For most users (so the data says) there is only one search engine – Google. Regardless of the rumours that we’ve heard that others are out there, we are Google users. (On a side note: I’m surprised that more people aren’t flocking to Bing, if for no other reason than that it is fun to say – bing bing bing.)
“What data am I talking about?” you ask.
Here it is – fresh off the press:
This just came into my inbox this morning from Search Insider (MediaPost Publications). Using propietary software, this company (iCrossing) tracks the actual search clicks referred to their clients.
Looking at all the data, it shows that (at least in their clients’ cases), referrals from Google monster-swamped all other search engines, although Bing gained over the past year.
All this is simply to acknowledge that, when building a site, if you want it to get found, you need to please the search engine gods…and his name is Google.
Fortunately, Google is very forthcoming with information about how to keep from getting blacklisted (yes – they will actually remove your site from any search indexing and ban your URL and related URLs).
Basically – do the things that make your site useful for the user (lots of good, relevant content, good site architechture, use headings and sub-headings, use alt text and meta tags properly, and…for crying out loud…give your page a title!) and don’t do the things that do not benefit the user (invisible text, hidden text, irrelevant links, link farming, keyword stuffing and other bad, bad stuff).