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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or page from the search engines using natural organic and algorithmic search results (SERPs).

SEO is actually a component of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Which encompasses many avenues with which to promote a web site or page.
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August 19, 2007 | User Statistics for SEO Customization

Good morning this is part 3 of user statistics and demographics for the top 4 engines. Excluding AOL as it is powered with Google results. Day 1: MSN / Live; Day 2: Yahoo; Day 3: (You are here).

I will openly admit that I am very disappointed in Their index is incredibly small, their search pages are slow, they do not crawl enough sites, and they supply very little information or tools for webmasters. Having said that, they clearly have the most relevant index of all....To what end with a market share of 2.1% in June, and 2.0% in May. In June their year over year growth was 21.2%, which only tells me they were REALLY bad last year. has made substantial improvements to its index and platform, maybe even too much too fast. They are clearly leading the way in privacy concerns...Which is the only thing I can honestly say has the potential to increase their market share. They have been advertising in all sorts of media platforms, but did not receive a negligible bump from it. From an outside observer's standpoint, they seem to be running around "putting out fires". I mean they are doing a bunch of things to try to improve their traffic, instead of doing 1 thing really well.

Ask's users are 58% female and users tend to use more generic search terms, like "car insurance". Don't expect to get good long tail traffic from Ask. I tested 10 well searched long tails in all 4 of the engines in this study and Ask averaged only 3 results on page 1 for the entire long tail. Which is dead last! (Look for the others engine results on 8/20/07 in my recap)

Ask's users tend to be aged 35-54, a huge 46.9%. So clearly, if your topic is for example, Myspace layouts you want to target a different engine. Only 6.5% of Ask users are noted to be between the ages of 18-24. This does however provide some marketing advantage as Ask's users have got cash! 27.8% of Ask users are earning 25-50k, and 46.4% are over 50k! Unfortunately only they are only 17% more likely to buy. I still have to believe if you have a e-commerce site you need to be looking at as a strong proponent for conversions.

I did many search tests in all the engines for this study. You will see these in the recap on Monday, as I mentioned above. I will let you in one one extremely, terrible result for Ask.....In my study, their page 1 results had high percentages of markup warning, tons of broken links, and truly embarrassing load times overall. In many of the search queries, I found pages that had not been updated in a VERY long time...Some even in the number 1 position. I wouldn't expect your "fresh" content to carry any weight with Ask.

Ask really does vertical. I have to say Ask's vertical user interface is the "Best of Show". It's easy, clear, and far easier to find for users. Their Blog search is very nice, you get the option to switch your displayed results according to relevance, freshness, and popularity. Each result has a subscribe graphical link, and a "post to" graphic with a drop down to post the listing on Bloglines, Blogger, Digg,, Newsvine and Reddit. Image search has cool drop down search parameters on the top of every results page, for size, file type, and colors. Video search can be delimited by length of the video, and file type.

So in summary, if you are targeting Ask, definitely go vertical. The page mechanics do not seem to bear much weight. This would be a good index for Commerce sites to consider. There might now be much traffic, but Commerce is more likely to get "more bang for their buck" with Ask.

Let me know if you have some relevant information I might have overlooked. I edit the post and credit the person supplying the information. We just want to deliver relevant and accurate information to our readers.

Peace and SEO

Melanie Prough

DIY Your SEO With The SEOCog
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