More changes in Search

There are rumblings about a private equity deal that could result in a reverse merger between AOL, which white labels Google’s search engine, and Yahoo, who has a pact with Microsoft’s Bing search technology.  Bing is expected to take over Yahoo’s search completely by 2019. This all comes on top of news released today of Google’s increase in search market share from 65.4 percent to 66.1 percent and Yahoo’s decline from 17,4 percent to 16.7 percent according to a Bloomberg News report in the WSJ. Microsoft’s market share edged up to 11.2 percent from 11.1 percent.

OK, that’s all very interesting, but how does it affect insurance marketing and insurance SEO?  Well for one thing it changes the rules in terms of optimization. Well, the rules have been around for awhile, but it makes it more difficult to break them. The focus will have to be on search outcomes. Links alone won’t do it anymore. It’s going to require more pages of relevant content. Content is the driver behind search results. Links are still important but search engines will reward content which means agency web sites need to be larger than the typical 25-50 pages we see today. Think in terms of 75-100 pages to start and build on it from there. It will also be important to constantly add new content and update your web site periodically in order to maintain rank.

A couple of days ago I wrote about Google’s new instant search and how it affects short-tail search terms vs. long-tail search terms. If you’re not investing in monetizing your web site and generating organic leads from the internet, you’re missing the opportunity of a lifetime. The time is ripe to to earn your rank using long-tail search terms that specifically targets your niche market. I hear a lot of agents tell me that their clients don’t use search engines to find them. Our research shows that 85% of ALL people start their insurance search on-line. That’s 85% of everyone. Our investment in three new web sites last year was the best business investment we ever made. We went from one lead every six weeks to six leads per day.