Is SEO different for each search engine?

Is SEO different for each search engine?

by Raymond Santopietro

There are three major search engines that are in play when a top seo company is discussing search engine optimization. Rankings (at least from the client’s point of view) only serve a few purposes, to brand your business as better than your competition because you are shown above them on search engine results, and to drive customers to the website by having them find you in the results that are displayed when they search for something you sell. Both the purposes are actually the same, which is ultimately to make more money for the business through sales. The search engine optimization companies job is to determine the best way to make this happen, and not just concentrate on rankings but additionally on sensible rankings that will convert into sales. What this means is that it is the job of the seo company to decide the best path for the client, as the client really doesn’t understand how this all works. They know they want rankings and ultimately sales, but they usually do not understand how that is achieved. This is the job of the seo company, to explain the process to the level of understanding that the client desires. If they do not want to know about what makes rankings happen, then it is the seo company’s job to simply map out the best path to sales. If they want to be involved and understand the process, then it is the seo firms job to explain what is happening and why.

For sake of discussion, let’s assume that everyone understands the the closer to number one you rank on a search engine, the better the traffic levels will be for that term. For information on how much traffic a position on a search engine can bring, refer to our article on the value of a top Google position. In this discussion, we understand that the closer to number one we are on the search engine results, the more traffic will click through to the website. The first job of the seo company is to decide if it is worth the hours spent working for the client to rank for a term. Basically, a very specific search term will have very little traffic that actually searches for it, and as a result the number one position might still drive almost no traffic to the website. The seo company must research the terms that people actually search for, and assess how hard it is for this website to rank for that term aside how much potential traffic it can bring. If there are only an average of fifty monthly searches on Google for a specific term, then the absolute most average clicks through to the website is fifty, and it is more realistically a percentage far less. Seo companies need to create a list of terms that describes your products accurately, and then decide which words are able to be achieved as far as rankings. The thing to remember for a client is that YOU CANNOT RANK FOR EVERYTHING. There are limited amounts of space on the website that we can work with, and Google is going to pick other websites for other words. Our job as your seo company is to get you rankings for the best words with the most traffic. For example, if you wanted to rank for the term “Halloween costumes” because that is what you sell, and there is a lot of competition for these terms from other businesses, then there is a good chance that you are going to rank for “Halloween costumes” but not necessarily rank in the same position for “Halloween costume.” The plural version is considered very similar, however it is not EXACTLY the same term, and therefore a website optimized better for the one term is going to outrank websites optimized better for the other. The trick is to pick the term that has more traffic and work towards that one, if the competition is not so high that you have no chance. The amount of monthly searches for the singular version may be hundreds of thousands more than the plural version, and thus the work should be applied to the one with more traffic. This is the job of the seo company to explain to you why they are doing certain things, and it is your job as the client to decide if their decisions are right for your program.

Google indexes websites differently than Yahoo and Bing. Google puts more relevance on the content of the website and Yahoo and Bing put more emphasis on the words or theme of the site. Google puts more emphasis on inbound links form other websites than Yahoo and Bing. Essentially, there are different elements in play here that are going to produce different results on each engine, and it is the job of the seo company to make good choices as to how to achieve the most rankings and the most traffic. In a nutshell, searches on Google are more prevalent than searches on Yahoo or Bing, simply because more people use Google than Yahoo or Bing. Therefore, the best idea for a seo company is to optimize the website and program if Google rankings are able to be achieved within the client’s budget, and optimize for Yahoo or Bing if it is decided that Google rankings are impossible. This is just being practical. There is far more traffic on Google, but the rankings are more difficult. A number five position on Google may be worth the same as a number one position on Yahoo simply because more people use Google. It is the job of the seo company to make practical decisions for you.

We recently did an experiment where we put a website up with no search engine optimization attached of any kind, as a matter of fact we purposely did things that we know will hurt rankings like having almost no content and broken internal links. The theme of the website would make rankings desirable for a very competitive set of terms, with a lot of traffic involved. After sitting there with no traffic for about three months, we suddenly noticed increased traffic coming from each engine. After five months, we noticed even more traffic coming from each engine. This proves that the physical age of the website itself is a factor on all three engines as far as rankings for a term. However, that is where the similarities stopped. Google only ranked the website on the first page of results for a single term that was a near exact match to the URL itself. Yahoo and Bing ranked the website far higher for the same searches, obviously putting more emphasis on the value of exactly matching the URL to the search term. As a matter of fact, Yahoo and Bing placed the website at number two for the term, even though there was no supporting content to justify that it was a good source of content for this theme. The titles and descriptions came into play to various degrees, but the lack of content and the amount of penalizing factors drove the Google listing down, without having an effect on the Yahoo and Bing listings.

Our experiment continues now as we have begun optimization efforts for the website. By following a plan to capture rankings on Google for the same terms that we already rank high for on Yahoo and Bing, we should see traffic increase beyond the level it currently sits. There is a good chance that we will lose rankings on Yahoo and Bing as we improve on Google. To be informed as to the ongoing progress of this experiment, join our mailing list by sending us an email.

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