Frequently Asked Questions
Top Search Engines: December 2011Google is by far the most popular search engine. Latest statistics show a now overwhelming number of users prefer Google over Bing and Yahoo (see graph at right). Google provides search results for its users and powers other search engines' results as well. Having indexed billions of pages, Google now dwarfs other search engines in popularity. In the U.S., Google's dominance is slightly less pronounced, with Bing and Yahoo each holding a market share of between 10-15%, depending on the source you use. Bing has gained ground on Yahoo and surpassed it globally.
Search engine optimization involves a waiting period for results, but proper search engine optimization can minimize the delay. If you have an old website and it is already listed in major directories, you should see your search engine rankings improve within at least 4-6 weeks. If not, you can reduce this period by performing a search engine submission. A total renovation of your website using advanced search engine optimization techniques will boost your search engine rankings quickly. Dramatic results should come within six to nine months. It takes time for major search engines to crawl through your site and add it to their databases. Search engine optimization is an exercise in patience. Top ten rankings for highly competitive words cannot be achieved overnight. Remember that you may have many competitors who are also performing search engine optimization.
Yahoo and Bing merged in 2009 and Yahoo's search engine now runs off Bing's algorithm. Optimizing for Bing optimizes for Yahoo as well. You may see slightly different results based on history, but the algorithm/site analysis process is the same for each.
Resellers often ask how to come up with a recommended budget for clients for a wide array of marketing services, and how to fit SEO/SEM into the mix. The answer isn't an easy one, because you have to take into account many different factors when making a recommendation that's best for your client. With any business, we recommend developing an overall marketing budget and carving out pieces of the pie as the client's needs. Ad agencies spend a lot of time on marketing plan development and budget determinations. For our work in particular, there are a ton of variables. For example, if the client sells 100 products, you have potentially huge Paid Search and SEO projects based on that alone. SEO also has a lot of variables. Where is the client ranked now for their top keywords? Where do they want to be ranked (page 1, top three, #1 overall) for each? Are they in a competitive market? How optimized is the site already? Each of these factors, among others, helps determine the amount of time you need to spend on SEO. Otherwise, you're almost arbitrarily assigning a budget. With paid search, we usually require a budget from the client. Our resellers can help them determine that, similar to how they would recommend a budget for TV or radio ads. With SEO, I usually require one of two things: a list of their top keywords and what their goals are (e.g., for terms X, Y and Z, the client wants to be on page 1) -- from which I can give them a recommended timeframe and cost to try to achieve the goal; OR a budget to work with -- from which we will prioritize potential tasks each month in order to be as productive as possible with the hours we have available. Certain other tasks may have a wide range of things we could do. For example, if the client needs a Facebook account, we could simply create an account for the client (which could take minutes) or put in some creative time, consult with the client, formulate a nice custom page or pages, etc. (which could take 10-50 hours depending on how much they want to do with the pages). You should decide between the different types of online marketing in a similar manner. Some types of ads work better for some clients than others. Facebook may be a great outlet if the product or service is exciting or interesting and the audience needs to be targeted, but may be a waste of time if the product is something boring or difficult to explain in a small FB ad that no one will click on. Similarly, you may need to develop more creative or explanatory ads based on the type of products and services the client offers. We can help you customize a budget for your client, but let's do it together and make an informed decision that's in their best interests.