You’re forgiven if you’ve forgotten that Google has rivals. One of them, Microsoft’s Bing, is steadily gaining on the search giant.
According to Internet research company comScore, Bing now accounts for more than 15% of all searches in the U.S. But if you factor in searches made on Yahoo!, which is powered by (can you guess?) Bing, the latter would be responsible for nearly a third of all web searches in the U.S.
This shows how much it can matter to take Bing into consideration in your search engine optimization campaigns.
While Google is zeroing in on sites that are plagued by spammy incoming links with its Penguin update, the company has yet to roll out webmaster tools that help site owners automate the process of recovering from an algorithmic penalty as a result of Penguin.
The best Google can do for now is to offer tips to webmasters and site owners on how to clean up and recover rankings after Penguin.
That means the danger of negative SEO remains. Competitors sites can easily purchase tons of spammy links that point at your site, resulting in many wasted hours (and resources) trying to dissociate from the offending links.
This is where Bing has one-upped Google.
Bing recently rolled out a feature that enables site owners to “disavow links.” This feature tells Bing how you, the site owner, feel about any site linking to yours. It’s your way of sending signals to Bing about a certain link from a page, directory, or domain URL that you believe is malicious or low-quality.
According to Bing, it’s their way of providing webmasters with “more control and the ability to tell us they didn’t trust a link pointed at their content.”
But what happens if you disavow a link that doesn’t actually hurt your rankings? Will it negatively affect your site’s ranking? Bing’s Duane Forrester said “No” in a recent article from SearchEngineWatch.
“Given there are hundreds of signals at play when determining rankings, telling us to ignore the value from some links, in most instances, won’t have a dramatic effect.”
Because Bing is preparing to go toe-to-toe with Google, it’s time to take it seriously.
How to disavow links on Bing
If your site is set up for Bing Webmaster Tools, disavowing links should be fairly easy.
Follow these simple steps:
- Create a list of sites (web pages, directories, etc.) that you suspect are linking maliciously to yours or could be causing your site to drop in rankings on Bing. You can use Google Analytics (if set up for your site), Majestic SEO, or Open Site Explorer to see which sites link to yours.
- Create a profile on Bing Webmaster Tool
- Add your site.
- Verify by adding a code into your site.
- Go to Bing Webmaster Dashboard and click on Configure My Site, which shows up on the left side of the page
- Click on Disavow Links.
- Choose which type of site you wish to disavow by selecting from the drop-down menu (Page, Directory, Domain).
- Enter the URL of the site you are disavowing.
- Click DISAVOW.
Bing is a growing force in the SEO world. Given its emerging influence, it’s worthwhile to optimize your site for its algorithm. By properly optimizing your site, you could also land significant amounts of highly targeted traffic from Bing’s nearly 30% share of the search market.
For help in optimizing your site for Google, Bing, and other search engines, drop me a line. I would love to explore how we can help you with your SEO needs.
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