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Beyond Google: Why Providers Should Optimize for Bing, Yahoo, and More

It may seem hard to believe, but Google isn’t the only search engine out there. Here are a few opportunities for non-Google search engine dominance.

alternative search engines to Google

It may seem hard to believe if you — like most everyone else — only use Google, but…

Google isn’t the only search engine out there.

It’s easy to forget about search engines that aren’t Google, because Google is the 800-pound gorilla of the search industry. And the prevailing wisdom is that you don’t have to bother optimizing for other search engines, because if you’re Google’s number-one family practice south houston speaks spanish, you’ll be a winner on all the engines. That’s not the case, though—different search engines use different algorithms, which often require different SEO. Here are a few non-Google opportunities for search engine dominance.

Bing

Bing is Microsoft’s search engine. It’s the second most popular search engine in the world, with 20.9 percent of the market, and yes, that’s what second place looks like in the world of Google. Bing’s search engine gets an estimated 400 million unique visitors a month in desktop traffic, and it’s also the search engine of choice for Apple products—it’s integrated into iOS 7 and higher. When Siri uses a search engine to look for a pediatric dentist with late-night hours, she’s looking on Bing.

Yahoo

The third-ranked search engine in the U.S. market with about 300 million unique visitors a month, Yahoo, is about to get a boost—it was recently acquired by Verizon, which is going to start folding it into its AOL-related search engine assets early this year. The Yahoo search engine is powered by Bing, so any optimization efforts you make in that direction will benefit you on both platforms.

Ask

Once known as “Ask Jeeves,” with a little illustrated butler to go with it, Ask is the fourth-ranked search engine in the U.S. with 245 million unique monthly visitors. The functions of this search engine are powered by an unnamed third-party algorithm.

AOL

AOL is the U.S.’s fifth-ranked search engine, with 125 million unique visitors a month. It’s another of the many search engines powered by Bing, meaning that one-third of desktop searches in the U.S. run on Bing’s algorithm.

Social Media

You might not think of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform as search engines per se, but they get tremendous search volumeYouTube processes more than three billion searches a month, which would rank it second in the search-engine game. To keep social media searches flowing your way, the best thing to do is keep it simple — strongly brand your profile with your practice name, location, specialty, and other pertinent details so that visitors know you’re you, and eliminate multiple accounts on the same platform.

How To Bing It Up

Like Google, Bing wants to provide visitors with the most relevant search results possible. While the main elements of SEO still apply, Bing’s search engine does have some priorities that Google’s algorithms don’t emphasize as much, so here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • User engagement. Bing’s search engine measures user engagement based on a lack of “pogo sticking”—clicking on a result and then hitting the back button because they didn’t find the result useful. Give your visitors something relevant and worthwhile so they don’t feel the need to go back to the search results page and keep looking.
  • Click-through. Clicks from the search page imply relevance, so make sure that your page titles and descriptions are accurate and compelling.
  • Social signals. Google has gone back and forth about how much importance it places on social media sharing and retweeting, but Bing has been consistently in favor of it. If you aren’t already making social media a part of your SEO strategy, it’s time to start doing so.
  • Anchor text. Bing is a lot more precious about anchor text than Google — it pays more attention, and its algorithm isn’t as good at recognizing synonyms and drawing from context. So if you want to optimize for Detroit child psychologist, that means having inbound links that use the words “Detroit child psychologist.” Don’t overdo it — remember that Google actually penalizes pages if they suspect that keyword stuffing might be in play. Aim for Google-friendly backlinks from the high-authority sites that Google likes, and focus on Bing-friendly exact-match backlinks from the rest.
  • Keyword density. This is another difference resulting from Bing’s less-perceptive algorithm. As with anchor text, you have to be willing to feed Bing your specific keyword, because it doesn’t recognize synonyms. But also as with anchor text, you need to let Google be your guide and avoid anything that might risk a penalty in their search results. Incorporate keywords naturally as much as possible to make Google happy, and then reach out to Bing with exact-match meta keywords.

Bing also offers a suite of webmaster tools, available when you sign up for a free Microsoft account. Their SEO analyzer, like Google’s tool, highlights issues and provides recommendations on how to fix them, and their keyword research tool helps you find keyword ideas and suggestions for content. Before you know it, you’ll be the top family practice south houston speaks spanish on Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines too.

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