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Search Engines

What you need to know for marketing your site

When discussing search engines it is important to narrow down what is most important to most online marketers. First a search engine is, to put it quite simple, a network of computers that crawl the internet, index the sites and words that it finds, and provide relative results to those searching for information. Of course it is a great deal more complicated than this but this is essentially what they are and do.

Keep in mind there are hundreds of search engines and pseudo search engines out there. Some may say they are a search engine but they may be just a directory, a paid listing services, or a mixture of several types. Right now you only need to worry yourself with three primary search engines for online marketing – Google, Yahoo! Search, and MSN.

Why only three search engines? They dominate the market and essentially control around 85% of the search traffic. Furthermore if you concentrate on these three search engines for your search engine optimization services, chances are you will also be listed in other search engines of less importance.

This article will show some of the raw numbers of search engine usage ratings. Please keep in mind that numbers may be reported differently on other sites, but the raw numbers are relatively the same.


Google is the king and has been for some time. They dominate with roughly 50% of the search market. The number is actually higher than that if you consider partner syndicate networks, advertising networks, and other resources they provide.

Google also provides some of the most relative results in the business. People use it because it normally doesn’t take them long to find what they are looking for when searching with Google. It is fast, effective, easy to navigate, and continues to pave the way for better results.

Unfortunately, Google can be the toughest to get high rankings for, especially for new web sites. With some patience and a good search engine optimization service however this can be overcome. Just don’t expect a number one ranking in Google at all times for your site, you have to earn that position and sometimes a little luck helps as well.

Yahoo! Search

Yahoo was one of the first big players in the online world and top dog at one time in providing online searches. The original search model for Yahoo was a directory, which still exists but has now been overshadowed by their full blown and more effective Yahoo! Search engine.

Yahoo has come on strong in the past few years to reclaim a top contender position in the search engine business. They have also been winning the hearts of online web marketers with tools and open communications regarding their search engine. Yahoo seems very serious about the search engine business and continues to catch up with Google.

While Yahoo! still may look like a web portal in nature, its search engine is now the premier attraction for most. They also have many resources and markets to blend with their search market.

MSN (Live Search)

MSN, or Live Search as it is now called, is sort of a newcomer to the search engine arena. While they have been around for some time serving up results from other search engines, they only recently developed their own internal search engine. It will take some time for them to build momentum, but they seem to be on the right track and here to stay as a major player.

Although Live Search doesn’t produce quite the stellar results as Google, they do seem to be worthy and relative to the topic. What makes MSN enticing to online marketers is that right now it is easier and quicker to achieve good rankings within their results.

What you need to know about search engines

  • Three major players – Google, Yahoo! Search, and MSN
  • The top three control roughly 85% of the search traffic
  • Search results from Google are best, but others are gaining
  • Google is king and will be there for some time
  • Other search engines exist but they aren’t relevant for most marketing efforts

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