Google Reveals News Ranking System

Google keeps its algorithms for ranking websites firmly under wraps. However, the company just revealed its methods for choosing which news stories to publish on Google News. Even explaining the way it works, however, Google shows some contradictory rules. According to a video released by Google, there are four basic rules used to rank news stories.

The algorithm attempts to immitate consumer behavior as closely as possible. To do this, it looks for new stories with established citations. It also gives more weight to local sources but prefers trusted sources. Striking the right balance seems to be the key to a highly ranked news story. This also applies to the search engine, for which Google has not and likely will not reveal its algorithm.

If you would like to know more about search engine optimization, contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234.

Search Engine Use

A report published by Pew Foundation showed that approximately 84% of all internet users use search engines. Going a step further, nearly half of all internet users use search engines frequently. These users turn to search engines for all kinds of information to help them in their daily lives. Many of them use search engines on a daily basis.

Because so many people turn immediately to search engines for information, it is important for any business to make sure it can be found. Unlike with a phone book, you do not simply pay for a spot. Every website that comes up on Google or any other search engine is given placement based on its relevancy.

If you would like to know more about search engines and how they work, contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234.

Search Engine Mix and Match

Google has long dominated the search engine market, but now that Bing has been introduced, people are starting to wonder whether or not it works better. The short and simple answer is: probably not. As search engines go, it’s difficult to get much better than Google already is. On the other hand, every user has different needs and preferences.

Because of this, there have been several mashup sites for search engines.  One of the foremost is called Blind Search. Made by a Microsoft employee, the program lists three columns of search results from Google, Yahoo and Bing in a random order. You then vote on the column that is most useful to you, telling you which search engine fits you best.

There are several other sites out there as well performing similar functions. In the end, however, the search results on the sites tend to be fairly similar. From an SEO standpoint, this means that optimizing for Google is still the best choice.

If you would like to know more about search engine optimization, contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234.

Bing Gains on Yahoo & Google – The TSEG take

According to, Bing gained market share on Yahoo and Google. They gained .3% market share on each search engine between June and July. Most columns I have read are spinning this as a positive for Bing, and we can certainly see that angle. However, we do not view Bing as the Google Killer. In fact, we thought the initial bump from all of the hype and advertising behind Bing would lead to higher gains in marketshare.This reminds me a little of (the so-called Google Killer), followed by Wolfram Alpha (the other, other Google Killer). A lot of hype and marketing, and then they slowly die off or become an insignificant player with respect to marketshare. We do not think Bing will become insignificant, but we do not see it gaining too much market share.

Although it is nice to see competition in the marketplace, the problem for these other search engines is that Google does a phenomenal job and returns results quickly. We personally think most of the efforts to improve search are pretty futile. When is the last time someone said something to the effect of, "Google search is terrible," or "I never find what I want?" That is the issue. We understand that everything can and will be improved, but I think that if someone is going to take on Google, they are going to have come up with a different spin on how they compete.

We think what may end up hurting Google is the fact that consumers may start to feel a little leary of the company having too much data on them, and becoming a little too big brother. If I was competing against Google, we would use the angle that we are not mining data from the individual user and that searches are private or deleted within 3 months, something to ease that worry. The battle for search in the future should be interesting and fun to watch.

Google Caffeine

Google has announced its new “Caffeine” architecture and has had testers using and reviewing. So far there have been both good and bad reviews, but one in particular stands out. Caffeine seems to be more of a changed algorithm rather than a totally new architecture. If this is true, it is really no different from the old Google.

While a final version of Caffeine has not yet been launched, some are speculating that it is more of a diversion to keep people from engines like Bing. Even so, however, placement on Caffeine is different and could affect SEO to some degree. For some searches, placement dropped several spots between the two types of Google, something that could happen with every change in algorithm on the old engine.

If you would like to know more about optimizing for Google, contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234.

Apple Search?

The possiblity of an Apple search engine is floating around since the resignation of Eric Schmidt from Apple’s board of directors. Schmidt also works for Google, giving some credence to the idea. While Apple would certainly have an immediate customer base for its engine, it is difficult to say whether or not it could compete with Google.

Approximately 5% of the computer market is devoted to Apple and would go immediately to their engine, leaving Google. However, Google currently pays Apple to put a search bar in Safari. While this amount is not known, some say that it is enough to fund development of Mac OS X. Direct competition with Google would likely put a damper on those funds.

In the end, an Apple search engine would likely take more business from Microsoft’s Bing than from Google. Even if it does become a contender, however, the search results will likely be very similar to Google’s. This means that optimization aimed at Google would still work for the other engine.

If you would like to learn about search engine optimization, contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234.

Aesthetic Websites

Search engine optimization for your website is incredibly important if you want to be found on the internet. However, it is not everything. When you have a website, there are certain things that you have to do to keep your visitor from clicking away.

Having a website that is aesthetically pleasing is one of the top priorities. Your visitor has to believe that you know what you are doing on the website. In addition, you have to make the site easy to navigate. These two simple steps can mean the difference between a visitor clicking away within seconds or staying on the site long enough to contact you.

If you would like to know more about website design and how it can supplement your SEO campaign, contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234.

Pay Per Click

Often, people think that the way to get to the front page on Google, is to simply pay for it. While there is some truth to this, it often works best as a short term option rather than the main focus of your search engine optimization campaign.

Pay per click allows you to pay Google a set price for every time a person clicks the link to your website. In one of these campaigns, you are guaranteed front page placement for as long as you are willing to pay for those clicks. Unfortunately, this can get incredibly costly very quickly. This is why it is a good idea to optimise your site for natural placement while you run a pay per click campaign.

If you would like to know more about the benefits of pay per click, you can contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234.

Search Engines Beyond Google

When people think of search engines, Google tends to pop into their minds. However, there are a large number of search engines out there. Google’s bigger competitors seem to be coming from large businesses like Microsoft’s, but smaller search engines have a place as well.

Most smaller search engines are very niche oriented. ChaCha is aimed specifically at answering questions, Trackle emails you specific news as it finds it, Kosmix compiles informative sites from around the web, and many other engines perform many other types of searches. While these can be useful in some cases, however, Google is still the broadest of the search engines, offering better results for more searches.

This is why it is so important to optimize for Google rather than a niche search engine that will only be useful for certain types of searches.

If you would like to know more about Google and search engine optimization, you can contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234.

Consumer Buying Habits

There are four basic habits that people follow when they purchase any product or service. Those habits are:

Competitive: Consumers want the best of the best when making their purchases. These are the consumers who are willing to pay almost any price as long as they see higher quality.

Spontaneous: These consumers buy what they see. Grocery store checkout lines operate on this type of consumer by showing them small items that they might have interest in.

Humanistic: These consumers generally want service. A humanistic consumer might pay more for the same product because he or she is treated better somewhere else.

Methodical: The methodical consumer researches all of his or her purchases to a great extent. In the end, he or she will go with the product or service that gave the best information.

It is important to appeal to every one of these consumer types in your website. If you do not, you are missing out on a large portion of the market that might have purchased your product or service.

If you would like to know more about consumer buying habits and how to use them in your website, you can contact The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234.

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