Catching up with the other major search engines, Bing has now come down hard on keyword stuffing, using fierce language in what may be an attempt to make up for its previous neglect in this area. Adding a warning to its webmaster guidelines, Bing noted in no uncertain terms that sites breaking this rule would be heavily penalized.
The full text of the warning reads: “When creating content, make sure to create your content for real users and readers, not to entice search engines to rank your content better. Stuffing your content with specific keywords with the sole intent of artificially inflating the probability of ranking for specific search terms is in violation of our guidelines and can lead to demotion or even the delisting of your website from our search results.”
Over the past couple of years there have been increasing moves in this direction throughout the sector; however, this – if Bing follows through on it – will be the toughest yet. It is not known what delisting would involve and if or when sites would be able to apply for reconsideration, but already there is concern within parts of the search engine optimization community. Others have stressed, however, that while the days of easy SEO may be behind us, there are plenty of ways to prime an article without stuffing it.
Google has long stressed the importance of good content and Bing’s guidelines do likewise, prioritizing sites with what it identifies as deep content that is easy to find rather than hidden behind layers of entry pages and menus. In particular, search engines using this approach favor sites where the same keywords appear just occasionally on any one page but frequently across the site as a whole, suggesting a deep focus on just one or two subjects. Using a lot of related words or words connected with the same topics, spread across the site, could have a similar effect.
The difficulty is that every search engine has a subtly different idea of the difference between legitimate keywording such as this, and keyword stuffing. Often it is hard to tell where the line is until it has been crossed, which is why professional SEO companies tend to err on the side of caution. When a change such as the one by Bing is made, the safest strategy is to keep a careful eye on what other sites are doing and try to learn from their mistakes.