When most SEOs do keyword research, the large majority will only ever look at Google. This might seem silly to you because a surprisingly large amount of people still use other search engines as their primary tool. But there is a good reason for it!
Keyword research is arguably the most important part of any SEO campaign. Without proper targeting of low competition keywords, it’s unlikely that you’ll end up ranking for anything that is valuable.
Just like an archer would do well to aim at the target before his lets the arrow fly, an SEO better ensure that they know what they’re trying to rank for before they open of their arsenal.
Why is Google the Best Search Engine?
At this point, it’s almost impossible to argue against Google being the best search engine. Not only is it by far the most popular search tool, but it also delivers the most accurate and least spammy results.
But very few people understand exactly what it is that makes Google the best.
Before Google, there was Yahoo and a few other search engines, but Yahoo was by far the most popular, and it delivered the most reliable results. However, from the start, Google was able to blow them out of the water because of their PageRank algorithm.
For those who don’t know, PageRank (PR) was, and some believe still is the primary indicator of how well a website will rank.
PR used to be a visible metric that we could all see, but Google realized that gave spammers too much of an advantage and it’s not longer publicly visible.
What the PR system does is take into account the quantity, quality and relevancy of links point to a particular page. This isn’t to say that Yahoo didn’t do this before, they just didn’t do it well.
Google was the first search engine that could reliably rank pages for the correct keywords with a huge reliance on data that they had from their web crawlers which tracked links.
Even today, if you search a variety of keywords on all of the different engines, you can almost guarantee that Yahoo and Bing will return more low-quality results than Google.
Their algorithms just aren’t as advanced as Googles, and in particular, they are bad at filtering between legitimate SEO websites and spammers. On the other hand, Google is very good at this, and it’s rare that you see spammy sites ranking for competitive keywords.
How Many People use Bing and Yahoo?
According to the data that we read from Comscore, one of the most reliable sites on this topic, Google searches represent around 64% of all overall search engine searches.
On the other hand, Bing sits at 21.4% and Yahoo 12.2%. That’s probably far more than you expected, it’s much tighter than we thought it would be.
When you think of Yahoo, you probably imagine your grandmother who struggles to use her computer, but 12.2% of all searches are through Yahoo.
Combined Bing and Yahoo represent 33.6% of all searches, just over half of Google. That’s a significant amount of traffic that could represent hundreds or thousands of potential customers.
Why Would You Ignore Them?
If such a huge amount of people are searching through Bing and Yahoo, why would you ever want to ignore them?
It’s not so much that you should ignore them in the sense of refusing their business, it’s that you shouldn’t be actively pursuing them.
The reason for this goes back to why Google is the best search engine; it’s because it has the best algorithm and knows how to differentiate between quality and spam. As we mentioned before, Yahoo and Bing aren’t great at doing this.
What this often results in is websites easily ranking #1 for competitive keywords in Google but then ranking 60th or lower on Bing and Yahoo. This is because the algorithms work in different ways and put different weightings on certain factors.
In practice, the Yahoo and Bing algorithms are much easier to spam, and that means that legitimate businesses can often struggle to rank in those search engines.
So, the reason why you shouldn’t pursue rankings in those search engines in the same way as in Google is that it will often require you to sink to using spam tactics.
Often with enough work, you’ll find your rank in them anyway, but your main priority should be to rank on Google because it’s the search engine that values quality the most.
This is the best way to guarantee sustainability and longevity.
Hopefully, we’ve been able to explain exactly why pursuing rankings in Yahoo and Bing isn’t a smart idea, even though the traffic from those search tools can be valuable.
In our campaigns, we only use sustainable and powerful link building tactics to earn our clients the long term rankings that they want. Get in touch today to learn more!