It’s hard to deny that Google was a game changing engine when it was first introduced.
It wasn’t the first search engine to ever be built, but it was the most ambitious and the most comprehensive.
Since its inception, it has become the dominating force on the internet.
Before its introduction, you could only find a website if you actually knew its URL.
I remember sitting in front of my family’s first internet-enabled computer, typing random .coms into the browser to see what we could find.
Today, if you want to find something online, even something that you already know exists, you start with a search engine.
Just about every browser, unless you change your settings to make your homepage something else, opens you up to their search engine of choice.
Do you really need to worry about other search engines?
The truth is that some of your customers are going to be using these search engines.
Do you need to change your automotive SEO to accommodate those users?
Here’s what you need to know about Google vs. Yahoo vs. Bing.
Google is the king. They have the biggest market share, are the most used, and the most famous.
The verb “to Google” has become part of our lexicon and now means simply to look something up online, even if you are not actually using Google as the engine to search for something.
It’s the engine that most people are using and therefore is able to dictate what your website needs to have in order to have a functional automotive SEO campaign.
Google also has arguably the most complex algorithm and is certainly what most other search engines base their same algorithms on.
Though Bing has marketed themselves heavily as a search engine that provides better search results than Google, it’s hard to deny, when looking at the search results side by side, that you are getting just about the same pages when you use the same search terms.
Google and Bing especially have similar methods for generating local search results, which means that you, as a dealership, should be able to use the same strategy to rank on Google as you do on Bing.
They also have the same attitude towards links and to paid search.
What is different, however, is how Google treats matching keywords.
As long as your keywords and your content in general is related to the search term that is used, you have a chance of ranking.
Google cares just as much about context and semantic matches as they do about the actual keywords you have optimized for.
Other search engines put more emphasis onto exact match keywords.
This means that if you are optimizing a page for “Kia dealership in New Jersey,” that page might rank a little bit higher in a Bing search for a searcher who used that exact term.
On Google, you could also show up in searches for New Jersey Kia dealership, but probably not as high as you would for that exact keyword.
Yahoo is certainly not as popular as the two other search engines on this list, but it still makes up a substantial percentage of searches, and is therefore still something that you should think about.
If your dealership’s website is optimized for both Yahoo and Google, you’re more likely to show up in more relevant searches for more potential customers.
Keep in mind that Firefox is pushing Yahoo as their search engine of choice, so users who like the Firefox browser over Chrome or Edge are likely going to being using Yahoo as their primary browser, unless they install an extension to switch it back to Google.
This means that Yahoo might start to see increased market share over the coming months and years.
What do you need to know about Yahoo?
Yahoo is more popular with users than Bing is, though it is much less popular than Google.
That said, those who use this search engine do use it every single day.
There is also a higher ratio of men to women using Yahoo.
The age of the average Yahoo user is also older than the age of the average Google user.
The majority of Yahoo’s users are over the age of forty-five.
This is the demographic that is less likely to try to change the default search engine in the browser and to instead simply use what is presented to them.
Bing has the smallest market share out of the three, but it is also the most aggressive.
Bing Rewards, for example, actually provides the people who search using Bing with points, which they can then redeem for real cash, Amazon purchases, Xbox live subscriptions, and beyond.
This is something that Google cannot compete with and something that is drawing more and more people away from Google.
What do you need in order to be able to rank on Bing?
Bing takes a more straight-forward approach to their search results.
They prefer exact match keywords, meta tags, and clean page design.
These are, of course, also all things that Google values.
Do you really need to worry about optimizing your site for all three of the big search engines?
The truth is that if you are optimizing for one, you are a probably optimizing for all of them.
It can be helpful, however, to look at your website traffic and see where it is coming from.
If you are seeing a trend towards one search engine, optimizing for that search engine could maximize that traffic source.