What's your Microsoft/Yahoo strategy?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with RealBird Inc.

Following the Microsoft, Yahoo negotiation in the last few months and the eventual Microsoft widthrawal and then the re-started talks a few days ago, it made me think if there is search engine marketing strategy specific to Yahoo and Microsoft, one which could be used to reach Microsoft's and Yahoo's 30.7% share of the Internet searchers.

According to the Comscore March 2008 report the following is the distribution among the 5 major search engines:

  • Google: 59.8%
  • Yahoo: 21.3%
  • Microsoft: 9.4%
  • AOL: 4.8%
  • Ask: 4.7%

While Google is clearly the leader with a large and growing margin, Yahoo's and Microsoft's combined share is reasonably high (30.7% vs 59.8%) Understandably most search engine marketing talks are about strategies and best practices optimized for Google, but I wonder if there is an opportunity (short or long term) in tapping into the rest of the 30.7% of search engine traffic.

Below is the chart of the search engine referrals sent to the single property websites created through RealBird . This chart is based on the number of actual visitors who arrived to one of the RealBird sites through search engines queries.

By tracing back to the origins of these queries I found some interesting things:

Some content ranks identically good for specific keywords on all 3 engines:

For some searches such as "Luxury Medway Homes", Bill Gasett's RealBird property websites come up at the #1 and #2 positions on all three search engines (see GoogleYahoo, Microsoft) - ( Bill, I hope you don't mind that I use your listing site as an example). 

Some content ranks great on a specific search engine and not at all on the others:

To my great surprise I found some very strong keyword referrals from Microsoft: there have been many organic searches for the variations of "homes for sale" with click-through traffic to RealBird property sites and to our experimental listing browsing interface.

Here is a recent one: Somebody from Daly City, CA searched on live.com (Microsoft) today for "California homes for sale" , a very direct and strong keyword combination. Suprisingly, one of our website entry point, the homepage at http://listings.realbird.com is ranked #3 after homes.com and househunt.com on the Microsoft search engine. Way above Trulia, Realtor.com, Zillow or any other major portals. Within 6 clicks, the visitor ended up on one of our client's (David Bergman) website. I included the Clicky screen below showing the user visiting our Mountain View, CA page, then ending up on David Bergman's single property website and finally from there on David's own website.

Traffic through Microsoft's search engine

This is an example of a powerful search term, one that actually delivered real traffic to a real estate agent website from Microsoft. But the same content which made this possible (our RealBird listing browsing interface) does not rank at all on Google and Yahoo for the same keywords. So clearly, through Microsoft and only through Microsoft, did we realize this great search engine referral traffic. It is not just a single incident, we are registering constant stream of traffic from Microsoft to different RealBird sites, through search engine keywords, which does not rank the same content on Google.

This experiment leads to the following questions:

  1. Clearly, Microsoft has some issues if they rank us above realtor.com or Trulia for strong keywords like "California homes for sale". While we appreciate the real, tangible benefits, I wonder, how long before they adjust?
  2. Is this a temporary benefit, ie. one which you identify through web analytics and can improve while it lasts, but will eventually level or something you can plan and execute for in advance?
  3. Is there any known and tested optimization strategy for other search engines than Google or this is, again, just pure luck? If you have any related stats which shows benefits realized from secondary search engines (Microsoft, Yahoo, Ask.com) please share it below. It is surprising to me that there are so much content on the web about Google optimization (59.8% share) and practically nothing about Microsoft and Yahoo (30.2%)

What's your Microsoft/Yahoo strategy?

 

-- Zoltan Szendro
RealBird.com

 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Groups:
Blogging & SEO
Tech Corner
Online Marketing Help Center
Technology
Real Estate Technology
Tags:
google
seo
yahoo
microsoft
search engine marketing
single property website

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
240,763
Palm Coast Homes
100 Plus Realty LLC - Palm Coast, FL
Palm Coast/Flagler County Real Estate, The Ross/Co

Zoltan...this is a long a very indepth post...toO much for my tired brain today....marking you for later ...

May 31, 2008 11:07 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,030,822
Real Bird
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA

Kristi - I understand :-) It took me a few days to write it, on and off

-- Zoltan

May 31, 2008 11:11 AM #2
Rainmaker
245,069
Rick Belben
Belben Realty Group - Orlando, FL
Orlando Real Estate - Belben Realty Group

I just visited relabird,com and will try it out.

I surely do not know he answer to the questions you are asking in the post. I would be happy with your current rankings though.

 

May 31, 2008 11:51 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,016,986
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate
Zoltan you can link to any of my material anytime you want - I really appreciate it :) I have noticed that my sites do well in both Google and Yahoo.
May 31, 2008 03:32 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,030,822
Real Bird
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA

Rick - Thanks for commenting. Please give it a try and let us know how it goes in terms of search engine marketing through RealBird.

May 31, 2008 03:40 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,030,822
Real Bird
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA

Bill - I though so :) I asked, just in case. Your RealBird listing site beats homesandlands.com and the rest of the RE portals on Google for Luxury Medway Homes.

May 31, 2008 03:46 PM #6
Rainmaker
1,016,986
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Ya I am no dummy :) Who wouldn't want a little more press and some link love!

Jun 01, 2008 06:30 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,030,822
Real Bird
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA

Bill - More link love at What One Million Buys. Not yet officially released but already attracting search engine traffic.

-- Zoltan

Jun 03, 2008 04:50 PM #8
Rainer
34,936
Bo Buchanan
Kettley Realtors - Oswego, IL
Zoltan - hmmm, is that your real name? Thanks for a look behind the scenes at the detailed way you are driving traffic to your customers. It's this kind of transparency that makes web 2.0 work. Some people would be afraid to share this kind of info for fear competitors would see it. But I think it really shows a way that RealBird can take advantage of an otherwise ignored search engine.
Jun 03, 2008 04:59 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,030,822
Real Bird
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA

Probabaly due to this blog, the keyword "Home for sale" on MSN lists our http://listings.realbird.com site at the 8th (!!!) position on the first page. Only on Microsoft we get this position, but it's amazing nevertheless. Since the writing of this post, it moved from page 2 to page 1. Do yourself a favor, sign up to Clicky analytics. Without them I would never see this opportunity, i.e. great ranking on Microsoft's search engine, and could not improve it even further.

-- Zoltan
RealBird.com

Jun 04, 2008 12:05 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,030,822
Real Bird
RealBird Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA

Bo,

Yes, transparency rules. If we expect real estate professionals to endorse data transparency, then us, technology providers have to do the same. I've been planning to write about this for a while. I will soon. It's a very important topic and you are right, that's one of the core components of being succesful in the web 2.0 world (whatever that means:) It does not mean of course that all trade secrets and IP has to be released bulk to the public, but being open, flexible and unafraid of competition in order to build trust and reputation in the marketplace is the name of the game, both for us, tech. providers and for RE pros alike. 

Kudos for you for picking up this "hidden" aspect of the post

-- Zoltan

p.s. Yep, that's my real name. It's Hungarian.

Jun 04, 2008 12:12 PM #11
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,030,822

Real Bird

Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information