There is a question that has long been puzzling me regarding SERPS. If all search engines have access to the same information, why are search results so different? We have seen our site rank at #1 for a keyword on Google, but not rank or have a ranking in the 100s on Bing /Yahoo. And the reverse is true as well. Checking the search engines’ websites is not much help. They all go into detail about what their algorithm looks for and it is the same: useful and relevant content, good site speed, user-friendly design, accurate meta data, quality links and social involvement. Clearly that is not the whole picture. We delved a little deeper to find out how the algorithms differed for each search engine.
To give you a sense of the market share for each search engine, as of August 2014, Google owned 67.3% of searches in the US. Bing/Yahoo accounted for 29.4%, 2.0% belongs to Ask and AOL brings up the rear with 1.3%. You may have noticed I am considering Bing and Yahoo to be one search engine. Yahoo uses Bing to power its search so they use the same algorithm. Therefore, any variation in SERPS from the two is generally very minor.
|refresh speed||within a few weeks at the most||can take up to three months|
|multi-media||based on HTML so multimedia images or sites written in Flash will not be seen||recognizes Flash and multimedia and will give preference to these sites|
|search interpretation||recently updated to better interpret human language and meaning of search||focuses on actual keywords in search|
|new vs. old||sites with fresh content given priority||sites that are well established given priority|
|links||likes them, but they’d better be from high quality pages||pages without at least one backlink not indexed|
|keywords||high keyword density with lower relevance penalized||prefers higher density of keywords|
|search depth||well established algorithm can delve deeply into pages||newer algorithm may not be able to go as deeply|
What does this mean for your SEO? If you’ve been optimizing for Google, as most of us have, probably not much. Both Google and Bing/Yahoo look for quality links and relevant keywords. There is nothing that can be done about the refresh speed or search depth. If your site is new and less established, only time will correct that.
Based on the above, it appears best to stick to optimization techniques that follow Google’s algorithm while keeping Bing/Yahoo’s in the back of your mind. When adding fresh content, vital for Google, include plentiful links and keywords to please Bing/Yahoo. Multimedia content can be added for Yahoo/Bing but should always include alt tags for Google.
Thanks to algorithm updates and launches SEO is constantly evolving, making monitoring and adapting vital to a successful program. Staying aware of your Bing/Yahoo ranking and updates to their algorithm and incorporating any necessary changes will ensure that your rankings stay high in all search engines. As a full service advertising agency, Ridge Marketing delivers high quality SEO to our clients. We can help you develop a dynamic SEO and SMM strategy that gets you to, or keeps you at, the top and delivers people to your site. Contact us to get started.