• http://seo-theory.blogspot.com/ Michael Martinez

    “But a page that does well with Google generally should have as good of chance as doing well with the others.”

    That’s an oversimplification, in my opinion. Each major search engine hangs its hat on a different algorithm. All the algorithms are looking for a combination of relevance, trust, and community value. But they don’t share the same databases or criteria.

    I would expect no more than, say, 25-35% general agreement between the four majors on top results for a random sampling of queries.

    But ranking differences aside, each engine has a core audience that is drawn toward different interests. They can all share search spikes driven by news and celebrity sensations, but their core audiences are more interested in other things.

  • http://www.tallstreet.com/ tallstreet

    social news sites are good sources of traffic, but they arn’t really search engines.

    there are social search engines, that is sites that act like search engines but where people rank the results (as opposed to infering the results from an algorithm) [like ours]

    they do have several advantages when it comes to answering subjective queries, e.g. what is the best blog.

  • http://www.smallbusinesssem.com/ Matt McGee

    Danny – I think it’s too much of a generalization to say social media optimization is more important than Yahoo, Live.com, etc. For some sites/businesses, sure. But not for everyone. Not across the board.

    Search marketing, like any form of marketing, is about getting seen and heard by your target audience. And if they’re not using the Diggs of the world, putting those sites ahead of Yahoo and Live.com would be a big mistake.

  • http://www.fairfax.com.au/map.ac shor

    SMO, SEM, SEO, TLA meh!

    If your job is to optimize websites for traffic, Follow The Traffic, be it search engines or social media communities or affiliate marketing. Once that is clarified, it is simple to prioritize optimization. The problem is ensuring you have targeted the correct traffic drivers, as it might be great to rank #1 on Live.com but what if you could rank #20 on Google and receive twice as much traffic? This is where some sneaky tactics like obtaining a Hitwise report on a competitor’s clickstream or plying a knowledgeable industry expert with alcohol can help :)

    For now, if you are a blogger or a news site, social media networks are important drivers of traffic. The sad truth is web-savvy searchers avoid Live and Yahoo like the plague as we’ve been weaned on Google. It hardly surprises that within our search/smo glasshouse that G & DRNS (thanks Neil!) will overshadow YMA referrals.

  • http://www.daviddalka.com/createvalue David Dalka

    For Techcrunch’s audience, I’d agree totally. I’m not sure this would be true for an online retailer or a site with a different purpose than covering web 2.0.

  • http://newsletter.blizzardinternet.com Carrie Hill

    Hi Danny,
    Our company does tend to lean towards ranking well in google and then waiting for Yahoo & MSN to catch up. The simple truth is that’s the safe & conservative way to go. We could mix it up and optimize some pages for Yahoo, some for MSN & Some for Google – but honestly in travel & hospitality – Google is king. We see great revenue and results from both Google & Google images – AND – we’re safe in not annoying Google with techniques that might work in Yahoo & MSN.

    We are on the edge of the social media optimization – not QUITE there yet – but getting there. Because our company is large – it takes time to get things done (frustrating but necessary.) Posts like this add ammo to my posiiton as a research & development manager and I REALLY appreciate it!

    Thanks for all you do…..

  • tish grier

    Sites like Digg, Reddit, etc. have limited categories that narrow search to what’s happy for the tech crowd–so the sites do very little for what’s *not* tech. Have you ever tried to enter something into any of those sites that isn’t tech related? Even once you do, the chances are your entry will either founder or gain a very nasty comment from some anonymous nerd. Yeah, I need that garbage like I need a migraine.

  • http://www.ciceron.com AEklund

    Sometimes I get concerned when the most wired, most connected, most linked to pundits, most widely distributed technorati’s generalize about how search has work for them, rather than how search may work for others. Danny Sullivan is perhaps one of the most respected, most widely cited people in all of search. It’s no wonder that his site traffic would be heavily impacted by social media sites, etc. but for the masses of others, this is most likely not the case.

    I wish Danny would make a further post on this topic to either rebut my and other’s positions or make another case on the matter. I for one am not sold quite yet.

  • http://searchengineland.com Danny Sullivan

    I don’t know (and don’t mean to imply) that because they help us, they’ll necessarily help others. You cannot draw any conclusions from just one site. But neither am I doing that. Lots of sites are discovering that social media search engines can drive traffic — sites of all types.

    Given their rise, I think it’s well worth any site investing some time to explore them more — hence this post.

    It takes a few seconds to submit to StumbleUpon or some of these other sites. If you want to be sold, well — try it!