SEO efforts have largely been concentrated on Google – and with good reason. The search engine has exerted a nearly unshakeable dominance for a long time, and its grasp on the lion’s share of the market doesn’t seem likely to loosen soon.
However, over the past year or so, other search platforms have started to increase their share of the world’s searches. According to 2016 figures, Google still holds over 60% of the market. Bing comes in second with around 33,5%. In the specialised area of product searches, Google faces a very real threat in the form of Amazon. According to the same research, a third of online shoppers go directly to Amazon to find their products, rather than starting with Google. In 2016 alone, Amazon product searches saw a 73% growth. In the years since then, the online retailer’s growth has continued.
Apple has also thrown its hat into the ring, and continues to increase its strength in the fight, despite its market share being considerably lower and more niche. Then there’s also Facebook and WhatsApp to consider.
Google still dominates the search engine market. But, what do these very credible challengers for the crown mean to us as SEO marketers? The short answer is that it may be worth taking them into account with your SEO strategies, and leveraging the smaller, more targeted audiences of these engines to achieve your marketing aims. Here are some key points to work into your strategy:
- The algorithms that operate Bing (as well as other search engines like them) are not as complex as those of Google, which means they require a little more work. However, if you put in the extra effort, you can build your rankings quite nicely. You need to be both more targeted and more specific, but this will quickly move you upwards in the rankings.
- Google does not take meta keywords into account for its rankings. Other search engines still do. This means that if you include relevant keywords, along with all the combinations of synonyms and misspellings that could lead to your site, you can work your way manually to the top of the rankings. Your efforts in this area could distinguish you from your competition.
- Google uses Latent Semantic Indexing to rank web pages. This allows you to hit the SEO marks without always having to use the exact keywords on your page. With Bing and the like, you need to be more specific and accurate with your choice of on-page keywords. Always place the keyword in both the h1 and h2 headings and write strong meta descriptions that also include the precise keywords you have chosen.
- DuckDuckGo is an increasingly popular search engine due to its emphasis on user privacy. To build your presence on this platform, you need to focus on strong link building. Also, link back, as often as possible, to high-quality sources with a high trust and recognition factor. Wikipedia is one example of a source that has DuckDuckGo’s trust.
- Google does not like flash websites – those built with Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). This means that content from these websites does not get indexed on Google. Bing is absolutely fine with these websites, however, which means you won’t get sidelined if your site(s) makes use of RIAs. However, your primary RIA data still needs to be readable to make a difference to your rankings, so you may want to include a text-based description to help the bot out.
So, why would you want to go to all this trouble when Google is bigger and faster? Well, no investor ever puts all their money into a single fund. They offset risk and facilitate growth by diversifying their portfolios. Doing the same with your SEO strategy could reap dividends too. Particular sectors and niches can be targeted more precisely and narrowly on search engines such as Bing, which would enable you to reach more of the right audience for your business. Industries that can be targeted especially well through Bing include education, telecommunications, business and finance as well as travel and retail.
While Google will almost always help get more traffic, other search engines might just bring you better traffic, depending on your business and target market. Why not give them a try?
WSI OMS are experts in SEO. Contact us to discuss your SEO strategies, and how you can perfect and future-proof them.