The Hidden Treasures of Bing SEO You Can Benefit from

Written by
Dmytro Davydov
Jun 14, 2023
22 min read

When referring to SEO and search engines, Google is the first thing that comes to mind for most people. Web searching has come to be known as “googling” — not binging, or yahooing, or, God forbid, altavisting. But even though Google is the most popular search engine, it’s not the only one that people use.

In major markets like the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, and France, Microsoft’s Bing holds the position of being the second-most-popular search engine. This is why neglecting to optimize for Bing could result in missing out on tons of traffic.

Continue reading to get a comprehensive overview of Bing SEO. We’ll discuss the popularity of this search engine, delve into its specifics, and offer guidance on optimizing a website for Bing.

The Bing Bang Theory: what we know about Bing 

Microsoft launched its search engine back in 1998. Since then, it has undergone several transformations from MSN Search to Windows Live Search and then Live Search before finally settling on Bing. Interestingly, Microsoft was about to name the engine Bang, but sadly gave up on the idea. 

In 2009, Yahoo! made a deal with Microsoft and has been fully powered by Bing ever since. Optimizing for Bing also means optimizing for Yahoo! As of today, Bing remains a prominent search engine with its distinct features and audience. While Google maintains its dominance in the search market, Bing has established itself as a viable alternative. Bing has made continuous efforts to improve its search capabilities, enhance user experience, and provide relevant and reliable search results. With its new AI-powered features and evolving algorithms, Bing strives to deliver valuable information to its users.

bing and chandler bing

Who makes up Bing’s audience?

According to Statista, Bing and other Microsoft Sites account for nearly a third of all search queries in the United States, totalling 29.6%. Moreover, Bing and Yahoo! receive about 10 percent of all global desktop searches.

In the context of these stats, comScore, Statista, and Microsoft themselves are discussing the Microsoft Search Network. But what exactly does that mean? The Microsoft Search Network is a group of search engines and search services powered by Bing, including Microsoft sites, Yahoo!, and AOL Inc. These searches are based on Bing and are presented within a single data set in the stats.

Microsoft Network Audience
Source: Microsoft

Bing caters to 100 million daily active searchers who do not use Google. While its main market is the US, it is also popular in other English-speaking countries. But it isn’t popular in non-English speaking countries like Eastern Europe or Asia. 

Typical Bing users in the US are educated people (equally split between male and females) aged between 35-54, with a household income of over $75,000.

Typical Bing User Profile

This all points to the fact that Bing is surprisingly popular, especially in the US. SEO efforts for Bing encompass many of the same things that are important for Google, making it possible to reach its audience with just a bit of effort.

Why do people use Bing instead of Google? 

There are several reasons why people would use Bing instead of Google. After Microsoft introduced an AI-powered version of Bing, many individuals were eager to try out the features and capabilities. This led to tons of users downloading the Microsoft Edge browser to try out the New Bing Chat functionality.

Screenshot of Bing's AI Powered Search

Bing’s new integration of AI represents a significant advancement in its search capabilities. Bing can now deliver more accurate and personalized search results and offer detailed and relevant responses to enhance the overall user experience.

Screenshot of Bing's Personalized Search

Both Bing and Google have visually appealing interfaces with minimalist layouts. But Bing sets itself apart by offering a distinct advantage: it tends to have fewer ads prominently displayed on SERPs. This translates to a higher proportion of organic results, giving users a greater opportunity to find relevant and non-sponsored content. 

Many people continue using Bing as their default search engine on Microsoft Windows. This default setting encourages users to stick with Bing for their search needs, resulting in a significant user base among Windows users.

The difference between Bing and Google SEO

When it comes to search engine optimization, understanding the nuances of different search engines is crucial. While Bing and Google follow similar approaches to generating SERPs, there are notable distinctions in terms of ranking factors, keyword search volumes, indexing priorities, SERP features, and SEO tools. Recognizing these differences allows website owners and SEO practitioners to optimize their online presence for Bing and maximize their online visibility.

Screenshot of Bing's SERP Features

Let’s explore the principal differences:

  • Ranking factors: Bing and Google have similar ranking factors, but there are subtle differences in their algorithms. The specific ranking factors for Bing will be discussed in the following section.
  • Keywords and search volumes: Google’s market dominance generally results in higher search volumes for keywords compared to Bing. This leads to a major difference in keyword research and optimization strategies between the two search engines. Website owners may find that different URLs drive traffic from Google and Bing, necessitating a tailored approach to target users from each platform.

Check out our complete Bing keyword planner guide to ensure you’re not missing out on anything.

  • Indexing priorities: Google has adopted a mobile-first indexing approach, prioritizing mobile-friendly websites in search results. Bing, on the other hand, maintains a desktop-first indexing approach. Website owners optimize their web properties for mobile devices to align with Google’s indexing preference, while also catering to Bing’s desktop-first approach.
  • SERP Features: Both Bing and Google offer similar SERP tabs, including regular search, news, images, video, and maps. While both search engines incorporate features like “People also ask” and “Featured snippets,” Bing offers unique features such as multi-perspective answers and popups. Bing also provides its own AI-powered chat for users in a separate tab, while Google is expected to release a similar AI-generated feature in the near future. 
  • SEO Tools: both Bing and Google provide webmaster tools to assist website owners in optimizing their online presence. Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster offer similar functionalities, including site performance monitoring, URL indexing, and sitemap submission. However, Bing’s webmaster tools offer additional features for site audits, keyword research, and backlink gap analysis. Notably, Bing’s webmaster tools lack location information in the performance report, which is available in Google Search Console.

To track your ranking positions, use SE Ranking’s dedicated tools, like Bing Rank Tracker and the Google Rank Checker tool. You can also get a website audit report to identify any technical issues on your website affecting rankings.

By addressing the unique aspects of each platform, businesses can maximize their visibility, reach a broader audience, and drive valuable organic traffic from both Bing and Google. 

Bing crawling

Bing utilizes various crawlers to ensure comprehensive web coverage. The main crawlers used by Bing are:

  • Bingbot: This is the standard crawler that handles most of Bing’s daily crawling operations. It has different types of user agent strings, indicating whether it is the “desktop” or “mobile” variant.
  • AdIdxBot: Specifically designed for Bing Ads, AdIdxBot crawls advertisements and associated websites for quality control purposes. It also has both “desktop” and “mobile” variants.
  • BingPreview: This crawler generates page snapshots for Bing, providing users with a preview of web pages in search results. It also has “desktop” and “mobile” variants.
  • MicrosoftPreview: Similar to BingPreview, MicrosoftPreview generates page snapshots for Microsoft products.

User-agent strings and additional info on Bing crawlers are available on the official webmasters tools guide. Be sure to check it out!

To control how Bing crawlers interact with your website, you have two options. First, you can use robots.txt files to specify how Bing crawlers should interact with your website. Second, Bing Webmaster Tools provide the Crawl Control tool under the Configuration section, allowing you to manage crawl rates by the hour.

Bing indexing

Understanding Bing’s indexing process is crucial to ensure your web pages appear in search results. To check if your pages are indexed, simply enter “” in the Bing search bar or use the URL Inspection tool in Bing Webmaster Tools, which provides a comprehensive analysis of a specific URL’s indexing status, crawl details, and any potential issues.

Checking if the Website is Indexed

Keep in mind that Bing only indexes pages that it deems “worthy”. Here are some reasons why your pages may not get indexed by Bing: 

  • Your site is new and Bing hasn’t found or crawled it yet. To expedite the process and help the bot find your website, you can manually submit a sitemap or specific URLs directly to Bing through your Webmaster account.
  • There are no links pointing to your website. New websites often face this issue, as they lack inbound links from other sources on the web. 
  • There are issues with website accessibility. Your robots.txt file is preventing Bing from crawling your site, you have a <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”> on your pages, or you’re using the Block URLs tool.
  • Your website pages are not high-quality enough. If you have duplicate content, provide little value to users, excessively redirect visitors, or have low-quality inbound links, Bing may not index your pages. 
  • Your website has been penalized and consequently removed from Bing’s search index. This action is taken in rare instances when Bing detects violations of quality guidelines or the presence of malware on your site, resulting in exclusion from search results.

Bing offers an API called Bing Indexing API, which allows website owners to directly notify Bing about new or updated content for faster inclusion in the index. This API enables efficient and real-time indexing, ensuring that the latest website changes are promptly reflected in Bing’s search results.

Bing ranking factors

Bing considers various elements as ranking factors when determining the relevance and quality of web pages. Understanding these factors can help you optimize your content for improved rankings on Bing’s search engine.

Here are key ranking factors associated with Bing:

  • Content quality and relevance: Bing places significant importance on the relevance, quality, and credibility of content. Webpages with well-optimized content, including exact-match keywords, tend to perform well on Bing.
  • Content uniqueness: Bing highly values fresh and unique content. Machine-generated content that aims solely to boost ranking is considered malicious and can lead to penalties.
  • Links and referring domains: Similar to other search engines, Bing carefully considers the quality and quantity of links pointing to a webpage. Backlinks from authoritative and relevant sources can positively impact rankings on Bing. Keep in mind that Bing has become more selective regarding link quality and actively discourages participation in link schemes or link farms. Engaging in these practices carries the risk of being excluded from Bing’s index.
  • User engagement: Bing evaluates user behavior signals to assess the quality of search results. Factors, such as dwell time (the time users spend on search results they clicked) and query adjustment/reformulation play a role in determining relevance and user satisfaction. Websites that demonstrate positive user engagement metrics may see improved rankings.
  • Page Load Time: Bing recognizes the importance of page load speed in providing a positive user experience. Websites that load quickly are more likely to rank higher on Bing. Optimizing page load time by minimizing server response time, optimizing images, and leveraging caching techniques, can positively impact Bing rankings.
  • Local Factors: Bing considers local factors when delivering search results, including relevance to local queries, the presence of local information (such as business contact details and location), and the credibility of local directories.
  • Social Media: While Bing no longer explicitly states that social media signals directly impact rankings, it acknowledges that social media schemes, similar to link schemes, can influence its algorithm. This suggests that social media signals still hold relevance and can indirectly impact rankings on Bing.

It’s important to note that these ranking factors are not set in stone, and Bing’s algorithm is continuously evolving. Website owners are advised to adhere to Bing’s Webmaster Guidelines, which provide further Bing-centered SEO tips and recommendations for optimizing content and improving rankings.

Why you need to optimize for Bing

Bing search optimization offers several compelling reasons for users to consider diversifying their traffic sources. 

Despite Google’s dominant market position, Bing still holds a significant audience that should not be overlooked. With the upcoming changes in Google’s AI-powered search, it is becoming even more crucial to optimize for Bing to diversify and capture additional organic traffic sources. By broadening your focus beyond Google, you can tap into the potential audience on Bing, increasing your visibility and potentially offset any traffic fluctuations caused by Google’s latest search technology.

Bing organic traffic is often believed to be more valuable than Google’s, as visitors from Bing have lower bounce rates, visit more pages, spend more time on websites, and click more affiliate links. Also, Bing’s search platform typically has lower competition, especially in Ads, compared to Google. By optimizing content for Bing, users have a greater opportunity to achieve higher rankings and attract increased organic traffic. This advantage allows them to stand out more prominently in search results and capture the attention of potential customers.

There is also a prevailing belief that Bing organic traffic has better conversion rates. Bing’s audience is often described as being more mature, suggesting that they may possess stronger purchasing intent and a higher likelihood of converting into customers or taking desired actions. By optimizing for Bing, you can tap into this potentially receptive and conversion-focused audience, maximizing your chances of achieving your desired outcomes.

Screenshot of Conversion Rate Data

On top of that, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana both use Bing for voice search, which is why you absolutely must take Bing seriously if you want to excel in the voice search game. 

Bing search optimization, as you can see, provides users with access to a high-value audience, greater opportunity for high rankings with lower competition, and the potential to connect with a more mature and conversion-oriented user base. By taking these factors into consideration and adapting your SEO efforts to Bing’s search algorithms and user preferences, you can enhance your online visibility, drive targeted traffic, and increase your chances of converting visitors into customers.

How to optimize for Bing 

Unlike Google, Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, is more transparent about its ranking algorithms and requirements, as we mentioned earlier. To break it down, we will now outline the key aspects of optimizing for Bing, which include working with Bing Webmaster Tools, focusing on on-page SEO details, meeting link requirements, optimizing for local and mobile optimization, and recognizing the value of social signals. 

When it comes to optimizing your website for Bing, consider the following key areas:

  • Technical optimization: Ensure that Bing can easily find, crawl, and index your pages. Use the robots.txt file to control Bing bot access, submit a sitemap, and implement tags like noindex, nofollow, and canonical URLs. Refer to Bing’s webmaster guidelines for detailed instructions on technical optimization.
  • Content quality: Bing prioritizes content quality and relevance. Create content for Bing that is not only relevant to search intent but also unique and valuable to users. Provide comprehensive information, answer user queries effectively, and address specific topics within your niche. 
  • On-page optimization: Similarly to Google, on-page optimization plays a crucial role in Bing SEO. Incorporate exact match keywords and their synonyms naturally in page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and body text. Also, maintain a balance and avoid keyword stuffing, as Bing values user-friendly content that reads naturally. Ensure your URLs are descriptive and easy to understand. Pay attention to proper formatting, use of heading tags, and organize content for improved readability and user experience.
  • Backlink portfolio: Links continue to be an essential ranking factor in Bing’s algorithm. Build organic and high quality links over time by establishing relationships with other websites in your industry and encourage them to link to your content. Create unique and valuable content that naturally attracts links, but evade participating in link schemes, link farms, or excessive link manipulation to avoid penalties and removal from Bing’s index. While reciprocal linking is acceptable, according to Bing, it may have limited value.
  • Site speed: Optimize your website’s loading speed to improve both user experience and SEO. Since Bing considers page load time as a ranking factor, you must minimize your site’s server response time, enable browser caching, compress images, and use efficient coding practices. Having a faster website not only improves user satisfaction but also increases the likelihood of ranking higher on Bing’s SERP.
  • User engagement: Bing takes into account user engagement signals when ranking web pages. Deliver relevant and engaging content aligned with the search intent of your target audience. Use clear headings, bullet points, and visuals to enhance readability and make your content more accessible across different devices. Visitors are also more likely to stay on your site longer if you use compelling and interactive site elements.
  • Utilize Schema markup: Implement Schema markup to provide additional context and structured data to Bing’s crawlers. Schema markup helps Bing’s crawlers better understand your content, leading to improved visibility and the potential inclusion of rich snippets in search results. This enhances the presentation of your content in search results and provides users with more relevant and informative snippets.
  • International SEO: Implement proper international SEO practices, including the use of hreflang tags, if your website caters to multiple languages or regions.

SEO Tools for Bing 

There are several tools available to assist you in improving your Bing SEO efforts. These tools offer specific features and functionalities tailored to enhance your website’s performance on Bing’s search engine. 

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing’s comprehensive platform also serves as a control center for Yahoo! — Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Search Console in that it provides insights and data to help you understand how your website performs in Bing’s search results.

Within Bing Webmaster Tools, the Search Performance report provides metrics such as impressions, clicks, click-through rate, and position for your website URLs. These metrics give you valuable information about your website’s visibility and performance on Bing. However, unlike Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools does not provide location data. Also, this report displays crawl requests, errors, and indexed pages alongside impressions and clicks, giving you a comprehensive view.

Screenshot from Bing Webmaster Tools
Source: Bing Webmaster Tools

In addition to performance metrics, Bing Webmaster Tools offers other useful features. The SEO Reports feature provides a basic on-page report to help you identify areas of improvement for your website’s SEO. The Backlinks section allows you to analyze and compare your backlinks with those of your competitors. Furthermore, Bing Webmaster Tools includes its own Keyword Research tool, enabling you to explore keyword search volumes before creating new pages.

You can click on any piece of data you see to get more detailed information. By utilizing Bing Webmaster Tools, you can gain valuable SEO insights into your website’s performance on Bing, identify areas for optimization, analyze backlinks, and conduct keyword research. These tools and features enable you to enhance your website’s visibility and maximize its potential in Bing’s search results.

To start using Bing Webmasters Tools, you need to create a Microsoft account and add your website for verification. Alternatively, if you have your email connected to Google Search Console, you can conveniently create an account automatically.

There are three verification methods available: 

  • Place a BingSiteAuth.xml file in the root directory of your XML sitemap. 
  • Add a piece of code with meta tags to your homepage. 
  • Use DNS verification by editing the CNAME record in your hosting account. 

Once the website is verified, the dashboard will populate with valuable information.

You can click on any piece of data you see to get more detailed information. By utilizing Bing Webmaster Tools, you can gain valuable SEO insights into your website’s performance on Bing, identify areas for optimization, analyze backlinks, and conduct keyword research. These tools and features enable you to enhance your website’s visibility and maximize its potential in Bing’s search results.

Microsoft Clarity

Microsoft Clarity is a powerful and free tool offered by Microsoft that offers website owners valuable insights into user behavior on their websites. With Clarity, you can understand how users interact with your site, including their scrolling patterns, click behavior, and engagement with specific elements.

One of the key features of Microsoft Clarity is the generation of heatmaps, which visually display the areas of your web pages that receive the most user attention. These heatmaps provide valuable information about user engagement, allowing you to optimize your website’s layout and content placement for an improved user experience.

Screenshot from Microsoft Clarity
Source: Microsoft Clarity

In addition to heatmaps, Microsoft Clarity provides session recordings that allow you to replay individual user sessions and observe how users navigate through your website. This feature offers a firsthand view of user interactions, helping you identify any usability issues, areas of confusion, or potential improvements.

By utilizing Microsoft Clarity, you can gain a deeper understanding of how users engage with your website, identify opportunities for optimization, and make data-driven decisions to enhance user experience. This valuable tool empowers website owners to improve site performance, increase user satisfaction, and ultimately achieve their online goals.

SE Ranking’s Rank Tracker

Why does tracking rankings matter here? First of all, it’s a great way to track the progress of your efforts. And even if you don’t optimize specifically for Bing, you can keep track of your ranking positions to spot extra traffic sources worthy of your attention. It’s also worth noting that rankings can differ between Yahoo! and Bing, so tracking them is a great way to stay aware of any discrepancies. And finally, it’s considered good practice to track Bing rankings alongside other search engines. You can check your rankings in Bing’s search through SE Ranking’s Bing Rank Tracker. Depending on the target market, you can choose the country from which to track rankings. As a result, you’ll see the website’s day-to-day Bing position in a particular region.

Screenshot of SE Ranking's Bing Rank Tracker

In addition to monitoring rankings across time, you can simultaneously check rankings across different search engines:

Screenshot of SE Ranking's Rank Tracker Data

As you can see, Bing and Yahoo! results can differ due to the synchronization of databases, with Yahoo! sometimes updating its results later than Bing’s SERPs. 

Google’s results are unique due to its algorithm, and tracking them alongside Bing can help you optimize for both search engines without sacrificing rankings on either one.

For a deeper understanding of Bing’s SERP logic and patterns, you can use SE Ranking’s SERP Tracker. This tool provides data on the top 100 search results for any search engine and query. You can compare the bulk results of Bing and Google search to get insights into how each search engine understands user intents for specific queries.


Optimizing for Bing presents a valuable opportunity to tap into a surprisingly popular and distinct audience, especially in sectors such as retail, finance, and technology. Despite its popularity, the optimization techniques used for Bing are similar to those used for Google. By prioritizing on-page SEO, keywords, and backlinks, you can effectively target an audience that may be overlooked by your competitors, providing you with a competitive advantage.

One of Bing’s most useful tools is its webmaster panel, which allows you to perform various SEO tasks. These include diagnosing your website, analyzing its search performance, and generating reports. Remember to track your rankings, even if you’re not optimizing a website for it specifically, as it can be a significant source of traffic that should be monitored and controlled. 

That’s it. You are ready. Bing it on!

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