Posts Tagged ‘search engines’
Monday, May 13th, 2013
Google might have the lion’s share of the search market, but Bing and Yahoo! are still important. Between them, they have close to 15% of the search market. Of course, they fluctuate up and down and at times have a total of 20% between them. Usually, Bing has a little more than Yahoo! and that’s okay. Not everyone can be on top.
While all the search engines generally look at some of the same criteria, there are differences.
Bing is more closely aligned with Facebook. You can push your Bing rankings higher if you have a strong Facebook network and promote your links to your Facebook friends. Google has its own social network with Google+. Yahoo!, however, seems to be more interested in domain names with age. Google likes aged domains as well, but with over 200 ranking algorithms any one ranking factor is going to have less influence on its own.
The differences between the search engines tell me that diversity is very important. You don’t want to rely on just one search engine for all of your traffic. You want to diversify your traffic sources.
This is very important. If some new website next year starts taking traffic away from Google and the search giant fades into oblivion (remember MySpace?), then you will be thankful you diversified your traffic sources. That’s why Bing and Yahoo! are still important.
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t tell people not to buy SEO services. Your site will rank better in the search engines if you optimize it for the search engines, but don’t be fooled by unnecessary SEO services.
There is one SEO service that is so completely unnecessary that it won’t help your site one bit. You’ll be throwing your money away. And it might even hurt your site. The service is search engine submission services. I don’t recommend them. In fact, I recommend staying away from them.
Many web companies call themselves SEO companies and sell useless services like search engine submission services. Did you know you don’t have to submit your website to search engines? They have web crawlers that go out and find web pages to index and then rank those pages according to their own criteria. Those crawlers are called robots, or spiders.
Google has one. And Bing has one. Those are the only two search engines you need to concern yourself with.
A lot of these search engine submission services submit your website links to old directories that Google doesn’t even crawl any more. In fact, some of those directories may even be penalized, and if you are associated with them, it could hurt your website to have a link from them. That’s why I say stay away from search engine submission services.
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
Search engine optimization has a bright side and a dark side. The dark side often involves chasing algorithms, as if they have the power to save. You might as well be a dog chasing parked cars.
It’s not that search engine algorithms have no power. They do. Their power lies in their ability to deliver relevant content to searchers. For the search engine marketer, their power lies in their ability to deliver your content to the right searchers. But to do that, your best bet is to write great content that targets the needs of a specific market rather than trying to guess the most important criteria for ranking.
I hope you see the nuance in this distinction. It’s a fine one.
Understand this: Search engines use more than 200 ranking criteria. On any given day, or on any given hour, any of those ranking criteria could be the most important. And it might change from day to day, hour to hour. What’s more, it might change from search query to search query. That makes it really difficult to optimize any particular blog post for the perfect algorithmic criterion.
That’s why I, and Google, say to write your content for your site visitors. Don’t write it for the search engines. But do use your keywords. Just don’t over use them.
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.
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.
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
It is natural for websites to rise and fall in the search engine rankings. In fact, when new sites are discovered by the search engines and receive their initial rankings it is quite common to see them rise high into the search engine rankings.
Google particularly is good at this. With its emphasis on fresh search results, new pages get an unnatural boost in search engine rankings. After a couple of weeks you’ll see your website fall in rankings and settle in at its natural position in the SERPs.
Another time when you’ll see sharp rises and falls in your search engine rankings is when the search engines make adjustments to their algorithms. These adjustments occur every day. Several times a day, in fact. But occasionally they disrupt the SERPs to a degree that causes many web pages to rise and fall in the rankings and many website owners get alarmed over this. Don’t.
Again, this is a natural response to major changes to the search engine ranking algorithms. After a while, you’ll see your site bounce back to its natural place in the search rankings again. It could be positioned a little higher than before or a little lower, but the algorithm update will cause a major flux.
Search engine rankings naturally fluctuate from day to day. This is natural. If you see big swings one way or the other, wait it out. You’ll see your sites likely settle in at their natural search positions.
Saturday, June 30th, 2012
Every year, Experian Hitwise tells us whether searchers are using more one word search queries or multiple word search queries. In years past, multiple word search queries were on the rise. This year, they’re going down.
Well, the report was for last month and represents year-over-year figures, but you get the point.
Meanwhile, single word search queries rose by 19%. But here’s my question: Should we care?
Considering that 9 of the top 10 search queries are single word search queries for web properties, does it matter what these trends say? Take a look at the single word search queries people are using:
- facebook login
Now, I would have thought that most of us would have typed “www.facebook.com” into our browsers if we wanted to go to facebook. Evidently, that is not the case. So, since most people actually search for facebook using the search engines, wouldn’t you say these figures are really skewed? I mean, they’re not actually looking for information. They’re looking for a particular website.
In order to see whether single word or multiple word search queries are on the rise, one would have to take these property-specific search queries out of the equation, and Experian Hitwise doesn’t do that.
What I will say is that 5% fewer people are using Google and 5% more people are using Bing-powered search. Another 7% more are using Bing.com. So Bing is on the rise and Google lost some search share. Is the search engine game becoming more competitive?
Friday, May 18th, 2012
There is a lot of noise on the web at present surrounding the removal of low quality directories from Google’s search results. When running a few tests myself, I found I could replicate some of the results mentioned, however, there were many directories that have reappeared in search results. There are times when a lot of noise is made about changes when perhaps it would have been more prudent to wait a couple of hours, or even days, to see if things had changed. All that aside, is does beg a couple of questions about your inbound links. Here are a few for you to consider:
- Do you keep a list of inbound links that you have built?
- Do you check the currency of those links?
- Do you remove, or request removal of links if they sour?
- Do you redirect links (301 permanent redirect) after deleting pages?
There is more to link management than building links. It can be frustrating building links only too see pages (or whole websites) removed. It’s even more frustrating to find that what you thought was a quality site has soured in the eyes of search engines. That’s when a link removal request could be in order.
If you are building links, then keep a record of those links. A simple spreadsheet is all that is required, then once every three or four months, go through that list to ensure they are delivering a benefit to your pages, and not dragging them down.