As a business, you probably think of Google when it comes to search engine rankings. This is understandable since the search engine giant dominates roughly 90% of all organic traffic.
But it would probably be a mistake to believe that this will always be the case. Remember when everyone was sure that MySpace held the key to social media or that PanAm would rule the friendly skies forever?
While you probably should have an emphasis on Google-first SEO, there are some arguments for thinking outside the box. Here is why you may wish to take a look at some other search engines and the best way to approach your digital marketing strategy when you do.
Are Alternative Search Engines Worth the Effort?
Not everyone loves Google. Some people simply don’t like a dominant company or are suspicious of its motives. Others have begun searching for products, services, and answers on other platforms, some of which may or may not be owned by Google or other major players.
For example, the #1 product search engine is now Amazon. And YouTube has been the world’s second-largest search engine for several years. That said, many consumers are beginning to use alternative search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo as internet giants like Google and Facebook face scrutiny over privacy violations.
So, does it make sense to invest time and resources in ranking in non-Google properties? According to SEO expert Rand Fishkind, it might. Fishkin states that “there’s a lot of opportunity on small platforms for all kinds of folks.” Here are a few other reasons to give this strategy some attention:
- Google’s market share could decline. Few people believe this will happen. But then again, no one believed that Blockbuster video would ever disappear, either.
- You might rank poorly in other search engines. If you don’t optimize for them, you could rank poorly for other search engines.
- Your target audience might be elsewhere. Interestingly, your target audience might be more engaged on YouTube, Bing, or Amazon than on Google.
Optimizing for Other Traditional Search Engines
Assuming you’re interested in ranking your content for a few additional search engines, here is what you need to do.
Microsoft has made several attempts at running a search engine. These include Live Search, MSN Search, and now Bing. Bing currently has about 2.31% of the global market share, according to Statcounter. When consumers use the Microsoft Edge browser or Internet Explorer, Bing is the default search engine.
Optimizing for Bing isn’t much different than optimizing for Google. Bing uses a deep learning algorithm called BERT, similar to Google. It helps the search engine understand what words in a sentence mean, giving consideration for context. This means that having useful, clear, optimized content will help you on Bing just as much as Google.
While social signals won’t necessarily help your search engine rankings will Google, they probably will with Bing.
People still use Yahoo, which started as a way to search the Yahoo directory. Yahoo’s search market share is about 1.53%. It is powered partly by Bing’s search results, so you don’t have to do much else if you are optimizing for Google and Bing.
DuckDuckGo is a quirky search engine that was launched in 2008. It gathers information from over 400 sources to produce its results, including Bing, Yahoo, and Wikipedia. While its market share is currently 0.6% globally, the use of this search engine has been growing.
People are interested in DuckDuckGo preliminary because it doesn’t track user activity. In other words, it protects their privacy. For the most part, what you do to rank well in Google should help you with DuckDuckGo. One thing you should do is claim your Apple Maps listing because this search engine uses that feature for its local search results.
If your business targets traffic from China, it will want to optimize for the Baidu search engine. Baidu has a 1.29% global market share but a staggering 67% market share in China and over 80% of mobile searches in the country.
Again, Google SEO works well for Baidu. But there are a few differences. Baidu has several different ranking factors, such as having a Chinese-registered website, content written in simplified Chinese, and clear meta descriptions.
SEO for Other Types of Websites
What if you want your website’s content to rank for something other than Google, Bing, or Yahoo? Here are a few tips.
YouTube currently has over 2 billion users, which is over a quarter of the world’s population. More than one billion hours of video are viewed on its platform daily. In essence, YouTube, like Google (who owns it), is a keyword-driven search engine.
You can rank video content well on YouTube by optimizing it for keywords through titles, tags, and descriptions. Other ranking factors come from engagement, such as views, likes, comments, and subscriptions.
It’s beneficial for brands to rank well on YouTube because these videos will also show up in Google’s organic search results. Further, when people view your video content, it will boost engagement, increase brand recognition, and drive traffic to your website.
According to SimilarWeb, Amazon gets roughly 2.72 billion visitors each month. While it’s generally a shopping portal, the site also qualifies as a search engine. And, if you sell stuff on Amazon, SEO is essential.
Amazon awards rankings based on a complex algorithm that considers keywords, sales history, traffic, and reviews. In short, the site will generally promote the products that are already selling well, which can be a complex puzzle for many retailers. Keyword research, high-quality images, the right pricing, and strategic promotion can help you do well on Amazon.
Ranking well in Google should remain your priority. But there is nothing wrong with stepping outside the SEO box and taking a look at other opportunities. No matter which search engine you are targeting, it’s vital that you have a defined digital marketing strategy. Contact us today to find out how Connection Model can help.
Written By: David Carpenter