Bing, Yahoo! & Australian search results: our thoughts on a Bing powered Yahoo!

Recently, Microsoft Bing (the ‘Decision’ engine) entered the final stages of powering Yahoo! search results in a strategic move to combine market share and chip away at giant Google.

An unfair fight - David vs. Goliath Sumo style
Image credit

Across the pond in the UK, US and Canada, Bing has been powering Yahoo!’s search results since mid 2010.

Well friends, it’s now our turn. Is this big news for Australian search? Here are our thoughts…

How will Bing powering Yahoo!’s search results impact the Australian search landscape?

Alex
Google has aggressively dominated search in Australia with a 91% market share*, unlike the US and UK which have a much more level playing field with the smaller engines; US Google is 63.5%**.

Although in Australia we have been a little late to the party with this transition happening almost 6 months after the US, it’s great to finally be here. This has enabled Bing AU to almost double its market share up from around 4% to 7%.

My advice for all our clients and SEO friends is to ensure that you setup Bing webmaster tools if you haven’t already, and get to analysing those rankings you had in Yahoo! and see if there are any patterns to where the differences are. This will help guide your strategy on where to place more focus.

This is now a great time to work hard on your content as Microsoft traditionally have seemed to try to place more emphasis on content over Google, which is still more link focused. Congratulations to everyone who had better rankings in Bing :-)

Sources:

Michael
It’ll be interesting to see whether SEOs start taking more notice of Bing’s algorithm and distinctly optimising for it. The combined market share is still relatively low, so this is unlikely, but the new credibility that has been gained by the increased market share could lead to an accelerating market presence – and the industry will have to take note. Either way, there are some very simple ways to target Bing – like installing Bing Webmaster Tools, for example.

Chris
Building on what Alex and Michael have contributed, I think there are a few easy to implement actions that will help prepare for a successful transition:

    1. Small business should optimise for Bing local search results in the event that Yahoo! integrate this feature.
Bing Local Results for Divorce Lawyer Sydney search

Bing search results with local listings

Vs.

Yahoo search results

Yahoo search results without local listings

  1. Brush-up on your Bing Webmaster Guidelines. Bing engineers at Microsoft recommend the following to get better rankings in their search engine*:
    • In the visible page text, include words users might choose as search query terms to find the information on your site.
    • Limit all pages to a reasonable size. We recommend one topic per page. An HTML page with no pictures should be under 150 kb.
    • Make sure that each page is accessible by at least one static text link.
    • Don’t put the text that you want indexed inside images. For example, if you want your company name or address to be indexed, make sure it is not displayed inside a company logo.
  2. Join, monitor & contribute to the Bing community

* Source
We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

January 14, 2011 by Filed in SEO
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