November 7, 2013
There has been quite a bit of buzz in the SEO industry lately over Google’s decision to encrypt all organic keyword search data (data from ads will still be available). As you can imagine, this spurred a huge discussion about what happened, why it happened, and what you could do to recover. If you used this data in the past often to help you determine what keywords someone was using when they landed on your website, you’re now stuck finding an alternative route. One piece of advice that appeared on almost every major website from every major professional in the industry: Use the data that is still available on Bing and Yahoo.
It’s a great idea and most companies are open to anything that can help. Unfortunately many companies still aren’t using Bing and Yahoo because Google used to have it all. Using only Google has never been recommended by SEOs, but it’s the reality for many small businesses. Now that Bing and Yahoo offer something Google doesn’t, it’s time to get involved and learn how to navigate the “other” Webmaster tools.
How to Get Started with Bing and Yahoo Keyword Data
Getting keyword data from Bing of course means you need to have Bing Webmaster Tools setup and ready to go, and from there you can find the option that will take you to keyword data. You can setup a Bing account here if you don’t have one setup yet. Just click setup and follow the directions.
The cool thing about Bing and Yahoo is that they actually work together. Both Webmaster tools can combine some of their data to give you an even more complete picture (and without Google as a factor, this is a huge bonus). Below is an example screenshot from Bing of their Webmaster tools that shows where you can find what is called the “search keywords report” as well as some of your data:
As you can see, the top keywords are shown on the left hand side of the page, and these are combined from both Bing and Yahoo as shown by the two symbols in the upper right hand corner. If you click “served page” shown on the right hand side of the table, you get to see the pages from your site that are ranking for that specific keyword. The following screenshot is what you see when you click “Served Pages” for jeep Cherokee:
Why This Data Works: In short, data coming from Bing and Yahoo is very similar to Google because all three search engines have similar enough ranking factors. They’re of course not identical, and Bing and Yahoo don’t have as much data as Google, but they’re close enough that you can draw conclusions from these numbers.
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