A guest post by Amanda DiSilvestro.
SEO can sometimes get overwhelming. Requiring keyword research, backlinks, and images, SEO isn’t something that you can do in 10 minutes.
For that reason, more and more companies are beginning to hire an SEO team or to outsource their SEO efforts to a professional agency to make sure that SEO gets done right. After all, if you make a few slipups when optimizing your website—duplicate content, keyword stuffing, cloaking, etc.—you could find yourself with months of cleanup work. The catch to all of this SEO work: Many companies are only worrying about Google.
According to The New York Times, Google controls nearly 66 percent of all searches. That makes Google the most popular search engine around, so companies obviously want to optimize their web pages for this search engine. Unfortunately, Google has a different algorithm---or different way of ranking web pages---than Bing and Yahoo do. That means companies need to optimize their sites in different ways for each search engine. That puts more work on the SEO department and spreads their resources thin.
It is even worth it to optimize a website for Bing or Yahoo?
Why Bing Is Worth Your Time
Bing ranks second behind Google. (You can get the latest stats about rankings here.) Still, the usual concern for companies is that optimizing for Bing will take away time from optimizing for a Google SERP. The truth is that optimizing for Bing doesn’t have to be time-consuming.
Below are a few ways you can begin optimizing your website for Bing.
- Domain Age---Bing puts more emphasis on domain age than Google. If you have an older domain, you’re already on your way! That was easy, right?
- Titles---Bing puts more emphasis on title tags than Google, so make sure your title includes your keyword. Once again, a solution that takes no more than 30 seconds.
- Flash---Google has never liked Flash much, but Bing doesn’t mind. If your website has a lot of Flash, you will likely have much better luck with Bing.
- Links---Both Bing and Google put an emphasis on inbound links and backlinks, so getting the basics down is essential for both search engines.
The only thing that may take a little bit of time away from your Google efforts is keyword research. You can learn how to use the Bing keyword research tool here.
So, why it is worth it to optimize a website for Bing? It doesn’t take much extra effort. Ask your team to optimize for Google first and then go back and make slight changes to help out your Bing ranking position. In general, Bing is said to bring in more targeted traffic.
Why Optimizing for Yahoo Is Easy When It Comes Third
Yahoo has certainly had a tough year with a 2,000-person layoff and continual upper-management changes. Their latest product was a few mobile apps that more or less failed when released to the public, so it makes sense that companies would question to the importance of Yahoo as a search engine.
Just as with Bing, Yahoo asks for many similar optimization techniques to be used—no duplicate content, solid backlinks, etc.—to get ranked. Experts all agree that Yahoo is headed for a downward spiral. Spending time optimizing your pages for something unpredictable might not be worth it, even if the search engine does bring in some users.
So, what’s the kick? Yahoo results are powered by Bing. If you’re optimizing for Bing, you’re pretty much optimizing for Yahoo as well. In other words, if you’re optimizing for Google first and Bing second, your third-search engine is pretty darn simple.
The Bottom Line
Whether you want to optimize your site for these search engines should really depend upon your site and the success it has with the audience who uses Yahoo or Bing. Consider trying this for a few months and tracking your results. If you see that you are getting clicks and conversions, then your optimization was more than worth it. This may sound obvious, but it’s never a bad idea to give these search engines a try.
Do you spend time optimizing your site for Bing, Google, Yahoo, or all? What helped you make the decision to put time and effort into SEO for these search engines? Let us know in the comments!
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small businesses and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Job Search---Woman)