The sky isn't falling chicken little, but your traffic may be in the near future.
There is no question that Google has been a dominating force. There is also no question that Microsoft has both the financial and the manpower resources to give them some serious competition and probably eventually get the upper hand again. As Google has grown to a size comparable to that of Microsoft, it has lost much of the "little guy trying harder" appeal that once helped to create a great deal of it's public support.
Many users don't really care which search engine they use as long as they are getting the results that they're looking for.
In this area, Google is falling seriously behind. In an attempt to filter out more of the web sites using artificial means to improve their ranking, they have knocked a large number of legitimate web sites out of the SERPs and often prevented newer web sites from appearing to begin with. While I applaud their effort to combat the web sites using spam techniques to climb above legitimate web sites, I can say with out a doubt that unless they find a better way to do this they will begin loosing market share in a big way. There are several reasons, some of which are not so obvious:
- People want relevant and timely results. If Google continues to delay newer web sites and web pages from ranking for applicable terms, users will go elsewhere to find more up to date results.
- Many web site owners using Google AdSense will begin switching over to competing services from Yahoo and MSN - which they are likely getting traffic from. Since the ads are a source of revenue for these web site owners, they are going to deal with the search engines that are helping them make more money.
- Many web site owners will remove the Google site-search from their web sites since they aren't getting traffic from Google.
- Web savvy people are often asked for advice from those who are not as proficient with computers. It won't take too many bitter web site owners telling these people to use a competing search engine before Google starts to see the effects in their bottom line.
- Microsoft has been developing Windows Vista (www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/default.aspx), in fact, the beta version has already been released. Microsoft will put a serious dent in Google's business with this because they have built a handy little search box right into the operating system.
- Diversify your internet marketing strategy. Search engine optimization (www.wildfiremarketinggroup.com/search-engine-optimization.php) should only be a fragment of your internet marketing. For starters, you could consider advertising on other relevant web sites, utilizing a pay-per-click campaign and publishing articles on other web sites.
- Plan for the adoption of new technology. Blogs are here to stay and RSS is taking hold. Stay on top of new and innovative ways to use technology to multiply the effectiveness of your search engine optimization campaign. You can get a general idea of what technologies to look at by staying up to date with the advances in operating systems, browsers and related software and hardware.
- Avoid using spam techniques to improve your ranking, such as hidden text, keyword stuffing, or link spamming. Most of these questionable techniques don't work and those that do don't work well - and you risk having your web site banned.
- Update your web site on a regular basis. A web site that is constantly growing is viewed by the search engines as more important, a side benefit is that by generating useful content other web site owners will have a reason to link to your web site.
For more marketing tips, vist Wildfire Marketing Group's marketing tips blog.
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