When Yahoo dropped Google results in favor of its own Inktomi generated listings, the search world expected Yahoo to gain some ground in market share. While this did in fact happen, the increase was relatively insignificant, and Google remained on top. Now that MSN has released its own search technology and no longer relies on Inktomi based results, will they see a significant increase in users?
My personal opinion is no. Sure their market share may increase, but I doubt, in the short term anyways, that they will make any significant increases to overtake Google. I’ll use myself as an example. I personally look at search results across the big three on a daily basis across a wide range of industries. In my opinion (and I am sure many SEO’s and webmasters will back me up on this) MSN now provides better, more accurate and relevant search results. That being said, I still use Google for my personal searching.
Whether I am at home, or in the office, Google is my search engine of choice. My wife uses Google, most of my friends and family use Google, and lets face it, the majority of searchers worldwide use Google. So why, if MSN is providing better results, do I still revert back to Google, knowing that I will most likely have to filter through a bunch of rubbish.
I think this is due to a number of factors. For years now I’ve been using Google, dating back to before I entered this industry, at a time when Google was providing relevant results. So a big part of this is habit. My fingers automatically type Google.com whether I like it or not. My default home page is set to Google. The only toolbar I have installed is the Google toolbar. This began for the checking of Page Rank, but now I use it almost exclusively for its search field.
Even though I know MSN provides better results (in most cases) I still use Google. This makes me think that the general public, many of which are unaware that MSN has changed, will also stick with Google. Behavior patterns are hard to break – although a month late, perhaps I will make it my new years resolution to stop using Google.
Part of the draw to use Google is the cleanliness of the site. Even though MSN has released, along with its new results, a new look and feel, it may still seem too cluttered, and many times slow loading, for users looking to simply perform a basic search.
The general searching public likely doesn’t realize that results from one engine are more relevant than that from another, or that the results generated in MSN were once duplicates of what you would find in Yahoo. Many tend to stick with what they know – they’ve always used Google, and as they haven’t “shopped around” so to speak, don’t realize that the other engines may have more to offer. Old habits are hard to break – and until such a time as a “quit Google patch” is invented, many may be there to stay.
Once upon a time in a search engine long ago, content was king and little else mattered. Then along came the links in an attempt overthrew the king – now everything is messed.
Back links are very important in placing well in the SERP’s especially for highly competitive keywords, however content is still the king, and without it your sites are as good as lost! So what is a site owner to do when you’ve expressed and said all there is to say and are left with only a 5 page website? Read more…
Internet advertising has evolved significantly over the years. In the beginning pop-ups were just that – pop-ups. When they open, you close them and move on. The original pop-ups are still there, but they have also evolved into interstitial ads – you know, those annoying versions that require some level of interaction to make them go away. Some times it’s a video, sometimes a static ad, but it’s always right in your face.
When PPC ads started appearing in search engines they were simple text ads separated by the non-paid listings – they were non-intrusive and un-offending to the searcher. Over the years they have significantly evolved, but to the searcher they, for the most part, remained the same. Most of the changes have been in the realm of the advertiser in terms of ad management and specific targeting abilities, in particular local targeting.
Google has its Local Targeting Options and Overture has its Local Match. A variety of other pay per click engines are offering Geo Targeting based on country, and soon, will likely offer very targeted city and precise searching by radius.
Now both Google and Overture offer the ability to target very specific locations, within 20 miles from a specific point by using the physical address or longitude and latitude. This precise method of targeted PPC advertising is still quite new, but will likely shift over to the second tier engines in time if it proves to be beneficial to both advertisers and searchers.
Such local targeting gives localized business the chances to advertise online with the chance of receiving qualified business. A small craft shop in Vancouver that does not offer online sales, can now place an ad online that will be directed to only local qualified traffic – no more wasted leads from searchers in Toronto.
Hacking The Locals
In Many cases, creating a successful Ad Campaign requires a look at the competitor’s ads. If you are targeting specific countries outside of your own, in many cases it is either near impossible, or extremely difficult to view the competition – until now.
If you are an advertiser in the US and also place ads targeting the UK, it is difficult to see your direct competition unless you are located in the UK. Although it may have been around for a long time, today I just learned of a Google hack that gets you around this.
After you perform your search in Google, go up to the address bar and at the end of the URL add the text ‘gl=uk’; (or instead of uk, any applicable country code), hit enter and you will now see a listing of AdWords ads that are targeted towards the UK.
Have you have an experience with Local Targeting for any of your PPC campaigns? I would love to hear about your positive and negative experiences! Email me at scott@StepForth.com.
There was a time when link building meant finding only high PageRank links that used no forms of tracking, but now, free high PR links are extremely difficult to find, and more and more webmasters are using various tracking techniques.
When many people go out looking for links, they tend to focus on higher PageRanks. High PR is certainly useful and very important, but its important to know that those sites have not always had high PR’s. All sites have to start somewhere, and if you can get that free link while the site is at a lower PR why not? Read more…
If you are looking to spend some of your advertising dollars on Pay Per Click (PPC), but don’t care for the high prices of Google and Overture, you may want to take a look at some of the other PPC engines out there.
Many PPC Engines charge set up fees and have minimum click through rates of 5 and 10 cents, along with minimum monthly spends. For a small business on a limited budget testing the PPC waters, this may prove to be rather expensive. goClick offers no set up fees or minimum monthly spend, and click rates as low as a cent. Read more…
For some time now Google’s publishing partners and advertisers have been requesting image based advertising through the AdSense and AdWords programs, and Google is listening.
Currently still in Beta, Google has introduced image ads into its AdSense / AdWords program. Read more…
As Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising becomes more and more popular so does the art of fraudulent clicking. Companies are springing up overseas with the sole purpose to click on advertiser ads. How does this affect your PPC Campaign? Read more…
With Google’s new Local Targeting features, it is possible for a small brick and mortar business with a website to achieve relevant internet traffic from within their local area. For some time now Google has allowed for ads to be country specific. Now not only can an advertiser target specific countries and states/provinces but they can also focus on actual target cities. Read more…
As the competition for search engine placement becomes increasingly competitive more and more small website owners are turning towards Pay Per Click advertising to draw the much needed traffic.
But as this new means of advertising also becomes more popular, keyword click-through rates are rising. This medium, once inexpensive, can be a very costly means of generating traffic. Read more…