Getting to the first page of a search engine has always been important because so few users will bother going to the additional pages. If you are on the second page of a search return you may have a chance of picking up additional traffic but in reality, if you aren’t on the first page, you are as well being nowhere. This means that many sites and businesses have focused on very niche markets or the use of long-tail keywords. It seems as though Bing is further emphasising the importance of being found on the first page because for some long tail searches, they are only going to provide the first page of results, although you can request to see the other results.
In all likelihood, this option will be ignored or overlooked by users, which means that if you aren’t found on the first page, you will struggle to get any benefit. The language that Bing is using with respect to the search pages will also play a role in ensuring users don’t bother looking for other returns. The results shown on the page are referred to as the “most relevant results for your search” while they have classed results not shown as “lower quality results”. Users aren’t going to bother searching for additional pages of results when they are classed as “lower quality results”, which is probably the outcome that Bing is looking for.
Many users will be unhappy with this change
While Bing may think that they are being helpful and reducing the amount of time that people spend on reviewing their options, it is easy to see that many people will feel unhappy at this snub. While the majority of businesses will naturally be more focused and concerned on what Google does, there is something to be said for at least acknowledging what Bing is doing and how they act. However, if businesses are now being ignored by Bing, there is every chance that they will decide to ignore what Bing is doing.
One of the things that many businesses like to do is follow their journey across the search engines, making tweaks to their site and seeing what impact it has on their ranking. If you are being casually dismissed by Bing and being denied the opportunity to view their progress (or lack of progress), it takes away some of the motivation and impetus to update and improve your site.
When it comes to making changes to a site to improve your search engine rankings, statistics and tangible changes are crucial. Unless you can see some form of change or benefit occurring, you will never know if you are doing the right thing or not. With Bing removing the benefits of making improvements or ranking highly to all but a select few businesses, there may come a time when a lot of businesses decide that there is no point in aiming to be found on search engines, instead devoting their time and energy into other places where they can reach a new audience.