Many Internet users will probably be stumped if search engines have never existed. People will take a long while to get the information that they need, likely by repeatedly guessing URLs. Meanwhile, Internet marketing will probably be done in a far different manner than it is now being carried out. Traditional advertising will then matter more than improving a site’s performance in the search engine.
As we all know, Google currently dominates the search engine world. Considering that Google Inc. owns over 60% of the search market shares and that people mainly browse the Internet through Google, this is not a big surprise. As such, practically every Internet marketer make sure that the sites they own or are promoting are optimized for their best possible performance in Google searches.
Unfortunately, it seems that many SEO marketers, especially the new ones, are optimizing their sites solely for Google, sidelining every other search engines in the process. Although Google owns the top spot in its own game, it remains a fact that not everyone exclusively uses Google to browse the Web. There are many other search engines out there and there are people that actually use them. In particular, there are two search engines that SEO marketers should also pay attention to: Bing and Yahoo!.
Although both search engines have been eclipsed by Google in the past decade, Bing and Yahoo! are both established enough that they actually stand competing against the search engine giant and maintain a decent user-base. The problem however is that both Bing and Yahoo! operate with their own search algorithms.
This problem thus poses the question: Is it worth your time and effort to optimize your site for Bing and Yahoo!? First off, let us consider the difference between Google and its two competitors. Google ranks sites according to its keywords, its content’s quality, and its link profile. Also, Google’s search algorithm gives optimized sites their much needed visibility for global searches.
Bing and Yahoo!, on the other hand, practically use the same search algorithm as the latter is powered by the former. These search engines are not particularly good at filtering sites promoted by spammy links, but does well at providing results for local searches. This is due to Bing’s social media integration with Facebook which allows users to easily find restaurants reviewed by their Facebook friends or places of interest in their locality.
Long story short: Google is simply good all round and will rank your site according to its quality while the Facebook-integrated Bing and Yahoo! dominates local and social searches. These search engines are vastly different, and many seem to agree that you don’t need to full optimize your site for both Google and Bing/Yahoo!. You can, instead, focus the optimization first on Google then on Bing/Yahoo!, or the other way around.
Choosing your focus however, depends on the audience that you are targeting. Google is the way to go if you have the budget and are looking to be visible to a global audience. On the other hand, if you are marketing to a smaller, more localized audience through social media, then Bing is your best friend.