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Real world SEO: A different reason why you need to optimize for more than Google

November 17th, 2009 | | Basic SEO Tips

Optimization for anything else than Google?

With Google stomping the search market like a giant colossus with perky little upstart with the equally perk name “Bing!,” is there a reason to consider any algorithm to optimize for other than Google?

Yes and No.

If that was too vague, I’ll tell you two tales of user based experiences. Last Friday I get a call “why are we number 23 on the Internet?” Puzzled, I asked him what he was looking at. “I don’t know, I just type it in and I go.” “Let me come over and see what you are looking at…”

It turns out that he was using an obscure search bar that tied to MSN that after a few clicks, converted to Bing. Basically, his defaults on his computer have been the same for 5+ years. He does not surf for the sake of surfing or even consider how to surf better. He’s the COO of a multi-million dollar company and doesn’t have time for my tech wharrgarbl. If I went into a speech about how we actually are number 1 in Google and based on Market-share… I’m wasting his time. I did waste his time. I stopped and said “I’m going to fix it.” He nods, I nod and leave.

Even though the ranking was still first page on Bing, he went straight into the Bing Maps where I haven’t activated Bing Local yet. (I’ve been a tad busy, but still – shame on me). Shaking my head at him for not using Google or changing his defaults to personalize his computer does not change the fact that he represents a demographic that has tremendous amounts of purchase power in this economy. Simply sneaking in his office and changing his settings so he hits Google isn’t an option, let alone all those who are like him that simply “just get on the Internet.” Another tidbit, his resolution was set to 600×800 which brings the map results on the first SERP right into his face. Add to that people usually look at the first two or three results and nothing else, makes the positioning much more critical.

My SEO failed to reach a person who has disposable income because of default settings on a computer.

Tale #2

In setting up a computer for a friend, a salesman’s salesman. This gentleman who could sell television sets to the Amish. Due to his success, he has disposable income. After syncing his outlook to his iPhone and gave him his passwords, he asked me “So Google is installed and everything?”

Now, if your reaction would be to chuckle first before explaining that it’s not installed, you missed a key observation. Whether it’s a program installed or simply a web application accessed is not the point. The point is that this man, similar to the first, knew enough to ask about Google and not Bing or Yahoo. That is evidence of market share. My SEO will be relevant to him.

So both these stories tell me the following things.:

1. I need to concentrate still on Google
2. I need to at least do the minimum requirements to satisfy the other search engines unique features. In my case, this is Local SEO with Bing Local and Yahoo Local.
3. Remember where default homepages are set and realize that there are people who don’t change them.

Oh, and for ease, use this tool to compare Google and Bing results.

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