Posted by Monish Vora
March 19, 2014
I bet that even though you know sufficiently about the term search engine, the first word that will come to your mind is Google. It is natural to anyone as the popularity of Google is evident from the fact that it gets 6 billion searches in a day and in 2013 it recorded searches to over 2 trillion. It is quite a powerhouse.
So, it is again quite natural for people to think every time they hear of search engine optimization that it only means optimizing a website to rank it on Google. While the real meaning of SEO is to optimize a site for search engines, and Google being the most popular and widely used one, the first preference will only be given to it. However, are we forgetting that Bing and Yahoo also hold a substantial part in the search engine industry? These are search engines that have a loyal user following and could prove to be beneficial for online marketing where even a small amount of your prospects are hanging out.
As a result of the ever-rising popularity of Google, many online marketers wonder if they really need to bother about Bing or Yahoo. Many of us have faced this dilemma. Is it a waste of time to optimize for an alternative search engine? Or is it a good practice to optimize for sites like Yahoo and Bing? The answer, in short, is yes. You will need to optimize for Yahoo and Bing too.
Now here is the long reason as to why…
Why Should You Consider Bing and Yahoo While Optimizing?
The common notion about the above question is definitely a no, and that it is not so important to optimize a site for Google. It is very time-consuming to optimize a site for a single search engine like Google, and how could one even imagine to top all this with one or even two more search engines? It is important to optimize for Bing and Yahoo because it will help in saving time in the long run.
Let’s suppose that you have used all your marketing resources and search engine optimization efforts only to optimize the site for Google. You are right there on the SERP’s where you want yourself to be. Now let’s suppose for a while that something goes terribly wrong and maybe there are some algorithm updates and that your site gets penalized and you are out of the search engine’s scope. Only if you had applied to some efforts in other search engines too, it wouldn’t have hurt so badly. But now, you will have to bid farewell to the traffic on your website that is coming through search engines.
So, now let’s change things a little bit. You have optimized the site mainly for Google, and let’s suppose that 25% of the efforts have been spent on optimizing for Yahoo and Bing too. You’ve done enough to see that you are on the first page of the three search engines. Now, if it happens that Google changes its algorithm and kicks you off the SERP’s, you still have chances of being found by potential customers on Yahoo and Bing, which would be a great relief if a majority of your web site traffic depends on search results.
We have often heard, “Do not put all your eggs in the same basket”, because you never know what Google might not like and might rub off all the hard work implemented by you.
Is There Anyone Out There Using Bing or Yahoo?
Sometimes it feels like the whole world is only using Google and nothing else. You are always asked your Google your question. Have you been ever asked to Yahoo or Bing your query on the Internet? Having said that, there is a considerable number of people who use alternative search engines. Where Google had around 67% of the search engine industry share in the year 2013, Bing and Yahoo together had a small share of 29% and that’s a whole lot of searches if you look at the actual numbers. And yes, there is something for all kinds of businesses even in Yahoo and Bing.
Who Is Using Yahoo and Bing?
It is vital to check out the demographics of the users of Bing and Yahoo before getting an answer to this question. When you actually know what kind of people is performing the searches on Yahoo, Bing and even Google, an SEO strategy that is just perfect for your business come into existence.
If you are targeting a specific part of the US, it is vital to know which search engines are more popular in these regions.
Optimizing for Yahoo/Bing vs. Google
Here is some good news for all those who feel that they will have to work on two additional search engines. Yahoo’s search engine is powered by Bing. So, this means that you will have to put in the efforts to optimize your site for just one more search engine in addition to Google. However, there are some differences between the two and you have to face them while optimizing your site.
While Google has shown its love for sites that are more commercial, newer and popular, while Bing still favours older websites with authoritative domain names such as .edu or .gov. It shows us that Bing is more inclined towards factual and relevant information, while Google is quick to show up sites that are socially relevant and more popular.
It’s quite tough for Google to figure out how to use Flash Media, whereas Bing does an excellent job to index it and in fact give more credit to sites that use flash media.
When you search for local businesses on Bing, it is under the assumption that you are looking for some shop or office that is the most proximal, which doesn’t necessarily have to be a hot-shot store of your town. The case of Google is very different here as the results here often turn up larger and more established companies.
One of the features of Bing that sets it apart from Google mainly is its ability to integrate social media for enhancing search results. While searching on Bing, if a particular product or brand has been recommended or rated by a Facebook friend, the user is able to see that right away. Google hasn’t been able to do this as of now.
Google is more intuitive about the intent of the page and understands the keywords smartly. Bing still relies on keywords in the page title, meta tags and the keywords on the page.
Lastly, the main reason why you should optimize for Yahoo and Bing
The only reason is not Google or Yahoo or Bing for all your optimization efforts. It’s definitely a great feeling to rank on a search engine, however, if your visitors are not interested and they don’t find anything on your site that is worth staying back, then all your efforts of optimizing have gone in vain.
The key to ultimate customer satisfaction is having a great, user-friendly website. The road to your success is the search engine, however, the search engine itself is not the ultimate success.