Since search engine optimization first became a viable marketing tactic, SEOs have sought to decipher the algorithms used by search engines in an effort to place their content higher in the rankings. In the vast majority of cases, this was done to ensure two things:
1 – good content ranked well
2 – the business producing the good content received traffic
Along the way, some SEOs abused the systems to try to game the results. Back and forth for years, the engines and so-called “black hat” SEOs have waged a behind-the-scenes battle to position content on the Search Results pages. It’s pretty easy for the engine to win this battle in the long run, though, as we own the pages.
As time has progressed, we’ve been able to tackle spamming issues at many levels. In most cases today, most websites follow the known best practices and simply do the right thing. They’re too busy running a business to try trickery to rank better, trusting we will sort the rankings properly.
And now it’s time to reward that trust and your hard work.
Bing today is announcing the creation and support of the SEO tag.
The goal behind this tag is two-fold:
First, as Bing has launched many new tools over the past year+ designed to help websites improve (Webmaster Tools, SEO Reports, Link Explorer, Bing Sitemap Plugin, Disavow Links, etc.), we’ve seen the positive feedback generated by this desire to partner with websites, instead of keeping them in the dark about important data by blocking it or not sharing it.
Second, and more importantly, you run the business, not us. So it’s time you take control of not just your SEO work, but of your rankings as well!
To that end, the SEO tags can be implemented today allowing you to tell us where you should rank. The code below explains it clearly if you’re an SEO. Place the tag inside your page code, fill in the blanks for us indicating which result your page should appear at, and when a query is performed, we’ll scan the page and place you accordingly.
<link rel=”SEO” query=”weather” set_to_position=”2″ />
<link rel=”SEO” must_be_before=”*.mycompetitor.com/*” />
That second line is very handy, too, as you can skip the actual rank position, the “set_to_position” portion, and simply specify that if a competitor’s page is ranking for a term, that you are to rank one spot higher.
Upon launch we’ll only recognize one “must_be_before” tag, but beginning on April 1st, 2014, you’ll be able to stack up to 50 of them in your code to offer greater coverage for your site.
To ensure compliance with this request, should you insert more than one “must_be_before” tag this year, we’ll simply contact your host and arrange for the server hosting your site to be put into a low-earth orbit for the following 365 days.
If you really like this idea, drop some comments and we’ll look at installing a “Rank Me” button inside webmaster tools for you, to streamline the workflow.
More details are available in this Help & How-to Section.