FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE HIRING A SEO PROFESSIONAL
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As of January 1, 2016, AOL Search is now powered by Bing. Bing confirmed this change and acknowledged that all AOL “algorithmic search results” and “paid search” will be powered by Bing.
The footer below now appears in Bing Search Results:
Our partnership with AOL brings additional scale and opportunity to advertisers and marketers. Today, 1 in 5 searches happen on Bing.com, and by providing Bing search results for the number 3 (Yahoo) and 5 (AOL) search providers in the US, Bing powers close to one-third of US PC web searches. Today’s announcement is testament to Microsoft’s ongoing focus on search and search advertising and our increasing scale that connects a marketer’s
According to Comscore’s March 2015 Study, AOL accounts for about 1.1% of of the total search volume and Bing is responsible for approximately 19.8% of the search volume.
Most SEO will be unaffected for now.
For more on the latest trends in Internet Marketing, check out our SEO blog!
All SEO professionals and clients know that Google is the king of organic search. Searchmetrics recently released a report detailing the Bing Ranking Factors for Bing and it includes a Rank Correlation study for Bing to evaluate the factors that differentiate better-positioned websites from those with lesser rankings.
Searchmetrics studied over 10,000 keyword streams and 300,000 websites appearing in the top 30 search results and were able to identify 5 factors that seemed to heavily influence rankings. The 5 factors are listed here:
Quality content is a factor. The correlation on Bing was that sites with more text on them, in general, had better rankings. Bing tended not to rank pages with lots of pictures, while Google was the opposite.
Social signals help rankings, and Google+ “plus ones” had a significant rankings correlation, as did Tweets and Facebook Comments.
Known brands tend to have higher rankings and there are more Exact Match Domains (EMDs) ranking in the top ten search result listings, on average, at Bing.
Link numbers are significant. Approximately 53 percent of the backlinks of websites ranked among the top 30 results on Bing contained keywords in the anchor text. This is about 10% higher than Google.
Surprisingly, SEO elements such as H1 headings, site speed, and keyword-rich meta descriptions had a low correlation to high rankings. Positive on-page factors were present in nearly every page appearing in the top 30 search results at Bing, making good on-page SEO the prerequisite to obtaining good rankings.
Instagram Ads To Start This Week
A very small, select group of advertisers will begin introducing high quality brand-oriented ads that include video and imagery, into the Instagram news feed. The Instagram advertisers include Adidas, Levi’s, PayPal, Macy’s, Starwood Hotels and others, and were chosen because they have high-quality ads. The ads are designed to have a high level of artistic value and be more brand-centric than direct response in nature. Instagram’s take on the new ads is as follows:
“Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.”
The ads will have the ability to be targeted in nature, although the quality of the “rifle shot” online advertising approach remains to be seen.
Mozilla Lightbeam Helps You Find Out Who Is Watching You on the Internet
Mozilla, the open-source software company that makes the Firefox browser, wants to make it a bit easier for you to visualize what sites and third-party site services might be tracking or watching your Internet activity. The new add-on for your Firefox browser called Lightbeam lets you know who is watching you online.
Lightbeam offers a very clear toggle that allows you to turn which tracking you contribute to the service on and off. Download the add-on and try it.
Bottom Line: Privacy increases, new ad campaigns that promise to be targeted on social media… does anyone else see the potential new trend here? Social Media sites have targeted information, while search engines continue to fight privacy initiatives to continue to track data. If your business has a significant online marketing platform, these trends bear watching.
Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Design, and Online Marketing Firm.
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. 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.
SurveyMonkey has completed a study examining SEO assumptions where respondents were shown two search resultpages, one labeled “Google” and the other labeled “Bing,” and asked to pick their favorite. Google was the clear favorite, even when the page header labels were changed. The survey was conducted using a selection of adults, age 18 to 60 from various locations across the country, a range of education levels, and household incomes ranging from $25,000 to $150,000+.
379 of the 641 survey participants received a survey asking which of two search resultpages they preferred. The Google page was chosen by a clear majority of the respondents. A second survey was given to 262 of the survey participants. In this portion of the survey the headers of the search results were swapped with Google results listed as Bing results and Bing results listed as Google results. A majority of those surveyed chose Google results, even though they were actually Bing search results. Therefore, search results are definitely influenced by the brand of the search.
Bottom Line: We are all influenced by brand, but Google is the clear leading brand in Search. Brand dominance, however, is contingent upon continuing to provide the best, or at least equivalent, utility to users. I believe that Google continues to do this, and that Bing/Yahoo has a severe uphill battle to unseat Google as the #1 search engine.
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