Google and Bing have a long and storied history of taking shots at each other whenever the opportunity presents itself and the Penguin/Panda updates have proven no exception. Bing recently published a blog post by Senior Product Manager Duane Forrester, featuring a short poem about their nemesis:
Animal kingdom hurting ROI?
Pandas and penguins, oh my!
Take control and tell the fauna “Bye Bye”,
With these helpful suggestions to diversify!
In the not-so-distant past, we’ve seen a hard-coded Bing Easter Egg declaring Google “more evil than Satan himself;” the Hiybbprqag honeypot drama, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s declaration that Google is just copying Bing.
Unlike some of the other sniping, however, Forrester’s helpful blog post offers tips for a more solid web strategy. It centers around a useful message for webmasters: don’t put all of your eggs in Google’s basket. It’s a message we’ve heard time and again, though it definitely warrants repeating seeing as so many fail to diversify their traffic sources. SEW Director Jonathan Allen just took a look into one such case; a webmaster suffered a loss of traffic and business post-Penguin, largely due to his over-reliance on Google and a penchant for webspam.
Mike Grehan, VP & Global Content Director of Incisive Media (our parent company) has been saying it for years: “You have no more right to rank at Google than the billions of other pages on the web. And yet some people possess a bet-the-farm mentality when they secure a top rank on Google’s search results page and then whine when they lose it.”
Forrester’s Penguins and Pandas Poetry post on the Bing Webmaster Center blog offers five steps for webmasters to mitigate the risk of losing substantial traffic during an algorithm update:
- Reality check: Take a long, hard look at your current web strategy, evaluating your traffic sources and examining areas of opportunity you may not be using to their full benefit, such as social or affiliate marketing.
- Forecasting change: While none of us can see into the future, keeping an eye on trends and hot topics can give us an idea of the direction in which we’re headed.
- Preventative work: Building authority, concentrating on the user experience, and keeping the technical aspects of your site current are all important and ongoing tasks.
- Exercises in the obvious: Use any and all data available to you to understand how and why people are using your site and how to keep them there, taking your desired actions. This might include obvious sources and tasks you might overlook, such as analytics, sitemaps, your robots.txt file, and more.
- Diversify, diversify, diversify: Insulate yourself from algorithm changes. When traffic is up from one source, use your time to build out other channels.
So Bing took another swipe at Google… that’s pretty much par for the course, considering the two have been in an ongoing search market share competition for years. However, their conflict is certainly more refreshing as an aside in a helpful discussion than as the focal point. If their rivalry means more helpful resources for marketers and webmasters, I’m all for it!
Perhaps this foray into poetry as a way of expressing their dislike will make the whole back-and-forth exchange between Google and Bing more… civilized. As the search engines venture into more artistic territory to express their distaste for one another, we’ll be sure to let you know if Matt Cutts releases a music video in response.