When it comes to SEO, everyone has one search engine in mind: Google. Although Google dominates the market with over 60% of all searches online, that doesn’t mean that you should put all of your marketing eggs in one basket.
There are many different alternative search engines out there, and customizing your SEO approach to fit their needs can benefit you in a lot of ways.
Today we’re going to discuss why you should spread your wings beyond the scope of Google, how to do it, and which alternate search engines should be your primary focus.
What Alternative Search Engines are Out There?
Before we talk about the benefits of broadening your horizons, we should first see which horizons you should be paying attention to the most. There are many different search engines out there, but if all you know is Google, then you probably don’t even realize that there is competition in this field.
Here are a few options that we think are worth your time and SEO energy.
With just under 16% of the market share, this is by far the second most popular search engine available. True, it gets a lot of flack from people who think of it as the poor man’s Google, but there are some incredible features it offers that give Google a run for its money.
Flight Checker – if you’re searching for airfares, Bing will automatically update you on cheaper flights and alternatives. Save more money in the long run.
Video Searching – Google is relatively jumbled when you’re trying to search for a video, but Bing has that function dialed in. The search results are much more organized, and you can start playing it in the browser (rather than going to the source site), making it faster and safer overall.
These are some real, tangible benefits to searching with Bing, which means that you can add value to both your site and your customers by optimizing for this search engine. For example, if you have a lot of video content, you can get more mileage out of it here than you might with Google.
Trailing not too far behind Bing with about 13% of the market share of searches, you can also optimize for Yahoo. One thing to note, however, is that Yahoo is powered by Bing, so optimizing for one is kind of like a twofer.
Yahoo has some extra benefits as well, such as better display advertising in its searches. Google is kind of all over the map, and they are prone to changing their mind at a whim, so having this kind of comprehensive user experience can be great for your business.
One side effect of Google is that it tracks all of its user’s data and harvests it for their own needs. Have you ever gotten targeted ads based on searches you made in the past? DuckDuckGo doesn’t do any of this, making it a viable replacement for those who want to maintain more internet privacy. Also, it makes money solely from PPC ads, meaning that you could get better placement here than you could on Google.
Benefits of Optimizing for Alternative Search Engines
So, what do these sites have that Google doesn’t? Well, it turns out that there is more to them than you might think. Another side effect of Google having such a dominant presence online is that they don’t have to listen to anyone, meaning that their rules and restrictions regarding search engine optimization are often changed arbitrarily.
Here are some reasons why you will want to invest time and energy into these other engines.
Better Local Searches
Sites like Bing will direct people to businesses that are closest to them. Google lists them based on reputation, which gives a distinct edge to companies that are large and well established. If you’re not a big box store, you can get more mileage from Bing and other engines when people search for you.
Not Beholden to Google’s Rules
Since Google will change their SEO guidelines (and keep them secret while they’re at it), it can sometimes feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. As soon as you get the ranking you want, Google may bump you for some unknown reason, forcing you to start over.
By optimizing for additional sites, you don’t have to go back to the drawing board every time there is a change in policy.
While Flash can generate a love/hate reaction from the general public, there are still plenty of reasons to incorporate it into your marketing and website materials. Google doesn’t seem to appreciate it, though, as it doesn’t know how to rank sites that are Flash-heavy. Search engines like Bing, however, index them much better and can deliver optimized results in searches because of that.
Do you use Google+? Of course not, you don’t work for them, do you? Well, it seems like the tech giant is still sore that no one got on board with their foray into social media, so it’s almost impossible to integrate your social platforms in a way that’s meaningful in searches.
With sites like Bing and Yahoo, users can see recommendations and updates from their social media profiles in their search (i.e., a Facebook friend liked a restaurant they’re looking at), which makes integration a functional part of the experience. As a marketer, being able to merge these platforms is invaluable.
While Google will continue to dominate searches for the next few hundred years, that doesn’t mean that they should be your only source of SEO. Be sure to see what these other engines have to offer and figure out how you can make them work for you.