There is something else to keep in mind when developing a
search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. It is important
for us to go over this briefly to quickly streamline our efforts
and avoid some pitfalls.
As I mentioned before, there are literally thousands of “search
engines” out there. But something to keep in mind is
that over 95% of all the traffic that you are going to get
on your website will be coming from only a handful of search
engines … the most popular ones.
So if 95% of all of the traffic comes from only, let’s
say 10 – 15 of most popular search engines, wouldn’t
it be foolish to even bother investing our precious time,
energy, and other resources into the rest of them? Yes it
So the answer to this question we asked earlier, ”How
can we possibly submit our pages to all of the search engines?”
is very simple: You don’t want to submit to
all of the engines! Quite frankly, it is not the best use
of your time at all! This would be like trying to run a TV
ad on every television channel in existence. Wouldn’t
you just run your ad on the biggest networks during the most
popular prime time shows, or would you break you back (and
budget) making sure your ad was on during such programming
as the C-SPAN coverage of the Senate vote on deregulation
of the media industry? You get the picture.
Here is a list of some of the most popular engines out there
that actually are worth your efforts:
Google is by far the biggest and most popular search engine.
Google has become such a household name that we have even
turned it into a verb! We “Google” this and we
“Google” that. It is by far the most turned to
search engine of all. It receives about 1 billion search requests
Google earned a fantastic reputation quickly for its terrifically
relevant search results. Its consistently good results has
not only made it the most popular resource on the web as far
as searching goes, but it has also become the second stickiest
(amount of time spent on its pages). This is a trait ALL website
owners dream their website to possess. The average Google
guest spends 28.5 minutes searching its pages. This is second
only to AOL, the reigning king of stickiness.
Basically all of this means that Google is now where you
want to invest the majority of your efforts since over 80%
of all American homes with an internet connection used either
Google or a Google powered partner to conduct their searches.
Makes perfect sense, right? If you are able to nothing but
position your pages well with Google, this alone will be quite
an accomplishment. After I show you how, you will be able
to do this too.
Yahoo was for years considered the biggest player of all the
search engines, with over 1/3 of all web traffic coming from
its results. It is still heavily used by people today, but
like several other big names in the search engine industry,
Yahoo has partnered with and now gets some of their results
from Google. Like Google, you will want to devote some time
and energy into designing pages for Yahoo.
MSN (via LookSmart, 9.6%)
MSN is nearly as popular with Americans as Google and Yahoo,
partially because MicroSoft is their parent company and has
coupled MSN internet offers with every pc that comes with
a Windows operating system. I’ll save you the math …
that is one heck of a lot of pc’s. MSN has also taken
a lesson from AOL when it comes to stickiness. Not only is
MSN the third most popular engine after only Google and Yahoo,
MSN has become the second stickiest only after AOL. That is
a very nice position to be in for MSN, and this is a great
search engine to befriend for this very reason.
I paid for an express inclusion with Looksmart (not one of
the cheaper ones at $230) and from personal experience I have
found it to be more beneficial (seemed to me to be directly
related to my page positions in MSN) than the other paid express
inclusions that I have used (Yahoo, Google, and AltaVista).
Yahoo is the paid inclusion that that you most often hear
SEO’s advise you to pay for ($300) declaring it a price
worth paying, but I have found my paid inclusion at Yahoo
to be far less valuable than the one I paid for with LookSmart.
I could be wrong about this, but since Yahoo has been getting
good portion of their results from Google anyway, doesn’t
it make far more sense to focus primarily on pleasing Google
than waste another $300 dollars on Yahoo? It sure does to
One last powerhouse: AOL. As I just pointed a bit earlier,
AOL is the absolute king of stickiness, with the average number
of minutes spent on AOL being 38! AOL has been the stickiest
search engine for quite some time now and it is all due to
vast number of features AOL has. News, Weather, email, entertainment,
shopping, instant messaging and advice are just a few of the
features that AOL offers to keep us under their spell for
as long as they can. Since we can seem to keep from clicking
on AOL features, AOL remains the stickiest site of them all.
There is a HUGE lesson to learn here from AOL on this stickiness
AOL is another partner of Google, so you know what that means.
By now you should be seeing the tremendous value of putting
effort into getting good rankings on Google.
Note: All of the statistics I have just given you were from
the Nielsen Net Ratings Search Engine Ratings as of July 2006.
This can be found at another great website for search engine
information called searchenginewatch.com. I recommend checking
there at least every once in a while for a quick look at what’s
new with the search engines.
Other Search Engines include:
Ask (formerly Ask Jeeves)
Other SEO’s may fault me for this, but I have to be
honest with you. While I realize that any and every hit can
potentially be a sale opportunity, you can kill yourself trying
to have the very best position with every single search engine.
For this reason I focus on the biggest players. I for the
most part concentrate on Google, Yahoo MSN, and AOL. This
covers the vast majority of search engine movement.