Natural Search Blog

Can you believe Google’s estimated number of search results?

I’ve never had much faith in Google’s estimated number of results (and for good reason). Every so often I run queries that I know will return a huge results set and I note the number of pages found, such as for “the” or “http”. The number of results just get bigger and bigger, like the length of the preverbial “fish that got away” with each telling of the tale! Continue reading…

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MSN Search vs Google vs Yahoo!

MarketingProfs has published my article: “How Does MSN Search Stack Up to Google and Yahoo?.” This one is different from my last week’s article on MarketingProfs (“What Web Marketers Must Know About the New MSN Search“), in that it’s a side-by-side comparison of the top three search engines — essential stats, tolerance levels for “worst practices” etc. You need to be a premium MarketingProfs subscriber to read it. (If you’re not, it’s time to open up your wallet! Their premium article library and the virtual seminars are well worth it…)

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MSN and Yahoo! sneaking up on Google

A new study on users’ search engine preferences from Keynote found that MSN and Yahoo! have gained favor with users since Spring 2004:

Indeed, the latest survey determined that 81% of Yahoo! users and 61% of MSN users say they would go back to those sites in the future. In May, 72% of Yahoo! users and just 55% of MSN users said the same. Dr. Bonny Brown, Keynote Director of Research and Public Services, notes, “MSN’s recent separation of sponsored results from actual Web results greatly improved user perceptions of MSN search results. This move has increased the loyalty of MSN users and improved perceptions of advertising and sponsored results on the MSN site.”

Although Google is still the favorite, MSN and Yahoo! are catching up. For those who equate natural search optimization with Google optimization: stop. It’s time to take MSN and Yahoo! seriously. Very seriously. They are distinctly different engines; different marketing channels really.

As distinct channels, astute marketers will execute different strategies and tactics for each engine. By that I don’t mean engine-specific doorway pages. I mean things like developing different ‘use cases’ based on the unique user profiles of MSN users, versus Yahoo! users, versus Google users. And then developing unique keyword portfolios, unique landing pages with unique offers, etc.

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Google framing their arch-rival

at the way Google opens Yahoo’s stock quote page in a frame with Google’s logo in the top left.

Admittedly they also provide links to, MSN MoneyCentral, etc.

And they probably have some sort of agreement that they are allowed to do it. However, this is what people used to do in the late 90’s to cash in on other people’s content.

Nice that nothing really changes.

Yahoo! is blogging

Yahoo! now has a corporate blog, Yahoo! Search Blog. I’ve been a fan of an unofficial Yahoo blog, namely that of Yahoo employee Jeremy Zawodny, for a while now. But it’s good to see the company embracing blogging in an official capacity.

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