Archive for the ‘search engines’ Category
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
Don’t write Yahoo! off yet. CEO Marissa Mayer, a former Googler, has a lot of tricks up her sleeve, and I’m betting on her.
According to this article at TechCrunch, Yahoo! is planning a comeback in search, video, and mobile. Recent acquisitions show that they’re serious. In fact, Yahoo! has deep pockets, and if they continue to make smart acquisitions, then I think you’ll see them become big competitors against Google and Facebook.
Here are three specific reasons why I think Yahoo! is still in the game:
- Its acquisition of OnTheAir – OnTheAir is a video app that allows users to set up their own webinars. If Yahoo! can take advantage of this technology, they can build an online app that will compete with Google Hangouts.
- Its acquisition of Stamped – Stamped is a mobile app. Making good use of this app can give Yahoo! enough clout to compete with Google’s Android product, and if Facebook gets into mobile to compete for this space, then it could become an all out war. This is a huge opportunity for Yahoo! because no one is dominating here yet.
- Personalization – Yahoo! was the first big web property to let users personalize a home page. They did it long before Google ever thought about it. Personalization in search has become a big deal that Google has managed to position itself as a leader in. And Bing isn’t strong enough to compete against Google on any playing field. But Yahoo! is. If Yahoo! can take its current technology to learn enough about its user base to deliver personalized content, then it can become a major player again.
Yahoo! has an interesting challenge ahead of it. I don’t think they’ll knock Google off their pedestal, but they could be a competitor again. I’m rooting for Yahoo! to build a search brand that can give Google a run for its money.
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
Keyword research does not always have to consist of searching for the most searched for keywords related to your niche. Sometimes you just want to write a blog post about a topic that will benefit your readers and you want a keyword that isn’t necessarily popular but will allow you to write about a topic that you may not normally address on your blog. Looking for alternative keywords might be well worth your time.
Soovle is a great tool for helping you do that.
Soovle is a real simple tool. When you arrive on the website you’ll see a search box in the center of the page surrounded by the names of seven search engines. Enter a search term into the search box and related terms will appear under each of the names of the seven search engines. Click on one of those search terms and you’ll be redirected to the page at that search engine that discusses that search term.
For instance, let’s say you enter “internet marketing.” Click on “internet marketing jobs” under Google and you’ll go to the search results page for that search term. Click on “internet marketing secret” under YouTube and you’ll be catapulted to the search results page at YouTube for that search term.
Soovle has other useful tools as well. You can rearrange the search engines on the page or even choose 11 or 15 search engines for culling more results from more places.
Click on “Top” in the top left corner of Soovle and you’ll be taken to a page of the top search terms. It’s quite a list too, arranged by alphabetical order. Search on any search term and it will appear in the search box at the top of the page. Then click on one of the search engine icons next to the search box and you’ll go directly to the search results page for that search engine.
Soovle is a useful tool if you want to find alternative keywords you can target in your blog posts. Try it. I’m sure you’ll like it.
Friday, September 7th, 2012
Bing keeps trying to convince, by one way or another, that its search results are better than Google’s. They’ve tried just about everything they can think of. But they have one more card to play (or maybe not), and they’re playing it pretty heavy right now.
This is probably the best idea that Bing could come up — a blind search engine test.
What if there was a website where you could type in your search query and get side-by-side search results from both Google and Bing and see which one was the best? Well, there is. It’s called Bing It On.
According to Bing, the power behind the test, Bing results are winning 2 to 1.
Bing would have been a fool to even try this if they weren’t confident they’d win more often than lose. And if the results are honest (of course I have no reason not to trust them), then it looks like Bing may very well produce better search results. However, I do expect Google to retaliate. If Bing’s results are better overall, then I’d imagine Google will do some tweaking to change that. They always do.
But if it’s true and Bing’s results are better, does that mean online marketers should change their focus from Google to Bing? Not necessarily. Google still gets more traffic. But I’ve always been of the opinion that you should find traffic from as many sources as possible.
I encourage you to take the Bing It On blind test. See what you think.
Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
Microsoft has announced that starting August 1st they will charge for the use of Bing’s API. This is going to kill a lot of free SEO tools, and it could very well put a dent in Bing’s overall market share as well.
Let’s face it, pursuing a solid SEO strategy is getting more expensive all the time. Some smaller companies already cannot afford to pay an SEO consultant for services, so they end up doing it themselves if at all. Many of them use free SEO tools because they can’t afford the more expensive ones. Now, they may not have a choice.
If your free SEO tool stops working after August 1st, you’ll know why. But this move could hurt Bing as much as anyone else – at least, in search market share.
There are a lot of free tools and toolbars that use Bing as the primary search engine. Conduit is a very popular toolbar creator that uses Bing. Will they continue to use Bing if they have to pay for the API? It’s anyone’s guess, but if they choose to end their relationship with Bing they will likely go back to using Google.
For Microsoft, this could be more about the money than it is anything else. In fact, I’d say that Microsoft is looking for ways to maximum its revenue on the search engine. In that case, they may not mind losing market share to Google.
Friday, May 4th, 2012
Google has been reworking search algorithms for years, however, they have been coming thick and fast recently, and Google I’m sure has taken great pleasure in applying names to them. Earlier in the year we had the Panda update that hit poor quality sites and recently we had the Penguin update that is said to hit spammy websites. The problem with the Penguin update is that it came hot on the heels of a fresh Panda update, so webmaster who suffered a drop in traffic are unsure if it is due to poor quality (Panda) or spam (Penguin).
There is a relatively easy way to tell, if you have Google Analytics (or any good analytics software). The Panda update was released on April 19 and the Penguin update on April 24. If your traffic started to drop off after April 19, then you have quality issues. If your traffic dropped off after April 24, then Google has issues with your website related to spam.
You don’t use spam? Me neither, can’t stand the stuff! What about your website? Have you ever, particularly in your sites early days, built a few unethical links? Pay for links? Does your website have any duplicate content issues? This may be duplicate content on your own site, or content you have copied from other websites.
Whether it’s Panda or Penguin, you will need to work on areas that don’t meet Google’s quality guidelines. A complaint to Google will not necessarily reverse Penguin related loss of traffic. Clean up your site and, with luck, you’ll float back to your original position in search results. Google is not against search engine optimization, in fact, it has written guidelines on how to get it right. Just don’t over optimize, or use grey (or black) hat techniques.
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
Much is being written about the difference between ‘freshness’ and ‘relevance’ in Google’s search results. Much of this discussion stems from Google’s own ‘freshness’ update in recent weeks. There are a couple of points that are well worth noting now when it comes to search results. These include:
What you see is not what you get. Checking search results has become a bit hit and miss over the last 12 months. You and I can type in the same search term and yet come up with completely different results. Our differing locations, our previous search and surf history, and that ‘freshness’ factor all affect search results. It’s almost impossible to now proudly claim number one position for a search term since that ranking isn’t across the board.
Relevance is in the eye of the beholder. What is relevance? After all, what is relevant to you could be totally irrelevant to me. Again, time and location are important. Chris Crum on WebProNews wrote an article about this issue, using his own search criteria as an example. I used the same search criteria that he used, and came up with different results again.
Search has never been perfect. Whilst this is probably not an acceptable point to many, with billions of pages on the Internet, search is never going to be perfect. Using Chris Crum’s example, whilst the term he was searching for wasn’t ranked at number one in the results, it was ranked at number three. Google probably is over rating fresh content, however, the biggest complaint in the past was the staleness of results. Old out of date pages were ranking highly simply because of age and the number of inbound links they had acquired.
The current preference for freshness over relevance is creating problems for many businesses, especially when freshness is delivering inaccurate results. If you’re search rankings are being underminded by fresh content, I wouldn’t panic too much just yet. I would look closely to ensure my content was up-to-date and not stale, and that my content was relevant to my readers. If it isn’t, then it may be time to publish more relevant content – and it’ll be fresh too.