What Bing Tells Us About Keyword Research And Link Building

What Bing Tells Us About Keyword Research And Link Building

Posted by on Jul 31, 2011 in SEO

Bing Webmaster Blog has recently published an article on the topic of keyword research where they also mention other SEO topics and mention how to go about link building.

Since all search engines try to avoid manipulation of their rankings they also avoid telling you exactly what you need to do – but they do give good hints which you need to interpret correctly.

I’ve taken some of the more interesting and important hints from the above article and tried to interpret them (when needed) in my own way.

1. Keyword Density

Years ago there was the concept of “keyword density”.  The idea being there was an ideal number of times for the keyword to appear within a page of content – a sweet spot, that the engines liked to see.  Don’t focus any time on this tactic.  It was marginal then and is a waste of time today.

Forget about keyword density – Bing tells you to »use the targeted keyword a few times« – and that’s about it.

In 99,99% of the time you will use the targeted keyword a few times in the article if you just write naturally.

2. Three Tiered Site Structure

If you’re just building your site, or redesigning an old one, referencing keyword research can help you understand how to build your site structure.  It can help you see which topics should be main pages, and which should be lower-level pages. It will also help when it comes to labeling your website navigation.

In my opinion Bing hints at a simple 3-level structure (homepage, main pages, lower level pages) with which we SBI-ers are very familiar.

3. Link Building

Encourage visitors to share links from your website.  Including easy copy-and-paste code with the anchor text embedded can make it much easier for visitors to share your site with others.  Make sure you integrate the usual social program enablers as well, making it easy for a visitor to tweet out or post about your content on their Facebook page.

While you can’t do much to force a targeted keyword into any anchor text shared socially, it can still help build links.  And while guest blogging or asking a website to post a link to you isn’t strickly organic link building in the truest sense, if you take this path, be sure to manage that anchor text properly.

Wow, this is a good one.

Bing suggests “copy/ paste code with anchor text embedded”  – which tells us that anchor text is very important for Bing.

They also mention the »unfortunate fact« 😉 that you cannot “force a targeted keyword into any anchor text shared socially” – which again tells you that in their view it would be better if you could – Bing search engine would have a much easier task of ranking pages correctly.

Guest posting is the first thing mentioned when it comes to link building – and the second one is asking a site to link to you.

This also tells us that Bing does not believe you can just produce quality content and links will magically happen. You need to work on them – in a way that’s acceptable for search engines.

Bing also mentions “manage your anchor text” – which I interpret as vary your anchor text.

While their first priority is to get the ideal anchor text (copy / paste code with anchor text) for the search engine to really understand what you want to rank for, they also suggest some variation of anchor text when you’re building links.

And how would you interpret Bing’s hints on keyword research and link building?

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  1. Hi Tomaz,

    Great article. My question is this related to keyword density.

    Bing hints that keyword density is no longer important to SE’s, so could SBI’s Analyze It function be out of date too?

    How closely do you follow AI’s recommendation when it tells you to add your keyword 1 or 2 more times when the article sounds perfect to you?

    There are times when my article sounds just right to me and AI tells me to add one more occurrence of my main keyword. BUT, by doing so makes my article sound keyword stuffed.

    This usually happens when it’s a long or awkward keyword phrase.

    So, would you ignore AI request to add more keyword if by doing so makes the article sound awkward or keyword stuffed?


    Tomaz Reply:

    Hi Linda,

    I wouldn’t say the Analyze It is out of date – I think it was telling you all the way that keyword density rule has 5/10 importance – so you could ignore its warnings and it wouldn’t matter much.

    I usually try to please the Analyze It – but yes, with one or even two keywords missing or too many I don’t bother correcting.

    I’ve checked my competition a few times and their keyword density is usually really low – like even under 1%.

    Their articles rank well because they are authority websites and because the main keyword is in the title and incoming (internal and external) links – but not because of better keyword density.


  2. “And how would you interpret Bing’s hints on keyword research and link building?”

    I don’t think Bing is really suggesting that WE vary our anchor text: quite the opposite. The reason that “…guest blogging or asking a website to post a link to you isn’t strictly organic link building in the truest sense…” is because YOU are making the links; thus, YOU can decide what the anchor text will be. In such a case, you SHOULD use your “targeted keyword” in the anchor text.

    When other people are making “organic” links to your site, THEY will create the variations in anchor text, since they will not know (or likely care) what your “targeted keyword”s are (consider the ubiquitous “click here” anchor text). To improve the chances that your visitors WILL use your “targeted keyword”s in the anchor text of their links to your site, “Bing” is recommending that you include “copy/paste code with anchor text embedded”.

    So I think “Bing” is basically saying “DO use your targeted keywords in the anchor text of the links that you make, AND try to make it easy for visitors to use those keywords, too”.

    Actually, getting the anchor text “right” is one of the reasons why SBI! teaches us to include our targeted keywords in the URLs for our pages. For most of us, when we want to share a webpage/website that we find online, we just copy the URL and paste it somewhere. In that case, the URL itself becomes the anchor text. If our targeted keywords are in the URL, then they are in the anchor text, too, since the URL and the anchor text are identical. Since this URL/anchor text connection is so strong, it is very important to include targeted keywords in URLs.

    Thanks for another great article, Tomaz! I always enjoy reading them! 🙂


    Tomaz Reply:

    Thanks for sharing, Steve!


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