Status Quo on Search Volume in August 2013
No significant change in search volume, despite Bing’s marketing efforts and purported consumer concerns about privacy on Google. Over the past year, Google is up slightly from 66.4% to 66.9%. Bing/Yahoo combined have grown the same 0.5% in search share in the same period.
Google+1s Have No Direct Effect on Rankings
Eric Enge has conducted a study entitled “Direct Measurement of Google Plus Impact on Search Rankings.” The study had debunked the theory held by many SEO experts that Google+ is the key to improved search rankings on Google. The study has concluded that Google+ has no direct impact on Google search rankings. There are indirect benefits like social sharing and potential link growth, but Google+ has no direct impact on Google search rankings, according to the study.
Changes for Bing Search
Microsoft has announced changes to the Bing Search Engine, and the changes can be viewed at bing.com/new. The changes, ranging from a new logo and modern design to better compatibility with mobile and HDMI viewing environments are designed to improve the utility of the search engine. The search results have also been modified to be more useful, including a feature called “page zero” which allows users to view the search results without actually going to the search results page.
Bottom Line: Google is still the leader, and the Google+ study has verified what Matt Cutts has been telling SEOs for months. Bing continues to make changes to be more relevant in a Google-dominated search environment, but so far has not been able to leverage that into anything other than maintaining their share of search volume. The quest for the SEO community continues to be how to continue to work within the progressively restrictive search algorithms of Google. It looks like we will all be writing unique and useful content for the foreseeable future.
Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Design and Social Media Optimization Firm.