Talk about search engine optimisation and you’ll probably find yourself talking about ‘Google’ more frequently than you talk about other search engines. We say “I Googled that”, or “I’m going to Google that”, or “I’ve been Googling” far more than we say that we’re going to search for something.
Google might be a brand name but, like Hoover before it, the word ‘Google’ has taken over public vocabulary. So, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Google should be a far higher priority for search engine optimisation than any of its competitors.
Where are the other search engines?
You might not pay them as much attention, but search engines like Yahoo!, Bing and Ask are still in the same place that they’ve always been. With different algorithms to deal with, and with all of your competitors focusing their attention on pandering to Google, you might find that optimising for an entirely different search engine could bring a whole host of benefits. Don’t forget those smaller, lesser-known search engines all with their own unique selling points, like DuckDuckGo.
But Google will always lead the way, right?
There’s no denying that Google has the lion’s share of the searching public wrapped around its little finger, but other search engines certainly aren’t without their users. It can help to work out what kind of person uses each search engine, as the demographic for each search engine will be a little different.
Yet, there are hints that Google is losing some of its power as time goes on. Whether the algorithm has become too complex and has pushed people away, or whether people are naturally drifting towards alternatives, there are previously loyal Google users now looking to alternative search engines. Firefox has played a big part in this shift, as the browser recently ended its exclusive contract to have Google as the default search engine.
How should people be optimising for search engines?
As naturally as possible! Whichever search engine you’re using, the key is not to play any games or use outdated SEO techniques. Ultimately, the best overall tactic is to develop a strong brand and to use social media to build high quality relationships. Then, all of the search engines will see the value of directing people to your website.