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//   by Rahul Vij |

Google Vs. Bing Vs. Yahoo – SEO Differences and Why You Should Care

Struggling between the best search engine for your business?

Don’t know how search algorithms and patterns differ across the major tech giants?

That’s acceptable!

Google, Bing, and Yahoo – are the biggest search engines in the world, fulfilling 1.2 trillion searches per year. Even though all three have one core goal – to get more users and follow somehow same principles, the algorithms used for ranking websites vary pretty much.

For years, marketers have brainstormed deciding the best search engine for their businesses, yet that’s not a simple question to ask. To make it easier for you, let’s have a brief roundup of why we have listed these three and what’s their concept of search engine optimization and ranking.

SEO

Image source: Link-Assistant.com

Google, Bing, and Yahoo for SEO

Let’s first categorize the three into two groups – Google, and Bing and Yahoo. As Bing owns Yahoo, and both produce similar results – it’s better to team them up. Oft-overlooked when it comes to SEO, Bing and Yahoo do possess potential to be a great platform.

Coming to Google, there’s hardly an online business, retailer, consumer, or brand unaware of the name. Google has been favorite for those seeking to increase their brand’s visibility and been a primary search engine for all SEO strategies.

But do you really need to limit yourself to one search engine? Even if you had to, do you know which one’s the best for your business-specific needs?

Let’s break down the series and first understand the differences in the search algorithms and ranking principles of the three, how do they vary and what makes them alike.

How Do SEO Across the 3 Search Engines Differ

Bing and Yahoo

Both companies work on Bing’s Search, leaving Yahoo more like a web portal than a full-fledged search engine.

Search algorithms these two symmetric search engines follow:

– Most popular ranking factors of Bing include – user engagement, social signals, Bing Authorship, inbound anchor text, keyword domains, content and keyword density, site code and structure, and onsite optimization.

– Bing’s webmaster advised using the targeted keywords wherever possible. To rank better on Bing, use exact keywords.

– Meta keyword tags are still a potential ranking signal.

– Social signals are key ranking factors and prefer pages connected to social media accounts.

– Domain age and .gov, .edu, and .org are the trust signals.

– Supports Flash files and crawls Multimedia.

– Treats site’s CTR and external links as most important.

– Favors sites that offer good UX.

Search result features in SERPs:

– Shows all variations of a search query if vague.

– Snapshot pane can answer a search even before you click anything.

– Multimedia and related search results may show up at the top or side of the search results.

– More visual-based.

– Doesn’t use Easter Eggs or practical jokes.

– Paid ads are visible at the top and side of the search results.

Google

Titled as the search titan, Google is known for its regular updates, innovative search algorithms, and endless urge to stay on top of the world of searches. Up to a great extent, the complex working of Google has achieved this and living the dream. Given all that, Google becomes the most-favored search engine for SEO intents and purposes.

Here’s how SEO across Google works 

– Uses more than 200 ranking factors for every search. Rankbrain, quality backlinks, optimized images, secured sites (HTTPS vs. HTTP), mobile-friendly websites, page loading speed, schema markup, and quality of webpage content are the most important factors.

– Focus on tropical relevance in terms of using keywords. Usage of exact keywords is a big NO.

– Meta keywords are not ranking factor anymore.

– Treats Social Media pages like any other page on the web.

– Updates algorithms with significant changes and sometimes, the company doesn’t announce them.

– Considers CTR and external links as primary factors.

– Values UX at the top of all factors. The more user-friendly your page is, the better it will perform in Google search results.

– Favors frequently-updated sites more.

– Can’t index the content of Flash files and emphasizes on using the text-based content.

Search result features in SERPS (which affects the way websites appear in results):

– Similar Google search may show up in carousel ads on the top section of the page.

– Google’s knowledge graph can answer searches without needing you to click.

– Images are either on top or right of the page.

– Paid ads are visible on top or right of the page.

– Local business listings are visible on top or side of the page.

– More text- and keyword-based.

Here’s the Google Analytics report screenshot of our projects:

Google Analytics

This screenshot shows that the conversion rate of Bing is 1.25% and for Google, it’s 0.49%.   

Given the three vary in their algorithms, priority, and nature, it’s not like there’s nothing common.

Let’s take a look at some similarities between Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This will help you target your page, content, and site to perform well on all three of them.

Points of Similarity

Though there aren’t many, here are three main things that work pretty same for all:

Paid Search: Paid ads work the same in Google and Bing/Yahoo.

Links: Backlink profile quality is of critical importance in Google and Bing/Yahoo.

Local Search Results: Web page content and optimization should contain keywords as per the geographic location to show up in search results.

Table of Comparison

Factor Google Bing/Yahoo
Mobile Optimization Introduced mobile-friendly ranking factor for their algorithm Still not announced but quietly added the mobile-friendly label to mobile search results
Matching Keywords Recognizes synonyms and context of a keyword, thus offers some authority and creativity with your content Exact keywords work here
DA & PA DA doesn’t matter as much as backlinks’ quality towards a domain. Favors site with .edu and .gov given they have quality content and backlinks. Considers DA for ranking. Favors .edu and .gov sites.
Flash Content Doesn’t support Flash Crawl and understands Flash sites well and sometimes favors such sites.
Double-Meaning Queries In case of a keyword with multiple meanings, the more popular site will rank first Provides local search results

Why Should You Care?

Given these three are the most popular search engines at present, you need to stay in the good books and top of them all. Earlier we said some part of audience uses Bing and Yahoo too, so prioritizing only Google can deny you of the extended user base that you could have reached if there was a strategy for all search engines.

When you reach more target audience and fulfill their queries and needs, you increase your odds of more user base, more CTRs, more conversions, and more sales!

Which is the Best?

While it’s true that Google continues to be the search titan, it doesn’t imply you should limit your search engine optimization practices until this search engine only. Some businesses can significantly benefit from Bing or Yahoo, depending on where their target audience is present or which search engine they use.

That leaves this question with a little suspense given it solely depends on your objectives, your target audience, user preferences, and other such factors. However, the best strategy would be to reach all of them on every search engine!

Sounds vague? Let’s have a quick look over this idea before we move to the conclusion.

3-in-1 Strategy For Successful SEO

Wondering if there’s any SEO strategy that can work on all three of these search engines? Don’t worry, thousands of marketers often debate on this, and fortunately, you can do that up to an extent.

Laying down your online marketing strategies specific to search engines may leave you hopeless, given search engines change constantly.

The best you can do is to understand the way three of these work and focus on the similarities. Abstain from red labels highlighted by the three search engines and ensure you perform quality backlinking strategy, informative content all over the web. Yeah! That’s the key to succeeding online!

Here are three things you can do to optimize your strategies to become favorite of search engines in a discussion:

Backlinks:

Bing is not much into backlinking; however, that doesn’t mean it’s no use for you. What matters is site linking to your content and Bing does rewards sites that work organically. Given the search engine isn’t a fan of backlinks, it implies getting an inbound link from a site will help only if the site doesn’t use backlink stuffing and it’s an authority or high-quality site. However, Google pays much preference to backlinking and rewards site that use the strategy without any black-hat practice.

Also, Bing favors exact match anchor text coming from inbound links while Google doesn’t.

Content:

Content is still the king and it will probably continue to remain on top of the list for search engines. So how can you create a content that speaks to the three search engines? Well, Google just loves text-based content (especially informative, relevant content). The search engine depends on text only for crawling visual content and media via alt tags and descriptions. On the other hand, Bing/Yahoo prefers visual content more (such as Flash content).

So to keep both the search engines happy, you could better utilize a mix of text and visual content. Having a decent combination of media and info-rich content on your webpage is a key to impress Google and Bing/Yahoo and enjoy favorable rankings.

Keywords:

This one’s not too complicated to explain – Bing/Yahoo requires direct keywords to work while Google has a scope of negotiation and considers less direct, synonyms, context-based keywords (unless there’s keyword stuffing in place).

When you optimize your strategy keeping in mind what works for Google and Bing/Yahoo, odds are you will get the best of both worlds!

Bing Marketing – All the Free Tools & Resources You Can Use

Now that you know the main Bing ranking factors and a glimpse of how the algorithms work, why not get to know some free tools and resources offered by the underrated search engine? Microsoft has introduced a plenty of free, info-rich, free tools and resources for Bing marketing and that’s a great help!

It seems Bing is pretty sensitive towards SEO and below we will have a look at some of the best tools it offers:

Bing Webmaster Guidelines

The first thing you need to do is get a thorough overview of Bing Webmaster Guidelines and get sorted out with the basics. It’s not at all lengthy or complex (somewhat like Google). So take some time to read and go through all the useful info there.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Informative and productive – the Bing Webmaster Tools is a great help. So if you haven’t set up your site there yet, it’s high time to do that now!

It presents a suite of awesome tools, such as the backlink explorer. Apart from it, you can review which keywords you actually rank for, the way your site is indexed, problem diagnosis, and more. Even better – the tool gives you complimentary $100 free advertising credit to get started.

Bing Webmaster Blog

Like Google, there’s a Bing Webmaster Blog and you should definitely have a go at it and subscribe. Shockingly, you would find some really interesting posts out there and some hidden gems that may help you with your marketing.

Bing SEO Analyzer

It’s a gem when it comes to finding whether or not your pages are following the best SEO practices as per Bing. All you need to do is enter your URL and you will see a series of suggestions telling you every possible improvement to increase your ranking across both Bing and Yahoo. Bing SEO Analyzer is great, isn’t it!

Bing Search Quality Blog

Wouldn’t it be great if the chief marketers at Google and its search quality or anti-spam team posted a personalized blog sharing everything they have been thinking, testing, and planning? Fortunately, Bing does that with its Search Quality Blog! The tool offers you valuable insights into the search world.

Contact the Bing Webmaster Team

In the end, it is probably the most important tool as each of your efforts would be meaningless if you get stuck up somewhere and there’s no one to help! The tool lets you contact the Bing Webmaster team for any query or help. So just in case your website is suffering some issues or hits a penalty for an unknown reason – simply reach out to the Bing Webmaster team to sort out things.

Conclusion

It is getting increasingly important to customize and optimize your online business as per Google, Bing/Yahoo given the significant changes being introduced to the different browsers. Your best bet is to cover up all your bases to make sure your SEO strategies across the three search engines are optimized and updated with every new change.

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