Bing: Social Factors More Important Than Linking Factors

Sep 8, 2011 • 9:25 am | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Bing SEO

Bing LogoEric Enge has an excellent interview with Bing's Duane Forrester. There are many excellent take aways from this interview but the key is this:

  • Bing says that social factors are more important that link factors for determining rankings. As Eric summarized, "The ranking of what priorities for publishers in Duane’s eyes. #1 Content #2 Social Media #3 Links. Links were rated as the third most important area. Third."
  • Another major point, as Eric points out is that user interaction in the search results is looked at closely. He said, "The huge weight placed by Bing on user interaction with the search results as a ranking factor."
  • Another point is that Bing is relying on RSS feeds more and more for finding new content.
  • Bing has a very low threshold for bugs in Sitemaps files, in fact, he said, "1% allowance for dirt in a Sitemap," dirt such as links leading to 404 pages and so on.

Anyway, the interview is a must read for all SEOs, so check it out over here.

Forum discussion at Google +.

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Vanessa Fox

09/08/2011 01:42 pm

I can't speak for Duane, of course (although he's on a panel of mine at SMX East next week so I can ask him to clarify), but it seems to me that saying that publishers should focus first on particular things isn't the same as saying that the search engine assigns value in that order.  I interpret the interview more as saying that publishers can have a more effective overall impact (engagement, links, etc.) by focusing attention on social than by focusing on links, so to start there. Focusing closely on link building without first focusing on content and engagement can (potentially) quickly lead to artificial links, which aren't what the engines are looking to value.

Nick Stamoulis

09/08/2011 02:42 pm

I think Vanessa and I looked at this interview the same way. As the publisher, chasing links without the content and social groundwork in place means you're doing it backwards. That's why I push on-site SEO before link building. You want to make sure everything you can control is in 0rder first.


09/08/2011 03:02 pm

I agree! The key is to making sure your site is up to par and then building an incredible system of links to back it up!

Salvatore Surra

09/08/2011 06:19 pm

Interesting stuff here. I didn't realize Bing had such a lower tolerance for errors in sitemaps. I know Google has always been quick to report any problems with sitemaps, but it seemed like Bing was a little more forgiving about those errors. Apparently, this has changed at Bing now so I'll have to dive back into my BWT and see what's going on there.


09/08/2011 06:50 pm

What's Bing?

Patrick Curl

09/08/2011 08:42 pm

It's a new and up and coming search company that is gaining 3% market share like clockwork every year. While, It's not big enough to focus on it, you can't totally ignore it..


09/08/2011 08:54 pm

I must look into this search company called Bing.

Lionel Bachmann

09/08/2011 10:00 pm

I also agree with Vanessa. It makes more sense that these are ordered steps for the publisher to follow to maximize SEO. You have to have good content first. Then you have to get that content in front of people using social media to get them to talk about it. And actually, if you do steps 1 and 2 well, then you don' t have to worry about step 3, because people will be linking  to your content to share it.


09/09/2011 12:52 pm

Interesting! This article really shows why it's important to think beyond just Google to maximize sites performance (assuming you want traffic from Bing). 


09/09/2011 12:54 pm

I'm assuming if you are reading SE Roundtable this comment is sarcastic (or at least I would hope so)


09/14/2011 02:48 pm

I too agree with Lionel and Vanessa, it starts with content, social promotion and then the links will follow, especially if you nail the first two elements of the equation.

B Tog

09/17/2011 04:13 pm

It's not a bad idea how they prioritize rankings. To me sometimes I think too much focus is placed on links. 

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