We’re all familiar with Google’s ever developing ways of searching for and demoting low quality sites – anyone involved in SEO will be aware of the tricks and twists of the Panda, Penguin and Payday algorithms and the effects their updates can have on a site’s position in search results.
Now Bing has detailed how it strives to keep sites with high quality content at the top of its search results. In a recent blog post, titled Web Spam Filtering, Igor Rondel, Principal Development Manager of the Bing Index Quality team, set out Microsoft’s tactics to keep their search pages spam-free.
Bing’s algorithms look for a number of factors to determine if a page is spammy, including the position and layout of the page, and if the page has been created using programs to mass generate content. They are also on the lookout for content that is stuffed with keywords and link manipulation, using “creative clustering algorithms”.
But it is the quality of content that Bing are determined to uphold, as explained in the blog post:
“This itself is a huge and important concept that we’ll deep dive into in a future blog. At a high level, provided a spammer’s overarching goal is to drive ad and affiliate clicks, the content of the page is important only to the extent that it helps facilitate said goal. To put it another way, spammers generate content targeted at search engines and their algorithms, whereas legitimate SEOs generate content for their customers. The result is that, in most cases, spam pages have inadequate content with limited value to the user. We use this fact to facilitate detection. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of signals used to make this assessment, ranging from simple things like number of words on the page to more complex concepts of content uniqueness and utility.”
The message is simple, write interesting and useful content for your page, aimed at your customers, not at search algorithms, and your site will prosper. Ignore the advice, and you’ll see your page demoted, or even removed from Bing’s search results.