What Search Engines Matter?

Despite everyday vernacular, Google isn’t the only search engine on the web. So, why is there so much focus on Google when it comes to rankings? Do the other search engines matter? Should SEO spend time working on optimizing for Bing, Yahoo, or other search engine results?

Let’s explore why there’s s much emphasis on Google and whether your SEO strategy should include other prominent search engines.

Why Google?

Google accounts for more than 92% of daily searches. Any other business would “kill” for that much market share. Bing, the next closest search engine, accounts for less than 3% of searches by comparison. Those number alone should answer any questions you have about whether focusing on Google is the right decision. It’s estimated that nearly 6 billion searches occur daily, on google alone.

Given the vast market share that Google holds, why bother with other search engines?

The truth is you might not have to. Google looks at more than 200 factors when deciding where a website with be displayed in rankings. It’s unknown how many factors there actually are, but SEOs have tested and identified about 200. Some confirmed by Google, some not. As for other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo, that number is either much lower or weighted heavier on certain factors like backlinks.

Optimizing for Google should, in theory then, give you better rankings on the other search engines. Googles rise to the top stems from their desire to give the most relevant results to searchers. Although all search engines should be focused on providing the best results for their users, Google has invested countless time and dollars into refining their method. To make things easier for website owners and SEOs, each search engine has their own unique set of tools.

Webmaster Tools

Google, Bing, and Yahoo will all discover a website naturally and rank it according to their algorithm. However, it’s always best to fetch/index a site when changes have been made for faster rankings. Google has Search Console, Yahoo Search has webmaster resources, and Bing has webmaster tools. Although each set of tools has differing functionality, the idea behind the tools is the same, to help website owners gain insight into their website.

Google’s Search Console is imperative for SEO work. Aside from giving information about penalties, rankings, mobile usability, and traffic; it also provides a fetch/index feature. This feature allows a website owner to tell Google that a new webpage exists and request that the page be indexed appropriately. The feature may also be used when a page is updated or optimized. Similar functions are available for Yahoo and Bing.

Yahoo’s Search Index and Bing’s Webmaster tools can be used to index new pages and updates too, but does it matter? If a site has little to no traffic coming from other search engines, should time be spent on other webmaster tools? There’s no right or wrong answer to that question.

If a site has little to no traffic coming from Bing, then at face-value it would seem that no time should be spent focusing on Bing. However, that may be the direct result of search positioning on Bing. If rankings are poor on Bing, then of course traffic will be low. If a keyword has volume on Bing and rankings are low, it’s a good idea to work on grabbing some of that market share. If search volumes are low, there may not be a return on investment. The same goes for Yahoo results.

How to know if traffic is coming from other search engines.

If a site is set up with Google Analytics, then those insights are available. Go to Google Analytics > Acquisition > Channels to see where traffic is coming from, including other search engines. If no, or low, traffic is coming form other search engines it’s time to look in to why. If a valuable amount is coming from Yahoo or Bing, it’s time to investigate optimizing.

Google vs Bing vs Yahoo decoded

The short answer to whether optimizing for other search engines is worth it depends on the sites niche, target audience, and goals.  Google has the largest market share of searches, by miles. However, that doesn’t mean there is no value in other search engines. Review analytics and search volumes to determine if the time spent optimizing for other search platforms has the potential of giving a return on investment. AT the very least, it’s a good idea to set up webmaster tools across all search engines and index after the first stage of optimizations. How much time is spent after that, is a matter of personal preference and individual needs.

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