This morning, Chris Brogan wrote on his blog that he's planning to use Bing as his only search engine for 30 days. Day 1 of his little experiment didn't go so well—he found that a search for "Chris Brogan" returned, above his own blog, results for Chris Brown. His response? "Um, no."
Chris Brogan is a pretty well-known name, if slightly lesser-known than "Chris Brown." If he can't get top billing for his vanity search, how well can the rest of us plebes fare? I "googled" myself on Bing back when it launched and remember thinking the results were inscrutable and disappointing. I decided to try the same search again to see if the Bing results had gotten better (or worse).
Well, certainly not better. ZoomInfo? Really? I would only expect to see a crappy, generic result like this at #1 for a person with no Internet presence whatsoever. I have a pretty decent presence. Google returns over 22,000 results for my name in quotes (and it's not a common name). I currently write regularly for two blogs, and I've published poems and articles on plenty of websites. But Bing seems to think that someone searching for me would appreciate a page that's basically another list of (even worse) search results.
I tweeted that the #1 result for me on Bing was a ZoomInfo page, with my blog nowhere to be found, and Mark Ricci responded that maybe my SEO was lacking:
Heh. Perhaps I spend less time than I could optimizing my personal blog—since I think about search all day at work—but truly, it should be auto-optimized for my name, since it appears in the profile and on every single post (and has a number of backlinks with "Elisa Gabbert" in the anchor text). Its complete absence from the top 10 seemed fishy to me, so I decided to do a little testing (or exploring, if "testing" is too aggrandizing). I searched in Bing for the name of my blog, The French Exit. (This is also a band and an expression, but I rank #3 in Google for the phrase.)
In Bing? Nope. Bing ranks pages that happen to contain both "French" and "exit," not necessarily in that order or anywhere near each other, before it ranks a blog by the name of "The French Exit."
Then I tested some long-tail keywords that I have included in title tags and rank for in Google. For example, "misconceptions about vegetarianism": #7 in Google and nowhere to be found in Bing.
Then I tried "pseudo-intellectual clichés"—my post is #1 in Google (with personalized search turned off):
I could have sworn that the first time I Binged this keyword, my blog didn't turn up at all. I just re-ran the search and it does appear on the first page—but it's my blog's main page, not the post with this keyword in the title tag. This makes me wonder if Bing is doing its own version of personalized search, altering results based on my history?
Then I tried "what your tattoo says about your taste in music." Again, my post is #1 in Google, nowhere in Bing. This was enough "testing" to make me think Bing had something against my blog—or (ah-ha!) blogs in general or Blogger blogs in particular (Blogger is owned by Google, after all). Then I found this (from a Hubpages article called "How to get your website found in Bing"):
Bing doesn't like blogspot - not even blogs over 3 years old with decent pagerank on Google (pagerank 4) and about 20,000 backlinks according to Yahoo's siteexplorer. You will find some blogspots in Bing's results - but buried deep eg on page 6 or higher. There are exceptions - some blogs with a serious amount of high quality backlinks feature on Bing's first page, but if you are an ordinary blogger with an average amount of backlinks, you will struggle.
And a later update to the page adds:
Haven't found many Wordpress blogs in Bing either. I don't think Bing likes blogs, they seem to prefer static websites, possibly because it's easier for their bot to crawl.
Sucks, don't it. This seems backwards of Bing. They've shown interest in real-time search—but why devote resources to indexing tweets in real-time if you can't reliably index blogs that update daily or weekly?
I'm curious if other bloggers have had trouble getting ranked and indexed in Bing and if you've found any workarounds.