I’ve played around with Bing over the last few days to see what it offers. Most of my evaluation has been of the results page from the user’s point of view.
- Are the results I’m getting relevant?
- How would I use the tools on the left side (“refined” results, Related Searches, Search History, etc)?
- How would I pick which result to click on?
As an SEO company, we know it’s important that the client’s site ranks well and that search engine users click through (more traffic + more sales = more revenue which makes our clients happy). Users only have a few pieces of information to help them decide what site to visit when they’re looking at a results page: the title (that is also the link to the page), a short description, and the URL of the page.
From what I’ve seen of the results in Bing so far, it looks like the results page is pulling the title tag and meta description, which is pretty standard. However, they’ve added a little something extra to help users decide if this is the site they want before they click. When you hover over a search result, a horizontal line with an orange dot appears on the right. Mouse over the dot and a Preview window opens. In that Preview there is copy from the page, maybe a phone number and/or email address for the site, and sometimes even 5 deep links. So where is this information coming from?
It looks as if Bing is pulling the first content on the page and the first links. This isn’t so great if you’ve put a tag line at the top or Global navigation above your more-customer friendly links. Here I did a search for “diamond engagement rings” and found MySolitaire as the #3 result. The Preview included the first content on the page (double bonus, it also contained the terms “diamond”, “engagement”, and “rings”) and the first links.
But wait, there’s more to it. A search on “Lucero CDs” gives us Amazon as the #7 result. But its Preview copy is not what appears at the top of the page (and the code). Instead, the Preview pulls information father down; it is actually a customer review.
In this case it looks like Bing is pulling the first “unique” content on the page since many of Amazon’s pages share the same information at the top. And the content it pulled did not contain “Lucero” or “CDs”. In a few other results for different searches, it seems they are pulling content near the top but not what I would’ve guessed. So it seems like Bing is looking for copy that:
- Is near the top of the page
- Is unique
- Has the keywords in it (which is like when there is no meta description and the SE pulls content from the page, that includes the keywords, for the description of the listing on the results page)
Bing is so new that I’m not suggesting your run out and change the key pages of your website to maximize what could be in the Preview window. But, if you are thinking about site optimization for Bing’s result, you might want to consider what content and links are at the top of your page and the copy around your prominent keywords for the page.