Normally the prose seem to flow from my fingers (well it seems like that to me and I don’t care what you think so there :)), however this week it doesn’t seem to have quite worked out like that this week for some reason. Don’t know why. Maybe the creativity has finally drained from the bones. Anyway, this is all off topic. Way off topic. The big news this week is that Yahoo! has finally given in to Microsoft and let them take over their search results. Is this really big news? Well it isn’t really in this country (the UK) because we don’t really have much market penetration for Yahoo! or Bing, but in the US it is different, according to Hitwise (
Interesting here if you go back to the original post from Hitwise where they were monitoring it, in the States it really shows the different audiences who use Bing compared to Yahoo! What is Bing getting here? They are getting a younger audience to come and look at their search results. Younger people tend not to like Microsoft that much because of the long associated bad press that it gets, whereas Yahoo! is really a portal for young people (look at the sort of questions asked on Yahoo! answers and you’ll know this to be true).
Moving back to the UK then the situation is much less obvious – we still predominantly use Google UK, whilst the second most used engine is Google international. Bing and Yahoo! are small players in this market – but of course that is the sort of thing that could change quite easily. Although if you read what the Guardian say, then this is unlikely to change soon and Microsoft have picked the wrong fight. Indeed if the market share is only 7% in the UK for combined Yahoo! and Bing that means that many UK websites just won’t make any changes at all.
However, as mentioned in the US, it is all completely different and given that my blog is fairly Intercontinental, I am going to talk about it anyway. One of the real problems for me is that I don’t get any search traffic from anywhere other than Google:
Although this does beg the question of why – so lets look at some of those Google Search terms first:
Well this is some interesting data going on up here – I do rank well in Bing for some search terms (not many). And bearing in mind I am looking at the UK version of Bing (I can’t get the international version) it seems I should be getting more traffic. Clearly the people using Bing as a search engine aren’t really interested in what I have to offer.
I haven’t included Yahoo! in this comparison, by the way, because if they are on their way out, it should have no impact on the table anyway.
However this isn’t surprising – Microsoft announced not that long ago they were closing their analytics tool named ‘Gatineau’ down
. But that is odd, because Yahoo! have just spent great expense buying and developing their own Analytics tool. Would it now seem that Yahoo! are going to try and use their analytics tool not to get users to spend more on adwords as Google has, but to help focus on some of their more core parts of the Business? When I blogged about this not long ago, I said that Yahoo! needed a USP to sell it and suggested that the Merchant solutions
was an option. However since then there has been the launch of the Yahoo! Web Analytics Consultant Network
(launched to web analytics people – not sure who else it has been aimed at, but time will see). If Yahoo! is going for the small to medium size businesses will they be able to afford the cost of a consultant for a small time? Will the consultants do analysis or is the network for those that can offer implementation advice? If it is the latter – why isn’t it easier to implement in the first place?
So this leaves me with the question –
What is different about Bing than Google that could have an effect on my site and what am I going to do about it?
1. Bing has some interesting stuff to it. One thing you’ll notice from the screen grab below when you search for whencanistop
is that as well as getting the teaser information for those just browsing the results, there is also a bit more for those hovering over a link:
So the number one thing I need to think about is how I get some interesting text in there. It stands to reason that this is probably going to include the first bits of text. On the home page that is good because I want to have a bit of information on what is going on with my site – who I am etc. For none home pages when the user is searching for something quite deep into the site and gets up one of my posts, I really want some information about the post. So maybe for the individual post pages I should take that comment out and have my first paragraph as a descriptor.
2. Of course the above point means that I should start writing better first paragraphs. I fear that it may be a bit late for this one, but maybe in the next one I’ll do that. The other disadvantage of this is that all my old posts start with mainly nothing to do with the post itself and more to do with what mood I was in when I wrote it. I’m not going back to rewrite 70 different posts, so they’ll just have to stay the same.
4. Not worry too much. Seriously – if you think about it you write your posts to generally be search engine friendly, not Google friendly. You’re trying to get the write topics to write about and persuade other people to link to you. Whilst this is advice from Google, it should also stand you in good stead with Bing. Overall – write interesting, informative, original copy and you’ll rank for those subjects. I’m after a real niche audience here – I’m not after a load of porn search terms.
That’s it. Any more advice for me?