Bing-Yahoo! Partnership: What does it mean?

September 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm (Search Engines) (, , , , , , , , )

When it comes to the upcoming Bing-Yahoo! partnership we can spend time looking at what’s going to be done internally within both groups to ensure both parties success or what factors led to the union but what really matters is what it will come of it. With both parties scraping under 10% each of the search market something drastic was needed to really make a dent. The industry standard is still Google and the last time it was measured over 80% of search engine users still made Google their primary search engine.

Google is a powerhouse in the search industry. They are a well established, well known, beloved, and very diverse. They are a one-stop-shop for online needs. If you need news, shopping, e-mail, customization, analytics, webmaster tools, paid advertising, a job, a home, or even something to do then Google has you covered.

I’m not saying that they are the only ones who do what they do, or even the best at what they do, but they are pretty well known and trusted. I have confidence that when I search for something I need on Google then I will find what I am looking for fairly easily. Bing and Yahoo! are going to have to do more than merely share to get ahead.

How can Bing-Yahoo! Succeed?

Organic Search

They need to break Google’s dominance. How do you overthrow a leader? How do you stage a revolution? When it comes to search engines then you need to establish yourself as having the answers. You can’t merely say that you have all the answers you need to be able to back it up with action. Bing just isn’t cutting it. Bing is shiny and exciting and new but when it comes down to actual results their search engine is lacking. After fruitlessly spending a half an hour on Bing asking how to appear in Bing shopping results I went to Google and found the answer in a matter of minutes. Below are the results we find for “listing products on Bing shopping”:

Search Results on Bing for "listing products on bing shopping"

The first link shown (as expected with all search engines) is a sponsored link. After that we have a slew of pages that offer me no real information for what I am searching. They discuss how to use Bing Shopping (from a user standpoint, not a seller) an FAQ that doesn’t cover my Q, a comparison to Google, and a blog post but nothing really relevant to what I searched for.

Comparatively here are the Google results:

Google results for "listing products on bing shopping"

Once again we find that pesky FAQ without my Q but this time at number one. I can understand why though. It’s all about Bing Shopping. However right at number 2 is the result I am looking for. By clicking on that link we learn what we have to do in order to post a product on Bing Shopping.

In the eyes of this SEO Professional Bing has not established itself as the “Decision Engine” it claims to be. In order to overthrow Google it is absolutely going to have to. You can spread your idea and formula anywhere you want, but if it’s flawed all you’re really going to do is flaunt the flaw and ultimately push all of your potential users away. It needs to address its glaring weaknesses in order to fully compete no matter who they let use their search formula.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Now what’s really interesting about this partnership is the use of the PPC campaigns. They are partnering up and both using Bing’s PPC program. This could be a phenomenal competitive advantage if they do it properly.

If they allow users to have one interface that controls both Bing and Yahoo! PPC campaigns that further allows the user to make changes to either only Bing or only Yahoo! they will be far ahead of Google. Currently, and understandably, Google only allows you to control your Google AdWords campaign from their user interface. However with the search partnership Bing and Yahoo! have two separate entities of PPC. Both search engines perform differently and will perform differently. Each search engine will be used by its own loyal users and these users search differently. If they make a standard interface where the marketer in control of the PPC Campaign can custom tailor each search engine to fit the needs of the people using it then it will be distinct advantage over other PPC programs. This however is a big “if”.

Google’s Future

Before the partnership can take place it must be reviewed it must be reviewed by U.S. and European regulators; a process which is speculated to take place as late as early next year. Google has some time. Google has never just sat back and rested with what works. They innovate, they experiment, they take risks. They push what they have and create something amazing that works in conjunction with what they already have in place for its users and we wind up with something wondrous. Google isn’t going to change this model now.

Google isn’t blind to this partnership. Google reads the news. In fact Google shows the news. Google knows this is happening and if they even have any concerns then they are being addressed and, I suspect, being turned from a potential threat into a definite opportunity.

Google has even released Google Caffeine in their ever vigilant campaign to constantly improve search. Not to be left out, Bing has recently announced the impending rival of Bing 2.0. Will Google revamp Caffeine or are they confident in it as it is? Only time will tell.

As for Google’s future with me, I like Google. The addition of Search Options makes me positively giddy from both a user aspect and an SEO aspect.

In the end….

Bing and Yahoo! have a tremendous amount of work ahead of them if they wish to assert themselves as real players in the search engine market. It’s more than a quick fix of partnering can accomplish. If they are really intent on flaunting their shortcomings then they will ultimately be successful. But as it stands Bing is just not up to the level of Google in my eyes. It’s too new and too “wet behind the ears”. They do have their strengths (their interface is a pure delight), but those strengths are few and far between. In the end this partnership is not going to be a game changer for anyone. Bing and Yahoo! may see a slight increase in numbers but Google will still hold above 70% of the market unless Bing does something drastic to their product in the next few months to really make it stand out. Then again if they were to do that then they really wouldn’t need Yahoo! would they?

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Social Networking: What are you planning to do with it?

July 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm (social media) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Social networking and social media have developed a buzz lately because of it’s ability to connect users from all over who share a common belief or thought or interest on a subject matter. Social media truly is a wondrous tool with a great form of diversity. Twitter and Facebook have become so ingrained in modern society that it would be virtually unthinkable for some people to go a day without checking their friends’ status or tweeting about something cool they just found.

Last night I was watching television and a commercial came on for a show where Bill Engvall says to Tim Meadows “I just checked online, you posted on Twitter 4 times while we were filming?” where Mr. Meadows responds “I have 34 fans who need to know what I’m doing at all times.” Yes Twitter can be a somewhat narcissistic outlet for a person but other than that what’s the point? What are you doing with it?

On Facebook I follow (via fan pages) Niki Gudex, the Cleveland Browns, my old fraternity, a few biking networks, and my old college bar. Ms. Gudex, my Browns, and my Fraternity all send me news and updates that make it easy for me to follow what’s going on. It’s helpful to keep me informed. My old bar on the other hand: what’s your point?

That last question is one you may be asking to me at this stage, but that is my point. Have a goal. You have 157 followers on Twitter but what are you going to do about it? You have a fan page with 200 fans on Facebook but honestly, what are you going to do with it?

Some companies will advertise specials with Twitter or Facebook or they will inform fans of news but can’t you do more?

Developing E-Mail Marketing Campaigns

People have needs and wants so you must cater to them. Offer a special e-mails for your followers that allow them to learn more about a specific area that you can help them with. For instance if you have a store that sells televisions, movies, music, stereos, video games, refrigerators, washers, and dryers (I think everyone knows a store like that) use sites like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to people and get their attention and begin the communication with them. Use that the then develop an e-mail marketing campaign sending them the precise information they need or are interested in. If a person is interested in movies they can get e-mails that have reviews, release schedules, information, and “Twitter Special Coupons” redeemable at all store locations. You’re no longer posting items and hoping people act on them, you’re engaging a person with their direct interests.

You could even take this one step further and have the user custom tailor the e-mail they receive to contain information on movies based on their preference. If they do not like a certain director omit that director from the mailing. Use their previous and current movie preferences to send them information on movies they might like. If NetFlicks can do it, so can you.

This is of course something you will want a person to Opt-in for. Don’t start spamming people because they are following your Tweets.

Website Content Creation Ideas

Are you using peoples’ feedback and comments to you to help create new content for your website/blog posts/e-mails? Are you tracking how many times something is viewed so you know if you can expand on it even more with your own website? Are you checking how many Diggs your post has gotten? Are you using sites like Digg and Reddit to help understand what your customers are really interested in and following then using that information to provide them with information?

You cannot think of these as “fire and forget” posts, they must be monitored, checked, double checked, and used to their fullest potential to get the most life out of them that you can. Social bookmarking sites are a treasure trove of feedback and potential customer opinions that you can use to help your business no matter what field. If you find a competitor with mostly negative reviews in the comment sections then correct their mistakes, publish it, and post it on the bookmarking site. You have just addressed the concerns and complaints of the users and provided them with a real tangible solution to their problem.

Using Podcasts and Videos Properly

Are you using Podcasts or YouTube videos? Are you using the available space to generate business? Do you conclude each and every post with an easy to read and type web address for them to visit to get more information? Are you actually reading the comments and feedback to learn what direction to take future posts?

Proper tagging and using the information section on YouTube is a given and if you’re not using it properly, start. Post a link to your site, use text someone is likely to search on to describe what is going on in the video. Simple enough, right? Almost. Are the links you’re using easy for the user to remember and follow? They should be. Remove that “”. Just assume the user is going to type it in wrong. If your URL structure is like that take them to the highest level page you can before the numbers start coming out to play.

Use the video to help bring people to the site that is going to be actually driving business.

Find Value in Comment Sections

Then there is the comment section. On YouTube you will always find thousands upon thousands of videos who’s comment section calls into question the sexual orientation of the video. Yes we have to accept that there are those people out there, but why not use them? Growing up my father used to sit at the dinner table with me and constantly ask me one question over and over until he could no longer ask it again because we had a definitive answer.

“Why?” Yes, one word can be that powerful.

If someone uses your comment section to say something negative about your video/blog/post/whatever are you taking the time to say “That’s very interesting, I appreciate your feedback. I want to provide a better offering in the future and with your help we can do that. Why was my video not to your liking? What about it would you change? What can I do to improve it?”

You improve on you previous efforts and eventually are left with compelling content that people will enjoy.

Use Social Media for Market Research

You are not always going to have the best information, the best feedback, or the best Diggs or Stumbles but someone does. Someone out there has this information and it is just sitting there on the internet just waiting for someone to actually use it. Yes it is akin to being a stalker when it’s marketing it’s called gathering market research. Use the feedback and information someone else is getting and improve yourself. Use the silence are you getting to shift the focus of what you are doing to appeal to someone who may look for it.

These are just a few ways you should be properly utilizing your social media campaigns. The possibilities are virtually limitless. Get creative with it. Engage in a full blown “social media detective campaign” that uses clues and hidden information across the social sites to drive a visitor from their computer into your store. Have fun with it, play with it, but make sure you are actually using it for more than merely driving visitors to a web site, unless of course that is your ultimate goal.

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The Importance of Fresh Content: Now With Pretty Pictures!

June 30, 2009 at 4:17 pm (Content Creation) (, , , , , , , , )

I recently had to travel for a pair of funerals and due to the time away from a computer and then playing catch up I fell behind on my blogging. Some would view this as a bad thing, I however (being the eternal optimist) saw the value in not blogging. In having went after it so voraciously with tenacity and vigor and merely stepping away for a moment and here is why:

Refreshing content is vital to SEO becuase it keeps things new and keeps people interested.

Refreshing content is vital to SEO because it keeps things new and keeps people interested.

This is a common problem with websites of all shapes and sizes.  The content is flowing like a river and suddenly a drought happens. It can happen for various reasons and people will continue to come up with new and inventive reasons why they fell behind. But now we can all clearly see the problems that arise from falling behind.

Rather than show you the entirety of the blog’s history here is the date range from when I left town (June 17th) until yesterday (June 29th). We can see from the graph that while content was new we had visits and over time those visits began to trail off. Admittedly the spike we see in results around the 25th is beyond me.

But what can we take away from this? What is the lesson we should be learning? It is that any change and any addition can benefit you. New content is one of the tried and true methods an SEO will use to improve rankings and drive more traffic. Until you have actually seen the power of new content you may wonder if your SEO is just doing things to occupy their time or if what they are doing has real meaning and value. Here is the value, in easy to read graphical form. As I stopped writing people stopped coming. My blog and your website are no different. Give people a reason to come back or they will find someone that will.

But where do we go from here? Writing content is hard isn’t it? You may not have ideas on how to create new content for your website on a regular basis. There are many ways to easily generate new content ideas for your company site, your site, or your blog.

Other Blogs

With SEO alone there are various sites once can go to if they want to learn the big advances and new thoughts. This entire field is built on the concept of sharing information so we make it relatively easy on one another. But that may not be the case for you and your industry. To solution is simple pull up Google and look for whatever your industry followed by the word “blog”. Turn on Search Options and find something that has been updated recently. You don’t want to be discussing something that everyone else is tired of. Once you have read some other people thoughts, and musings on various subject matter contribute your own. Did you arrive at any interesting conclusions, thoughts, or ideas? Did you see a flaw in logic (warning: this is the internet and people are temperamental so go this route at your own risk) then let your flaw be known.

As a matter of addressing proper content etiquette please be polite. Don’t steal anyone’s content. Post a summary and a link back to the original and then contribute your own thoughts.


You have to know your field. To know a field you have to stay current in the field. Much to the dismay of my girlfriend I spend roughly half my time at home reading up on SEO and it’s current state. That’s me, I like new knowledge and not everyone is like me. But if you are in the position that you want to create new content for whatever website then you obviously have some idea as to what is going on in your field. Chances are that you have periodicals resting somewhere in your office that are just brimming with the excitement about being used to help out for more than just a way to pass some time. Find them. Read them. Ask yourself if there is anything in there you could write about. Is there anything in there that you can expand on? Is there anything in there that should be covered on your website or blog? Did you understand anything you just read to the level that you can contribute some good and relevant thoughts on the subject matter? Did you find something interesting that you can learn more about and discuss?

If you’re answering “no” to the majority of these then I have to ask: did you just pick up an Entertainment Weekly? Put it down and go find something that actually has to do with your job because unless you work at E! you are going to find little value in it. If you’re reading an actual work related magazine then you just aren’t trying hard enough to find the content in it.

Google Alerts

A quick and easy way to get content ideas is to set up an alert for whatever you intend to write about. By setting up a Google Alert you are letting someone else do all the heavy lifting. Google goes out and finds new content every day. With a Google Alert they take the new content they find and e-mail it to you when you tell them to: either once a day, once a week, or as it happens. A truly novel approach to information gathering….actually gathering current information quickly and effortlessly.

Networking Events

Become a member of a professional organization. Not only will it give you an excuse to go out and meet new and exciting people in your field, but it will also give you content ideas. Discussions of people passionate about what they do will stir up your own excitement and zeal for your job. You will spend an evening talking about what you do and everything it entails. They will talk about what they do and everything it entails. You will hear someone somewhere say at some point, “That’s interesting…” and there you have what you are looking for.

Someone has just flat out told you “I find this interesting and would like to know more about it.” Those interesting ares of conversation that you can expand upon. We know at least one person finds it interesting. We have at least one person we can get to read the content. Chances are there are more people like that who will want to read what you have written.

Competition’s Website

Let me first say that you are not taking their content or copying their work in any way. You are using them to make your own work better. Your competition may look at things differently. They may discuss things on their websites that you, as a company, engage in. Do you discuss it on your website? Who discusses it better? What can you do to make your content better than theirs? Getting involved in a little “Keeping up with the Joneses” actually has value.

Evolution of Your Offering and It’s Impact on the Site.

If your site is still rockin’ out with the same content it had two years ago then I have news for you: it’s stale. It’s 2009. Knowledge and information are traded like currency and if you cannot offer anything new to the mix then you are a pauper. You are letting the motivated executives and go-getters leave you behind as they grow and excel.

Your business is not the same business it was two years ago. It has changed in both it’s size and how it operates. If it hasn’t then please allow me to give you free reign to use the comment section as a forum to discuss how on Earth that is possible because that has to be fascinating.

Your processes have changed, your staff has changed, what you offer has changed, how you offer it has changed, and how you do business has changed. It’s life, it changes all the time. Read through your site and anything you read that is out of date and doesn’t reflect what you currently do needs to be changed.

More than your business the world itself has changed as have the people in it. The way people look at problems and look for the solutions has grown and evolved. While, yes, your site should reflect your business it should do more. It should reach out to the people that you are attempting to address and speak to them.

Your website isn’t about you, it is about what you can do for someone else. You have to address the person you are talking to. You have to give them something they can’t get somewhere else. You have to adjust your content frequently to ensure you are telling that person what they need to hear. If you are not the one doing it then someone else will be.

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Does Google See ‘SEO’ as the Bad Guy?

June 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm (seo) (, , , , , , )

I have recently been seeing articles pop up through my Google Alerts for SEO asking the question does Google see search engine optimization specialists as the bad guy? Are we the bad guy? Are we optimizing ourselves out of a job? As well as various other questions designed to take people down this road.

I read one very recently titled “Are SEOs the ‘Bad Guys’?” that looks at this very question and it really got me wondering if this was in fact that case. But the more I thought about it the more I came to understand that the very foundation of this question is flawed.

I want everyone to think about what a search engine such as Google actually is. If you Google the definition of “search engine” you will come to the very same understanding that I have. A search engine is a tool designed to deliver information to the user. Look at the first six words of that last sentence. “A search engine is a tool”. Do we ask ourselves if hammers see the carpenter as the bad guy for beating it against a nail? Do we ask if the race car thinks the driver is wrong because they know how to really drive it well? Did the sword think the samurai or knight to be the bad guy because he used the sword for its intended purpose? Google does not think, at least not yet anyway.

Search engines like Google and Bing and Yahoo! are based on the principle that they know how to go out there and find the best information relevant to the user doing the search. It is what they compete for on a daily basis. It is the very subject of Microsoft’s $80,000,000 Bing marketing campaign. It is the competitive advantage every search engine strives to have.

Black hat” aside, SEO is, or at least should be, based on the idea that we are taking sites and optimizing them so that they provide their information in the best possible way. We optimize how it appears on a search results page (SERP) we optimize how to content is used, we optimize how the calls to action are used/seen/direct, we optimize every facet of the page to make certain that what we end up with is the best possible incarnation or the website. Once we look at search engine marketing we begin to locate the back-links to put our sites out on the forefront of the internet and find the people who are going to want to use it.

I remember being told way back when that in order to fully and completely understand the world business Tsun Tzu’s The Art of War should be read. While I myself have never read it I do think of SEO a bit like going to war. We are combatants pitted against one another on the field of the internet. Our weapons are our pages and our soldiers are our links and the sites we appear on. The pages are what is used to make the kill/sale/download while the links and back-links use our pages.

As history has taught us the war evolves as does SEO. In the beginning with search engines like WebCrawler just starting out the adage of “he who stabs last wins” was applicable. There was some but comparatively little SEO involved. Search has progressed because of our efforts and observations. People are searching smarter, people learning, and people are beginning to design sites with SEO in mind.

At this stage SEO has progressed to the stage of a knight or samurai like society where we are hired by our clients (or lords) to protect their land (rankings on search engines) and if possible help expand their territory. If we go back to the analogy that our “weapons are our pages and our soldiers are our links and the sites we appear on” then we can see that we are at the period in history where strategy and numbers are what will win the war.

As we progress through history war has evolved. The same will go for SEO. Someday the internet will be the data driven program equivalent of a smart bomb but we have some time before that happens. For right now search engines are still that tool used to deliver information to the user. Information that we cultivate, design, refine, shape, and distribute. They are the fields that we (as search engine optimization specialists) do battle on.

Search engines will continue to use SEO as a tool to further refine themselves to produce the best possible information to the user. We will continue to use search engines to benefit our websites. We will both adapt, evolve, and grow for the future.

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Google vs. Bing: What Do We Make of Recipes?

June 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm (Google Vs. Bing) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The idea to look at recipes came about from an old friend of mine. In college I was in a fraternity and my big and I have recently reconnected to one another via Twitter. We had a family drink “back the day” that was actually pretty good, but surprisingly potent. My big asked me to find the old family recipe and whatever search engine came up with it was the victor. Rest assured I have that result I cannot in good conscience use that as the only metric of success for the searches.

Since it is getting to be 1:30 it’s time I start thinking about dinner. I have available to me the following ingredients: pork, rice, noodles, green pepper, onions, garlic, various spices, lettuce, and a few other miscellaneous kitchen staples and odds and ends. What better way to plan my meal than full project/needs integration.

Search Term: recipe pork rice noodle onion green pepper

Use: broad


If you click on the link above you will see the SERP that I see. There is really nothing too stellar to speak of here. Since I am not looking for anything specific it’s hard to determine what (if anything) I should expect to see. I get exactly what I am looking for. A list of recipes. Each may or may not contain the ingredients listed, but on inspection all recipes contain the majority of ingredients.

The results are uninspired, generic, and quite open. However I can’t really blame Bing for this one. It was, after all, a fairly open and generic search that lends itself to this manner of results page. I’m not impressed, but I’m really not underwhelmed. Bing met expectations.


Once again because we make use of such a broad term we expect to see a broad array of pages. The decision to pick one over the other is based solely on what looks good to the person conducting the search.

That is until we turn on the Search Options from Google. Now this is interesting. The decision of what may be good is no longer left up to how I interpret the words I read. I now have the ability to see recipes that have reviews associated with them. I am now no longer blindly deciding to make something based on what I think may go well together. I have the recommendations or warning of other people to help guide me. It takes into account a minimal social aspect to help me in my decision making. This to me provides more benefit and more information than a simple generic results page that I cannot interact with or fine tune to fit my needs.


Going into this I honestly expected it to be a stalemate or possibly even Bing to pull out the win. However Google gives us the ability to see recipes with input from others. This means my decision is not merely up to me but I can get advice and recipe recommendations fairly easily. This round has to be given to Google on the basis that I (like most people) am more inclined to go with something that someone else has said, “Yes I like this” as opposed to a page that says, “Why not use me…I showed up.”

And now for what my friends are interested in:

If we were to base this on the original search suggestion the results would say something different. My big did in fact ask me to see which search engine produced our family drink. I can only remember what we called it and one ingredient. “Blue Devil” or “Smurf Juice” and it contained Everclear. This is what I had to gone on. I thought it might perhaps also contain a bit of Clue Curacao so I used two searches. The first being a broad search for “blue devil smurf juice recipe everclear” and the second being a broad search for the phrase “everclear blue curacao”.

Ohlsen, Travis, Mikey, and of course Phil. I am sorry to say that Google let me down and could not produce any results that sounded at all familiar to me.  Bing however came through. Not once but twice.

I am not willing to rule out that it was just dumb luck. It wasn’t the same website although both have the same recipe. If you have something specific in mind both search engines are a crap shoot unless you know it’s name. If you have a bunch of stuff and don’t know what to make  Google is the victor base solely on the fact that it offers reviews.

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Google vs. Bing: Product Searches

June 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm (Google Vs. Bing) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

When beginning the Google vs. Bing product searches I had to think of something I would find myself searching for. In a discussion with my father about various topics Flat Screen TVs came about and we kept coming back to it over and over for reference. This became the staple of our conversation in comparisons of search engines therefore it seemed natural to use it for my own research.

Search Term: flat screen tv

Use: broad search


If you click on the link above you will see exactly what I see when conducting a search for the phrase in question. What strikes me about Bing is the way it categorizes everything for you into buckets for easy refining of search options. This is tremendously useful for people who make use of broad searches. We see on the left hand side of the screen the following refinements for searches:

  • Shopping
  • Buying Guide
  • Top 10
  • Repair
  • Accessories
  • Images
  • Videos

With these options I am easily able to refine my searches to fit my exact needs. If I want to buy a new television I would undoubtedly click on “Shopping” and see what they have to offer. We are met with a large list of potential options to click on. So once again we need to refine our search. We can sort by product category, brand, or price which seems like a somewhat limited option. What if I want a 52″ television? What if I only want to buy a 1080p? What if I want a blue one with flame decals to make it go faster?

When looking at the “Categories” option we see: Office Products, Electronics, Home Furnishings, Computing, Sports & Outdoors, Cameras & Optics, Lawn & Garden, Movies, Kitchen & Housewares, Tools & Hardware, and more.

Wait…did I just read that right? “Sports & Outdoors“? This I have to see. Now we see a flaw.

Bing Search Results: This is not a flat screen TV

Bing Search Results: This is not a flat screen TV

Behind the pretty facade we see Bing can return results completely irrelevant to my needs. We see a list of treadmills. Why on Earth would we see treadmills when looking at televisions. Did Bing just call me fat? Lazy? Couch Potato? Is it a satirical cultural observation about us Americans? Not really. When we visit the page for one of the treadmills we see that it has a flat screen tv built into it. So these do have something to do with flat screens, but not quite what I want.

We see further evidence of problematic search results when we see the category “Bedding”. Bedding is defined as “coverings that are used on a bed”. My imagination runs wild with possibilities. Flat screen bedding. I would never miss an episode of Family Guy on Adult Swim ever!! Unfortunately the reality of the results is lacking We find a baby monitor, a guard, and some wall mounts. No bedding. Conducting some SEO analysis of the Guard we see that “Bedding” is listed nowhere in the source code, meta information, page content, or back links. How this became listed as bedding is unknown to me.


If we search for flat screen tv using Google (click on the link above to see results page) we see a rather vague representation of what is out there on the internet. We see our top results are Nexttag (an aggregator), Cnet Reviews PC World, Mahalo (which doesn’t actually answer any questions just asks me to search again), BizRate Price compairson, and Gizmodo Article about Falling Flat screen TV Deaths. Don’t get me wrong I love Gizmodo but is this what the average searcher is going to want to see? I am going to have to make use of Google’s “Search Options” to find any thing really useful.

When we look at related searches to flat screen tv we see a large selection of other terms we can use to help refine our search.

Really Google? That's your number one related search?

Really Google? That's your number one related search?

Wait a minute….wait just a darn minute. What’s that top related search term? Is it really Circuit City? Really Google….reeaallyy??? I could have sworn that I was informed of their closing six months or so ago. According to Google they are still alive and kicking. Good for them. Either that or they are the internet’s premier “website zombie” coming back from the dead to walk the online world once more.

When we shift into the product reviews option we see a number of sites that are rather reputable including CNet, PCWorld, and Consumer Research. Added on the that we are easily able to read forum posts and sort all results to those which are current from the past 24 hours to the past year helping to make me a more informed consumer.

But now onto the meat and potatoes of this investigation, the shopping results. We see a wondrously large list of models able to be sorted by price or rating. Bing certainly has Google on broad search refinement. It’s not looking good for Google. However when you click on product you are met with specific product reviews, technical specs, and price comparisons. Huzzah!

Instead of directing me to sites that have the information I am looking for Google does exactly what any website (search engine or otherwise) should do. They flat out give it to me.


Take into account the fact that people who use the internet are getting smarter. We are learning how to search. We refine our searches on our own to ensure that we find exactly what we are looking for. I always tell my clients that we could use overly broad searches and hope that people find what they are looking for on my site, or we could focus instead on “long tail keywords“. This will not drive the amount of traffic to the website but it will drive traffic who are actually interested in your website to your website.

If I had no idea what I wanted then I would without question use Bing. If I knew only that I wanted something related to a flat screen tv I would use Bing. If I knew I wanted to purchase a flat screen tv not an accessory, not “bedding”, not a treadmill with a TV in it  then my decision would be different. If I went into my search wanting to learn about televisions, see specs, prices, reviews, then I would not choose Bing. Bing does not provide enough information (product specific or otherwise) on televisions and their indexing confuses me. My television is not bedding it does not belong in a home and garden section, and no I do not want a treadmill.

I give this round to Google. Lets be honest most people (it’s fairly safe to assume) would not merely search for flat screen tv and hope they find what they want. A search of 52″ flat screen tv would be more likely. When this is done we see a more accurate depiction of what we would find. When this search was conducted Bing produced (ranked 6) a real estate website that asks the question “Does the flat screen come with the house?

On the other hand Google returns sites where I can purchase, learn, or find 52″ flat screen televisions. When we dig into the shopping sections I am not going to be bounced around the internet to TV sites or, in the case of more than on one Bing result shown in the top 15, a 52 inch tv stand. Google returns 52 inch televisions that I can then spec out price out and make an informed decision.

On a personal note I still want to know where to find a blue flat screen with flame decals so it goes faster.

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Google vs. Bing: How It’s Gonna Go

June 11, 2009 at 1:58 pm (Google Vs. Bing) (, , , , , , , , )

In looking at what needs to be done today we are struck with an overwhelming sense of wonder as to the appropriate way to measure which search engine will be more successful for a given search term. Having SEO and search marketing as a background I spend the majority of every day considering what a person might do and look for when conducting a search.  I can tell you with 100% certainty that every search depends on the person doing the searching, what they are looking for, what they want to do, and what is out there.

That being said I understand it is virtually impossible to cover all possible options and scenarios. If I have to create a marketing profile for every potential search and run it then it will take me well over the time I am willing to spend on this today. I can however provide information on what manner of results appear, which provides better information, what type of results appear, who it would appeal to, what markets would find it beneficial, and so on.

Thanks to a number of people responding this is going to require more than merely one days worth of data collection.  The topics I am going to cover today include:

  1. Product Shopping
  2. recipes (both food and drink)

And depending if there’s time for more:

  1. information on sports teams
  2. purchase koala yummies

By the end of the day we should have a somewhat greater understanding of what to expect when we conduct a search on Google and when we conduct a search on Bing.

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Thursday is Bing vs. Google Day: Which Yields Better Results for Me?

June 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm (Google Vs. Bing) (, , , , , , , , )

As I sat there today at work examining the interface and functionality of Bing while comparing it with Google looking for any information I could from an SEO frame of mind, I had this overwhelming feeling that that someday a client or a coworker will ask me “What do you think of Bing compared to Google?” Chances are this day may come sooner than later.

As I sat there comparing results pages, home pages, quickly playing with different options it became clear to me that a mere hour and a half wasn’t going to cut it if I wanted to be able to offer an informed response. But I can’t use it to compare things that I have little to no knowledge about. I have to have a plan, I have to have a goal. I have to have specific aspects I am looking for.

For me this comes down to one main question: “Which provides the better results?” While I acknowledge that this is a horribly biased and personal question (I mean who am I to declare what is or is not unequivocally better) I can say, with some degree of certainty that I know which one is better for me.

I have posed the question to Twitter (@BubblesOnARiver) and my Facebook crew (95% college friends) but why not pose the question to anyone else.

What should I search for?
I currently have Vacation Plans, ability to handle jibberish, drink recipes, movie news, movie times, looking for professional message boards within specific industries, and from one friend “Google FTW”. I do like this last one because I can see which search engine has better results on itself. In what capacity I have yet to determine.

As a bonus question:
What factors should I use in order to determine the winner?

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