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Friday, March 13, 2015

Why Default Search Engines Matter

If you have been following the search engine news for the last few months you probably have come across a slew of articles on which search engines are default for which programs. (ahem; Firefox, AppleInternet Explorer)

Most businesses are probably sitting back and wondering, "Why does this even matter? Doesn't Google own like 70% percent of the search query volume out there?" Well, yes but it isn't always the case. There are cases where the primary search engine for a specific audience may skew more toward another competitor. There are demographics that rely on the the default search engine for the majority of their queries. This audience may also go seek out the "older" search engine that they know and know how to use.

When browsers make this change this dependence is especially evident. So as businesses take time to review our their sites perform on different search engines. Rather than just looking at ranking, businesses need to look at the quality and value of that traffic and see where their efforts need to be focused.

Will that focus most often be put toward Google? Probably, but not in every case. There is a lot of focus dedicated specifically toward Google so tackling how to crack Bing, Yahoo and others can be a challenge but one that could be fruitful for your business.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Movement Toward Fully Secured Search Results

As the search engine with the continued dominance of queries in the U.S.; Google has been hinting through data analysis and algorithm changes that a fully secured set of results is their goal.

Will that reach 100%? Probably not for some of the fringe queries (what are fringe queries nowadays anyway?). However, for highly competitive queries, I believe we can expect the majority of page 1-3 results to be dominated by secure sites by the end of 2015 and see movement toward that 100% by the end of 2016.

As reported by Search Engine Land, Google recently mentioned their analysis on Google+ on sites that were eligible for HTTPs but were not showing as secured due to a "webmaster configuration". I can see a case being made that this move by Google is an added method to gain additional trust from queries and further alleviate spammy results from their pages.

What does this mean for the little guy?


The question for those small businesses and startups who aren't up-to-date on the latest demands from Google; "How can we compete against big business who can keep up with these changes?" Those of us in the industry know that it is not just this ONE change that can magically make a site rank but instead it is the culmination of many of these factors that lead to success. Small businesses and startups can seemingly be at a disadvantage but they can also be fairly nimble where many large businesses cannot. The availability of knowledge bases such as blog posts like this one and the millions of others can be quick glimpses into the small changes that can make a difference. Add to that the personal interactions that can happen on a one-to-one scale with their customers. Feedback and refinements to their offering can potentially be easier to handle or address whereas large corporations would potentially have to dive through many layers of approval.

In the end, securing your site (and securing it correctly) helps your customers regardless of what the search engines have in store. However, this is not the only change that will magically make you competitive in the search space. Smartly integrating the pieces that make up the puzzle and implementing them well is what will lead to success.

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