Should I Optimize Specifically for Yahoo or Bing?

When we do Search Engine Optimization for our clients, the general rules and techniques apply across all search engines, but the question always comes up: will my site rank in Bing and Yahoo? Is this even a valid consideration? I took a spin around the Analytics for a few popular websites and noticed that Bing/Yahoo seemed to be really low on share, lower than public sources would suggest.

So what can you expect to see as a share?

Of the sites I checked out, the numbers below show how many incoming visitors came from Bing or Yahoo. I compared both search engine-optimized and non-optimized websites.

  • Optimized Canadian Website 1: Bing 4.9%, Yahoo 3.1%
  • Unoptimized Canadian Website 3: Bing 7%, Yahoo: 1.8%
  • Unoptimized Canadian Website 4: Bing: 4.5%, Yahoo: 2%
  • Optimized Canadian Website 5: Bing: 2.7%, Yahoo: 0.5%
  • Unoptimized Canadian Website 6: Bing: 1.1%, Yahoo: 0.37%
  • Unoptimized Canadian Website 7: Bing: 2.4%, Yahoo: 0.93%
  • Our Website 2: Bing: 0.59%, Yahoo: 0.25%

What about the US?

  • Optimized US Website: Bing: 3.8%, Yahoo: 3.5%
  • Unoptimized US Website: Bing: 2.3%, Yahoo: 2.56%
  • Optimized US Website: Bing: 1.7%, Yahoo: 1.67%
  • Unoptimized US Website: Bing: 2.45% , Yahoo: 2.5%

There’s not really a pattern to discern here between search engine optimized and unoptimized websites. Bing and Yahoo usage just seems to be much lower than what the usage stats seem to state. Even in the US, usage seems to be pretty close to “who cares?”. This was a bit surprising for me, since Bing is the default search engine in the default browser (Internet Explorer) that many new or beginner level internet users should be using, yet clearly aren’t.

With online marketing, there’s an almost unlimited number of things you can track; but it’s critical to know what is important to track. Unless you’re running a website that generates tens of millions of dollars, it’s almost irrelevant to be separately tracking Yahoo or Bing traffic and results. You might want to troubleshoot if you’re getting no traffic, but otherwise you can safely put your efforts onto other traffic sources.

Thoughts? Feel free to share!

  • I see the same kinds of percentages in a niche that probably should have a lot of “default browser” visitors. I’m always confused when I see people on webmaster forums claiming to be getting over 25% from Bing.