If the word Google does not come up in the first three sentences of any conversation I have with clients or potential clients I immediately go play the lottery because it’s a sign from the Big Kahuna that’s it’s a lucky day. Don’t get me wrong I have somewhat of an obsession with Google not only from a work standpoint but also from a personal standpoint. I love to see sites we work on ranked well in Google and I love to mess with anything new Google puts out. HOWEVER, during those conversations and at times during any optimization campaign, I must take a quick breath and remind myself and others that Google is not the be all end all in search. The fact is if you are not paying attention to what your site is doing in Yahoo, MSN and several other engines you are missing out on significant traffic. Let’s look at a case in point.
I recently optimized a site for a good friend of mine. He has a business that operates on a local level only and the only competition he has for his main keywords is Yellow Pages of which he not only advertises through but because he bought their advertising they gave him a website for free. (Note: TANSTAF – there ain’t no such thing as free) Sorry I digress. His site is brand new and as part of our agreement I’m not doing all the grunt work so the content is limited but growing and the links are few but growing and with that in mind he’s not ranking in Google yet for his main keywords, in fact he’s still fairly distant in Yahoo for his main keywords but in MSN he has achieved top rankings on numerous keywords. So should he be upset with the results so far?
Before he ranked in MSN –
- Traffic was about 2 visits a day
- No emails being generated from website
- Phone calls were about 2 or 3 a week
Since he ranked on MSN –
- Traffic is about 25 visits a day
- 1 or 2 emails a week from website
- 4 or more phone calls a week
Let me clarify this is not all due to MSN as the site receives traffic from several secondary directories, local directories, etc but there is a definite connection to at least 70% of the traffic and at least 50% of the phone calls and emails. He told me the other day he had compared his business to date to last year and it was up about 80% and this is his slow season.
The point here is obvious while Google is king and probably will be for a while, concentrating all of your efforts to rank well on Google at the expense of the rest of the engines is a big mistake.