Originally Yahoo had refused the alliance with Bing however as is common knowledge nowadays most of Yahoo’s search results are actually Bing powered.
The Microsoft search alliance gives a much better platform and scope of opportunity for search engine optimization for one very simple reason, together Yahoo & Bing power 30% of the searches. Now taking into consideration that there are a staggering 6,400 million searches per month the results show that Bing is powering 1,920,000,000 searches per month.
Search Engine Optimization Mistakes
The biggest problem I tend to find in SEO is the lack of understanding of the importance of using at least the top three search engines for gaining leverage in the market place, especially for new websites this is imperative, too often we overlook Yahoo and Bing during SEO and allow all our focus to go onto Google, the trouble with this is that nearly all your competitors are also competing over Google.
However as things stand based on COMSCORE’s estimates 29.7% of the market share in search engines belongs to Yahoo & Bing, now another important point to make about the subject is that, Microsoft (Bing) and Yahoo have a search alliance going on between them, meaning that efforts made on these two platforms do result in combined results.
The other interesting point that begs to be made is a simple logical conclusion that although Google owns the greatest market share for search results it may not be the best place for you to place your energy, main reason is that your competitors are mainly targeting Google users, this leaves you a gap to target users of other search engines and possibly get different types of traffic then you would through Google, if you can drive traffic from these search engines you may be competing with a different set of competitors that you are better positioned to beat.
Another point I would like to make is that Bing is on the rise and slowly gaining market share, meaning that optimizing for it now could yield great long term results. A quick test of a number of search terms relating to my business interests finds me placed in exactly the same position on Yahoo and Bing, effectively optimizing for either of the two I am gaining position on both.
The next point I would like to make is that focusing my efforts on Bing and Yahoo has improved my position in Google however I tend to see a much faster rise in position on Bing and Yahoo, which allows me to assume that there is less competition on these search engines.
So what other salient points can we make with regards to SEO on these search engines? Well first off I would suggest that you check the searches for relevant search terms to you on Google and Bing you may be surprised to find out that the general search terms used, the quantity of searches for that search term and a few other interesting factors are actually quite different, this would lead me to believe that there are different demographics using the different search engines so I went off to try and find some statistics to prove my point.
Gender breakdown by search engine
For the big three here, there are significant differences. A study carried out recently by Hit-wise showed that 55% of Google users are male, whereas 58% of MSN users were female. Ask Jeeves and AOL were also more favored by women than by men. Yahoo searches were split roughly evenly between men and women, with slightly more male users. The percentages may seem small, but when you’re talking about the entire internet population, the numbers soon add up.
Age breakdown by search engine
Here again we see significant differences. Yahoo and Google are the most popular sites with those under the age of 34, whereas those over the age of 55 tend to prefer MSN
Buying rate by search engine
Visitors to Google sites were 42% more likely to buy online than the average Internet user, versus Yahoo visitors who were 31% more likely to purchase; MSN users who were 48% more likely to purchase; AOL users, 3%; and Ask Jeeves users, 17%.
(Sourced from – http://www.leadgenerators.co.uk/articles/search-engine-demographics)
These are only a few quick points to take into consideration when choosing which search engine you are targeting, as well as the type of advertising you use, for example if you are targeting Bing powered searches and advertising you know you have a higher content of users over the age of 55. This knowledge should help you reflect upon your wording, information style, website usability and other factors. You also know that a larger percentage of Bing users are female, which is another element to take into consideration.