Is Bing Getting Ready to Release Their Version of Panda?

Bing GuidelinesSearch engines have the goal of returning relevant, quality results.  It was this goal that led to Google releasing their Panda update which attempted to filter out poor quality content (to varying degrees of success).  In addition, Google then released their guidelines to quality content.  Well, this week Bing has gotten into the quality control game as well and released their new guidelines to quality content.  What does this mean for your site?

The Goal:
Bing’s focus appears to be on user satisfaction.  They are looking at signals like how long people stay on your page and whether people share you page on social networks as well as how original the content on your site is.  They figure that if people are staying on your page for a reasonable amount of time and sharing your content that the content must be good quality.  They also don’t care much for duplicate content.

The Guidelines:
Below is a list of the guidelines Bing believes will make your content better quality.  I’ll leave it to you (and a later post I’ll put out next week) as to whether these guidelines really lead to better quality.

(From Bing)  Here are some other things to avoid when producing content:

  • Duplicate content – don’t use articles or content that appears in other places.  Produce your own unique content.
  • Thin content – don’t produce pages with little relevant content on them – go deep when producing content – think “authority” when building your pages.  Ask yourself if this page of content would be considered an authority on the topic.
  • All text/All images – work to find a balance here, including images to help explain the content, or using text to fill in details about images on the page.  Remember that text held inside an image isn’t readable by the crawlers.
  • Being lonely – enable ways for visitors to share your content through social media.
  • Translation tools – rarely does a machine translation tool leave you with content that reads properly and that actually captures the original sentiment.  Avoid simply using a tool to translate content from one language to the next and posting that content online.
  • Skipping proofreading – when you are finished producing content, take the time to check for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and for the overall flow when reading.  Does it sound like you’re repeating words too frequently?  Remove them.  Don’t be afraid to rewrite the content, either.
  • Long videos – If you produce video content, keep it easily consumable.  Even a short 3 – 4 minute video can be packed with useful content, so running a video out to 20 minutes is poor form in most instances.  It increases download times and leads to visitor dissatisfaction at having to wait for the video to load.  Plus, if you are adding a transcription of your video, even a short video can produce a lengthy transcription.
  • Excessively long pages – if your content runs long, move it to a second page.  Readers need a break, so be careful here to balance the length of your pages.  Make sure your pagination solution doesn’t cause other issues for your search optimization efforts, though.
  • Content for content’s sake – if you are producing content, be sure its valuable.  Don’t just add text to every page to create a deeper page.  Be sure the text, images or videos are all relevant to the content of the page.

Help The Search Engines:
In addition to the above signals and guidelines, Bing is working with other search engines through to provide markup for the code of websites that enables the webmaster to tell the search engines more information about what the page content is about.  For example, if you have a headline, “Avitar”, that can refer to a profile picture or a movie (among other things).  So, you can add an attribute to your code that tells the search engines what “Avitar” is referring to.  This allows the search engines to better understand the content you are providing and improve their search results.

Will Bing release their own Panda?
Bing PandaIs the release of these guidelines a precursor or warning that Bing’s version of Panda will soon be released.  It’s certainly possible.  A lot of people were caught off-guard when Google released Panda.  It basically torpedoed a lot of sites and a lot of businesses.  So, it would be wise to keep these guidelines from Bing (as well as those from Google) in mind as you create content for your website.  Of course, there is nothing to indicate that Bing hasn’t already been filtering their search results based on their guidelines.  They be already be doing it right now.

What do you think?

What do you think of Bing’s new guidelines?

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