Today, when people say “search engine”, they usually mean Google. When business start on SEO campaigns, they’re usually hoping to improve their rankings on Google. However, as an industry we need to remember that while Google does certainly dominate the American search landscape, Yahoo and Bing have value to bring to the table as well.
Let’s start by exploring the numbers. Recent data from Internet statistics company ComScore showed that Google has about a 67% share of the American search market. Bing has a little over 19%, and Yahoo about 10%. A few other smaller players like Ask.com account for the remainder. In other words, about 1/3rd of the search market is outside Google. That’s a big chunk of potential traffic!
Any serious SEO campaign should have non-Google sources as part of the picture. In this blog post, we’ll cover some basics about SEO for Yahoo and Bing, and how small business owners in Dallas can incorporate Yahoo and Bing SEO into their overall marketing plan.
First Thing’s First: Yahoo is Bing
One thing that many business owners still might not realize is that Yahoo’s organic search results are powered by Bing. In other words, there really is no true Yahoo search engine anymore. It’s just Bing’s results wrapped in Yahoo branding.
To some extent, this is helpful for SEOs, who basically now only have to be aware of organic search factors on two engines, Google and Bing. However, it also means that the amount of overall competition and diversity in the search engine landscape is weakened.
Another tricky element in this picture is that while Yahoo’s organic search is powered by Bing, Yahoo still operates their own local listings service over at https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/. The Yahoo local business results are not powered by Bing Places, but are actually an in-house Yahoo platform. This means that local business owners still need to pay attention to Yahoo’s local services to achieve optimal local SEO success.
Use Bing Webmaster Tools
Opinions on Bing tend to vary, but most SEOs will agree that Bing has done a solid job with their Webmaster Tools platform. It offers many great features to SEOs and marketers, including detailed crawl data, link information, keyword and query data, a range of configuration options, and more.
The Bing Webmaster Tools platform is certainly competitive with Google’s, and the process for setting up a BWMT account is very simple. For some smaller businesses and SEO campaigns, a complete Bing SEO strategy might consist of just having a well configured BWMT account and monitoring for issues. That alone is simple and a solid approach to multi-engine SEO.
Don’t Forget About AdCenter
AdCenter is Microsoft’s answer to Google AdWords. Like Bing Webmaster Tools, it is very similar in functionality to its Google counterpart, and generally fairly easy to use. And while it isn’t specifically SEO, this PPC platform is worth considering for anyone who is also running an AdWords campaign.
It usually does make sense to extend your PPC efforts into Bing. Although it requires a little extra effort, the usual argument is that because less companies are using AdCenter than AdWords, the CPC prices are lower, and thus ROI is higher.
Some have also argued that the demographics of Bing are favorable for some businesses. Although we don’t necessarily have real data on this, some people have made the case that Bing’s audience is usually older and less tech-savvy. This is a great audience for any brand looking to sell to an older and potentially more affluent audience.
Is Bing SEO Really Different?
The short answer is – not really. There are some potentially interesting issues to observe in comparing Google and Bing search results and rankings. For example, Bing’s friendly relationship with Facebook has seen it go through a few different “social search” updates. On the other hand, Google certainly has features that Bing hasn’t yet replicated, particularly on the backend of search.
In general, SEOs would usually consider Bing to be somewhat less sophisticated than Google overall. Older SEO tactics like paid links and aggressive keyword insertion tend to be more effective on Bing than Google. Google also usually seems to take a tougher stance on penalties and black-hat behaviours than Bing.
However, these are mostly academic issues, in the sense that they don’t really impact practical SEO campaigns. Instead, a solid multi-channel SEO campaign will include keyword research on both Google and Bing as well as rank tracking on both engines. It will include correctly configured Webmaster Tools accounts for both engines. It will include competitive analysis and market research on both engines. And it will include analysis and optimization based on the results of both engines.
Ultimately, SEO for Yahoo/Bing isn’t really different than SEO for Google. Rather, it’s just another task to be aware of in the overall online marketing strategy. If you’re a small business owner in Dallas looking to learn more about building a comprehensive SEO campaign, the Tech-Critic team can help. Contact us today for a free SEO strategy consultation.