With apologies to the hard workers and shareholders of Bing and Yahoo, the hard truth is that it doesn’t really matter how highly you rank on their search engines. According to search engine optimization services, Google absolutely dominates the industry with an estimated 70% market share. And local SEO experts suspect the real number is even higher.
Of course, ranking highly on Bing or Yahoo won’t negatively affect your business. It’s even possible to generate leads or business from top rankings on those sites. But if you’re spending a lot (or even a little) of your time or money investing in SEO services for any search engine besides Google, then you’re not likely to see a return on investment.
There’s a reason the best SEO services focus exclusively on Google search results, and it’s simply because that’s the search engine your customers are using. Any SEO services that tell you to refocus on improving your non-Google search results are probably giving you bad advice. Now, one day Google’s monopoly on search might come to an end. The European Union has launched antitrust proceedings against the search giant already. But for now, you’ll want to focus your SEO services where you’ll generate the most new leads, and that’s Google.
Back in the days of dial-up internet and AOL CD-ROMS in the mail, many Web users would simply type in a web address and hope they got lucky. That’s why the domain “Sex.com” was such a hot commodity for so long. And even though that simple AOL era of the Web has passed, you can still find relics. Go visit “milk.com” if you want to see what we’re talking about.
In 2015, consumers use search engines to find things online. In fact, top SEO services estimate that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. And because Google gets at least 70% of that traffic, they’re the undisputed leaders of the digital domain. That also means that Google determines the rules of the road for websites.
So what is search engine optimization? What is an SEO company?
So what does Google’s algorithm look for when ranking your website? Although exact information is hard to come by, over the years Google has dropped enough bread crumbs to put together a general picture. Here are the top factors SEO services say Google looks for when ranking sites:
- Links: Google counts up the number of links leading to a website.
- Technical Quality: A slow-loading website with a high bounce rate will be penalized accordingly in Google.
- Content Quality: Google prefers sites that serve as a hub of information. That means quality, engaging content will improve your search results.
- Keywords: If you want people searching for “cheap HVAC contractors Kentucky” to find your website, then the words “cheap HVAC contractors Kentucky” better appear somewhere on your website.
Of course, there are other factors, some known to SEO services, and some known only to Google.