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Thread: Internet Standards & Competition

Author Image Gerry Patterson. The world's most humble blogger
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein, 1948

Bing Is An Ex-parrot

Chronogical Blog Entries:

Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2010 17:45:49 +1000

The release of "Google Instant Search", has generated considerable comment in the blogosphere. Some proclaim that it is the final nail in the lid of a coffin in Redmond that contains the mortal remains of Bing ... Microsoft's lack-lustre search engine that couldn't gain a modest user base even though the marketing moguls at Redmond came up with the wacky idea of actually offering to pay their customers to use it!. Still others are saying that "Instant Search" means the "End of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)" ... Well, what's the point of trying to optimise for the search engine, when it suggests the results as you actually type the query?

Australian web-surfers are yet to experience "Google Instant Search". But it won't be long ... Google are actually rolling it out today!

Instant search seems to be an extension of what Google are already doing with predictive hints for search strings. Australian users are already familiar with the drop-down menu which present them with a list of suggested phrases, as they type the search string. These are phrases that Google have gathered from other people's searches, in the same way that they gathered information concerning common spelling and typographic errors. Quite often users will choose one of the alternatives Google offers in the drop-down menu, just to save themselves additional typing! It can even serve as a useful ad hoc spell checker ... If you know the letters that your word begins with ... You start typing and Google will suggest the correct spelling before you have typed more than a few letters!

Now with "Instant Search" Google has taken it a step further ... A list of web pages will pop-up as you type ... This is the reason that some webmasters are bemoaning the time they spent on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

SEO is a term often used by people who are merely trying to "spam" the search engines. And it usually doesn't work. In the long run "content" is king. And even though firms like Microsoft and Telstra pay lip service to that concept, they still insist on trying to engineer "form" that will prevail over "content".

But the brutal reality remains ... If you are talking Search Engines, you are talking Google. If content is king, then Google is the undisputed king of content and search. Despite Steve Balmer's upbeat assessment of it, Bing is as good as dead now that Cashback is deceased. The stench from the vast, bloated corpse of Bing will soon force Microsoft undertakers to dispose of it. In the USA (thanks to Cashback) Bing captured a tenth of the search engine market. In the rest of the world it has captured a few miserly percent. Bing has wisely eschewed the Microsoft logo, which would be so poisonous for any marketing campaign ... But it just can't seem to get up off the floor.

Brian Robson, webmaster and web-usability advocate, has built his site from the ground up. He practically "owns" the words "Bondi Beach" ... And when Google Instant search does arrive it will be interesting to see if his website appears as web-surfers start typing that phrase into Google.

Brian attributes his success to careful analysis of his log files. Recently he wrote:

Latest Stats as at 19/9/2010.

These figures cover the 15-day period 1/9/2010 to 15/9/2010.

Windows 7 has passed Vista.

Operating System Market Share

As of the 15th September 2010, these percentage figures are based on visits:

OS W-16 W-14 W-12 W-10 W-8 W-6 W-4 W-2 W0
XP 48.6 48.8 47.4 48.8 46.3 47.4 46.2 45.1 45.0
Vista 20.6 19.5 20.1 18.9 19.0 17.5 17.7 18.3 18.0
Windows-7 12.3 12.9 13.5 14.1 14.7 16.1 16.4 17.9 18.1
Other Windows 2.8 2.8 2.6 2.6 2.9 2.7 2.4 2.5 2.3
Mac 10.6 11.0 11.0 10.4 11.0 10.6 11.2 10.2 10.4
iPhone etc 1.8 1.7 1.9 2.1 2.7 2.5 2.9 2.8 3.1
Other Mobiles 1.8 1.8 2.2 2.1 1.9 2.3 2.2 2.1 2.0
Linux 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.0 1.5 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.1

The "iPhone" result includes both iPods and iPads. There were 119 iPad and 90 iPod visits, compared with 490 iPhone visits.

The computer press had articles saying Android was racing ahead and was the next big thing.

Actually it has passed Symbian (Nokia) and is now fourth behind the iPhone, then phones that say they are just Java, and the Blackberry.

The figures shown above for XP and "Other" Windows are the lowest recorded in over two years. Windows XP was 67% in March 2009, and Others (Windows 98, Windows 2000 etc) measured over 77% in September 2002. An obvious prediction is that there will still be 3% Windows XP in 10 years time.

Actually, when it comes to surfing the net, Microsoft still has over 83% of the operating system market.

The total sample size was 22558 visits by Humans.

Browser Breakup.

Percentages of visits as of the 15th September 2010:

Browser W-16 W-14 W-12 W-10 W-8 W-6 W-4 W-2 W0
MSIE 54.6 54.6 52.4 53.3 51.7 52.9 53.2 53.2 54.0
Firefox 24.7 24.4 25.7 25.0 25.3 25.0 23.5 24.1 22.4
Safari 10.6 10.4 11.0 10.3 11.5 11.1 11.9 10.9 11.5
Chrome 6.6 6.9 7.3 7.8 8.1 7.3 7.4 7.8 8.2
Opera 1.6 1.7 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.7 1.8 2.0 1.9
Others 1.8 2.0 1.9 1.9 1.9 2.0 2.2 1.9 2.1

The highest figure ever recorded for Chrome but Firefox and Internet Explorer continue to oscillate. Firefox is a worry - two years ago it averaged 22.5% for Jul-Aug-Sep 2008.

The sample size was 23088 visits by humans.

Search Engines Share.

Percentage breakup of visits coming via search engines as of September the 15th, 2010:

Search Engine W-18 W-16 W-14 W-12 W-10 W-8 W-6 W-4 W-2 W0
Google 90.5 90.7 89.8 91.1 90.6 89.8 90.1 90.0 91.2 90.7
Yahoo 3.8 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.9 4.5 4.5 4.6 3.4 3.3
Microsoft 2.9 3.0 3.7 2.9 3.0 2.8 2.9 3.1 2.6 3.2
All others 2.8 2.6 2.8 2.5 2.4 2.9 2.5 2.3 2.8 2.8

The sample size above was 13250 searches.

The slow decline of the once mighty Yahoo is sad to watch, although it continues to do well in Asia at around 14%.

Bing seems to have made some inroads especially in England and Europe. Perhaps retailers are selling laptops with Bing as the default search engine.

In Europe, Google takes 95%, then Yahoo and Bing are each around 1%, and all other search engines on 3%.

And that's just about it for Bing.

Reed Terry is a webmaster from New York working to promote his website: New York Broadway Tickets Resources, which he describes as "A news and review website covering all musicals and plays in New York with resources for getting Broadway tickets for all shows".

He has this to say about the question of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):

Once Again SEO Is Dead!

Every so often, the claims will be screamed around the net the "SEO Is Dead!," In reality, so long as we have search engines (which one would assume there will always be) there will always be SEO or search engine optimization. Typically, the "SEO Is Dead" chant arises because of change in the industry, and this time is no different. The scare tactics come from really two sources, those who were taking short cuts within their SEO and got knocked out of the game from the changes and from those looking to sell the next "instant cash dream."

Like myself and most others change always creates fear when it tampers with your income source. Still, change is going to occur as search engines evolve and new technologies become available. In the world of online marketing through the search engines you have to stay up-to-date and look into the future. Algorithm changes are always going to occur, and some will make huge changes but certain things will never change. It used to be possible for Internet marketers just to throw up a few slick sales pages, load them with keywords and cheat links to the pages to be at the top of Google. The big "G" went on to discount link farms and penalized people who buy links to inflate search rankings. They moved on to eliminate all "thin" sites or websites, which did have any valuable content. People who for years made their livings off of "thin" sites were practically out of business overnight and screamed "SEO Is Dead!" as they scrambled for a new plan.

The bottom line is that certain things in SEO do not change, the quicker you understand that the better. One reason I have survived is through a simple approach and seeing the future. In the end, the search engines are always going to want to provide their users with the best results. Having "thin" sites at the top would be annoying for users looking for valuable information. Sure I was jealous when I would see the scrap sites beating me for a couple of years at the top of the search. Looking into the future, however, you could just see it was a matter of time before search engines would knock out these sites. Once they did I moved up and my business grew. While the scrapper sites made a few quick bucks they were left with nothing except having to start over the right way but from the bottom. Building an online business properly, one which can endure the changes but always have a future, is a long and slow process.

While many will say SEO has drastically changed, in reality, it has not. Cheating the search engines has changed, and "black hat" marketing has changed but for those doing the work properly everything is the same. All the search engines have really done is eliminate any ways of cheating their system. I am still doing pretty close to the same exact things I was doing ten years ago, creating as much of the best content as I possible can, giving it basic on-page optimization and getting a few high quality links into each page.

With that said there are always changes happening around Internet marketing. For example, when the technology of RSS came out it only made sense to become involved, get RSS on your pages and work towards spreading your content around the net through your feed. More recently the technologies of the social media, networking and book marking have occurred. Through the introduction of these cutting-edge technologies came fear, anxiety and of course misuse, but for those doing SEO properly they only offer an opportunity. If your content is valuable to others, they will find it and share it through these mediums and that can be greatly beneficial.

SEO will always be changing and evolving but keeping up does not have to be stressful. By placing yourself in the shoes of the search engines as well as potential visitors you will always be one step ahead. If you think you can outsmart, outwit and under-mine search engines and visitors you are eventually in for a rude awakening. When it comes to creating a successful and profitable online business and relying on free search engine traffic be patient and produce quality. Slow and steady will win the race and produce a business that can grow forever.

And probably the best way to get a clear idea of your progress is to study your site's Apache log files. And it is usually better to get the raw data than to rely on a third party analysis ... But that depends on what your ISP will provide you.

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Copyright     2010, Gerry Patterson. All Rights Reserved.