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    Four Reasons Why The Smaller Search Engines Matter
    Copyright © 2006, Bill Platt

    You may use this image in your ezine or website if you choose to publish my article. --- Bill Platt
    You may use this image in your ezine or website if you choose to publish my article. Click here to see the picture full-sized.--- Bill Platt
    These days, all search engine optimization gurus seem to only 
    talk about Google, as if Google was the only search engine on the 
    Internet. 
    
    Of course, we all know that there really are hundreds of search 
    engines and directories available to us, and we know that some of 
    the smaller search engines serve a very tight niche of users.
    
    Honestly, I can understand why there is a lot of press on Google, 
    because after all, granddaddy Google is the biggest of the big. 
    We know that millions of people use Google daily for their search 
    activities, and we know that our websites receive a lot of 
    traffic from Google. 
    
    There are actually four reasons why you would want to extend your 
    search engine marketing activities beyond Google. I will discuss 
    each of those reasons here:
    
    
    REASON #1: Targeted Traffic
    
    Niche content search engines can be a very powerful force in your 
    marketing arsenal. 
    
    For example, suppose you have a website dedicated to helping to 
    sell real estate. Does it make better sense to list a house for 
    sale in Google or in one of the many real estate search engines?
    
    Let's face facts. When we look for tightly focused content such 
    as real estate listings, we generally seek out a search engine 
    that will serve our search the best. When searching for a new 
    home, an individual may begin his or her search at Google to find 
    the real estate search engines, but once the niche search engine 
    has been found, there is no need or desire to return to 
    granddaddy Google. The real estate search engine will allow the 
    individual to search through cities and neighborhoods, prices, 
    features and pictures, to find just the house they feel might 
    strike their fancy.
    
    Even in the game of Internet marketing, a niche content search 
    engine or directory can be a very powerful addition to your 
    marketing portfolio. It is only a matter of searching out and 
    locating the niche content search engine or directory that serves 
    your particular niche the best.
    
    
    REASON #2: Costs Management
    
    The Big Three have each developed their own pay-per-click search 
    models. And, because they are the Big Three search engines, they 
    can also afford to charge advertising rates that permit them to 
    be among the most profitable enterprises on the Internet.
    
    The perception of pay-per-click pricing at the Big Three is that 
    the little guy can afford to advertise with them. But with every 
    Internet marketer on the web trying to compete for the Big Three 
    search traffic, their five cents per click easily increases to 
    sixty cents per click, and in some industries, it can climb to 
    five or fifty dollars per click.
    
    The pay-per-click "auction mentality" really kicks into hyper-
    overdrive in some industries. And the Big Three eat it up, as do 
    their stockholders. Each day, they dance their way to the bank 
    with your money in tow.
    
    The smaller niche search engines may not serve as much traffic, 
    but they definitely allow you to reach more people for the same 
    money. You can reach people who are more inclined to buy your 
    goods and services, because they were searching on a niche 
    website, and you can get their traffic for a lot less money than 
    it would cost you to get the same prospect from any of the Big 
    Three search engines.
    
    
    REASON #3: Linking for Google Placement
    
    For those of you who are still involved in the Google PageRank 
    chase, the smaller search directories can be counted on as a 
    really valuable asset in your linking portfolio. 
    
    Many of the smaller search directories carry some pretty decent 
    PageRank with them.
    
    For example:
    
     * Blog-Search.com carries a PR6. 
     * Search66.com carries a PR6.
     * GoArticles.com carries a PR6.
     * SearchWarp.com carries a PR5.
     * SitesOnDisplay.com carries a PR5.
     * SearchRamp.com carries a PR5.
     * MixCat.com carries a PR5.
     * TorontoMalls.com carries a PR5.
     * OutdoorHits.com carries a PR4.
     * FindYourForum.com carries a PR4.
    
    As you are already aware, the PageRank of a website that is 
    pointing to your website plays a role in determining the value of 
    your own website in the Google PageRank calculations, thereby 
    increasing your chances of gaining ground in the Google SERP's 
    (Search Engine Ranking Pages).
    
    Targeted directories pass their PageRank value to the websites 
    that list with them, which is great for your website. 
    Additionally, getting placed into these directories is often 
    cheaper and easier to accomplish, than with any other method of 
    linking for the purposes of increasing PageRank.
    
    
    REASON #4: Extra Traffic
    
    Yahoo, MSN, WindSeek.com, ExactSeek.com, and many others are 
    making changes, improving their results, and trying to position 
    themselves to compete toe-to-toe with Google or to compete for 
    searcher's not happy with Google's search product (yes, there are 
    actually people out there who do not like to use Google). These 
    non-Google engines are currently serving millions of additional 
    searches a day or month. 
    
    The Big Three: Google, Yahoo and MSN only served 73% of the 
    Internet's search traffic in July 2005 
    (http://searchenginewatch.com/reports/article.php/3099931), and 
    81% of the search traffic in November of 2005 
    (http://searchenginewatch.com/reports/article.php/2156451). These 
    percentages are based on a rough estimation of just over 5 
    billion searches per month.
    
    Even on the November 2005 numbers, search engines that are NOT in 
    the Big Three are delivering 950 million searches per month. That 
    is a lot of additional traffic!
    
    If your search engine marketing activities are focused only on 
    the Big Three, or even worse, only on granddaddy Google, you are 
    throwing away anywhere from 20% to 53% of your potential customer 
    base!
    
    
    Locating The Smaller Search Engines and Directories...
    
    Here are a few resources that can help to find hundreds of the 
    smaller search engines and directories that may be available to 
    you:
    
    Independent Search Engine & Directory Network - 
    http://www.isedn.org/
    
    Yahoo Search Engine & Directory Listings -  
    http://dir.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Internet/
    World_Wide_Web/Searching_the_Web/Search_Engines_and_Directories/
    
    International Directory of Search Engines - 
    http://www.searchenginecolossus.com/
    
    
    Small Search Engines and Directories Really Do Matter...
    
    I have just outlined four reasons why the smaller search engines 
    and niche directories should matter to those of us who market our 
    goods and services on the Internet. I have also given you a 
    starting point for locating these excellent search websites.
    
    Sure, it might take a little bit more time to get listed in these 
    smaller resources, but if you calculate how much time you spend 
    developing your positioning in the Big Three, then it really is 
    not that much of a time investment after all.
    
    The smaller directories can help us to improve our Google 
    PageRank. They can help us to get more mileage from our 
    advertising dollars, than what we can get from the Big Three. 
    They allow us to tap into additional sources of targeted traffic 
    with a real potential for increasing our sales and profits. And, 
    the best reason to use the smaller search engines and directories 
    is that they actually serve another 950 million searches a month. 
    



    Writer's Resource Box:
    Bill Platt is the owner of http://thePhantomWriters.com 
    Article Distribution Service. He has been ghost writing for 
    clients since 1999, and he has been distributing client articles 
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