How important are Bing and Yahoo to your internet marketing?
“Just Google it!” Google is synonymous with finding things on the internet. It is certainly the big dog of search engines, but what about the other pups? Bing and Yahoo are also widely used by millions of people to find what they need online. What does this mean for your business? Are Bing and Yahoo important enough to warrant a part of your internet marketing resources?
How Bing and Yahoo stack up to Google
To decide if and how much you should focus on Bing and Yahoo; you need to first understand how they stack up to Google. This can be measured in their share of all online searches. Below are the U.S. search share figures for November, 2012 from NielsenNet.
- Google: 86.3%
- Bing: 7.3%
- Yahoo: 3.1%
- Facebook: 1.4%
- Ask: 0.8%
Depending on which publication you read, you may see slightly different share figures. Some show Google as low as 66 percent and others as high as 88 percent. Of course, the point is clear—Google dominates.
The case against Bing and Yahoo
Knowing that Google dwarfs Bing and Yahoo combined brings up 2 major concerns. First, by committing resources to specifically optimize for Bing and Yahoo you take away resources that can used toward SEO for Google. If you are a small business doing the work yourself or outsourcing to an internet marketing firm, your time and money are limited—taking some of those resources from Google to put into other search engines may not be the most efficient tactic.
There is also the concern that efforts to optimize for Bing and Yahoo can harm your Google SEO efforts. For example, Google is not a big fan of Flash, while Bing and Yahoo still are. With the search share so lopsided, why risk doing something for Bing and Yahoo that can be detrimental to your Google performance?
The case for Bing and Yahoo
While you do want to be careful not to counteract what you are doing for Google, there are few instances where that will happen. There are issues such as using Flash technologies, but much of what is done to optimize for Google also works for Bing and Yahoo. The differences are in the importance given to specific items in each of the search engines. For instance, Google no longer puts as much emphasis on meta descriptions, while Bing and Yahoo still do. By making sure you have a quality meta description for each page, you help your Bing and Yahoo performance without hurting Google performance.
The concern over limited resources can be relieved as well. Because much of what you do to optimize for Google works for Bing and Yahoo, you greatly reduce the amount of effort needed to optimize your website for all three search engines, thus increasing the effectiveness of your Google SEO efforts. Also, Yahoo’s search engine is now powered by Bing, so you kill two birds with one stone when optimizing for these two search engines. Only a small percentage of your internet marketing resources need to be concentrated on Bing and Yahoo in order for them to be effective.
Bing and Yahoo local business listings
Just as Google has local business listings called Google + Local pages, Bing and Yahoo offer similar listings. Your efforts should begin with claiming and completing these listings. They are prominent in local searches, so you want your business to show up. As with Google, these listings are created by the search engine which pulls them from a variety of databases. Your business probably already has a listing, it just needs to be claimed and the profile accurately and completely filled out. If you don’t have a listing, you can create one. It is a rather simple process and can go a long way toward making your business more visible on Bing and Yahoo.
Bing and Yahoo are used by millions of people, so you don’t want to ignore those potential customers. The majority of your efforts should be focused on Google, which will have a carry over effect on Bing and Yahoo. However, there are additional steps you can take to improve your website’s performance in the Bing and Yahoo search engines.
If you would like to learn more about how you can optimize your website for Google, Bing and Yahoo, please give us a call at (910) 452-6345. We would love the opportunity to help you put a plan in place to make your website work for you.