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The SEO Tag: Empowering Webmasters To Rank Better

Since search engine optimization first became a viable marketing tactic, SEOs have sought to decipher the algorithms used by search engines in an effort to place their content higher in the rankings.  In the vast majority of cases, this was done to ensure two things:

1 – good content ranked well

2 – the business producing the good content received traffic

Along the way, some SEOs abused the systems to try to game the results.  Back and forth for years, the engines and so-called “black hat” SEOs have waged a behind-the-scenes battle to position content on the Search Results pages.  It’s pretty easy for the engine to win this battle in the long run, though, as we own the pages.

As time has progressed, we’ve been able to tackle spamming issues at many levels.  In most cases today, most websites follow the known best practices and simply do the right thing.  They’re too busy running a business to try trickery to rank better, trusting we will sort the rankings properly.

And now it’s time to reward that trust and your hard work.

Bing today is announcing the creation and support of the SEO tag.

The goal behind this tag is two-fold:

First, as Bing has launched many new tools over the past year+ designed to help websites improve (Webmaster Tools, SEO Reports, Link Explorer, Bing Sitemap Plugin, Disavow Links, etc.), we’ve seen the positive feedback generated by this desire to partner with websites, instead of keeping them in the dark about important data by blocking it or not sharing it.

Second, and more importantly, you run the business, not us.  So it’s time you take control of not just your SEO work, but of your rankings as well!

To that end, the SEO tags can be implemented today allowing you to tell us where you should rank.  The code below explains it clearly if you’re an SEO.  Place the tag inside your page code, fill in the blanks for us indicating which result your page should appear at, and when a query is performed, we’ll scan the page and place you accordingly.

<link rel="SEO" query="weather" set_to_position="2" />

<link rel="SEO" must_be_before="**" />

That second line is very handy, too, as you can skip the actual rank position, the “set_to_position” portion, and simply specify that if a competitor’s page is ranking for a term, that you are to rank one spot higher.

Upon launch we’ll only recognize one “must_be_before” tag, but beginning on April 1st, 2014, you’ll be able to stack up to 50 of them in your code to offer greater coverage for your site.

To ensure compliance with this request, should you insert more than one “must_be_before” tag this year, we’ll simply contact your host and arrange for the server hosting your site to be put into a low-earth orbit for the following 365 days.

If you really like this idea, drop some comments and we’ll look at installing a “Rank Me” button inside webmaster tools for you, to streamline the workflow.

More details are available in this Help & How-to Section.


  • Sweet!

  • This is going to change everything!

  • Has to be the least believable April Fools joke I've ever seen.

  • It totaly is, no way would Bing or any search engine impliment anything like that at user control.

  • Well, we kind of had to make it over-the-top in terms of believability.  Past efforts have sometimes lead to people thinking it was real - which is never the intent.

  • Hmmm.... Nice Microsoft...

  • I'd bet a bunch of people are still going to do this :) I'd also bet that there are some who will see better rankings in certain search engines because of this :)



  • What if Google puts "" in their home page? I hope your algorithm has considered this case:)

  • Oh, it seems SEO tags are not allowed in this comment text.

  • Ha ha ha....hilarious

  • Hello!I seo beginners seo expertise to understand or not enough.After seeing your article, I think my seo knowledge needs further upgrading.I try to improve my site, do not know why bing included the speed is relatively slow!


  • Duane;

    On a wordpress site. Do we install this on a post, a page?

  • i wish you guys would work on improving things instead of working on ms bs such as this. Glad you have all the time in the world to waste.

    keep up the great work.

  • nice work

  • It's is true, I think