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Is Bing a worthy contender for Google search?

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Google vs Bing

Google may have made the call to stay, but its recent threat to stop providing search in Australia has turned our attention to whether finance content marketers need to be taking active steps to ensure their content performs on Bing, the #2 search engine in the world. 

While there are actually hundreds of different search engines and directories accessible on the internet, Google dominates with more than 90% of market share in almost all countries (China excepted). 

While Google’s decision to stay is probably a good result for Australian consumers and businesses, it raises concerns for content marketers globally who have been solely focused on optimising their content for Google search with nary a thought to the other search engines.

So, is Bing a worthy contender? And if so, what do financial content marketers need to do to ensure their content performs well on the search engine?

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Putting Google and Bing in the ring

From the end user’s perspective, both Google and Bing present nearly all of the same features and search functionality bar a few exceptions. 

Is Bing a worthy contender for Google search

However, as financial content marketers it’s the content ranking systems that really matter. Understanding how a search engine ranks its listings is crucial for any content marketer if they want to ensure their business’ brand, products and services are visible. 

Google has always been notorious for being a closed book about its search algorithms, and a whole industry has sprung up trying to decipher exactly how Google search works. To make things harder, Google’s algorithms are constantly updated and so trying to understand them and take advantage of that knowledge is a constantly moving target. We’ve already started preparing for Google’s page experience update scheduled for some time in 2021. 

While we won’t go down the rabbit hole of unpacking Google’s algorithms here – it’s something we cover regularly on the Financial Marketer – in short, the way it works is that a number of algorithms are using multiple criteria to determine the appropriate search ranking for any particular piece of information or content on the internet. 

Some of the more important ranking criteria include:

  • The keywords/phrases used in the search engine query
  • The relevancy of content to the query
  • The authority of the source of the information
  • The geographic location of the source of the information

So, how does Bing do it? And what are the key differences that can help financial marketers drive relevant traffic to their content?

Well, for a start, Bing is much more open about how the search engine works, even publishing technical explanations for those wanting to get stuck into the complexities.

Where the differences lie

While there are a lot of similarities, some of the key differences between Google and Bing that content marketers should be aware of are:

  • Bing pays more attention to on-page SEO and so things like H1 tags and title tags which have been becoming less important on Google are still important on Bing. 
  • Bing does use user click signals (for example CTR – click through rate) as a ranking factor which is something Google has denied many times over the years (although some people suspect it may still be the case).
  • Bing favours backlinks from older domains with official domain suffixes like .gov or .edu over newer or even commercial websites which is not necessarily the case with Google.
  • Bing favours content with positive social signals such as shares, likes, tweets etc to a more direct and greater extent than does Google.

How to SEO optimise for Google and Bing

So what do these differences mean in terms of the actions financial marketers can take to optimise content for both Google and Bing?

The first thing that stands out is that if a brand ranks well on Bing it will probably do well on Google also, but not necessarily vice-versa. It makes sense to include Bing differences into our SEO plans, and if we do we kill 2 birds with one stone.

 

The first thing that stands out is that if a brand ranks well on Bing it will probably do well on Google also, but not necessarily vice-versa.

 

While some content marketers have paid less attention to on-page SEO optimisation as it has been thought that Google’s AI is smart enough to interpret content without rigorous page labelling and titling using well researched keywords, maintaining these practices would ensure that both Google and Bing understand exactly what your content is about.

Content that attracts high click-through-rates (CTR) and ongoing engagement across a website is something all marketers strive for. Also significant both to Google and Bing, financial marketers should pay attention to call to actions and clear copy that helps encourage a deeper user journey. 

Having authoritative backlinks from respected and reputable channels such as .gov or .edu domains is positive on a number of levels. Google isn’t going to penalise brands for not having them and Bing will reward you, so it makes sense to include these in your PR outreach strategy. 

And lastly, if your content is good enough and popular enough to be shared, liked and commented on across social channels, this ticks one of the high priority boxes as a financial content marketer. Finance brands should always be aiming to produce content that resonates and hits the mark with their target audience, and if you are hitting it, Bing rewards you for it.

While Google certainly still rules the roost, putting some time and thought into what matters to Bing will only further elevate your finance brand’s content marketing. At The Dubs, we understand the ever-changing minefield of SEO and employ best practice to ensure your content gets found, get in touch. 

To find out how your website SEO is performing, use our free SEO website audit tool.

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Andrew Frith
Andrew’s career in digital media spans 5 continents and more than 20 years. His research and analysis has been used in major global projects and campaigns for finance and media brands in Australia, UK and Asia.