What’s New for October 31, 2013 – Bing Optimization, Instagram Ads & Mozilla Lightbeam

Do You Optimize for Bing?

All SEO professionals and clients know that Google is the king of organic search. Searchmetrics recently released a report detailing the Bing Ranking Factors for Bing and it includes a Rank Correlation study for Bing to evaluate the factors that differentiate better-positioned websites from those with lesser rankings.

Searchmetrics studied over 10,000 keyword streams and 300,000 websites appearing in the top 30 search results and were able to identify 5 factors that seemed to heavily influence rankings. The 5 factors are listed here:

  • Quality content is a factor. The correlation on Bing was that sites with more text on them, in general, had better rankings. Bing tended not to rank pages with lots of pictures, while Google was the opposite.
  • Social signals help rankings, and Google+ “plus ones” had a significant rankings correlation, as did Tweets and Facebook Comments.
  • Known brands tend to have higher rankings and there are more Exact Match Domains (EMDs) ranking in the top ten search result listings, on average, at Bing.
  • Link numbers are significant. Approximately 53 percent of the backlinks of websites ranked among the top 30 results on Bing contained keywords in the anchor text. This is about 10% higher than Google.
  • Surprisingly, SEO elements such as H1 headings, site speed, and keyword-rich meta descriptions had a low correlation to high rankings. Positive on-page factors were present in nearly every page appearing in the top 30 search results at Bing, making good on-page SEO the prerequisite to obtaining good rankings.

Bing Search Rankings

Instagram Ads To Start This Week

A very small, select group of advertisers will begin introducing high quality brand-oriented ads that include video and imagery, into the Instagram news feed. The Instagram advertisers include Adidas, Levi’s, PayPal, Macy’s, Starwood Hotels and others, and were chosen because they have high-quality ads. The ads are designed to have a high level of artistic value and be more brand-centric than direct response in nature. Instagram’s take on the new ads is as follows:

“Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.”

The ads will have the ability to be targeted in nature, although the quality of the “rifle shot” online advertising approach remains to be seen.

Instagram Ads

Mozilla Lightbeam Helps You Find Out Who Is Watching You on the Internet

Mozilla, the open-source software company that makes the Firefox browser, wants to make it a bit easier for you to visualize what sites and third-party site services might be tracking or watching your Internet activity. The new add-on for your Firefox browser called Lightbeam lets you know who is watching you online.

Lightbeam offers a very clear toggle that allows you to turn which tracking you contribute to the service on and off. Download the add-on and try it.

Mozilla Lightbeam

Bottom Line: Privacy increases, new ad campaigns that promise to be targeted on social media… does anyone else see the potential new trend here? Social Media sites have targeted information, while search engines continue to fight privacy initiatives to continue to track data. If your business has a significant online marketing platform, these trends bear watching.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Design, and Online Marketing Firm.

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