Rolf (the first person to comment on this blog – that was much faster thank I expected!) remarked that my site was indexed in Google, but not Bing. I honestly did not really think about Bing, considering it instead to be a niche product. This is not really surprising; it was known as Microsoft Live Search until May 2009. And Live Search… well. I don’t think I know anybody who used that.
Microsoft’s fortunes seem to have changed since then. Their market share – including Yahoo! and all other partners powered by the Bing engine – is just under 26%. That’s not too shabby, and certainly far from irrelevant. Obviously, ignoring a quarter of your potential audience is a very bad idea.
Bing’s SEO Feedback
I can’t say anything about the quality of their search results – a very, very superficial test did not return any obvious garbage – but surely it must work alright or it wouldn’t be able to capture 25% market share. The interface is quite okay as well – I love their daily changing picture, for example. And their webmaster tools seem quite clean as well. In fact, they have a SEO tool which gave me some basic advice:
Nothing too bad, it seems, but since I want to “do it right”, I should deal with these.
Missing an alt tag on an image is, in my humble opinion, actually the worst offender on the list – not so much because of SEO (although I guess that does make sense too; computers are still fairly bad at interpreting arbitrary pictures), but also because of accessibility. I am colorblind, myself, and while that is a far cry from actually being blind, it does mean I can at times experience first hand what it is like to be disabled. For example, there’s no way I will ever paint colorful pictures – I will get everything “wrong”. And I everything that is color-coded is posing a problem to me.
Consequently, I always make sure that images I post have an alt tag. The header image should have the site name and perhaps the motto / tagline as an alt tag. Modifying the theme is trivial, and I’ll look into whether it is possible to submit a patch to the WordPress guys for this.
I’ll have to look into the missing description in the header section issue. Unless I missed something, WordPress doesn’t have any option to add one by itself, but the SEO Ultimate plugin I use can add such a description. However, the “Meta Descriptions Module” also affects a lot of other stuff and I don’t want to enable it and change settings blindly.
Last but not least – multiple <H1> tags on the page. This is an issue I never saw or heard about. As far as I know, there is no definition on whether or not a H1 header should only be used once – as a document headline – or multiple times. Bing recommends against it, and if they keep their advice consistent with their own algorithms, the question becomes whether Google will rank “one H1” worse than “multiple H1”. Opinions differ, but it seems that it doesn’t matter that much. I’ll probably just pay attention to it the next time I select a WordPress theme and err on the side of caution (that is, keep Bing happy).
Can’t wait for Bing to index my sites to see what else it discovers…