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Bing and Google Can See SEO Quite Differently

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Bing and Google search algorithms are often baffling even to experts in part because they constantly change.

Search engine optimization is a challenge as a result. Although it’s possible to come up with general SEO guidelines, they are built on sand. They must evolve with time and a changing environment.

Small businesses that try to use SEO techniques on their own websites often don’t have the time, staff or budgets to maintain constant watch. Those changes to the site last year that boosted search results may no longer work. Why is a mystery.

Even more dangerous is the SEO drug addiction. A business can get so focused on rankings that it ends up overemphasizing SEO and underemphasizing other marketing opportunities.

SEO fixation (or obsession for some people) can end up distorting a site to the point where it tries to appeal to algorithms more than people.

Bing Versus Google SEO Rules

Two actual sites are great examples of how Bing and Google SEO rules keep evolving and sometimes move in different directions.

One site gets far more traffic from Google than Bing. The other site gets far more traffic from Bing than Google. Go figure.

The first site has more than three times the content of the second site. Despite its size, Google doesn’t like it so much. It used to like it quite a bit; Google search traffic has dropped 80 percent in one year because of Google’s recent emphasis on big brands.

Google likes the second and much smaller site quite a bit more, probably because it doesn’t have as much big brand competition. Bing doesn’t like it probably because it is much smaller. Industry experts have speculated that Bing doesn’t like small sites.

Note the use of the words “probably” and “speculated”. Therein lies the problem. A site publisher or business owner can research SEO all day or hire experts to improve the site. But algorithms change. Everything is temporary.

SEO in Its Proper Place

Search engine optimization is simply one tactic in a marketing arsenal for small businesses that publish online.

A site that gets little traffic from Bing may never get much no matter how much effort goes into it. A site may suddenly lose a lot of traffic from Google for reasons that no one can explain. Speculation may help, but it goes only so far.

All of this means that online publishers have to set a limit on how much they can spend, work or expect from search engine optimization. At some point they must move on to other opportunities.

The examples above prove that no two sites are alike in how they attract audiences. Some sites do very well with social media, while others do poorly. Some do well with a site such as Pinterest, and others also do poorly.

The successful site evolves with changes in the environment. New opportunities arise while others fall. Rigid thinking about SEO increases the risk of serious failure.

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