It has now been a year since Google began releasing its Panda updates to the public in a series called “Search Quality Highlights”. Many believe that Google released this information because of a number of accusations against the company, even though Google would never admit that. They just spoke generally about being more transparent to the public in trying to explain exactly how their searches work. Google came under specific scrutiny when they announced their system called “Universal Search” and how it pulls data from Google Maps, Google Images, etc., and “blends” the results together. Consumers thought that this was “favoring” Google’s pages in its own search results.
This week, Bing took a lot of that pressure off of Google’s shoulders by announcing their new blog series called “Search Quality Insights”. This blog series will make Bing more transparent to the consumer and will try to explain how their search results are generated. In the very first blog released by Bing yesterday, Bing breaks down their system called “Whole Page Relevance”. They go on to explain:
“…you notice that the overall experience is much richer. Bing’s search results today are no longer just web pages; we include videos, images, maps, news items and other media objects, which we call answers.”
Bing admits that they use the exact same “Universal Search” system as Google, which means that when you search in Bing, Bing will pull data from Bing Maps, Bing Images, Bing Videos, etc., to generate their search results.
Now that Bing has officially come out and put a name to their system, which is exactly the same as Google’s, it will be interesting to see if more complaints are filled with Microsoft’s Bing, or if Google will see less complaints with their anti-trust transparency issues. Will search engine go-ers become even more upset with search engine giants like Google and Bing? Or will it become sort of a moot point, and users will understand that “everyone’s doing it”?
From an SEO or business owners stand point, these “transparency blogs” from Google and Bing have been extremely helpful. 5 years ago, no one knew what was driving search results on Google and Bing. Website optimizers would have to take shots in the dark at trying to figure out exactly what brings a website to the top of a SERP. With the release of this information from Google and Bing, search engine optimizers now have a general direction that they can start to build their SEO campaign toward to start seeing better results. This is mainly important because Google and Bing make up over 80% of the search engine market. If you are thinking about beginning an SEO campaign for your business, it would be in your best interest to read up on tidbits of knowledge that Google and Bing are now offering to us.
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