An understanding of the Google, Yahoo, and MSN algorithms, and how to best manage them, should centered on the preference shown towards high quality content and a strong site structure. In terms of SEO, I’ve found its best to optimize for Google, and let Bing and Yahoo take care of themselves. Bing and Yahoo use many of the same ranking factors as Google, but there are some differences. That said, with Google having such a large share of the search traffic online, it’s never made sense for me to do more to optimize for either Yahoo or Bing than provide a properly formatted, easily crawled site map for each of them.
As for Google, a strong site structure, well researched keywords, properly constructed pages with all the correct tags and metas, an xml sitemap, Schema, and interesting on-site content are all extremely important from an SEO perspective. External links also come into play, and it’s important to manage a sites link profile actively. Bad links need to be disavowed using Webmaster Tools, and good links need to be directed to the right place. It’s also important to check keyword rankings daily using either a software tool like Moz, or manually checking a top 100.
From an SEM perspective the best way to manage the algorithms is to carefully research your keywords before placing any kind of a self-selected paid ad. Competitive analysis is very important here as the keywords that your competitors are buying ads on are generally going to a good bet for your client too. It’s also important to study your competitors ad copy to see what works for them, and how to set your owns apart from them. Once you have strong keyword list constructed, and you’re confident in your ad copy, it’s important to tailor your budget to focus heaviest on the right verticals. Once ads are live, they need to be monitored for conversions, and actively managed to ensure they are focused on the right search terms.
If you are simply building a product feed for the Google, Bing, or Yahoo shopping sections a lot of research isn’t required assuming your products are set up properly. Regardless of whether you are taking an SEO or SEM approach to the algorithm it’s important to research your keywords well, build unique ad copy and content, and constantly monitor your campaigns performance to get the best return on investment.
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