When most people think of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), it’s very common for Google to be the first thing that comes to mind.
And that does make a lot of sense, especially considering a staggering 93.37% of all online searches in 2023 are from Google.
However, this doesn’t mean that Bing SEO should be overlooked – especially if you want to make the most of highly valuable ranking opportunities.
In this post, we will see if Google is better than Bing for SEO, what the differences are between each search engine, and what you should consider when optimising your website for the two of them.
Why is Bing SEO important?
You may be wondering, ‘Why bother with Bing?’, but there are many benefits of optimising for Bing SEO in 2023.
Despite only making up 2.81% of the 8.5 billion daily global search queries, Bing is still responsible for more than 238 million searches every day. This figure has been known to reach more than 900 million searches a day.
This means that if you’re not searching on Google, it’s highly likely that you’re one of the 1.1 billion people using Bing to answer your search queries every month.
To many businesses, Bing is a potential SEO goldmine with much less competition than Google, meaning businesses can rank higher in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) if optimised correctly.
Differences Between Bing and Google SEO
As you might expect, each search engine has its own unique algorithm.
So while Google and Bing do share similar ranking signals, there are a few notable key differences to consider when optimising for each search engine.
Let’s look at the seven key differences between Google SEO and Bing SEO:
1) Keywords and content
The first key difference between Google SEO and Bing SEO is what each search engine looks for in the content on your site.
Bing uses a visual search, favouring sites with various types of multimedia content, such as videos, images and audio.
Since Bing’s bots are able to crawl sites and understand every kind of multimedia content, we recommend using the highest possible quality content for your posts (but optimised to keep page speed up to scratch, of course).
This doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t see multimedia content as an important ranking factor, it’s just that it is not as vital as it is on Bing.
However, what Google lacks in visual search it more than makes up for with text-based search.
Google favours more text-based content, typically with a word count of up to 2,400 words.
Google can conduct semantic searches, wherein the search engine’s bots can understand a page’s content through related keywords and phrases.
Also known as Latent Semantic Indexing (or LSI Keywords), this feature allows Google’s bots to create a SERP consisting of content that relates to the user’s intent.
On the other hand, Bing looks for exact keywords in a page’s content and struggles to identify semantically related content.
2) User engagement
User engagement and experience are integral ranking factors for both Google SEO and Bing SEO, but especially for the latter.
Bounce rate and click-through rate (CTR) are two key metrics for measuring user engagement, which can tell you whether your website is providing a good experience for visitors.
Bing uses these metrics to determine if users find what they’re looking for on your site immediately after landing on it, and if the answer is ‘no’, then that can count against your search engine rankings with Bing.
However, make no mistake, user engagement is still a key ranking factor for Google SEO, but it’s slightly less important than on Bing.
Businesses looking to improve their site’s CTR should learn how to write a good meta description, as this is a great way of enticing users into your site.
3) Technical SEO
From page load time and mobile usability to keyword placement and image size, technical SEO is a factor that cannot be ignored in Search Engine Optimisation.
But, following on from the last point, there are several technical SEO factors that separate Bing SEO from Google SEO.
As mentioned in the first point, Google’s bots are much more intuitive when crawling the contents of a page, and this also applies to the way in which it navigates and indexes entire websites.
Google is more likely to crawl and index your entire site, whereas Bing will focus on individual pages. This means to rank on Google, it’s important that your site can be navigated easily.
Fortunately, Bing offers multiple tools to help increase the crawl rate on your site, such as the Crawl Control or Submit a Sitemap options on Bing Webmaster Tools. Bing also allows users the option to submit URLs to be crawled – an option unavailable with Google.
Speaking of URLs, a site’s Canonical URL is another key factor to consider for SEO. If two pages on your site have similar content, a Canonical URL will indicate to the search engine which one should be indexed and appear on SERPs.
Google’s bots are smart enough to determine a site’s Canonical URL even if it’s not coded correctly, but Bing’s algorithm is not yet at that level.
Using a 301 direct is the most effective way of telling Bing which pages should be indexed and included in SERPs.
Lastly, mobile usability is another key technical SEO aspect that must be considered in 2023.
When crawling sites, Bing uses a single index meaning that mobile usability is less of an important factor for Bing SEO.
However, Google sees mobile usability as one of the most important ranking factors when it comes to SEO. A recent update has seen Google favour mobile content over desktop, pushing companies to develop their mobile content if they wish to maintain current SERP rankings.
And this change makes sense, especially when you consider that nearly 60% of daily searches are done on mobile.
4) Social signals
One major ranking factor that separates Bing SEO from Google is how each algorithm views social signals.
On Google, social media engagement plays a very minimal role in SERP placement, with the search engine even explicitly stating that a social media presence does not affect rankings.
On Bing, however, social signals are a pivotal ranking factor that can help your website stand out on SERPs. That means that follower count, likes, and shares all play a key role in your site’s performance and authority when it comes to the Bing search engine algorithm.
So whether it’s Pinterest boards, Facebook and Instagram pages or a Youtube channel, those looking to improve their Bing rankings should consider optimising their channels with social media SEO best practices.
Quality backlinks are an integral part of Google SEO, with these links being determined as a badge of trust from other sites. When a site with high domain authority links to your site, Google’s algorithm sees this as a major indicator of your page’s reliability and relevance.
For this reason, Google takes a quality-over-quantity approach to backlinks, meaning that one high-value link is much more valuable than ten weak links.
While backlinks are less important on Bing, that doesn’t mean they aren’t a ranking factor.
Bing’s search engine algorithm is almost on catchup in comparison to Google when it comes to backlinks, with it gradually preferring quality over quantity – much like that of Google.
Truthfully, Bing’s algorithm is not yet advanced enough in this field to separate a great backlink from an average one, especially when compared to Google’s algorithm.
6) Page authority
Bad news for brand new sites, Bing’s algorithm tends to put more focus on sites with a higher domain and page authority.
This means that newer sites may struggle to see results as fast as they would on Google SERPs, particularly in competitive fields and niches.
In fact, Bing actively removes pages from their index if there is not enough authority or page value.
Alternatively, page authority plays a part in Google SEO, just not as much as with Bing. This means that on Google, a page with low authority but great content is far more likely to rank than it will on Bing.
7) Local SEO
The last difference when looking at Bing or Google SEO is how each search engine views local searches.
Both Bing and Google value any pages optimised for local SEO, but the differences come down to how each search engine displays these results on their SERPs.
Bing is more likely to place smaller businesses near each user on SERPs within a local search, while Google will show more established businesses within that user’s proximity. The reason for this is that Google views these businesses as the most credible.
So while a smaller business may struggle to rank for national queries, if optimised correctly, they may be able to stand out more on a Bing search than on a Google search.
Bing SEO vs Google SEO: Which should you choose?
So, those are the differences between Bing SEO and Google SEO. But which is better, Google or Bing?
Truthfully, it shouldn’t be a case of choosing one over the other.
Although Google is better than Bing for helping businesses potentially reach a bigger audience, it could be argued that Bing is better than Google for ranking on competitive search queries.
In reality, SEOs need to optimise for both Google SEO and Bing SEO if they want to reach the biggest audience and generate the most organic traffic.
Are you looking to expand your business and grow to the next level?
Inc Studio is an SEO and Design studio that’s dedicated to helping forward-thinking businesses increase their online visibility and brand awareness.
We have a wealth of experience working with businesses across a range of industries, including the energy, construction, tech, and marketing sectors.
To discover how you could grow your business through effective design and SEO, contact the Inc Studio team today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions or queries you may have.