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Google Is Good At Marketing

Yahoo and Microsoft compete badly against Google

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Search is so consolidated that it is uncomfortable being an SEO. If Google decides to profile you or kill your sites there is not much you can do, especially because Yahoo! and Microsoft are losing marketshare month after month. Why are Yahoo! and Microsoft losing marketshare? Their bad marketing coupled with Google’s good marketing:

The toolbar has NEVER given anyone any real information. BUT, it has given the world a perception that whatever Google ranks that must be right. It has also helped to give Google millions of devout followers and millions more who are willing to give access to a lot of private data just to see a little green go a little farther to the right. BRILLIANT. So brilliant in fact I have never understood why MSN and Yahoo haven’t done their own white paper and give away a little blue bar to "prove" it works. BUT, that is why Yahoo and MSN seem to be losing market share. Not because their results aren’t as good. It is because they aren’t as good at marketing. I don’t begrudge Google for that. I admire them.

To appreciate how bad Yahoo’s marketing is, consider the following:

  • Overture Keyword Selector – their public facing keyword tool is unreliable and does not even promote their own brand or their own network on it.
  • Want to sign in to Yahoo search marketing? Go to sem.smallbusiness.yahoo.com. Yup…2/3 of the companies revenues come through a subdomain of a subdomain.
  • Yahoo powers millions of domain landing pageviews every day, and are afraid to put their brand on it, all while Google puts their brand (and typically search box) on everything they touch.

Anyhow, this is Christmas and this is supposed to be a happy post. And I am happy, because Wikia Search just launched in Alpha, and plans to publicly launch on January 7th.

Given that the difference between Google and Yahoo is largely one of marketing, and given that Google has been doing more manual editing of the search results, that lends credibility to Wikia’s human search model.

What happens when Wikipedia has a "search powered by you" box promoting an engine other than Google on every page of Wikipedia? Does Wikipedia keep ranking #1 for everything? Does this create another viable search channel for marketers? Does this competition make Google less arrogent and harsh in their webmaster relations department?

Here is Wikias’ whitelist, and here is a blog tracking Wikia’s progress. And here are some of Google’s human review documents that were leaked a couple years ago.

 Your Thoughts?

Google Is Good At Marketing


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  • http://www.finalarrangementsnetwork.com RW Ward

    We don’t agree with your premise that the only problem with Yahoo and MS search is their marketing. We have been amazed over the nearly 10 years we have been specializing in Organic Search Optimization how few so called experts have addressed the real problem with Y and MS, namely their alogrithm.

    They are trying to get by on the cheap and no one seems to notice because the majority of webmasters and SEO practitioners who optimize for them and get paid to do so, know Y and MS can be had using the same gimmick the HEAD ON people know. Keep it simple, Keep it repetitive and by all means remember to work on the primitive brain functions of the public or in this case that of the alog writers working at Y and MS.

    Y and MS rely on key words in the page title of the address as a primary basis at the exclusion of more thorough page analysis you get from the Google algorithm. Though not as good as it could be, Google, at the least, tries to account for content on the page when determining relationships with the searcher’s terms. In the case of MS and Y, that reasonable expectation of relavency, has little to do with it other than if a word or phrase (usually no more than three words) matches first, words in the url address and then two, anything anywhere on the page being chosen. Whether the page fits or is even remotely related to the search criteria is lost as that is beyond the scope of the Y and MS alogs. The holy graile for Y and MS is if those words are there and in the order the searcher typed in the box.

    We realize MS and Y have to distinguish themselves from Google but to simply ignore the need to be relavent to the searcher’s desire for quality is an abdication of the right to be called a Search Engine. To state that marketing is the only reason for them losing share is to completely ignore that humans can learn and when you repeatedly get bad serps or ones that have little relationship to your search terms other than if you used “rocket science trajectories” you got rocketsciencewearenot.com as your number one listed site in the serp, you will begin to see it isn’t just bad marketing but bad computer science that is costing the folks at Y and MS their future.

  • http://www.crbuses.com used buses

    Googe is quite obviously dominating and will continue to do so. They make great business acquisitions, have a great internal adminstrative structure and have decent search results. Unfortunately both MSN and Yahoo have not been able to get some of these elements right.

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