September SEO Update – Bing Updates Some Search Features

Bing Business PortalFor the past several months Google has been hogging the spotlight, updating their algorithm, search features, and even their guidelines.  This month, however, Google was strangely inactive Bing has risen to the forefront.  Yelp also makes their debut appearance in the monthly SEO updates.

In this video I’ll highlight the Bing updates and let you know how to avoid a customer-losing message on Yelp.

Video Transcript:

Hello. I’m Kurt Steinbrueck with, and I’m here with your monthly SEO update so you can stay informed on what’s going on in the search engines.

Google Quiet:
After months and months of Google just doing update after update after update, this month, it’s pretty silent. There’s really no significant changes to talk about this month. A couple of minor things that they did, but nothing that was all that exciting.

Reminder: Google Link Guidelines:
How link building worksThe only thing that I would bring up with Google is just to remind you that last month they did make that update to the guidelines regarding links. You just want to be aware of that:

  • If you’re putting links that are followed in articles and then syndicating those out through article syndication sites or…
  • If you’re putting out press releases and you’re working those keywords in and linking back to your site through those press releases…

That’s something that is now against their guidelines.

You can put links in there as long as they’re not followed, but you can’t put followed links in there, especially keyword-rich links, or you could end up getting a manual penalty against you. If that’s something that you’ve been doing, you want to stop, and you may also want to check your Google Webmaster tools and make sure that everything’s fine and you don’t have any actions taken against you. That’s about it for Google.

Bing has made a few changes; mostly with user interface, though.


Bing Video Search Update:
A couple to note is that they’ve updated their video search so that it’s now easier to preview videos in their search, and also if you click on the video to watch it, you can actually watch it right there in the search results instead of being taken to the site where the video was originally hosted. It makes for a little bit easier of a user interface. Of course, if your site had those videos on it, you may see a little less traffic now. But for the most part, these are video hosting sites like YouTube and Dailymotion and sites like that. Individual small organization sites or even large organization sites that don’t do video hosting probably aren’t going to see much of an impact from that.

Bing News Search Update:
Bing-news-search-shadedAnother change that they made is coming from their advantage of being connected with Facebook, which is now that they are putting in their news search results, trending information, trending topics that they see trending in Facebook, in Twitter, and their own search queries. When a story starts to be shared a lot or a certain topic is being talked a lot about on Facebook and Twitter and being searched about, those topics are showing up at the top of their news search results. So, it’s a neat little thing that they’re able to do because of their connection to Facebook. And of course, Google doesn’t actually have access to Facebook. They don’t have that connection, so they can’t see those things. This is a little advantage that Bing has.

Another change is that Bing is getting better at understanding what stories are about and who’s involved with stories, and they’re trying to show information that’s related to that. That may be related stories or information about the people involved. For example, if you were looking at a story about Syria – that’s a big topic these days – Bing is now better able to understand that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry and Vladimir Putin and all of these people are involved in this story. So, they may show related information about those people or other connected stories because they’re better able to understand what these stories are about. We’ll see.  It’s an interesting thing to be able to do. I’m not sure exactly how useful people will find it, but maybe it will be. That’s really it for Bing.

Yelp and Incentivized Reviews:
Yelp-Review-Button-300The only other thing would be Yelp. Yelp has changed the way that they’re dealing with incentivized reviews. If you’re not familiar with incentivized reviews, what that is is any time that you offer something to someone in order for them to give you a review. If you were a restaurant, maybe you’d say “If you leave a positive review for us, we’ll give you a free appetizer the next time you come in.” For those things – not only Yelp, but Google, Bing, a lot of the other review sites – they don’t like it when you’re offering things to people for reviews because they think that it taints the reviews. They want just completely natural, “Hey, I had a great time.  I’m going to go post a review,” type reviews.

Now what Yelp is doing is if they catch you, which is usually because someone reported you, they’re going to put a warning on your listing that says,

“This organization was offering things to people to post reviews, and so you may want to consider these reviews in light of that.”

In other words, “Question these reviews; they may not be completely legitimate.” That’s a pretty big thing for potential customers to see on your listing.  So, it’s something you want to avoid. You want to avoid it, really, for all of the sites (Google, Bing, etc.).

Instead of incentivizing, you can still ask.
If you’re that restaurant, instead of saying “you get a free appetizer,” you just make sure that all of your waiters and waitresses, when the meal is done, say “If you really enjoyed our food and had a good time here, why don’t you go post a review about us? We’d really appreciate it.” You are allowed to do that. You’re allowed to ask the people to do it, suggest it to them. Just don’t offer it to them and don’t have a little spot with a computer that’s designated specifically for posting reviews. That’s also something Google has said not to do. You can still ask, though.

What About  Dissatisfied Customers?
Negative commentsSomething else to mention with that is that if you are in that kind of a situation where you’re dealing with the customers and you’re able to say “Hey, leave us a review if you’re satisfied,” give them another option if they’re dissatisfied. If you’re that restaurant, again, the waitstaff could say “If you’re satisfied, post a review. If you’re not, I’ll take you to our manager and you can talk to our manager and we can work this out.” This is an opportunity for you to resolve the issue and maybe turn that customer from being dissatisfied to satisfied. It also is a way to hopefully keep a negative review from showing up on your review sites.  So, it’s got both of those positive aspects to it. That’s just something to be aware of.  Don’t be doing incentivized reviews and you’ll avoid that warning [on Yelp].

That’s about it in the search engines. That’s a pretty slow month for us.

Remember, we do live in this internet age, and it’s so important for you to stay strong in the search engines so that you can achieve your mission online.

God bless.

Share Your Thoughts:

  • Have you ever offered incentives for reviews?
  • Do you think offering incentives for reviews is unethical?
  • What do you think of Bings updates?

One Response to “September SEO Update – Bing Updates Some Search Features”

  1. ???????? ????????? September 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.

    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.