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Want to rank high in Bing Local? Try SPAM

We recently looked at the local results for Google, Yahoo!, and Bing in an attempt to find similarities among the results displayed in the search engines' local results.

While Yahoo! and Bing are both powered by the same search engine, the logic behind their local results are very different.

In Yahoo!, a search for a Chicago personal injury lawyer yielded one spammy listing out of five. In Bing for that same search, we found four spammy entries out of five. The non-spammy listing looks like spam at first glance, but the law firm has incorporated their keyword-stuffed name, so they are technically “doing business as” the keyword-rich title in their listing.

Yahoo! shows local results that appear to be based on more credible variables -- things like reviews, citations, reviews on other websites, and rating. They also appear to favor higher-rated law firms. Whereas Google may favor a law firm with 50-plus reviews, even if the average comes out to two-out-of-five stars, Yahoo! seems to favor the five-star listings.

What makes a spammy local listing?

A spammy listing is one that uses keyword-rich business names that are not actual (DBA) business names. An example:

Correct local listing:
Smith & Smith Attorneys at Law
1234 Main Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(123) 456-7890

Spammy local listing:
San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyers John and Susan Smith, Personal Injury Attorneys at Law
1234 Main Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(123) 456-7890

Listing this way in Google+ Local would lead to your listing be flagged and possibly removed. However, it appears Bing rewards such behavior.

An interesting discovery is that “lawyer” seems to be the big spam word. For example, “Chicago personal injury lawyer” in Bing shows 4 our 5 spammy listings. A search for “Chicago personal injury attorney” shows five clean listings.

We stepped out of the Windy City and looked at San Francisco, Tampa, Seattle, St. Louis, Houston, and Phoenix. Also, we looked at various practice areas other than personal injury.

In most instances, it was searches that ended in “lawyer” that had the most spammy titles in the local line up.

Should you spam your Bing listing?

NO! Just because Bing Local is rewarding spam does not mean you should start keyword stuffing your Bing Local listing. Why? If self respect isn't enough, here is a more scientific reason:

Google looks to other local networks to compare what you tell them in Google+ Local versus what you tell everybody else. If they see your address, your phone number, and your website URL assigned to a different business name in Bing, you are hurting your efforts to rank better in Google's local lineup.

Digital business analytics company comScore shows Google as having 66 percent market share and Bing at 17 percent. Statcounter reports Google having 78 percent of U.S. Search engine market share and Bing at almost 12 percent.

Don't ruin your relationship with the giant that holds overwhelming market share just to take advantage of Bing's currently spam-friendly local listings.