Category Archives: Bing

Microsoft’s Answer to Google Places: Bing Business Portal

The Bing Business Portal offers local businesses a new, improved space to promote online.

The local search game just got a little hotter as of earlier this week. On Monday, Bing announced the launch of the Bing Business Portal (BBP), a revamped version of its old local listing service, the Bing Local Listing Center. Offering a wealth of new features, the BBP puts Bing in a better position to compete with Google Places, Google’s local listing service.

With The BBP, local business owners (or their designated representatives) can claim and enhance their listings with additional content such as special offers and links to Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a rundown of what you can do with your Bing Business Portal listing:

· Claim, create, verify and manage local business listings

· Add search categories to listings

· Enhance listings with logos, photos and more

· Create a mobile website for easy mobile access

· Create a scan-able QR Code for your listing

· Create coupons using a deal editor and promote them on Bing (PC and mobile) and Facebook

Although many of these features are standard on Google Places, the deal editor and the mobile listings are innovations that can help business owners get a leg up on the local competition as online coupons and mobile search are both very hot right now.

To claim listings, business owners (or their authorized reps) can do so by phone or using a PIN sent through the mail. The verification process usually takes about 48 to 72 hours.

If you’re concerned about your Bing Local listing, there’s no need to worry; all listings have been transferred over to the new BBP format. However, now, of course, there are plenty of new features to take advantage of.

With Bing searches now comprising 30 percent of all Internet searches in the U.S., it’s becoming more and more important for local businesses to list on this growing network. CyberMark can help create or enhance Bing listings that highlight your local business in SERPs. Contact us to find out more.

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Bing Gets Personal with Its Search Results

Bing has officially joined Google in the personalized search game. As announced on its blog last week, Bing has tweaked its search to display more personal results based on location and past search history.

Until last Thursday, U.S. Bing users generally received the same results when conducting searches. Now, search results will depend on the user’s location. For example, when searching in Bing for a museum in Phoenix, you receive results for Phoenix area museums with their locations marked in Bing Maps. When searching in Bing for a museum in Los Angeles, L.A. area museums come up.

Also, Bing is starting to factor in search history to determine the most relevant search results for each user. For instance, a search for “ACS” may pull up American Cancer Society or American Chemical Society depending on your search history. For searches that have been affected by search history, Bing displays a short message at the bottom of the first page of results to let you know that your search history has affected the ranking of search results. Users who don’t want their search history to factor into their search results can clear and even turn off their search history. You can find out more about search history’s role in Bing searches here.

Google has been personalizing search results in some way, shape or form since 2007. Starting in February 2007, anyone who signed up for a Google account automatically enabled their search history to help develop personalized homepages and search results. By 2009, Google users didn’t even have to be signed into their Google accounts to view personalized results. Google also began displaying localized search results as determined by IP address location in 2009 and significantly ramped up the localization in 2010 with a major rehaul of its Google Places, its local search program.

Bing’s entrance into search result personalization marks a significant milestone in the decline of “normal,” meaning non-personalized, search results, as about 90 percent of the world’s Internet searches are powered by Google or Bing.

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Found in Search: September 17, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Twitter Rolling Out Major Redesign

Twitter announced dramatic changes to its interface this week. Some of the highlights of the “New Twitter.com” include a streamlined timeline design, a details pane and, perhaps the most notable change of all, embedded media.

In addition to displaying 140-characters-or-less tweets, Twitter will also display videos and photos due to partnerships with DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube.

The “New Twitter.com” will be rolling out to users over the next several weeks. To preview the redesign, check out this information page from Twitter.

Microsoft Launches Internet Explorer 9 Beta 1

On Wednesday, Microsoft released an ambitious new version of its Internet Explorer browser. Focused on “beautifying the web,” IE 9 includes a wealth of advanced features that cater to developers and designers. The revamped browser offers:

  • Hardware acceleration
  • Site-centric user interface
  • HTML 5 support
  • Pinning to add favorite websites to the task bar for easy access

“The Web is about sites, and your browser should be, too,” says Dan Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Internet Explorer. “IE9 puts you and your site at the center of the browser experience.”

For more information or to download IE 9, go to http://www.beautyoftheweb.com.

According to Nielsen, Bing Is Now No. 2 Search Engine in US

Nielsen released data Tuesday that indicates that Microsoft’s Bing surpassed Yahoo to become the second most-used search engine behind Google in the U.S. As of August 2010, Bing has a 13.9 percent share of the U.S. search market, compared to Yahoo’s 13.1 market share. Accounting for 65 percent of all search volume, Google stayed the same in August.

Since August 2009, Bing’s search market share has increased 30 percent. In the last year, Yahoo has seen an 18 percent decrease in search traffic.

According to Chitika, an advertising network, Bing took over the no. 2 spot back in January 2010.

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Found in Search This Week: August 27, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Yahoo announced on Tuesday that the conversion from Yahoo-powered search results to Micropsft Bing-powered Yahoo! English-language search results in the U.S. and Canada is complete. Yahoo web, image and video searches on desktop and mobile devices are now powered using Bing search technology.

The transition is the result of a Microsoft-Yahoo alliance formed last year in which Bing will power Yahoo search in exchange for ad revenue from Yahoo.

The changeover is expected to be completed for all languages and countries by early 2011.

Google Beefs Up Its Real-Time Search

Google Real-Time Search, which displays status updates from Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed in real time, launched a new home page as well as additional features.

From the new Google Real-Time Search home page, users can filter real-time search results by several criteria, including location. Users can see status updates relating to their search query made by others near them or within a specified locale.

Real-time search also launched a new “Full Conversation” feature, which allows users to view entire conversations that mention the search topic.

Users can now set Google Alerts to receive real-time search results about a specified topic in their e-mail inboxes or Google Reader feeds.

For more information, Google has posted a blog and video that explains real-time search in detail.

Digg 4.0 Goes Live

The newest version of Digg (Digg 4.0), which has only been open to invited users for the last few months, officially went live to all users earlier this week.

The new Digg boasts an easier and faster content submission process, greater customization and additional opportunities for online socializing.

As Digg founder Kevin Rose said in a blog post announcing the launch on Wednesday, “Our goal has always been for Digg to be a place where people can discover and share content and conversations from anywhere on the web. With Digg v4, we are introducing a few things that will make discovering and discussing news a lot better.”

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Posted in Bing, Google, Yahoo | Comments Off

Found in Search This Week: August 20, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Facebook Allows Location-Based Check-Ins

Earlier this week, Facebook launched Places, a geolocation feature that allows users to share their whereabouts with the rest of Facebook. Places rivals popular check-in features pioneered by Foursquare and Gowalla.

Using smartphones, users can check-in to existing places, add new places and tag other users that accompanied them. Like similar features offered by Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp, users can also sound off on the places they visit and view nearby and relevant places.

“The main thing we are doing is allowing our users to share where they are in a really nice and social way,” Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said at an event at Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters. “You can see who is around you and connect in the real world.”

The feature is currently accessible through the iPhone’s Facebook app or, for those without an iPhone, through Facebook’s touch mobile site at touch.facebook.com. Facebook plans to roll out versions for Android and Blackberries in the near feature. Users can opt out of Places by adjusting their privacy settings.

Yahoo Begins Transitioning to Bing Platform

Earlier this week, Yahoo began making the switch over to Microsoft’s Bing search technology. At the end of the changeover, both Yahoo!’s web and mobile searches will be powered by Bing in exchange for revenue from Yahoo! ad sales.

Announced last summer and finalized earlier this year, the Microsoft-Yahoo alliance was created to cut costs for both search companies as well as to become more competitive with Google, which currently comprises 70 percent of the search market share. Combined, Yahoo and Bing make up nearly 30 percent of all searches.

The transition is expected to be completed by early 2011.

YouTube Charts Rank the Site’s Top Videos

YouTube is launching YouTube Charts, virtually a Billboard Hot 100 for its videos.

With YouTube Charts, users can check out which videos are trending as well as all-time favorites. The Charts allow users to view the most popular videos and video channels by views, likes or new subscribers over the past week, month or all-time.

Currently, the all-time most viewed video is Justin Bieber’s “Baby” featuring Ludacris with more than 293 million views.

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Posted in Bing, Facebook, Found in Search, location-based services, Search Engine News, Yahoo, YouTube | Comments Off

Found in Search This Week: July 23, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Facebook Reaches 500 Million Members

Earlier this week, Facebook surpassed the 500 million member mark. Coinciding with the milestone was the appearance of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. In the interview, Mark touched upon an upcoming IPO, Facebook privacy concerns and a lawsuit brought by former associate Paul Ceglia for 84 percent of ownership. Facebook’s estimated value is about $20 billion, and the social media giant is expected to generate $1 billion in revenue from ad sales.

Twitter Getting New Dedicated Data Center This Fall

If you’ve grown weary of seeing Twitters Fail Whale, the adorable but maddening graphic that appears when the site is having technical problems, rest assured that Twitter is working to become more stable and reliable. This fall, Twitter is moving into a new dedicated data center in the Salt Lake City area. The state-of-the-art center will help Twitter handle its enormous growth (about 300,000 new users sign up each day), have greater control over network and systems configuration and more easily make changes in its infrastructure.

Microsoft Bing Overhauls Webmaster Tools

On Wednesday, Microsoft Bing officially launched new and improved Bing Webmasters Tools. Powered by Microsoft Silverlight 4, the revamped Bing Webmasters Tools displays up to six months’ worth of crawl, index and traffic data, with more crawl and indexing data than before. New features include Index Explorer, which allows access to the Bing index to verify which directories and pages have been included; and Submit URLs, a place to submit URLs for Bing indexation. All existing Bing Webmaster accounts already have access to these overhauled tools.

Google Makes Over Image Search

Google rolled out a new version of its Image Search Tuesday. In addition to a fresh, new dense-tiled layout that displays more images at once, Google Image Search has refined its Similar Images and Similar Colors tools to produce more relevant search results. The new Google Image Search also offers larger thumbnail previews and instant scrolling. Currently, Google has indexed more than 10 billion images.

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Optimizing Your Website for Bing

Since its introduction by Microsoft last year to phase out MSN.com, Bing has managed to eke out a respectable share of the search engine market fiercely dominated by Google. Of course, its recent coupling with Yahoo! has helped; together, the runners up comprise about 30 percent of all searches. With a sizable market share, it’s worth it to optimize your website for this up-and-coming search engine. Here are a few SEO tips for boosting your ranking in Bing.

Submit your website to the Bing Webmaster Center

Add your site to the Bing Webmaster Center to monitor your Bing search analytics, including back-links, outbound links and keyword rank. [Note: This tool does not work well in Google Chrome. For best viewing results, use the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.]

Add your business to the Bing Local Listing Center.

Take advantage of these budding local listings, which aren’t populated with nearly the amount of competition as on Google Local. Submit your website right away and wait for verification by snail mail.

Opt for a more established domain.

Bing tends to boost older domain names over newer ones, so consider hosting your website on an established domain. Of course, if you choose to host your website on a newer domain, you can always garner the higher link popularity of a more established domain you own by redirecting the older website to the newer website.

Pay attention to your title tags.

Like Google, Bing’s algorithm prefers sites with title tags that match keywords in your site content. Relevant site content factors well into link popularity.

Optimize your site content.

Bing’s algorithm seems to prefer web pages that stay on a single topic. Bing web crawlers look for content that is unique and relevant to your title tags. Also, Bing likes substantial content; web pages with more than 300 words tend to rank better in Bing.

Forgo the unethical SEO.

Keyword stuffing, hidden text and links and link farms can prevent your site from being indexed by Bing.

Optimize your Flash content.

Flash video and audio tends to fare better in Bing than in Google. So, make sure to optimize your Flash content by using the appropriate techniques.

Make sure your back-links are relevant.

As with Google, Bing favors websites with more back-links. But Bing also considers how many of these back-links are from sites with related content. Try to match the targeted anchor text to the title tag of the page to which you are linking. Keep your strategic linking relevant to your business or industry for best results.

Scour your website for technical issues that may prevent indexing.

The following technical problems can potentially lower your link popularity and even block your website from being indexed by Bing:

  • Incomplete or invalid HTML code
  • Broken links
  • Improper site redirect
  • Meta tags that restrict crawler access
  • Complicated and ever-changing URLs (Simple, static URLs are easier to index)
  • Documents, images and links corrupted by Malware

If your site has any of the above issues, correct them immediately for best indexing results.

Optimizing your website for Bing can only help you in promoting your website to potential customers. At CyberMark, we can advise you on the best SEO practices for targeting Bing users. We can also help with these search engines. For more details, please contact us.

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Posted in Bing, search engine algorithms, Search Engine News, search engine optimization | 3 Comments

Take Advantage of Real-Time Searches with Social Media

Sometimes, timing is everything. Last year, Google and Bing unveiled real-time search results that display the latest Twitter, Facebook and blog posts on trending topics. These up-to-the-minute streams can help you promote your business using social media

Real-time indexing lets you know what people are talking about and what they are saying. For instance, at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, January 28, 2010, the hottest topics on Twitter according to Bing were Haiti, iPad and State of the Union. Knowing this is information is valuable because it gives you some insight into what intrigues the public right now.

In turn, you can use this information about what’s all the rage on social media to join in the conversation and connect with potential clientele. For instance, if your software development company is developing applications for the iPad, you could take advantage of this trending topic and tweet something along the lines of, “Currently working on an application for the iPad that will revolutionize the way you find local auto mechanics.” Or you could blog about your organization’s contributions to the Haiti relief effort. With real-time searches, a well-timed, relevant post on a hot topic could help your business gain exposure and build a following.

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In Review: 30 Days to Bigger & Better Website Marketing

In our recent blog series, 30 Days to Bigger & Better Website Marketing, we covered a wide range of tools and techniques you can use to catapult your internet marketing to the next level! Though this series spans a month’s time, we blogged only on weekdays resulting 20 total posts:

  1. Social Media
  2. Top 5 Social Media Tips
  3. Twitter Lists
  4. Blogging
  5. Promoting Your Blog
  6. Rules of the Rave
  7. Free Offers
  8. eBooks
  9. Home Page How To
  10. Lead with a List of Benefits
  11. Compelling Content
  12. Call to Action
  13. Testimonials
  14. 10 Ways to Integrate Keywords
  15. Inbound Linking
  16. Article Marketing
  17. Sitemaps
  18. Bing
  19. Google Alerts
  20. Phone Etiquette

From SEO to social media, any one of these elements can make a difference to your website marketing campaign, not only in terms of getting people to your site, but helping to convert these leads into solid sales!

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Posted in article marketing, Bing, blogging, Facebook, Google, internet marketing, Linking, search engine optimization, social media, Twitter | Comments Off

Bing for Bigger and Better Website Marketing in 30 Days

As we blogged back in June regarding Microsoft’s new search engine, “Bing promises to make online search a more satisfying experience.” It seems online users are pleased with Bing’s fulfillment of that promise as its search share continues to grow, making it an increasingly important engine when it comes to effective website marketing.

In September Bing received 25 million more queries than in August!

What this news should mean to you — a website owner — is reinforcement of the fact that Google is not the only search engine to please. Granted, ranking well with Google is critical as it continues to dominate the search share at 73 percent with an average of more than 9 billion queries every month in 2009! However other search engines, like Bing, represent the other 27 percent of online users whose searches should not be ignored.

As with all search engine developments, CyberMark will monitor the growth of Bing and other emerging search engines and, if necessary, adjust our SEO techniques accordingly. That said we are proud to report that CyberMark clients continue to rank remarkably well with Bing.

Posted in Bing, blogging, Cost Per Click, CyberMark, Google, Google Analytics, internet marketing, Linking, ROI, Search Engine News, search engine optimization | Comments Off