There’s been something of a movement amongst many SEOs recently to avoid the ‘trap’ of optimizing purely for Google and spread your search engine optimization efforts across all of the ‘big three’ search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing.


It’s a flawed theory, right down to the ‘big three’ terminology. With Google taking a sixty-seven percent share of the global search market, the reality is that a ‘big three’ description is a little too generous to both Microsoft and Yahoo’s market shares.


Despite this, there are some advantages to ranking highly in the other major search engines. Yahoo, despite its waning popularity, remains a popular search engine for many older web users due to its de-facto status as an email and content hub.


Bing, likewise, is the default search engine in Facebook and Hotmail, giving it two of the web’s largest traffic properties to syphon searches from. As a result, a prominent placement in Bing is rarely a downside to SEOs, and often a major cash producer.


These two search engines may not have a huge degree of popularity in the West, but both are incredibly popular internationally. Yahoo boasts a massive market share in the East Asian countries, while Bing is surprisingly popular throughout Europe.


As a result, your search engine strategy should be built around your target audience and their search habits. Where are they searching from, and what search engine are they using to find you? In some cases, Bing or Yahoo might be their first answer.


For industries, locations, and audiences where Google remains numero uno, it’s best to stick with your current SEO strategy. Optimizing for Bing and Yahoo requires the same type of strategy as Google, and the crossover effects of a successful campaign on Google are bound to reach to other search engines.