Monday, April 15, 2013

Google & Bing Wars - Does It Matter for Your Firm Blog and Website?

If you watch TV even a bit, chances are you've caught a commercial from the online search engine site known as "Bing."  The search site has been pushing a claim that people prefer Bing results compared to Google's in "blind" search tests.  Bing is a Microsoft project, and so it has significant weight behind it.

Google has dominated search for quite some time, and it is hard to image any competitor making much of a dent.  However, Bing is mounting the biggest challenge yet.

Does any of this matter for your law firm blog or website?  It might.  A quick run-down of the situation is below...

Make no mistake, Google still has a commanding lead when it comes to search.  The most recent reports suggest that Google has about 67% of the search market.  This compares with about 16.5% for Bing.  In other isn't close.  There are still 4x as many Google searches as Bing searches.  Bing has shown slight gains in recent months, but they have not come at the expense of Google searches.  Instead, Bing's gain is the other major search player, Yahoo's, loss.  All told the "non-Google" search bunch has hovered around the same 27-30% for some time.

On one hand, you shouldn't completely discount the idea that Google will one day fall from the search perch.  After all, before Google, Yahoo was the clear leader.  But Google itself was able to fight its way to the top.  It is not impossible for the same thing to happen again.

On the other hand, Google is now much more than a search firm.  It dominates many different markets, from video (YouTube), email, and much more.  Google is integrated into the cultural lives of so many now that comparing it to the Yahoo of a decade ago is hard.

Should any of this matter to your law firm?

The most intricate details of the search world shouldn't take up much mental space.  But, if Bing begins to make even more inroads, then it may be relevant to at least understand the basics of how they calculate results that might in any way differ from Google.

Right now, SEO is focused almost entirely on one question: What will make me rank well in Google?  But if Google competitors start showing more movement, then it might be worth ensuring that there are not other big or small SEO steps that need to be taken to account for those searches.

Then again, even if that happens, it is hard to see how the major components of proper search will change much.  There is uniformity in the value of interesting content, social media connectivity, and similar steps.  In that way, law firm blogs and legal content writing will continue to be the critical component of maximizing your firm's online visibility.

Obviously that is another reason why investing in that original legal content now is a prudent move.  Its value will not go away.

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