Bing says goodbye to META description as a ranking factor

published on April 30, 2010 in SEO & PPC

Stop worrying about meta tags as a ranking factors.

When Yahoo announced, last October, that they were no longer using the meta keywords tag, scores of SEO went back to their old test pages to see what was what and try to prove them wrong.

As it turned out, Yahoo did make a mistake, they were still using this meta tag as a ranking factor.

Yesterday, while going through old posts on another blog of mine, I decided to run the tests again, and this time it’s Bing that surprised me: it was no longer returning the test page for the query 1g32dsf456jgsjg89dh7gs3h4fa. Only the blog discussing the test was now appearing.

Does it really matter?

Well, if you live in Europe it probably doesn’t, because Bing only has 5-6% of the search engine market share. Even by adding Yahoo’s share – as Bing is taking over their search – the figure is still probably lower than 10%.

But if your market is US based, Bing holds over 11% and Yahoo almost 17% of the market (src. Comscore), and can therefore represent over 28% of your visitors. The answer, therefore, is “Yes it may matter to you”.

Optimise your meta description tags to get more clicks and definitely forget about optimising them for rankings, seems to be the message sent by search engines these days.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Leona from Google SEO May 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Good post, thanks for bringing this to light. As you said, regardless of whether it is used as a ranking factor for Bing, it is a ranking factor in other search engines; good meta descriptions help visitors and may help with click thru rates from organic listings. I’ll always put in quality descriptions for important pages within a site.

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netaccountant May 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm

With “user behaviour” playing a more and more important role in a website ranking, I would also advise to take time to craft appealing description that generate a high click-through.

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Geoff Dodd from Residual Income Perth May 30, 2010 at 6:48 am

I agree with you Leona and netaccountant – a crafted description needs to be irresistible and since Google provides 68% of search, we really need to keep writing top class descriptions! :)

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Kelly from Kids Zombie Costumes June 15, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Thanks for the Bing update. I’ve noticed recently that some of my websites have actually risen in the rankings of Yahoo and Bing even though i haven’t done anything to them…some of my Google rankings did drop a couple of weeks ago when Google may day was introduced…

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SteveM from Sports Betting Forum August 10, 2010 at 6:10 am

Thanks, didn’t actually get the news on this. However, Bing (and Yahoo) have such a relatively small share of the market in which I (and probably everyone else) is aiming for that I’m very hesitant to make my sites Bing friendly rather than Google friendly.

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