There’s a lot to be said about putting all your eggs in one
basket. That’s a mistake I have seen over
and over again by beginning professionals entering into the realm of Search
Engine Marketing or Search Engine Optimization.
Like any good professional – I scour the message boards from
SEW to High Rankings and every where in between and the constant theme I see
from the beginners is questions about “Google Page Rank”. I become amazed at how many are so focused on
attaining the highest Google Page Rank (G.P.R.) possible.
Perhaps its Google’s enormous impact on our society that has
this affect, or perhaps it’s the staggering figures of Google’s market share, or
just all the press that Google gets as to why there is this total fixation on G.P.R.
when first starting out. It seems like there
are just blinders on or tunnel vision and the end of the tunnel is the almighty
attainment of the best G.P.R. you can get.
So, if you are new to SEO, take off the Google blinders!
Don’t get me wrong – ranking in Google is important, and to
a degree G.P.R. is important, however, if you are trying to attain a well
rounded Search Marketing Program for your clients’ websites, there’s a whole
other world out there beyond G.P.R. Besides
that, I give you some things to ponder on – “Does my Google Page Rank, really
matter to what searchers are searching on?” and “Google Page Rank – for what
exactly am I ranking for?”
While Google holds the market share for the most used search
engine, a wise search marketer looks at just what kind of traffic does Google
bring, and does that traffic convert. At
the end of the day, the conversion is what counts. The conversion can be a subscription to an
email newsletter, purchase of a product or even signing up for a newsfeed, all
of that is based upon your client’s definition of conversion.
Different search engines produce different types of traffic
and also appeal to different segments of the population. Let’s take the example of selling women’s jewelry
online, basing your entire search marketing efforts on your G.P.R. would have
you missing out on the segment of the market that is most important to your
client’s success. According to a May
2004 Hitwise study “55% of women prefer
MSN Search while a majority of men favor Google Search”, so by focusing on
Google alone, your search marketing program is already forgetting about the
most important segment that would actually buy the products the website sells.
Granted, that study is already over 2 years old, however, those statistics generally are still accepted in the industry. There are other studies out there from Hitwise and iProspect that shine some light into how the segments get broken up into more usage in Yahoo! and MSN in certain age groups as well as men compared to women. Local search, as well, should be figured into your Search Marketing program, and the big player in that arena is Yahoo!
All of these facts, figures, spastics and studies should really help to guide you in assessing for each customer where to target your Search Marketing programs. It truly isn’t all about Google, Google may be the big behemoth on the block, and can bring you the traffic – but, stop and ask yourself - is it the quality traffic that you want, or should your efforts be focused in Yahoo, MSN, Ask or beyond first?