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SEO for Bing and Yahoo: Is It Really Worth the Effort?

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SEO can sometimes get overwhelming. Requiring keyword research, backlinks, and images, SEO isn’t something that you can do in 10 minutes.

For that reason, more and more companies are beginning to hire an SEO team or to outsource their SEO efforts to a professional agency to make sure that SEO gets done right. After all, if you make a few slip-ups when optimizing your website—duplicate content, keyword stuffing, cloaking, etc.—you could find yourself with months of cleanup work. The catch to all of this SEO work: Many companies are only worrying about Google.

According to The New York Times, Google controls nearly 66% of all searches. That makes Google the most popular search engine around, so companies obviously want to optimize their web pages for this search engine. Unfortunately, Google has a different algorithm—or different way of ranking web pages—than Bing and Yahoo do. That means companies need to optimize their sites in different ways for each search engine. That puts more work on the SEO department and spreads their resources thin.

It is even worth it to optimize a website for Bing or Yahoo?

Why Bing Is Worth Your Time


Bing ranks second behind Google. (You can get the latest stats about rankings here.) Still, the usual concern for companies is that optimizing for Bing will take away time from optimizing for a Google SERP. The truth is that optimizing for Bing doesn't have to be time-consuming.

Below are a few ways you can begin optimizing your website for Bing.

  • Domain Age: Bing puts more emphasis on domain age than Google. If you have an older domain, you're already on your way! That was easy, right?
  • Titles: Bing puts more emphasis on title tags than Google, so make sure your title includes your keyword. Once again, a solution that takes no more than 30 seconds.
  • Flash: Google has never liked Flash much, but Bing doesn't mind. If your website has a lot of Flash, you will likely have much better luck with Bing.
  • Links: Both Bing and Google put an emphasis on inbound links and backlinks, so getting the basics down is essential for both search engines.

The only thing that may take a little bit of time away from your Google efforts is keyword research. You can learn how to use the Bing keyword research tool here.

So, why it is worth it to optimize a website for Bing? It doesn't take much extra effort. Ask your team to optimize for Google first and then go back and make slight changes to help out your Bing ranking position. In general, Bing is said to bring in more targeted traffic.

Why Optimizing for Yahoo Is Easy When It Comes Third

Yahoo has certainly had a tough year with a 2,000-person layoff and continual upper-management changes. Their latest product was a few mobile apps that more or less failed when released to the public, so it makes sense that companies would question to the importance of Yahoo as a search engine.

Just as with Bing, Yahoo asks for many similar optimization techniques to be used—no duplicate content, solid backlinks, etc.—to get ranked. Experts all agree that Yahoo is headed for a downward spiral. Spending time optimizing your pages for something unpredictable might not be worth it, even if the search engine does bring in some users.

So, what's the kick? Yahoo results are powered by Bing. If you're optimizing for Bing, you're pretty much optimizing for Yahoo as well. In other words, if you're optimizing for Google first and Bing second, your third-search engine is pretty darn simple.

The Bottom Line

Whether you want to optimize your site for these search engines should really depend upon your site and the success it has with the audience who uses Yahoo or Bing. Consider trying this for a few months and tracking your results. If you see that you are getting clicks and conversions, then your optimization was more than worth it. This may sound obvious, but it';s never a bad idea to give these search engines a try.

Do you spend time optimizing your site for Bing, Google, Yahoo, or all? What helped you make the decision to put time and effort into SEO for these search engines? Let us know in the comments!


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Amanda DiSilvestro gives small businesses and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for SEO company Higher Visibility, which offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

LinkedIn: Amanda DiSilvestro

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  • by Lee Odden Tue Aug 7, 2012 via blog

    In practice, there is no optimizing for Bing or Yahoo. Google dominates market share and from a resource prioritization and return on effort standpoint, that's what matters.

    The bottom line is that prospects, current customers, employees, journalists, potential new-hires and industry peers all use search for as many reasons as a company has for publishing digital content. The question isn't to try it out for a few months and see if clicks and conversions go up. The question is, "What are you hiding from?"

    If you're not trying to hide your content, then there's no reason not to implement optimization of brand information whether it's products and services, job listings, press releases or FAQ's to be visible where a company's target audience is looking.

  • by Amanda DiSilvestro Tue Aug 7, 2012 via blog

    Hi Lee. I think you make a great point about Google being what matters. I think that everyone knows that this is where your resources need to be pointed, which is what prompted this article in the first place. No company should be trying to hide their content, so optimization should always be something important to companies and there is zero reasons to ignore some of these strategies. Thanks for reading!

  • by Luis Fernandes Tue Aug 7, 2012 via blog

    It's important to note that Google doesn't have the same market share globally. North America (where Google owns the SE market share) only represents 12% of the global internet population. In China, Baidu owns the SE market share and Yandex tops Google in Russia. These two countries alone account for more than half a billion internet users, which in terms of SEO, could mean a huge missed opportunity for global brands if they don't optimize for global search engines as well. Your point is well taken that given the differences in search engines algo's, it's critical for companies to find a reputable SEO partner with a global footprint and who really understand keyword research, technical SEO and local content creation -especially if they have a global presence.

  • by andrew broadbent Tue Aug 7, 2012 via blog

    Youtube is the second largest search engine behind Google, a head of Bing and Yahoo.

  • by Amanda DiSilvestro Wed Aug 8, 2012 via blog

    Great point about search engines found in different countries. If you have a global presence (which might be something to consider if you have not already), then this article could be MUCH longer and more detailed. SEO for search engines in other countries is a different animal, so I'm glad you brought it up!

    Andrew--I stand corrected. YouTube is definitely the second largest search engine. Thanks for reading!

  • by Krishna at Fruittravel Fri Aug 10, 2012 via blog

    One of the best ways to get your blog/website indexed by search engines is creating a XML sitemap and submit them to Google and Bing. This will greatly enhance your rankings in SERP's often missed by many

  • by Michael O'Daniel Fri Aug 10, 2012 via blog

    Regardless of what the experts say about Yahoo being in a downward spiral, the company is extremely profitable and has a ton of cash on hand. Yahoo may change, but it isn't going to disappear anytime soon. As marketers, we need to pay attention to feedback from our customers, not the analysts and other self-appointed experts. I worked for a company that went out of business because it tried to please the analysts rather than providing what its customers wanted.

    Also, if you're a user of Yahoo email, as a huge number of people are, Yahoo is the default search engine for Yahoo email clients. That in itself is reason to optimize for Yahoo.

    So, Amanda, if YouTube is the second largest search engine, can we expect another posting from you on that subject? If not, anyone else out there want to raise his/her hand?

  • by John Battista Wed Sep 5, 2012 via blog

    Considering everyone I know uses Google exclusively, I fiund myself in somewhat of a bubble when it comes to Bing. The fixes mentioned above seem pretty painless and worth the effort.

    Does anyone still use Yahoo as a search engine though? I gave up on Yahoo when they began charging for inclusion in their directory. It may be a strong backlink, but I just don't it being worth what they're charging.

  • by Tyler Mitchell Tue Aug 20, 2013 via blog

    From what I've heard, Yahoo uses the Bing algorithm in its search.

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