Search Engine Diversity – More Website Exposure

    June 1, 2007

"Google ranking this and Google ranking that"… it’s all everyone talks about. But a recent report by Infospace highlights the need for online businesses to focus their search engine optimization efforts across more than just Google.

Yes – Google does carry the most significant share of the market with well over 49% of all searches*, so by no means am I suggesting you neglect Google in your SEO plan. But when you understand the diversity of search results across the major search engines, you’ll see that balancing your optimization efforts can generate great results.

Infospace are a Meta search engine, so their motives for the study might be open to discussion, but the results are the key. The study titled "Different Engines, Different Results" was conducted by The Pennsylvania State University and Queensland University of Technology in April this year. The press release announcing the study’s finding highlighted the following key points:

  • Only 0.6 percent of 776,435 first-page search results were the same across the top four Web search engines.
  • Between 38 and 46 percent of all searches fail to elicit a click on a first-page search result, don’t meet users needs and drive users to try additional engines.
  • Web searchers on average use three search engines a month.
  • Search result rankings differ significantly across major search engines; only 3.6 percent of the number-one ranked, non-sponsored search results were the same across all search engines in a given query.

So herein lies the opportunity for website owners. Just because a top Google ranking has eluded you, doesn’t mean you can’t achieve a top ranking in Yahoo!, MSN or one of the other decent search engines. Remember they all use a different algorithm to determine their search engine results.

Yahoo! and MSN might only hold 26%* and 10%* of the search market respectively, but that still constitutes millions of searches every month, which is exposure to potential visitors that you could be missing.

If you’re not tracking and trying to improve your ranking across all the major search engines, you should start now. Try this free position check tool to see how you’re ranking in Google, Yahoo! and MSN for any keyword. By diversifying your search engine optimization, you could open the floodgates to more website traffic.

*comScore US Report – April 2007