWITCHING from Google to Yahoo! and Bing. The cost per click will be lower on them and the exposure, while still only around half of Google, will be something that you can get more bang for your buck if you do it right.
Regardless, you should always consider PPC as a supplement to strong SEO and maps listings, not a replacement.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this. I hope it helped.