Bing is doing its best to differentiate itself from Google. Attempting to claim some high ground, Microsoft is positioning Bing as the world’s first “decision engine” as opposed to its predecessors, the search engines. Differentiation requires using different algorithms and a new design on the search engine results page. New design or not the SERP’s on Bing do resemble Google’s at first glance.
Depending on the search, Bing delivers either highly relevant results or something a little less so. Searches in Microsoft’s wheelhouse of health, local, travel, and shopping are better than most others on Bing. The wheelhouse group was not arrived at by accident. These markets carry high potential for advertising revenues and have historically been among the highest revenue generators on the internet.
Bing isn’t going as far as saying that it will change search engine optimization, yet. In early June, a whitepaper released by Bing’s Webmaster Center Team stated “Ultimately, SEO is still SEO. Bing doesn’t change that. Bing’s new user interface design simply adds new opportunities to searchers to find what the information they want more quickly and easily, and that benefits webmasters who have taken the time to work on the quality of their content and website design.”
The Bing Team emphasizes that good content and SEO are crucial elements in website design so it appears that what applies to Google and Yahoo will work with Bing. It also appears that attempts to optimize for Bing will bring similar results to the other search engines as well. The Bing team hasn’t given much other information beyond emphasizing on page content and standard SEO practices and maybe that what’s important at the moment. Based on PowerSet, Bing will definitely give more weight to content, at the expense of visuals.
Still in its infancy, Bing will need to broaden its wheelhouse to avoid turning off searchers that come over for a try, find a bunch of irrelevant results and never return. Initial traffic numbers were conflicted but it appeared that Bing had attracted some significant numbers, whether at the expense of Google and Yahoo, or not. The rest remains to be seen.