If you noticed a shift in your organic search rankings on Google over the past week, you are not alone. Many websites reported changes in their organic rankings, some good and some negative. Google has confirmed the reason for these changes; a core algorithm update to Google’s search engine.
In a divisive battle between Google and Bing, the two search giants have both made incredible strides in search quality over the past few years. Although Google has held a vast majority of the market share for quite some time, Bing is determined to change search engine user perspectives and garner a bigger piece of the pie. This competition is becoming exceedingly beneficial to business owners with a strong web presence. As the search landscape grows, it is of the utmost importance not to commit your attention to Google alone.
Bing has become so incredibly confident in the quality of their search engine that they have even launched an online challenge with Google. This challenge titled Bing It On was introduced by Bing on September 6th and gives users the ability to perform a search while obtaining results by both Google and Bing in a side by side comparison. Many people might remember a similar test called the Pepsi challenge. Most elements which could identify the search engines has been stripped and allows for a truly blind comparison. After each search the user is asked to choose which results page was more helpful. After 5 searches the users is informed of which search engine they preferred or if there was a draw.
Although this challenge will certainly not give Bing a major boost in search engine market share overnight, it may greatly help their reputation. There is no doubt that Bing is more of a major player than ever. Microsoft’s director of Bing Stefan Weitz was even quoted as saying “if you strip the brands off and show people the results side by side we knew we’d win.”
The table below shows the most recent search share results from comScore. Although Bing is clearly lagging behind Google, they are making strides to catch up.
This will be a long and arduous fight for search engine dominance, but users and business owners can benefit greatly in the meantime. The increase in search quality by both engines will highlight companies that adhere to strict SEO best practices standards and grow their web foot print. If you publish unique and quality content, maintain a search engine friendly site, and abide by SEO best practices then a Bing resurgence can be a great traffic driver for your website.
When you visit Google or any other search engine and type in keywords that are important to your business, do you see your listings anywhere on page one? If your answer is yes, great — keep up the good work! If your answer is no, it’s time to consider (or reconsider in this case) your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. When was the last time you reviewed your website from an Organic perspective? If your site is not optimized for the most important and relevant keywords, then you will not likely show up when someone searches for them. This is not to say that all you have to do is add some content to your site and poof — there you are, #1 in Google! Sorry, but that isn’t going to happen. Unlike paid search, which can garner results almost instantly, organic search takes time, patience and a knowledgeable team of SEO Engineers, who are well versed in the industry.
First, you will need to determine where your site is lacking in terms of being “Google Friendly”. We have created a rather robust document called our Search Engine Optimization Review, which I typically like to describe as a website report card. Here is how it works: Our SEO Engineers carefully review a site and provide a detailed written analysis, complete with prioritized action items, in order to get your website in better shape for organic search. This Review will look at every aspect of a website that matters to the search engines and ultimately affects rankings. Just a few topics that are focused on during this Review: domain configuration, navigation structure, content optimization, inbound and outbound link structure and much more.
No matter which tactics you employ, be sure to always follow a Best Practices/White Hat approach. In other words, do not ever do anything to trick or fool the engines. This approach is known as Black Hat and it will backfire eventually if not immediately. If you do decide to outsource your efforts to an agency, I encourage you to dig deep into their reputation, knowledge and experience as an SEO firm to ensure that they are not engaging in any tactics that would be considered unacceptable by Google or the other engines.