I firmly believe that it is worthwhile to take a few minutes every so often and Google yourself. Or your company/brand name. Despite the commotion that social media sites make (and they are important, don’t get me wrong), search engines are not dead yet. This week there were two big changes in the search engine world that you should be aware of.
1. The Yahoo & Bing Collaboration is happening
Yahoo has started using Bing search results to power their organic listings. There isn’t anything in Yahoo search results to tell you this, but emails were sent out to Yahoo’s advertisers and you can read Yahoo’s blog post as well. So if your organic listings in Bing weren’t stellar, now is the time to re-evaluate your SEO strategy. Bing does offer a webmaster toolbox similar to Google’s webmaster tools. I would recommend setting this tool up for your own website and ensuring that your site is being properly indexed by Bing, as well as research keywords, links etc. that are going to affect your rankings.
Note that this transition is only for ORGANIC search results at this time. Nothing has changed with paid search results within the two engines yet, but it is coming.
2. Google is showing more than two organic listings for the same site on some search queries
According to Google’s Webmaster Tools blog, search queries that demonstrate a “strong user interest in a specific domain” will be presented with search results that may contain multiple listings from the same domain. Our initial research leads us to believe that primarily branded terms are the main keywords that demonstrate a strong user interest. For example, searching for “Apple” will result in 8 listings that belong to apple.com
And the second half of the page.
Here are some key things to note with this change.
- You’ll have significantly more landing pages for your branded terms.
- With visitors coming into your site more frequently from pages other than your home page, it’s critical that the site is easy to navigate and has clear and consistent conversion funnels from all pages.
- Give category pages strong page titles and meta description tags with calls to action included. Apple has done a great job of this by including pricing information or free incentives depending on the product page. As a user, I have a very clear idea of what content I’m going to land on before I even click on a search listing.
The search world is constantly evolving. If you haven’t taken the time to review your branded search results in all search engines lately, now is the time to do so.