bingdude - 4:36 pm on Jul 6, 2011 (gmt 0)
As far as I can tell, if you have the info on the page, have decent links and good site architecture they will find you and rank accordingly.
There are no tricks or stupid guessing as we've seen lately with Google. But Bing will not index what they see as 'bad' pages, or at least it did not.
Pretty much bang on target walkman. :)
Bing likes quality, original content. Skip syndicated content and articles as a way forward.
Bing does not respond well to "thin" content - in fact, we're constantly looking through our index to determine if items we keep have performed well in past searches compared to other items. We're looking for, in the end, the best result for a searcher. Ask yourself this for every page you have: Is this the single best result for a searcher? Have I developed an authority page for a given query; a page that will thoroughly answer a searcher's needs?
If the answer is "Yes", then fantastic, you're well on your way!
If the answer is "well, I applied standard seo best practices, used the target keyword in the <title>, <meta description>, <keywords>, the <alt> tag, in an <h1> and a few times throughout the page content"...the answer is, that's simply not enough to rank well on the popular phrases these days. It's a start, but in reality, user sentiment plays a bigger role these days in ranking. (Biggerin terms of it plays more of a role than it used to, NOT "sentiment has more impact that the typical seo work items".)
These days, you have to think in terms of the total package. SEO is not a stand-alone function. In fact, I'd suggest SEO is a 2nd tier marketing function, where the first tier is making sure the site is quick, wows visitors enough that they talk about you positively online, and elements such as "rich snippets" will be the way forward in the future.
I'm not taking anything away from SEO here, but the fact is, times, they are a changin'. What was cutting edge a decade ago is an expected baseline today. Is SEO dead? Hardly.
SEO is simply, IMO, due to be integrated more closely with other work areas. SEO and UX spring to mind as BFFs. Now, couple that with social and you're starting to cover the important bases for the future. And to define that "future" a bit, let's look at it this way:
The future is now.
If a user searches on Bing, we return the best SERP we can for the query. The user clicks on the first result (as we'd expect, normally). They hit YOUR website, and...
1 - are so engaged they forget about the rest of the Internet for a few minutes and bask in your glory, getting the information they wanted, and more.
2 - are so dismayed they immediately hit their back button, suddenly popping back onto our radar, alerting us to the fact they were displeased with the result we just showed them - why else would they suddenly come back, without consuming your content? Displeased.
Pretty obvious which option you'd like to see happen. It's the same result we're hoping for - we want to wow the searcher with the right result every time. Things like rich snippets enable you to mark up your content in new ways helping Bing understand what all of your content elements are: videos, text, flash elements, images, etc. Rich snippets help you help us understand your content and display it in new, more engaging ways. :)
If you haven't starting thinking about integrating rich snippets into your page code, NOW is the time to start planning for it. They are a signal - a light signal - but as adoption increases, leading to richer searcher experiences and higher satisfaction with SERP results, that signal strength may well increase.
By now I'm sure Ben is a bit frightened and maybe a smidge confused by this "new" path for SEO I'm suggesting...
Not to worry Ben - cover the basic SEO best practices - they still hold value. But also invest in figuring out how to leverage these newer areas to lead your website to greater success.