Before Google achieved domination over the search engine market, there were a number of other, smaller contenders that developed a loyal following, such as Ask.com and Dogpile. Most Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies are now targeted for Google only. However, Yahoo and Bing still function as popular search engine alternatives.
Therefore, SEO gurus should understand any differences in strategies that will bring strong page rankings from these “other” search engines, along with maximizing Google ratings. As all SEO veterans know, giving search engines what they like – and avoiding features that they don’t – is the key to higher page rankings. The differences among these engines is slight, but can influence site optimization to a degree.
Search Engines Rank Keywords Differently
Because of the secrecy search engines use to protect the integrity of their algorithms, it is impossible to accurately identify specific differences. Many veteran SEO professionals believe the other search engines treat keywords differently. The prevailing theory is that Google puts much weight on keywords in URL’s, while Bing favors keyword-rich content, with Yahoo somewhere in between.
Backlinks are another factor that draws strong attention. However, the three primary search engines treat backlinks differently in their algorithms. All three place high importance on the use of backlinks, albeit somewhat differently in their formulas. Google now calculates page ranks more based on the “quality” of backlinks, penalizing those sites that favor “quantity,” regardless of the backlink relevance. Yahoo and Bing place less weight on backlink origins or quality. All three, however, pay close attention to backlinks in their page-ranking formulas mandating that websites use them properly.
Content Quality Factors Highly
All three prime-time players – PTPers – as famed basketball announcer Dick Vitale would say, agree that “content is king.” A variation on the timeless computer cliche, “garbage in, garbage out,” the top search engines use content quality as the major factor in rating websites. Internet and SEO marketing professionals realize the overwhelming importance of using only high-quality content on their sites to achieve high page rankings.
Some observers believe there may be a resurgence of the formerly successful 1990s strategy of using multiple websites optimized for different search engines. They contend that, as more companies create “mirror” sites optimized for mobile markets, companies may also resurrect the multiple website strategy of two decades ago.
However, there are an equal number of SEO experts who dispute the value of this theory. Spreading internal or external quality content creators too thin, designing websites specifically for different search engines or spending the extra time and money to create and maintain three or more not quite identical sites is unnecessary and could be dangerous. These observers tout that good SEO is good SEO.
As Yahoo and Bing modify their algorithms to move closer to Google formulas, the differences in the “other” search engines becomes ever more minor. Concentrating SEO efforts on one outstanding website – and, possibly, a variation optimized for mobile users – is the best idea. Search strategies focused on satisfying Google preferences also should result in strong page rankings with competing search engines.
When you really get down to the nitty-gritty about the factors that impact your website’s ranking on search engines, it sounds a lot like the way credit companies come up with your credit rating. In many ways, there’s not a whole heck of a lot of difference. Both your company’s search engine ranking and your company’s credit rating have everything to do with your ability to make money. If you have bad credit, you pay higher interest on loans. If you have a low search engine ranking, you may as well be invisible. To combat a poor credit rating, pay your bills on time. To fight poor search engine rankings, refrain from engaging in certain questionable online activities. One of the most detrimental of these activities is called linking schemes.
What’s a Linking Scheme and How Does it Work?
A linking scheme is a method of using a network of links in order to increase your website’s search engine ranking. The theory behind it is simple. The more links there are on the internet that drive to your website, the more popular your site appears to be–which in turn has a positive impact on your search engine ranking. Often times, website owners will engage in what’s called reciprocal linking in a sort of “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” arrangement for their mutual ranking benefit. The trouble is, search engines are busy looking for ways to make page ranking more honest, and they frown on this type of thing. One of the ways they’re fighting linking schemes (with Google leading the charge) is by penalizing the ranking scores of websites that are found to be taking part in linking schemes.
Follow the Leader
Google isn’t the only search engine out there, that’s for sure. But it is the most frequently used, and since it’s seen as the golden standard among all search engines, you can assume that if Google’s enforcing something, everyone else will fall in line behind them sooner or later. For those webmasters who’ve been busy in their off hours hoping for the demise of Google, this bit of news comes as a chilling omen that the days of page ranking manipulation are set to come to a grinding halt.
So What Now?
You’re probably asking “Okay, then how do I get my website ranking up?” It’s good you asked, because we’ve got a few useful tips on doing exactly that–the clean way.
Create compelling, relevant content on your website. This can be done by publishing a blog and building a wide audience. The more your readership grows, the more people will organically link to your website. This method is far more effective than manufactured links.Update your web site content (including your blog and landing page copy) frequently. People don’t like visiting static websites that never change and don’t offer updated information. If you want repeat visitors who’ll spread the word to others about your website, this is one way to keep them coming back.You can link to other websites, but do so only to sites that would be of interest to your visitors and sites that are relevant to your brand. If you’re an online coffee retailer, link to other coffee sites, tea sites, or companies that manufacture and sell coffee machines.
Just dropping a quick note to let you guys know weâ€™ll be doing a LIVE show tomorrow @ 4pm EST to discuss the latest PR and Backlink Update at Google.
Then, of course as promisedâ€¦weâ€™ll be doing a site review tomorrow. If youâ€™d like to have your site reviewedâ€¦you can also feel free to post it here & weâ€™ll be happy to contact you in regards to having your review as a part of the show.
Or as always you could just send an email to daron @ webmasterradio.fm and give me the details so that we can dive in head first and maybe give ya some free professional help while also helping those in the community that may not yet have encountered the hurdle you do now.
Thatâ€™s why weâ€™re here. So feel freeâ€¦.ask away!