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Yahoo Switches to Bing: Check How this Affected Your Site and Turn it Into Advantage

August 31st, 2010 | Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category Search News SEO Tools Yahoo! SEO

check-old-yahoo-rankings

Yahoo switching to Bing's technology in the US and Canada is probably the leading search news story of the whole month.

Yes, Yahoo has fully switched to serving Bing results to the U.S. and Canadian searchers. While the average user may not care too much as to who's providing the results (as long as they're good of course), this is huge news for search marketers.

We'll look at how this change affects the search landscape and how you can leverage this for your site a bit later, but first things first.

Today we're disabling Yahoo! API key in Rank Tracker (which was on by default to let you query Yahoo safely and shield you from ranking dances caused by Yahoo-Bing tests). As soon as you get the new version (restart the tool to auto-update as usual) and run a check you'll see your Yahoo! rankings change dramatically and become exactly as on Bing (or with some slight alterations).

Whether your positions in Yahoo! rise or fall it's all because of the switch to Bing technology (this is something you might want to explain to your clients).

If you haven't been watching your Yahoo rankings and want to learn how this change affected your site, take a peek into the trick that we share at the end of this post. It shows you how to check your old Yahoo rankings. And now let's see how you can leverage Yahoo's switch to Bing for your business.

Turn the Yahoo-Bing Merger to Your Advantage

Combined Bing and Yahoo account for about 5.2 billion monthly searches. This is a pretty large traffic pond to tap into (not as large as the 'Google Sea', but still). So let's see how you can leverage the 'Binghoo' search traffic.

Since Bing is already serving organic results on Yahoo U.S. and Canada and will be powering all of Yahoo search soon, you only need to concern yourself with optimizing for Bing. Grab top rankings there and you'll be crowning Yahoo results as well. One shot – two rabbits dead, so to speak. So let's cut to the chase.

1. Keyword Research

No matter what search engine you're optimizing for your first step is keyword research. You sure already have a list of keywords that you pursue on Google, but search habits of Yahoo and Bing users are not necessarily the same. That's why it's a good idea to use specific keyword research tools for those search engines just to make sure you're on the right track and check if there are additional keyword opportunities.

Here are collections of Yahoo keyword research tools and Bing keyword research tools (in 2 parts) to help you out.

In case you wonder why you should care about Yahoo keyword tools since it's Bing that determines the rankings, the thing is Yahoo users will retain their search habits (at least for a while), so Yahoo keyword tools may still be useful.

Depending on the niche there may not be a huge difference in the keywords people use on Google, Yahoo or Bing but it's still worth investigating.
2. Rankings Check

As soon as you have your list of keywords you need to check where you currently stand in terms of rankings. This way you'll see how much work is needed to get a decent ranking for each keyword and you'll learn what webpage ranks best for each term, so you know what page to optimize. So that's another two-rabbit shot here.

You don't really need to check your site's positions on Yahoo as they mirror your Bing rankings.
Checking your Bing rankings is enough. You can quickly do this with the help of Rank Tracker (get a free version if you don't have one) or with any other ranking tool you use.

Once you know your Bing rankings, compare them against those on Google. If your Google and Bing rankings come close or are the same, you don't really need to do anything specific for Bing. Just carry on with the SEO work you're already doing and SEO software you're using.

If your Bing rankings are considerably lower than your Google positions you'll need to put in some extra Bing-focused SEO effort.

3. Optimize your site for Bing

If you compare the search results on Google and Bing you'll see that the two engines rank sites differently. The difference in results suggests that there's also a difference in ranking factors and the value attached to them.

Among other things Bing tends to put more weight on domain age, topical relevancy and outbound linking. Let's see what SEO factors play a role in your Bing rankings and how you can optimize your site to drive your website up.

  • On-page SEO

There's no magic bullet for Bing as far as the content optimization goes. Cover the basics and you're good to go: put out unique content, optimize your page titles, H tags and meta-descriptions, strategically employ your keywords in the body, optimize images and so on. Try to focus on one topic per page as theme relevancy is really important on Bing.

  • Relevant Inbound Links

Link relevancy is another key to high rankings on the decision engine. Bing tends to favor links coming from pages with the same or similar topic. Try to acquire links from pages with your targeted keywords in the title, URL, H tags and in the body. Links with your target keywords in the anchor texts are even more effective on Bing than on Google, so be sure to take care of that as well.

  • Linking Out

It's not just who links to you that's important. Outgoing links are also a factor on Bing. By linking out to authority sites in your niche (where appropriate of course) you increase the authority of your own site and as a result get a ranking boost.

  • Blogs vs News Sites

We've all heard about Google's love for blogs because of their fresh content. There are a lot of results from blogs in Google News as well as in the news block in the general SERPs. Bing on the other hand tends to give preference to major news sites. Blogs don’t often make their way into the news sections on Bing, but so if you're a news blog it may take more effort to get a high ranking on Bing.

  • Domain Age

Bing tends to favor old domains even more than Google. The older the site, the more chances it has to rank well on Bing. This tip has not much of a take-away to it, apart from something like: Go, age your domain. Domains are not jeans and the artificial aging trick doesn't work here, so just sit back and let your domain grow old.

If you want more Bing SEO advice you'll find links to a lot of additional reading in this post on SEO for Bing.

Check how the switch to Bing affected your Yahoo rankings

If you haven't been watching your organic rankings in Yahoo you’re probably wondering how this transition affected your site's positions.

Well guess what? There's a way to check where your site used to rank in Yahoo before the switch.

No, we didn't build a time machine in case you ask. The workaround is pretty simple. If you query Yahoo! through an API key you get old data. The thing is Yahoo's API data is updated with a bit of a time lag which is just enough for you to see where you ranked before Bing started powering Yahoo search results. The very time lag which used to bug many of us now turns out to be pretty helpful, eh?

Here's how the trick works.

  1. Fire up Rank Tracker (you can get a free version here it'll do just fine) or any other rank checker that supports Yahoo! API key.
  2. Open one of your projects or create a new one.
  3. Get a Yahoo API key.
  4. Go to 'Preferences' -> 'Search Engines API keys', enable Yahoo! API and enter your key.
  5. Run a rankings check in Yahoo! and Bing with Yahoo! API on.

Rank Tracker will check your rankings and fetch the results. 'Yahoo! Rank' column will show your Yahoo! rankings before the change (because you use Yahoo! API data) and 'Bing Rank' column will display where you site currently ranks in Yahoo! because your Bing and Yahoo rankings are now exactly the same.

click the image for a larger version

Bonus Tip: If you check your Yahoo! rankings with an API today and run another check without an API tomorrow you'll see your rankings progress displayed in the Yahoo! difference column.

So how's the switch of Yahoo to Bing treating your site? Share your rankings progress in the comments.

P.S. We're not sure how long it will take Yahoo! to update their API data, but this workaround should probably work for another week or so.



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  • http://seo-harmony.com pavlicko

    great tip. you might want to hide your API key shown in the pic.

  • http://seo-harmony.com pavlicko

    great tip. you might want to hide your API key shown in the pic.

  • http://www.cluey.com.au/seo-copywriter.htm seo copywriter

    Can't help wondering just how important this really is. Combined, Yahoo and Bing still represent less than 10% of my SE traffic, in spite of high rankings ...

  • http://www.cluey.com.au/seo-copywriter.htm seo copywriter

    Can't help wondering just how important this really is. Combined, Yahoo and Bing still represent less than 10% of my SE traffic, in spite of high rankings ...

  • http://www.secretninjamarketing.com ninjamarketing

    Thanks for the heads up! I was wondering why my Yahoo rankings were goofy.... unfortunately I was ranking much better on Yahoo before this happened, but oh well, this info should help me get back up there

    Thanks again!

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Sorry to hear that. But hey, aren't you a marketing ninja? ;) Sure you'll get your rankings back.

  • http://www.secretninjamarketing.com ninjamarketing

    Thanks for the heads up! I was wondering why my Yahoo rankings were goofy.... unfortunately I was ranking much better on Yahoo before this happened, but oh well, this info should help me get back up there

    Thanks again!

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Sorry to hear that. But hey, aren't you a marketing ninja? ;) Sure you'll get your rankings back.

  • http://www.art-ua-gallery.narod.ru Sergey

    Я хочу понять как это работает и есть ли программа на русском языке.

  • http://www.art-ua-gallery.narod.ru Sergey

    Я хочу понять как это работает и есть ли программа на русском языке.

  • http://industrialmarketingadvisers.com Industrial Marketing Advisor

    Merge has been good and bad for me. My sites are less than a year old and have had much greater success with Yahoo and Bing than Google. Several first page rankings on each, but Google simply won't raise rankings of my sites more than a little at a time. Anyway, your Rank Tracker software is a fantastic resource to keep up with rankings. Thanks.

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Yeah, it can take a while to establish your site's authority on Google, but slow and steady growth is usually easier to maintain in the long.

    Thanks for your kind words, it's good to hear that our software works well for you. Good luck in the SERPs!

  • http://industrialmarketingadvisers.com Industrial Marketing Advisor

    Merge has been good and bad for me. My sites are less than a year old and have had much greater success with Yahoo and Bing than Google. Several first page rankings on each, but Google simply won't raise rankings of my sites more than a little at a time. Anyway, your Rank Tracker software is a fantastic resource to keep up with rankings. Thanks.

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Yeah, it can take a while to establish your site's authority on Google, but slow and steady growth is usually easier to maintain in the long.

    Thanks for your kind words, it's good to hear that our software works well for you. Good luck in the SERPs!

  • http://www.croatia-expert.com Morten Croatia

    would there be any changes for us mainly focus on English traffic from Europe?

    Will yahoo also swith to other result on other languages e.g. German?

  • http://www.croatia-expert.com Morten Croatia

    would there be any changes for us mainly focus on English traffic from Europe?

    Will yahoo also swith to other result on other languages e.g. German?

  • http://www.prospectlikeapro.com MLM Training

    AWESOME! I was wondering what was going on the last few weeks... When checking my rankings on Bing I would be up 98 positions then down 100 the next and back again a few days later. My ranking was definitely "dancing" as you say.

    As of this writing though, I am now seeing 11 "top ten" listings in both Bing and Yahoo for keywords that I was barely ranking in the top 100 for before!

    Thanks for the info!

    Ben

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    It's great to hear that the transition worked well for you. It's only U.S. and Canada so far, so when Yahoo fully switches to Bing you should benefit even more.

    Good luck!

    MLM Training Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Excellent! ..Looking forward to it.

    Thanks again,

    Ben

  • http://www.prospectlikeapro.com MLM Training

    AWESOME! I was wondering what was going on the last few weeks... When checking my rankings on Bing I would be up 98 positions then down 100 the next and back again a few days later. My ranking was definitely "dancing" as you say.

    As of this writing though, I am now seeing 11 "top ten" listings in both Bing and Yahoo for keywords that I was barely ranking in the top 100 for before!

    Thanks for the info!

    Ben

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    It's great to hear that the transition worked well for you. It's only U.S. and Canada so far, so when Yahoo fully switches to Bing you should benefit even more.

    Good luck!

    MLM Training Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Excellent! ..Looking forward to it.

    Thanks again,

    Ben

  • http://www.digital10network.com Digital 10 Network

    Great article. I understand why domain age is so important but in my opinion domain expiration should be the most important.

  • http://www.digital10network.com Digital 10 Network

    Great article. I understand why domain age is so important but in my opinion domain expiration should be the most important.

  • http://industrialmarketingadvisers.com Industrial Marketing Advisor

    The merger has been both good and bad for my site's rankings: altogether, I would call it a wash. Still, your Rank Tracker software is terrific for keeping track of rankings. Highly Recommended. Thanks

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Once again thanks for your recommendation, and sorry for the delay in publishing your comments, our spam filter is way overly-suspicious, we'll be fixing that ASAP

  • http://industrialmarketingadvisers.com Industrial Marketing Advisor

    The merger has been both good and bad for my site's rankings: altogether, I would call it a wash. Still, your Rank Tracker software is terrific for keeping track of rankings. Highly Recommended. Thanks

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Once again thanks for your recommendation, and sorry for the delay in publishing your comments, our spam filter is way overly-suspicious, we'll be fixing that ASAP

  • Sanjay

    Hi It's great news

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    It sure is, Sanjay. In fact it's surprising that the industry doesn't pay it the attention it should be getting.

  • Sanjay

    Hi It's great news

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    It sure is, Sanjay. In fact it's surprising that the industry doesn't pay it the attention it should be getting.

  • http://employeevacation.org/human-resource-solutions/happy-employees/happy-employees/ LInda Moore

    Well now,, That answers why I have seen my site get turned upside down in Yahoo. I had noticed the Bing name at the bottom of the Yahoo pages in the last week or so and thought that this certainly had something to do with what was going on. This is the first information that I have seen on the take over. Thank you so much for sharing how to get a handle again on our rankings.
    Linda Moore

  • http://employeevacation.org/human-resource-solutions/happy-employees/happy-employees/ LInda Moore

    Well now,, That answers why I have seen my site get turned upside down in Yahoo. I had noticed the Bing name at the bottom of the Yahoo pages in the last week or so and thought that this certainly had something to do with what was going on. This is the first information that I have seen on the take over. Thank you so much for sharing how to get a handle again on our rankings.
    Linda Moore

  • http://www.loansmoney.co.uk loans money

    great news it will give the new way thinking to all online marketers.

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Maybe it will, but it's not much of a game changer at this point. The trick is to jump in early and secure a top ranking on Bing. If it gains momentum you'll benefit in the long run, if not, well you'll still be pulling some leads from there.

  • http://www.loansmoney.co.uk loans money

    great news it will give the new way thinking to all online marketers.

    Link-Assistant.Com Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Maybe it will, but it's not much of a game changer at this point. The trick is to jump in early and secure a top ranking on Bing. If it gains momentum you'll benefit in the long run, if not, well you'll still be pulling some leads from there.

  • http://www.resale-centre.com/ Resale Spain

    Not sure that the switch to Bing results is a good move for Yahoo! Again I must agree that the amount of traffic that passes through Yahoo/Bing is still not enough to switch your attention to working on these.

  • http://www.resale-centre.com/ Resale Spain

    Not sure that the switch to Bing results is a good move for Yahoo! Again I must agree that the amount of traffic that passes through Yahoo/Bing is still not enough to switch your attention to working on these.

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    Glad we were helpful. Since Yahoo is dropping it's search technology, you can now switch to discussing how to optimize for just Bing.

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    Glad we were helpful. Since Yahoo is dropping it's search technology, you can now switch to discussing how to optimize for just Bing.

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, guys, and sorry for the delay in publishing your comments. Our spam filter has gotten overly-aggressive, but we'll be treating it to some downers to calm it down a bit.

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, guys, and sorry for the delay in publishing your comments. Our spam filter has gotten overly-aggressive, but we'll be treating it to some downers to calm it down a bit.

  • http://www.simpleseo.nl Seo Service Amsterdam

    Hi we purchased the enterprise edition of seo powersuite two weeks ago and a lot of times the Yahoo api didn't gave us any search or kei data. Can it be because of Yahoo / Bing tests messing up the data?

    We will compair results when also here in The Netherlands Yahoo will use Bing search. Or could it be a setting in the proxies?

    Thanks

  • http://www.simpleseo.nl Seo Service Amsterdam

    Hi we purchased the enterprise edition of seo powersuite two weeks ago and a lot of times the Yahoo api didn't gave us any search or kei data. Can it be because of Yahoo / Bing tests messing up the data?

    We will compair results when also here in The Netherlands Yahoo will use Bing search. Or could it be a setting in the proxies?

    Thanks

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    Glad we could help!

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    Glad we could help!

  • http://www.cuvinte-cheie.com promovare google

    Thank's for this informations. I will start to do SEO for Bing to from now.

  • http://www.cuvinte-cheie.com promovare google

    Thank's for this informations. I will start to do SEO for Bing to from now.

  • http://www.stmaartendeepseafishing.com lance Mourillon

    Glad to hear that the transition worked however in my mind my website went down in the list, I am working on it to see what happened?

  • http://www.stmaartendeepseafishing.com lance Mourillon

    Glad to hear that the transition worked however in my mind my website went down in the list, I am working on it to see what happened?

  • http://srinivasapipeindustries.weebly.com/ RCC Hume Pipe

    Any idea of the timelines of the planned mergers geography-wise. My site doesn't rank well in Yahoo or Bing. It is doing well in Google search. How big is Yahoo/Bing search's share?

  • http://srinivasapipeindustries.weebly.com/ RCC Hume Pipe

    Any idea of the timelines of the planned mergers geography-wise. My site doesn't rank well in Yahoo or Bing. It is doing well in Google search. How big is Yahoo/Bing search's share?

  • http://www.royalyorkdental.com Toronto Dentist :)

    Great article on the merger. I couldn't find this info anywhere else and now I'm addicted to Spyglass!

  • Nandakishore

    This is a good news for us because we have for many major keywords better bing than google ranking and that is significant because we have more 50% traffic from the US. I have now added the Yahoo! API to Rank Tracker. Am I correct that from now onwards the ranking in the Yahoo! column will remain constant showing only the past data?

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    Sorry to hear that, Kristy. Hope that you'll be able to restore your rankings soon. Good thing is you still have time to win back your positions before Bing starts powering Yahoo worldwide (except maybe Japan because Yahoo were in talks with Google about that)at the end of October if tests are successful.

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    Sorry to hear that, Kristy. Hope that you'll be able to restore your rankings soon. Good thing is you still have time to win back your positions before Bing starts powering Yahoo worldwide (except maybe Japan because Yahoo were in talks with Google about that)at the end of October if tests are successful.

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    That sounds strange. Are you checking your rankings on Yahoo U.S. or some regional versions? Also check if Yahoo! API is on (it used to be on by default) at 'Preferences' -> 'Search engines API keys'

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    That sounds strange. Are you checking your rankings on Yahoo U.S. or some regional versions? Also check if Yahoo! API is on (it used to be on by default) at 'Preferences' -> 'Search engines API keys'

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    Sounds like this update works pretty well for you, eh... Makes you wanna buy Steve Ballmer a beer, doesn't it? :)

    Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.link-assistant.com Link-Assistant.Com

    Sounds like this update works pretty well for you, eh... Makes you wanna buy Steve Ballmer a beer, doesn't it? :)

    Keep up the good work!