Google is the leading search engine but not the only search engine. Search engines like Yahoo, MSN, Ask and so on are also important. Although Google, followed by Yahoo!, is the global player on the search engine scene, MSN, owned by the giant Microsoft Corporation has a small role in the search engine market. However, MSN could become serious competition. Microsoft is a power. MSN search is already built into the home version of Windows XP and many users search with it. Who knows what Microsoft will decide to do next to gain popularity. Professional SEOs will not ignore this fact and optimize websites for all search engines.
The good news is that optimizing your website for Google will definitely help with the other search engines. To index a website and position it high on its results, Google requires valuable content, good linking strategies, ethical SEO and so on. MSN wants the same. The differences are in the search algorithms. These algorithms could change overnight. There was a time when Netscape ruled the Web. The switch to Google took place almost in a flash. You never know what will happen next: that’s the beauty of SEO. SEO is always challenging, changing, stimulating. When you optimize your web pages for one search engine only you are doomed.
Google ranks a website mainly for its incoming links, especially when these have good link anchor texts. MSN places more importance on keywords and content, especially on page content, but doesn’t ignore incoming links either. To rank well in both search engines you should concentrate your efforts on both site optimization and linking.
SEO with Equilibrium
SEO is a tool. Like any tool it has to be used and handled with care. For example Google and MSN value links, but if you have too many links and poor content, that will not help. You need to maintain an equilibrium between content and links. Google paces importance on linking power while MSN is more concerned about the content of the links. As a matter of fact Google states the same: quality, industry related links but so far content links weigh heavier on MSN.
External links are important for both MSN and Google. However, don’t ignore internal linking. Your web pages have to be properly interlinked. This is not only good for Google and MSN, but it will provide for your visitors as well.
Google doesn’t have the same keyword density tolerance as MSN. As a matter of fact it’s lower. So if you place too many keywords in your text to rank high in MSN you’ll probably not see the same results in Google, as Google might consider your keyword rich content as spam. So once again: handle SEO with care.
Both Google and MSN like fresh content. The best way to use this SEO tool is to host a blog on your domain.
Directory Listings Boost Your Website’s Rankings in All the Search Engines
It is good to have your website listed in all the major industry relevant directories. MSN has its own directory: Microsoft Business Central. Inclusion is not free, but affordable. If you respect their guidelines, inclusion is guaranteed. DMOZ, Google’s directory, is free. But inclusion is rather hard. Being a human edited directory you’ll have to wait months to be included if at all. Other important directories you might want to consider are Yahoo! Directory, Best of Web and Looksmart/Zeal. Don’t ignore smaller directories either.
Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of HighPowerSites and many other web projects. HighPowerSites is the easiest do-it-yourself website builder on the web. No programming or design skill required. Get your own website online in just 5 minutes with HighPowerSites.com at: http://www.highpowersites.com
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