With Easter just around the corner, let’s talk about eggs. Where are you putting your eggs? Where are you putting your client’s eggs for that matter? In the year 2014, how often do you hear, “Yeah, I don’t know the answer to that… you should Bing that!” or, “I can’t remember what movie she’s in… You should Yahoo her.” You’re certain to raise some eyebrows talking like that. It may even sound like heresy around your office. However, should you be putting all your eggs in Google’s basket? Should all your optimization work cater to the whims of Google’s search algorithm? The answer to that is plain and simple- no, it shouldn’t.
At the end of 2013, Google closed the year with 67.1 percent of the market share, leaving Bing with 16.9 percent and Yahoo with 11.8 percent. Given this information, it does make sense to put a number of your eggs into Google’s basket, but there are more reasons to optimize with Bing and Yahoo than just the quantity of searches being performed on Google.
It is important to divide your eggs based on quantity, after all Google did preform over 2.1 trillion searches last year; but business owners and SEO firms should consider what product or service is being promoted and how to best reach their target audience. This is why we shouldn’t ignore Bing and Yahoo. For example, Hitwire.com created an online representation index which attempts to categorize search engine use based on social class. As this graph may contain some flaw in measuring something as qualitative as social class, it still holds some weight for business owners and SEO firms. Perhaps you work with an SEO firm and gain a client that is a government affiliated public transportation service. It is valuable to note that optimizing with Yahoo will most likely help your reach your target audience as people in urbanized areas lean toward using Yahoo as their primary search engine.
Take some relief in the fact that this does not mean that you have to do three times the work- As of August 2010, Yahoo’s search engine is powered by, and has the same algorithm as Bing. So optimizing for Bing also means optimizing for Yahoo.
So what do you have to do differently to make sure you’re optimized for Bing and Yahoo? Of course you should always start with relevant content and quality backlinks regardless of who you are trying to optimize for, but there are some tips and tricks to get ahead with Bing/Yahoo.
- Google’s algorithm weighs heavy on HTML content, as does Bing’s, however, Bing recognizes multi-media and flash content without relying on a description. If your site is lavished in videos and pictures it is likely to rank higher with Bing than Google.
- When short and ambiguous searches are preformed, (particularly searches that could have more than one meaning) Google tends to rank which ever meaning is more popular whereas Bing will usually will show local results first (depending on relevance).
- Bing ranks high authority, well established sites first. This means domain age plays a factor in the ranks. Google, on the other hand, looks for high authority as well but also rewards higher ranks to sites with fresh content.
- Backlinks are vital but not as important as with Google. It appears as though Bing emphasizes relevant content more than Google and backlinks less than Google. On this note, don’t adopt the mentality that lots of low quality links will make up the difference on Bing. Spammy links are more likely to penalize your ranking in Bing’s search than in Google.
- Ranking high in Bing’s search results is not as competitive as Google so a little work can go long way.
Get social. Bing emphasizes pages with lots of social signs. This means adding a Facebook Like button, a tweet button, and Google +1 button to your page. The more your users share, like, and tweet your content, the greater your ranking will be. Giving your users the opportunity to share your content is a win, having it improve your SEO simultaneously- bigger win.
- Note that becoming social should not just be a part of your Bing and Yahoo SEO strategy, but also your Google SEO strategy. Keep in mind however, social sharing will not take you as far on Google as it will on Bing.
It’s tempting in 2014 to put all your eggs in Google’s basket- they are innovators, idealists and their search page isn’t lush or overwhelming. Just remember that approximately one of every three searches happens on Bing or Yahoo, and that is a basket worth putting your eggs in. So diversify! Make your SEO strategy unique and those eggs just might hatch into a high ranking or a positive review from a new client. Happy Easter!