Posts Tagged ‘ Yahoo

How Bing Could Own 40% Of the Search Market

In my latest post on the iCrossing Great Finds blog, I talk about how a partnership between Firefox & Bing could lead to a substantial gain in search market share for Bing, as well as a huge money maker for Firefox. Check out a short excerpt below, then head over to the Great Finds blog to read more!

Brands that invest in search engine marketing pay close attention to the market share of search engines like Google and Bing to inform their search spend. Hence search practitioners closely review monthly market share reports like this one – a process akin to watching grass grow given that market shares change by a fraction of a percent at most each month.

But recently a partnership with Yahoo! allowed Bing to increase its market share significantly (although mostly at the expense of Yahoo!). Soon Mozilla’s Firefox may force marketers to re-examine their search spend. A contract between Firefox and Google – which makes Google the default search engine for the Firefox browser – is set to expire in November 2011.

If Bing takes advantage of this situation by supplanting Google as the default Firefox browser, Bing could end up owning about 40 percent of the search market.

Read more over at Great Finds

The Perfect Storm for Bing to Go Mainstream?

Bing Vs Google

This could be the perfect storm for Bing to gain market share and become a substantial threat to Google – or so we better hope.

Last week, Google and Verizon announced a deal that may very well kill net neutrality for mobile devices, as PC World reports.  This sentiment is echoed throughout the industry including this post from my colleague and industry expert Rob Garner on MediaPost. This crucial misstep has revealed Google is not a benevolent champion of free speech and internet neutrality, but that they’re no different from any other company that holds a monopoly-sized share of the market – greedy. In fact, the only real difference between Microsoft in it’s peak and Google now is that Microsoft didn’t try to pretend they were benevolent good guys, whereas Google wants you to drink the “Don’t be Evil” Kool-Aid until it poisons you. This Silicon Alley Insider article frames this phenomenon quite well.

But this isn’t all about Google making a major misstep and turning off many people (like myself) who were once Google fanatics.

For Bing to take off and truly become mainstream, they need not only a good product, but users motivated to try something new. Before, I had no reason to venture away from Google – it has always provided great results, great products (usually for free), and claimed to be the champions of the internet, free speech, and net neutrality. Why change search engines if Google has everything I need and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

Now I have the motivation to change – I’m jaded with Google. Add to that, Bing (finally) has the product worth switching to (or at least trying…).

Bing has revamped their search results since former “Live” and has actually has been ahead of Google in integrating Social Media into search results, which is an increasingly important part of the internet to users. Bing was the first (and has still done the best job) at integrating Twitter into it’s search results, they were the first to add Foursquare into their Maps, they were the first to add “infinite scroll” to their Images (which Google even admits was a copy cat move of Bing here), and much more.

While Google’s algorithm is still a bit more sophisticated, Bing is also catching up in this area. To the untrained eye, Bing’s algorithm is usually pretty decent. I hate to say it, but they still have their work cut-out here…luckily Google has also been slacking recently, as Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz points out the growing amount of spam in Google and the disappointing recent progress at Google in doing anything about it.

To webmasters, Bing is catching up to Google in their offerings as well. They are revamping Bing Webmaster Tools to include more useful information, and they will be integrating Yahoo Site Explorer (an invaluable tool for webmasters & SEOs alike) into the Bing Webmaster Tool suite.  Again, they still have plenty of catch up with Google’s robust offerings, but they’ve made a ton of progress and it’s a very good start.

According to Hitwise, in July Bing held 9.85% of the search share and Yahoo held 14.37%. Yahoo searches are now powered by Bing as of this morning (August 19, 2010), which means that those numbers should still be pretty accurate, implying close to a 25% market share for Bing.

That 25% market share, combined with a Google PR nightmare and a significantly improved Bing experience could be the perfect storm to disrupt Google’s smooth sailing…and let’s all hope so.

Not only is Google’s threat to net neutrality a reason to hope they have a valiant competitor, but competition itself is a good thing for both engines. I like choices. Clearly Bing’s competition has spurred Google to innovate further, in many cases stealing or building upon ideas Bing introduced first. Competition is good for everyone, and it means that Google no longer has so much power they can single-handedly undermine net neutrality. In a wierd sort of way, Microsoft could be the last hope to prevent Google from becoming an evil monopoly – who woulda thunk.

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Yahoo & Meta Keywords – Yes, It Still Matters

itsylouYahoo! is really on a roll with poor press strategy and media relations. Between the “It’s YLOU” campaign (really Y!OU, but kinda ambigious looking), Yahoo tanking in search engine share/usage (likely because they announced they are quitting the game and merging with Bing)…and now, this: Yahoo has to back-peddle and say they still DO use the meta keywords tag.

Back in the early years of the interwebs, SEO was a simple process of stuffing keywords into the meta keywords tag, and search engines would return your page for these associated keywords. Search engines got savvy to this practice and devalued the meta keywords tag –  fast forward to 2009 and the meta keywords tag has been reduced to pretty much worthless in the eyes of the search engines, used almost as an internal reference point. Google and Bing are pretty clear they don’t use it in their ranking algorhythm.

Yahoo, on the other hand, has never been clear on their valuation of the meta keywords tag, and to be fair, they never had to disclose their policy as the ranking algorithm is supposed to be a secret. But disclose they did, making news at SMX East in NYC last week, declaring that they “no longer use the meta keywords tag.” From what I’ve been told, this is pretty much the only thing that Yahoo panelist said during the entire “Ask the Search Engines” panel…and it was wrong.

Danny Sullivan, my favorite Search Engine journalist and founder of Search Engine Land & SMX Conferences (as well as moderator of said panel), is a clever man and decided not to just take the Yahoo PR guy’s word for it, so he ran a simple test to fact-check this announcement:

The test was simple. I placed a unique word in the meta keywords tag on the home page of Search Engine Land. This word — xcvteuflsowkldlslkslklsk — generated no results on Yahoo when I looked earlier this week. Today, when I searched, it brought back the Search Engine Land home page. Thus, Yahoo indeed indexes the content of that tag. (And to be clear, I looked before writing this article. In short order, this article itself, along with others, will appear because they’ll make use of that word).

Yahoo! was forced to back-peddle, clarifying their incorrect statement and now claims they DO use the meta keyword tag, it’s just the lowest in ranking importance in their algorithm…which is what everyone had assumed until a few weeks ago anyway. By admitting they still use it, even at a small value, is basically admitting they’re behind the game (not surprising, but nothing you want to remind people about, either). In my experience, achieving rankings in Yahoo! has always been easier than Google, as they still give value to things Google has been smart enough to de-value or ignore – and this is a case in point.

Yahoo!, I’d feel bad for y!ou about this if y!ou hadn’t announced y!our retirement from the search engine game (or worse, claim y!ou were never a search engine to begin with). I just wish y!ou’d go quickly, as opposed to a long, slow, and agonizing death where each one of y!our shortcomings are painfully exposed as your search engine stagnates in preparation of the Bing integration. Unfortunately, I still think the Bing/Yahoo merger will  take a long time before anything really happens, and until then, all we can do is slow down and stare at the carnage. Sorry Yahoo!, but it’s y!ou, not us.

Is it Too Soon to Worry About Yahoo! & Microsoft Bing Search Partnership? (Yes)

Is it too soon to start worrying about Yahoo/Microsoft Search Deal?

Is it too soon to start worrying about Yahoo/Microsoft Search Deal?

The world of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is going wild today with the news that Yahoo! and Microsoft announcing a 10 year partnership. Search Engine Land has been doing a great job covering this news, complete with liveblogging the press conference and getting inside interviews.

However, a lot of coverage out there is starting to speculate into what the SEM industry needs to do and how this changes things, particularly this post from SEOmoz speculating the Top 10 Things the Microsoft/Yahoo Deal Changes for SEO. I think we all need to take a few deep breaths and not get ahead of ourselves here. Here’s the fine print from the Search Engine Land article that is all to easy to overlook:

…At full implementation (expected to occur within 24 months following regulatory approval)..

That’s 2 years AFTER the Federal Government approves the deal. And don’t forget the shareholders need to approve too. Given the size of Yahoo and Microsoft, as well as the Government’s Anti-Trust folks and the DOJ’s interest in maintaining competitiveness in the industry, which is already in an oligopoly if not monopoly state already, neither the shareholder nor the Government approval of this deal is likely to come quickly (or possibly at all). The Washington Post has a great article explaining some of the legal hurdles and is already commenting on the scrutiny Microsoft and Yahoo will face. If it will take 2 years after this approval, we’re talking light years in the tech world.

Think about 2+ years ago. Twitter was practically unheard of. MySpace still dominated Facebook. The iPhone hadn’t been released yet. 2 years is HUGE!

As part of the professional SEO community, I think it’s important we keep this all in perspective. This deal could be ground-breaking, but not any time soon. It’s important to think about what all this could mean, but remember that right now all that has happened is Carol Bartz and Steve Ballmer shook hands with each other. We should educate our clients on the details of the agreement, but let them know its nothing to start worrying about yet. Even in a few years, when everything is “fully integrated,” at the current figures Bing will only have a miserable 15% of the market compared to Google’s 78%, making its market share less than 1/5th of Google’s.

So my message to you is this: stay calm, keep current on the deal (because the agreement is going to change, especially once the legal issues start being scrutinized), and continue go about your business focusing on the search engine that ridiculously dominates the other one or two out there, even when you combine #2 and #3’s market share. In all seriousness, Twitter could overcome Bing/Yahoo in two years in terms of number of searches, traffic, hits, revenue and more, as their new home page certainly shows a redoubled interest in search:

Will Twitter Have More Search Share than Yahoo/Bing in 2 Years?

Will Twitter Have More Search Share than Yahoo/Bing in 2 Years?

Photo credit Yahoo and Twitter