Should you also include Yahoo! and Bing in your SEO plan?

Google, Bing and Yahoo! walk into a bar.

Google says to the bartender, “I’ll have a martini served in a lava lamp decorated with golden Elvish runes. And make it quick yea? I know every move you make, and clearly I’m the richest and most popular guy in here.”

The bartender serves Google and ignores Yahoo! and Bing.

“Thanks buddy” says Google as he sips his drink “Don’t be evil”

The bartender’s first mistake was being lousy at his job and ignoring customers, and I would have fired that guy ASAP. A bar that serves drinks in Elvish decorated lava lamps should know better. His second mistake was the same mistake many who do SEO are making — and that’s underestimating Yahoo! and Bing. But do you know who doesn’t ignore them?? I’ll tell you who: ONE OUT OF THREE people don’t. That’s right, Bing and Yahoo! account for ONE THIRD of ALL searches, and that figure is rising as we speak. It’s funny, if I had written about it some years ago, the bartender’s response would’ve been even somewhat justified, but not today.

The bar in question. Get's everything right other than ignoring good ol' Yahoo! and Bing

The bar in question. Gets everything right other than NOT ignoring good ol’ Yahoo! and Bing

If you just tuned in for the first time, this is the third part in a 4-part series of articles discussing basic SEO mistakes which we have discovered after we analyzed the patterns of some 40k+ users who track their ranks with a SERP tracker. You can read about the first two parts here:

Are you abandoning your website’s mobile ranks?

The SEO basics you might be neglecting

Today as you may have guessed, we will be discussing the importance of Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines to website visibility and the ability to see more organic traffic.

So, before we approach Yahoo! and Bing’s significance, let’s do a small recap of the history of web search. This is a primordial time we’re talking about here, when people were still at the mercy of dial-up modems, MTV actually showed music videos, and looking at a person’s face while communicating was still a thing. At the dawn of search engines, four great kings ruled the land: AltaVista, MSN search (now Bing), Yahoo! and the chosen one — Google. As time progressed, Google pulled forward in sophistication and popularity while the rest for lack of innovation and poor strategical decisions dropped off. In its peak, Google dominated as much as 90% of all searches on the internet, but that era has come to an end. In fact, what we are witnessing is a decisive moment in search engine history. Bing and Yahoo!, for a long while hardly posing any competition for Google, have joined forces and are slowly but surely climbing in popularity, and making a comeback as runners-up to Google with about 20 and 10 percent of search share, respectively. Bing and Yahoo! have been making solid advancements to their search algorithms and during their time of growth have developed unique functions that are worth checking out.

The choice to ignore Bing and Yahoo! is really a mystery to me. I found it quite surprising how many didn’t even seem to optimize for anything other than Google. It is as if people rather reach just 66% of the audience instead of the whole! And you know, even if those ratios were 90:10, consider this: what if your biggest client is someone who uses Yahoo! exclusively, and by neglecting to bump up your Yahoo! ranks, he will end up giving his money to your competitor??

As most SEO experts are painfully aware, Google has a long and volatile history of suddenly updating its algorithm in major ways and penalizing websites. Google’s updates have almost always completely transform the SEO game if not even level out the playing field completely for some websites and strategies. Changes that can be devastating to rankings and many websites have suffered in the past from the lack of incoming organic traffic that ensued. Now Bing and Yahoo! make algorithm changes too of course, and sometimes they can be just as significant, but luckily they don’t synchronize with Google; so when Google makes its next major update, Yahoo! and Bing will likely remain stable. That means if your rankings take a beating in one search engine, you’ll still have incoming traffic remaining consistent in the other two. It’s the basic strategy of not putting all of your eggs in one basket. Another beautiful thing about optimizing for Yahoo! and Bing is that Yahoo! is powered by Bing so you will only need to optimize for one to get both. Isn’t the extra mile it takes to optimize for Bing and Yahoo! worth the additional 30 percent of search visibility? Of course it is.

So go out and do likewise. Start optimizing those Yahoo! and Bing terms, and conquer the entire market instead of just two thirds of it!

Luckily, we are an industry standard SERP tracker that can track those Yahoo! and Bing keywords for you with 100% accuracy. Give it a try and see for yourself!