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Where Is Your Focus As An Seo? Google? Bing? Both? Others?

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Google dominates discussions and articles on search engine optimization and marketing. Is it the only search engine worth investing time and money in?

 

How do you advise your clients? Where is your focus?

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I have asked this several times over the years and never had an answer: If you wanted to optimise for Bing, what would you do differently? I don't get it to be honest. A good site is a good site sure, both engines will like it?

 

In the UK it is not really worth mentioning Bing though.

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In the UK it is not really worth mentioning Bing though.

Is there anywhere where this does not apply. Redmond WA does not count.

 

And Bing is a lot more aggressive. In my logs I see a lot more scrapes from B than G.

Edited by bobbb

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I write an article, write a title tag that I think will pull clicks and toss it up. My articles often show on the first page of Google for difficult queries and lots of longtail queries. They pull in traffic from other search engines.

 

If you wanted to optimise for Bing, what would you do differently?

 

I don't do anything and rank well on Bing.

 

Nobody really knows how to optimize for Google. They can't agree on what works and what doesn't. And, if they did know exactly what works for Google, I think that they would be a fool to monkey with it to try to get a little traffic from Bing. That would be like dropping a $50 bill to pick up a dime.

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I always tell my alter egos me and myself that it is best to rank well for converting traffic from all sources. :)

Never forget:
1. that almost all public SEO advice is sole targeting Google; it is not actually search engine optimisation but Google optimisation.

2. that most of what webdevs/SEOs brand 'quality content' is tripe. Actual quality cuts of information tend, as EGOL notes, to rank across SEs without much if anything beyond best practice user (aka accessibility + findability + usability + conversion + ...) experience optimisation.

3. that there is a small but significant difference between each SE's user base; they are, in effect, somewhat different market audiences. It is not so much ranking well in each that is difficult (although the Google focussed majority are in denial on this) but in appropriately receiving, guiding, and converting them.

This applies, of course, not only to the SEs but the various SM platforms as well. I am continually reading how sites are getting loads of whatever SM traffic that doesn't convert; ummm, if they are coming perhaps the problem isn't 'them'? at which point what to do, or not, is a business decision.

In any business vertical there are the cookie cutter shops, indeed the majority are pretty much clones be they supermarkets, department stores, fast food joints, bookstores, etc. And then there are the uniques, those that are laid out, lit differently et al and become destinations not because of convenience but because of what they are. If you toss up your site's pages in a sequence of competitors' pages and they blend in...

There are hundreds if not thousands if not millions of competitors for each and every site let alone niche on the web. Why should I care about yours that is just like theirs? WordPress et al are convenient but are also cages that constrain without most being the slightest aware. And that is the least of the problem.

With personalisation (and it is to some extent from minor to major ubiquitous) the various platforms put both sites and users in filter bubbles. The greater the personalisation the smaller the bubble. SEs no longer are vehicles of discovery but of reinforcement, of restriction not exploration.
Note: they don't actively discriminate for or against, rather they isolate, which is more pernicious as it counters the idea of the web as an open source of information for enlightenment and advancement and it passively corrupts unnoticed. Both the seekers of and the library of knowledge is being silo-ed deliberately with malice and greedy aforethought.

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Finally, a question with one, single, always true answer!

 

Where is the focus of good SEO?

 

Customers.

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Finally, a question with one, single, always true answer!

 

Where is the focus of good SEO?

 

Customers.

I disagree. :)

 

Yes, customers should be the focus and the pivot of a business/site

BUT

none of that has a single thing to do with SEO.

 

99.9% of what those selling SEO products and services are peddling is NOT actually SEO.

It is:

* accessibility

* content management

* conversion optimisation

* copywriting

* database design

* editing

* findability

* information architecture

* marketing

* security

* user experiece

* usability

and a whole host of other components that ARE focussed on the customer.

 

SEO is identifying where a search engine is failing to appropriately 'understand' aka classify a document/page and overcome such shortcomings.

Note: anything else is gaming and should be accompanied by a risk assessment.

 

That webdevs don't do all the customer focus stuff and that that impacts how a search engine connects and understands a site's pages is not a surprise to many/any here at Cre8...however, it does NOT make correcting it a function of SEO. Search engines accept and return well ranked gibberish, which may be an SEO victory but most certainly not a customer success. Unless MFA is your business model.

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I know precisely where the disagreement lies:

 

SEO is identifying where a search engine is failing to appropriately 'understand' aka classify a document/page and overcome such shortcomings.
Note: anything else is gaming and should be accompanied by a risk assessment.

 

Right there.

 

You see, if it is merely about a machine understanding what is there, plain and unvarnished, without careful positioning, flattering light, and all the marketing aspects, then that isn't SEO at all, but mere accessibility with a bit of search engine friendliness.

 

SEO isn't all just about SE. The O is vital. The goal of any good SEO isn't for the engine to merely see what is there. It is for it to see it at its best angle, in its best light, staged for maximum (optimal) appeal.

 

It is about knowing the psychology of your market better than your competitors and using that to understand the search intent, the multi-touch buying process, and how the mindset of each searcher can be persuaded, or at least, given the best possible impression to their specifics.

 

Yes, it is gaming.

 

All marketing is gaming.

 

And yes, all SEOs should always perform full risk assessments.

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I think terms have evolved and taken on meaning as both the industry matures and splits out and the search engines make certain areas appear redundant. I've always felt that SEO can't be read online. You can get inputs and the such but really, if someone has managed to make an engine sing to their tune, then the web is the last place to post it. In cases where it is, it is generally because there is some other reason, not related to SEO and the utility of knowing these things, why they post it. There are lots of clever people doing tests but not writing about it. There are lots of webmasters doing SEO, the fact that you don't really read about it does not mean it is not there. SEO is all the things you both list, but getting to that level takes a few years of experience. Personally I focus on converting what's arriving first, then doing the SEO later. But that is because of the way I work with my clients. Another person might just need to get a client traffic and not give a turd about conversions. Some webmasters don't need conversions but just page views to then sell advertising. There are lots of different monetization methods.

 

Personally I have fun wasting domains on tests and experiments because that has always been the appeal of undoing a search engine and trying to understand how it ranks stuff. I don't believe that without a significant budget investment the times of being able to rank an unknown site against keywords in a competitive niche are possible. In the travel sector I would put that organic rankings budget somewhere around the 70/100K mark. But in the vast majority of sectors organic first position is going to leave you off the page as it's stuffed up with paid inventory. That means SEO efforts need to be rethinked, and the SEOs broaden their reach and skilset to become conversion optimizations and all the other labels.

 

This is what I think has happened

 

G.

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In terms of straight seo, I'm only concerned with Google. If I pick up extra traffic from Bing that is a generous plus. With some significantly older sites with some long term web strength in both engines we get reasonably good traffic from Bing, but it is a small minority relative to google.

 

Bing is sort of like "Google Old" as a search engine and far more literal relying on titles and on anchor text without the Google penalties. All things considered if there are ways to "manipulate the engines" and google ultimately penalizes that action while bing still rewards it, I've learned to cut out that methodology in an instant. I won't sacrifice google traffic for the relatively little bits of bing traffic it brings.

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