Google certainly is the most popular search engine among the Internet users. It powers over two-third of the search engine market share that is about the 67.3% of the total shares. This shows the dominance of the Google over other search engine. But the scenario has been changing since Firefox has replaced Google with Yahoo as a default search engine. Yahoo search share has grown from 9.6% to 29.4%. That is 275% increase in the total market shares. As Bing powers Yahoo Search Result; Webmasters are becoming aware about optimizing website for Bing.
Michael Basilyan, Senior Program Manager of the Bing Content Quality team has shared a set of details how Bing’s algorithms identify the quality content in a blog on 8th December 2014. Earlier in the post Dr. Jan Pedersen, Chief Scientist at Bing has introduced the need of considering the quality of the content as a ranking signal.
“In today’s post we take a look at how the Bing ranking algorithm considers content quality for ranking web documents. There are often many web documents on the web that are relevant for any given user query and an effective ranking algorithm should consider not only relevance but also the authority, utility and presentation of the content in order to provide the best search results.”
Quality of the content is a primary ranking factor in the Bing search algorithm along with the Topical relevance and Context of the search query. Content quality can be determined based on the three primary pillars of content. Authority, Utility and Presentation are the three pillars that determine the quality of the content.
Just like Google, Bing also looks for specific signals that disclose how authoritative or trustworthy any specific website is. Bing doesn’t only rely on the number of website linking to that specific website. It also considers signals from social networks, citations, name recognition and author rank, etc. while evaluating the authority of any specific website.
This authority signals may get varied according to specific search queries. As per the example given by Bing; they prefer documents written by professionals from well-known sources when someone searches for Health related queries. So in this case Author rank or Domain authority becomes a prominent ranking signal.
Utility of the content can be determined by identifying if that specific piece of content is useful and detailed enough for searched to perform any specific task. Off-site citations are the most crucial to determine the utility of the webpage. Bing also prefers the webpage with supporting multimedia content like videos, images and graphs etc.
One factor that can manipulate the content quality is the recycled content on the web. According to Bing, websites showing the information available on the web elsewhere can rank better if they set themselves apart from others by providing unique value to users. Search engine needs to identify the actual source of the content instead of ranking the recycled content.
Presentation is all about making the important content of the page easy to find and easy to read. According to Bing design concept: “A well-presented page will have an easy-to-read, accessible design, and will make its primary content easy to find. In contrast, poorly presented websites require the user to wade through introductory or unrelated material to access meaningful content.” So naturally search engine will give priority to well designed page.
This doesn’t mean that Bing is signifying Webmaster not to use advertisement above the fold on the webpage. Bing also says that they will promote and support the websites providing relevant and useful advertisements on the page if Ads do not interfere with the user experience. This makes presentation strongest pillar of determining content quality.
You can find the examples of Ad placement and other content quality pillars on the Bing blog. If you have experienced dealing with the Google Panda; you will find all these stuff very familiar. All these three pillars of content quality are somewhere a combination of Google page design, keyword relevancy and different versions of the Panda Algorithms. What do you think about this Bing’s version of the Google Panda Algorithm? Whether you prefer Bing or not, but such algorithm changes surely make us think about optimizing website for Bing as well.