Tips for beginners - Alternative Search Engines
There are hundreds of search engines besides Google or Yahoo or Altavista, so you might want to think about broadening up your horizon past the big three. Creators of these different search engines consciously take a different approach from Google. This doesn’t necessarily mean “better,” but it can mean “better for certain situations.”
Google is the most popular search engine, and therefore has mostly popular search information. But in certain specialized areas a custom search engine might give more meaningful results. When something is rare and unusual, you’d be wise to consider a search engine that explicitly covers this topic. It’s inevitable that Google will fall short in some areas. That’s where alternative search engines come in.
The quickest way to find alternative search engines is to search for them in Google. Search for sites that list specific categories of search engines, such as news search engines, medical search engines, travel search engines, and so on. A site worth checking is www.altsearchengines.com. The entire site is devoted to coverage of alternative search engines. Each month, they compile a list of the top 100 alternative search engines.
When search engines began convincing businesses to advertise with them, they had a hard-to-beat pitch. Most other forms of advertising interrupted the user’s experience. With radio, TV, newspapers, and magazines, users were there for the content, not the ads. So right away you’d start off annoying your potential customer, who just wants to get back to enjoying the content.
Advertising and alternative search engines
Advertising on search engines isn’t like other advertising. The searcher is actively looking for something related to what the advertiser is selling. As long as the ad is relevant to the key word, instead of being annoyed, the searcher is given another piece of information to consider.
Advertisers advertising on alternative search engines might find a smaller pool of prospects, but since their ad is appearing in an area that has higher relevance, they could see a much better conversion rate. There are already some that stand out in their field : Shopzilla for shopping, for example. If you have done all you can with the major search engines, you might take another look at niche search engines that cater the specialized market your site belongs to.
The potential advantages of a niche approach haven’t escaped the notice of Microsoft. A recent Business Week article suggested that Microsoft might look into buying search engines in such specialized markets as job openings, comparison shopping, classified advertising, travel information, and more. If Microsoft wants in, you should become aware optimizing to specialized and alternative search engines is something to seriously consider.