There have been two major developments in search over the past few weeks.
Bing Takes Over Yahoo!’s Organic Search Results.
Over the last few weeks, Bing’s merger with Yahoo! has progressed into the much-anticipated next step: Bing’s organic search results are now powering Yahoo!’s results. Our rank checks now show identical results for our client’s sites on both Yahoo! and Bing. Bing is now estimated to have approximately 30% of the organic search market share.
What this means to you: stay the course of holistic SEO, but get verified in webmaster tools
Both Google and Bing evaluate similar factors when determining organic search results. For example, text optimization, quality inbound links, and crawler-friendliness are valued by both search engines. So, should you dive in and spend many extra hours learning every detail about Bing’s algorithm? Probably not. We think it’s better to approach SEO holistically, with a many-faceted approach that includes solid on-site optimization, content and link building, tightly focused targeting, and compelling conversion paths.
One sensible way to react to this development is to get verified in Bing’s newly enhanced webmaster tools service. This will give you insights into Bing’s interpretation of your site, and can alert you to problems that might affect your site’s indexing in Bing.
Google Implements Instant Search
See it in action while searching Google, or read Google’s official explanation. Google is now delivering results that change as you type. For example, type in “W” to see weather results. Continue typing “wa,” and the top result will change to Walmart before you hit the Search button.
What this means to you: Keep an eye on Google Suggest
Google Suggest, (Google’s auto-complete feature that provides suggestions as you type in the search box), is becoming more important as a driver of search queries. As one example, you may be ranking well for the singular variation of a keyword, but Google may feature the plural version in the Suggest box, which could draw searchers away from typing your preferred keyword variation. As another example, Google may suggest your product list to searchers in a different order than you would prefer.
Google Suggest tends to be driven by a combination of keyword popularity and newsworthiness. In other words, search behavior is a very strong contributing factor to the phrases that Google suggests, and there is very little that can be done to influence Google’s suggestions directly. (As an aside, Google says it filters out certain words that it interprets as “pornography, violence and hate speech.”)
The takeaway? Make sure to review Google’s suggestions as part of your keyword research activities.
What this means to you: Understand how ad impression data is affected.
From Google Support:
When someone searches using Google Instant, ad impressions are counted in these situations:
*The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
*The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter or selecting one of the predicted queries.
*The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of 3 seconds.
You may begin to notice additional ad impressions for shorter-head keywords than you have received historically. You may also see an apparent reduction in click-through rate to your site.
SEO pros are long accustomed to rolling with changes in search! Enjoy the new normal – it will undoubtably change again, and soon!