Hopefully you have heard by now that Yahoo, as a search engine, will be dissolving by mid-2010. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, formerly known as MSN or LIVE, will be powering the search results for Yahoo as soon as the implementation goes live next year. If you are interested in learning more about this agreement, then read the in depth analysis from Danny Sullivan.
Whether the industry and webmasters alike see this as a good thing or a bad thing is actually insignificant as the change is inevitable either way. What is important is to know what you need to be aware of and do as a website owner. With the majority of real estate marketing being online driven it is crucial that you understand the imminent changes and implement the necessary techniques to prepare your website for the change.
How to Optimize a Site for the Bing Yahoo Search Engine
Here are some necessary steps that you need to check off, or have your search engine optimization specialist check off for you.
1) Both Google and Bing put weight on whether a website’s domain name contains the exact keyword phrase that a website is trying to rank for. Example being, if you are trying to rank for “Los Angeles Real Estate” then it would be helpful to have the domain name http://www.losangelesrealestate.com. For Google, try to avoid domains with hyphens or with any other extensions, besides .com, .org or .net. For Bing, you are pretty much ok with any domain name and will even get some credit for having keywords in sub-domains (http://losangeles.realestate.com) or sub-directories (http://www.realestate.com/losangeles)
TIP: Purchase as many exact match domain names and place websites on them with relevant content. Even if you never do anything with these but have links back to your main website within the content, then you will have some very valuable web assets in a few years.
2) Just like Google, and the current Yahoo search engine, links are key to your website’s organic success. Don’t expect this to change one bit as link popularity has been a great way to determine which websites are the most relevant and thus, deserve to be at the top of the organic results for their relevant key phrases.
TIP: A large focus of your online marketing campaign should revolve around link building. We have posted numerous articles on how to attain links for a real estate website so make sure to check them out.
3) If you have not done so already, then make sure to sign up for Bing’s Webmaster Tools. Just like Google Webmaster Tools, Bing’s Webmaster Tools will show you useful information about how Bing reads and indexes your website.
TIP: Make sure to check in on your webmaster insights from the tools provided above at least a couple times a month (at the very least). If you are having a SEO professional manage your online marketing for you then ask for scheduled reports so you can always stay on top of how your website is doing in the search engines.
4) Get familiar with “blended search” results. Bing displays more results for videos, images and maps than Google is doing just yet. This will most likely remain the case as well when Bing and Yahoo officially integrate their systems into one next year. Take advantage of this by optimizing your online content and syndicating it all across the web. Not only with this help you to create valuable inbound links for your website, but you will start to see your different types of online content pepper the search results for relevant keywords that your website may not be ranking for yet.
TIP: Video continues to be one of the most viral and effective ways to drive traffic to your website. Create interesting, funny, unique videos and post them across the web on sites like Facebook, YouTube, Revver and Vimeo.
5) Use the RELATED SEARCHES that Bing displays on the left hand side of its search results to your advantage. These related searches are in a very prominent place on Bing’s search results pages, which means that people are most definitely clicking on them quite frequently.
TIP: Optimize your website around the related search terms that come up for your website. If you’re not sure where to start then just “Bing” the phrase “city state real estate” and make note of what the related search results are that Bing provides.
BONUS: Although this is NOT search engine optimization related, you can be sure that early adopters and experts alike will be able to take advantage of a nice opportunity – advertise in the paid results of Bing. Google AdWords, the market leader by a huge margin, will most definitely experience some competition in sponsored advertising from Bing. Take advantage of this and budget for a solid, professionally setup and managed paid search marketing campaign on Bing.
Prepare for Search Innovation
Many search engine marketing professionals and novices alike are a little on edge ever since the announcement from Yahoo and Bing on their 10 year deal, and reasonably so. This deal will most definitely change the way we think of search as it will force Google to innovate further and, thus will force Bing to really step up their game if they wish to gain market share in the search world.
We would love to hear your take on this topic. Just leave us a comment or send us an email if you would like to keep this conversation going. Or, if you have any concerns or questions regarding how to effectively plan for this imminent innovation in the search industry, then we would be happy to share our advice and suggestions with you.
In the meantime, get back to optimizing your website.