Tag Archives: Bing

Yahoo Search Marketing Tools: What’s at Risk & How to Avoid Surprises

When Yahoo and Microsoft announced their Search Alliance in July 2009, only the high level agreement details were available:

  • Microsoft will provide the development and management of search engine results technology (bing)
  • Microsoft will provide the search and content network ad platform (adCenter)
  • Microsoft will manage the relationship with self-service advertisers
  • Yahoo will manage the relationship with large accounts
  • Yahoo will provide their own user interface on top of the Bing results which will appear on Yahoo properties

Microsoft - Yahoo Search AllianceNow that US and EU regulators have approved the deal, search marketers need to assess which Yahoo tools they rely on – and need to be prepared with alternatives should these tools be discontinued.

During the SMX West 2010 session Microsoft + Yahoo: What’s It All Mean?, I looked at the agreement’s implications for three Yahoo tools search marketing professionals have come to know and love:

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Domain & URL Strategies for Multilingual & Multinational Sites

One problem search engines face when indexing and ranking a website’s content is to identify the target geographic and linguistic market a particular website page is trying to reach. The world wide web is indeed that, and the issue is particularly complicated for websites in languages which have a broad geographic reach such as English and Spanish.

Fortunately for site owners, there are clues search engines use to match website content with searcher location. By understanding these clues and user behavior, site owners can choose a domain and URL strategy which best fits their needs.

I discussed domain and URL strategies at the SMX West 2010 Search Marketing Expo conference. For the benefit of those who couldn’t attend, the slides and a rough transcript follow. I’d strongly recommend that you attend a future SMX conference in person – from search marketing tips to great networking (and fine food), you won’t regret it.

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And then there were two: Microsoft – Yahoo! Search Deal at SMX West 2010

With the approval of the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal by EU regulators, search engine marketers will soon be working in a new landscape. In western Europe where Google dominates with about 90% of the market, it’s tempting to react to the deal with a big yawn.

Yet Yahoo! often has a bigger impact on our search marking than we might like to acknowledge. For many, Yahoo, through its Site Explorer and the Yahoo Search Boss / Site Explorer APIs , is a primary source of competitive backlink data. And who among us doesn’t perform a few searches in Yahoo to benchmark the quality of Google’s results?

Microsoft - Yahoo Search Alliance For paid search practitioners, the consolidation of three PPC / Keyword Advertising platforms down to two (Google & Bing) will certainly reduce operational and training costs. In some countries it will make the choice to expand beyond just Google much easier to justify. Yet Bing’s adCenter PPC service is currently limited to the US, Canada, the UK& France. What will happen to the other 30 countries served by Yahoo today?

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Google giving up on China (for now). Bing, what say thou?

Google’s very undiplomatic announcement that it is going to stop censoring its search results in China doesn’t leave much face-saving wiggle room for the Chinese government – a big no-no in Asian culture. Significant blocking of Google in China seems imminent – you don’t go to great lengths to build the great firewall of China for nothing. Google, a data-driven company, knows full well that Chinese users will be discouraged from using a search engine if it is slow or worse, unreachable. Game over as they say.

While it is easy to applaud Google for taking the moral high ground, you almost get the feeling that something else is happening: Google has given up its battle for search engine supremacy in China. Perhaps Google is giving up the fight because China is one of the few markets where local players, like Baidu, command more market share, regardless of who is doing the counting.

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Yahoo Web Analytics (ex IndexTools) soon in no man’s land?

When Yahoo announced their effective exit from the search engine business last July, the main points seemed clear:

  • Microsoft will provide the development and management of search engine results technology
  • Microsoft will provide the search and content network ad platform
  • Microsoft will manage the relationship with all but an elite group of advertisers
  • Yahoo will provide their own user interface on top of Microsoft’s Bing data

The Bing-Yahoo agreement, should it receive the necessary anti-trust approvals, may have a wider impact on web marketers (as a side note, I believe the agreement is a bad thing as it reduces competition in this strategic market). Consider the uncertainty surrounding just two of the web marketing tools currently provided by Yahoo:

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The real news behind the Google and Bing Twitter deals

Yesterday we saw a lot of press and blogosphere attention devoted to deals being made between the two leading search engines, Google and Bing, and leading social media services Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter search deals, while interesting, doesn’t yet merit much beyond a big yawn – we’ve already had decent, if imperfect, search via Summize, which became twitter search. Sure, both Google and Bing can improve this, but still, things like Google Squared are much more innovative.

What is really interesting about the search engine deals are the implications of the business details:

Is twitter being compensated for the indexing and retrieval attention Bing (and Google?) is giving them?

If so, that would seem to set a big precedent (the AP content hosting deal aside). Why shouldn’t other content rich sites not also receive payment from search engines? Newspapers worldwide have been making this point, to no avail, for several years now (The Italian Federation of News Publishers is pressing its case by arguing that Google has a monopoly position).

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Italian press to Google: you’re unfair (and we’re confused)

This past week the Italian antitrust authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) conducted a search of Google’s Italian office and announced it was beginning an investigation into Google’s possible abuse of its dominant position in the Italian search engine market. The case was triggered by a complaint from the Italian Federation of News Publishers, FIEG (Federazione Italiana Editori Giornali). FIEG represents publishers of newspapers and magazines, together with press agencies.

So what’s the problem?

The news industry has struggled since the mid 1990s to figure out a profitable internet strategy. “Free” content needs to be supported by advertising revenue, yet poorly targeted banners and the like don’t pay much. Google’s indisputable success as an advertising powerhouse1 has captured the press’ attention.

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Bing – features and SEO recommendations, one month on

At the end of May Microsoft announced its new search engine, Bing. Microsoft justified many of Bing’s new features by noting that 50% of search queries are either abandoned or refined – users aren’t getting the right answer on the first try, citing studies by Jakob Nielsen, Enquiro and internal testing. Microsoft also said that searchers are becoming more focused more on tasks and decisions – consequently search engine sessions are becoming longer as users work their way through their decision making process.

As data from Bing’s first full month becomes available, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at what the Bing rollout means for search marketers and, in a separate article, current search engine market shares.

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Eying Search Engine Market Share in the era of Bing

At the end of May Microsoft announced its new search engine, Bing. As data from Bing’s first full month becomes available, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at the current market share enjoyed by the major search engines in the US and a “typical” European market, Italy. The real test of Bing’s success will to be to check back in a few months to see if Bing has picked up traction with users or not. As the folks from Cuil can attest, a burst of publicity doesn’t necessary translate into loyal search users.

Search Engine statistics, USA vs. Italy

Most web intelligence services are currently US centric with very little worldwide reach. Unless stated otherwise, the data which follows is for the US market. Where available, I’ve also provided data for the Italian market, which for search engine usage is rather typical of most west European markets.

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7 sources of link intelligence data and key link analysis considerations

It may seem like a cliché but on the web no website is an island. Any site worth its salt will have accumulated inbound links and will most certainly contain outbound links to other resources on the web. Indeed, one can easily say that without links to interconnect websites, there wouldn’t be a worldwide web.

For search engines, such as Google, incoming links provide a strong signal as to the authority of a website. If multiple websites link to a specific website for a given topic, there is a good chance the website cited by others is deemed to be highly relevant for a good reason. Google and other search engines identify the theme of a website page by analyzing a page’s content and the text of the incoming links – the underlined text you click on to arrive at a page. Links, especially inbound links, are thus one of the most significant in the over 200 factors Google considers in its ranking algorithms. Inbound links from related sites in a business’ sector are also an excellent source of highly qualified direct traffic.

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