How the blind are leading the blind when it comes to web marketing

If you do not recall being able to place newspaper ads, radio ads, AND national television ads through the Google Ad Words platform, much less never even knew you could do these things before Google slowly abandoned these incredible auction-based advertising platforms, please do your own research before coming to a different conclusion than the informed analysis I offer below.  If you disagree or agree with this article, I would love to hear from you!

Google: king of Kwality serches

A word of caution for all you “Google Only” homers out there.  Though Google “owns” over 65% of all website searches, the combination of Yahoo and Bing is over 30% and Bing is trending upwards, slowly gaining share in the competitive search engine market.

Loyalty to one search engine by the elitist web marketing experts have actually been making a mess of useful consumer data and trends for quite some time.  One could argue that if 80% of all searches are made by 20% of the people (just an example), and a majority of those people are not actually consumers looking for what they are searching for but looking for information behind those searches, 80% of that information about searches many companies make high dollar decisions on is polluted and unusable from any statistical sense unless, of course, you are doing research on “how the blind lead the blind when it comes to web marketing.”  This means, pay attention Marketing VPs, that your assumptions about Google being the only search engine you should focus your marketing dollars and resources on are probably wrong.

A 10+ year web marketing perspective

That’s right, 10+ years in web marketing.  Please remember that my 20+ years in marketing (yes, marketing existed before the web where I worked as a graphic designer at 3 different newspapers in the ’90s) and advertising experience was lent to offer this article, this is not some off-hand commentary from someone — I have been involved in web marketing since its infancy.  I was hired to do marketing research and analytics as part of an ad agency in some form of services rendered since 2001.  Since then, I have placed thousands of ads in different forms and platforms and millions of dollars of ads through Google Adwords, Yahoo, Bing, local and nation TV including DirectTV, Dish, Comcast, and SpotRunner for a variety of clients over these past 10 years.  I actually was a producer of a few TV shows that had videos running on websites since late 1997 — that’s 17 years ago.  Gosh, I am old!  🙂

Quality searches compress the comparison results between search engines

There are a few schools of thought that Google vs Bing & Yahoo are actually a lot closer in overall useful and relevant searches than the raw numbers tell us.  I’ve seen this in the Midwest managing e-commerce sites.  So many webmasters, SEO experts, and web marketers tend to flood Google with useless searches by the droves — going to page 25 of search results and experimenting vigorously with every iteration of a possible search term, trolling search listings that could produce marketing leads.

This is not widely understood across the industry that because everyone knows Google is the best search engine lends itself to a self-fulfilling prophecy lead none other by the very “experts” that are diminishing Google’s very own usefulness and subsequent usefulness to them by drowning it in its own success and skewing the results and facts about quantifiable searches.  After all, like the 20% example above, if one person averages going to 10 pages in depth and tends to type 5 times more small variants of the same keyword search terms for research purposes, one may argue that Bing and Yahoo combined actually deliver more quality searches because people on those sites are more likely looking for what they need as regular consumers and not marketers in sheep’s clothes.

In actuality, Bing & Yahoo, which formed an advertising alliance in 2011 called “Ad Center” accounted for 39% of all search results to the e-commerce website I set up, managed, and helped grow at  Part of the reason is their strong Midwest presence, which, aside from Montana, skews PC users who inevitably have the “Bing Desktop” installed on millions of computers.  Not much has been written about this phenomenon, but any marketing person who understands statistics should be very weary of accepting that Google is the only search engine they should be concerned with.  This is naive and a bit presumptuous — a few companies have doubled web sales in less than 3 months after moving their SEM strategy from an over reliance of Google and its ads to understanding Google is king but balance is a necessity to capture the most quality leads possible.

At the very least, any budgets where a business is placing ads for a campaign should have 30% of its Google budget devoted to Bing/Yahoo’s AdCenter.  You may also enjoy the keyword research tool in AdCenter, which extends Bing’s basic keywords research tool a bit more.  I hope you find this different take/perspective useful when allocating your marketing dollars, time and resources or the very least gave a chuckle to the Google Only homers out there.

– Aaron Belchamber

About Author:

Senior Cloud Software Engineer and 25+ years experienced video production, video editing and 3D animation services for a variety of global clients including local video production here in Jacksonville, Florida.

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