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Search Engine

Bing

 

Microsoft Bing SERP results for "classic cars."Screenshot from search for ic ], 
 
As of January 2020, Microsoft sites handled a quarter of all search queries in the United States, one could argue that Bing actually outperforms Google in certain respects,  for starters, Bing has a rewards program that allows one to accumulate points while searching. These points are redeemable at the Microsoft and Windows stores, which is a nice perk. in my view, the Bing image search GUI is superior to its rival’s and much more intuitive, bing carries that same clean user experience to video, making it the go-to source for video search without a YouTube bias.

2. Yandex

 

Yandex search engine results for "Abraham Lincoln."Screenshot from search for [Abraham Lincoln], Yandex, August 2021
Looking for a search perspective outside of the United States?

Yandex is used by more than 45% of Russian Internet users.

It is also used in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Yandex is an overall easy-to-use search engine. As an added bonus, it offers a suite of some pretty cool tools.

3. CC Search

 

CC search results for "best musics."Screenshot from search for [Best musics], CC Search, August 2021
CC Search should be your first stop on the hunt for nearly any type of copyright-free content.

This search engine is perfect if you need music for a video, an image for a blog post, or anything else without worrying about an angry artist coming after you for ripping off their work.

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The way CC Search works is simple – it draws in results from platforms such as Soundcloud, Wikimedia, and Flickr and displays results labeled as Creative Commons material.

If privacy is important to you, consider:

4. Swisscows

 

Swisscows search engine results.Screenshot from search for [best places to visit], Swisscows, August 2021
Swisscows is a unique option on this list, billing itself as a family-friendly semantic search engine.

They also pride themselves in respecting users’ privacy, never collecting, storing or tracking data.

It uses artificial intelligence to determine the context of a user’s query.

Over time, Swisscows promises to answer your questions with surprising accuracy.

5. DuckDuckGo

 

Duckduckgo search engine.Screenshot from search for [best movies of all time], DuckDuckGo, August 2021
DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect or store any of your personal information.

That means you can run your searches in peace without having to worry about the boogeyman watching you through your computer screen.

DuckDuckGo is the perfect choice for those who wish to keep their browsing habits and personal information private.

6. StartPage

Startpage search results.Screenshot from search for {best places new york], Startpage, August 2021

StartPage serves up answers from Google. It’s the perfect choice for those who prefer Google’s search results but aren’t keen on having their search history tracked and stored.

It also includes a URL generator, a proxy service, and HTTPS support.

The URL generator is especially useful because it eliminates the need to collect cookies.

Instead, it remembers your settings in a way that promotes privacy.

7. Search Encrypt

 

Search Encrypt search engine.Screenshot from search for [privacy policy], Search Encrypt, August 2021
Search Encrypt is a private search engine that uses local encryption to ensure your searches remain private.

It uses a combination of encryption methods that include Secure Sockets Layer encryption and AES-256 encryption.

When you input a query, Search Encrypt will pull the results from its network of search partners and deliver the requested information.

One of the best parts of Search Encrypt is that your search terms will eventually expire, so your information will remain private even if someone has local access to your computer.

8. Gibiru

 

Search results of Gibiru.Screenshot from search for [survival gear], Gibiru, August 2021
According to their website, “Gibiru is the preferred Search Engine for Patriots.”

They claim their search results are sourced from a modified Google algorithm, so users are able to query the information they seek without worrying about Google’s tracking activities.

Because Gibiru doesn’t install tracking cookies on your computer they purport to be faster than “NSA Search Engines.”

9. OneSearch

 

OneSearch search engine.Screenshot from search for [best video games], OneSearch, August 2021
Verizon Media launched its privacy-focused search engine, OneSearch, in January 2020.

It promises:

  • No cookie tracking, retargeting, or personal profiling.
  • No sharing of personal data with advertisers.
  • No storing of user search history.
  • Unbiased, unfiltered search results.
  • Encrypted search terms.

Looking for crowd-sourced search results? Then try…

10. Wiki.com

 

Wiki search engine.Screenshot from search for [star wars], Wiki.com, August 2020
Wiki.com pulls its results from thousands of wikis on the net.

It is the perfect search engine for those who appreciate community-led information as found on sites like Wikipedia.

11. Boardreader

 

BoardReader search engine.Screenshot from search for [SEO], Boardreader, August 2021
If you’re interested in finding a forum or message board about a specific subject, Boardreader should be the first place you turn to.

This search engine queries its results from a wide variety of message boards and forums online. You should be able to find the forum you want with just a few keystrokes.

Prefer search engines with a mission of doing social good? Check out:

12. giveWater

 

giveWater search engine.Screenshot from search for [environmentally friendly], giveWater, August 2021
GiveWater is a self-described “social impact search engine” which aims to have a positive impact on the world by empowering users to solve the issue of poor quality water and ineffective sanitation across the developing world.

It was founded after the company’s CEO met the founder of Charity: Water, Scott Harrison, and was inspired to try to make a difference through his own work.

13. Ekoru

 

Ekoru search engine.Screenshot from search for [climate change], Ekoru, August 2021
Ekoru is taking on the ever-present threat of climate change by donating 60% of its monthly revenue to one of several partner charities, ranging from those focusing on reforestation and climate action to those who are dedicated to animal welfare and conservation.

They also aim to select a different charitable cause every month.

Interestingly, Ekoru puts its money where its mouth is, using renewable energy sources for its data centers and taking a stand for civil rights by not storing any user or search-related data on their servers.

14. Ecosia

 

Ecosia search engine.Screenshot from search for [best hotels], Ecosia, August 2021
Looking to save the planet, one tree at a time? Then check out this environmentally friendly search engine!

This may come as a surprise, but your Google searches actually contribute to the creation of quite a bit of CO2.

To battle this issue, Ecosia uses the revenues generated from search engine queries to plant trees. Typically Ecosia needs around 45 searches to plant a new tree.

One can debate if the following are search engines, but there is no question there’s loads of information to be found at:

15. Twitter

 

Twitter search.Screenshot from search for [Search Engine Journal], Twitter, August 2021
Twitter is hard to beat as a real-time search engine.

It’s the perfect place to go for minute-by-minute updates in the case of an emergency.

Google’s algorithm will catch up eventually, but nothing beats a tweet in the heat of the moment.

To make the most of it, check out our guide to Twitter Advanced Search.

16. SlideShare

 

Slideshare search results.Screenshot from search for [link building], Slideshare, August 2021
SlideShare allows you to search for documented slideshow presentations.

You can also search for ebooks and PDFs, making it an excellent tool if you have a business presentation to prepare for.

SlideShare also allows you to save slides and even download the entire slideshow for use on your local computer.

17. Internet Archive

Internet Archive search engine.Screenshot of Archive.org, August 2021

The Wayback Machine is great for researching old websites, but it’s so much more.

As the name implies, this search engine queries a massive collection of documented material, including millions of free videos, books, music, and software.

Essentially, the Internet Archive is a vast online library where you can access just about anything you could imagine.

18. Brave

 

Brave search engine.Screenshot from search for [USC], Brave, August 2021
Brave is a search engine and browser that boasts three to six times faster than Chrome.

Currently, in beta, they offer a private, independent, user-focused alternative to Google. They block ads in the content you visit, prevent malware, and block third parties from tracking your activity.

19. Neeva

 

Neeva search engine.Screenshot from search of [best air purifiers], Neeva, August 2021
Neeva was created by ex-Google executives who wanted to offer an ad-free, affiliate-free search experience.

In addition to their search engine, they offer a browser extension that works on all major browsers to block ads and third-party tracking tools on the websites you visit.

You can sign up for a free four-month trial without a credit card to see how their results compare to other search engines and determine if it’s worth the investment. After the free trial, it is only $4.95 per month.

20. WolframAlpha

WolframAlpha search engine.Screenshot of WolframAlpha.com, August 2021

WolframAlpha is a computational knowledge engine that allows you to compute answers to problems and search through expert-level data on a variety of subjects, from Algebra to Words & Linguistics.

They also offer pro features for individuals, students, and educators that need professional-grade computation and analysis of imported data. Pricing starts at $5.49 per month.

The Takeaway

Google may be the most popular choice in search engines, but it may not always be the best choice, depending on your needs and priorities.

Many of these alternative search engines can provide a better user experience than Google.

Whether you are concerned about privacy or just want to explore your options, there are plenty of search engines to experiment with.

Do yourself a favor and give some of these a try.

More Resources:


Featured image: Stanislaw Mikulski/Shutterstock

VIP CONTRIBUTOR

Chuck Price

Founder at Measurable SEO

Need a Content Marketing Program that Earns Links & Boosts Profits? I’m the founder of Measurable SEO and former COO …

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Google’s Top 5 SEO Tools

Exceed search performance goals with these 5 Google tools that help publishers diagnose problems and improve rankings.

Google’s Top 5 SEO Tools

Google offers a constantly updated suite of tools that are useful for SEO.

These tools help publishers understand why a page is underperforming and guide them with specific advice for improving webpage performance for the purpose of ranking better.

Here are Google’s top five SEO tools.

1. Lighthouse

Lighthouse is a web page performance improvement tool that is built into every browser that is based on Chrome. The tool is accessible within the Chrome Dev Tools panel.

Multiple Ways to Access the Google Lighthouse Tool

  • On a Windows machine, press the F12 function button.
  • On Windows or Mac right-click the page and choose “Inspect” then choose the “Lighthouse” tab.
  • On Mac press: Command+Option+C
  • On Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS press: Control+Shift+C
  • In Chrome, click the 3-dot menu on the top right corner then, More Tools > Developer Tools
Step by Step of How to access Google Lighthouse on Chrome browser.Screenshot from Google Search, August 2021

 

Screenshot of Lighthouse within the Chrome Dev Tools panel.Screenshot from Chrome Dev Tools, August 2021

Lighthouse Offers 5 Feedback Categories

It currently provides five categories of SEO performance feedback:

  1. Performance.
  2. Progressive Web App.
  3. Best Practices.
  4. Accessibility.
  5. SEO.

While accessibility isn’t strictly an SEO-related metric, it is related to good user experience for disabled site visitors.

Using the feedback from these five categories will help improve the search visibility of most webpages.

The SEO section of Lighthouse provides 10 points of feedback on factors that matter for Google.

Some Metrics Chrome Lighthouse Reports On

  • Viewport Meta Tag.
  • Title Element.
  • Meta Description.
  • HTTP Status Code.
  • Descriptive Text on Links.
  • Page Status for Successful Crawling & Indexing.
  • Validates Hreflang.
  • Validates rel=canonical.
  • Checks mobile-friendliness.
  • Validates font legibility for mobile devices.
  • Checks mobile tap targets.
  • Checks if document avoids browser plugins for viewing.
  • Checks crawling and indexing.
  • Checks the Robots.txt.
  • Checks if the page sends a successful HTTP status code.

Why You Should Use Lighthouse SEO Tool

I won’t deny it, Lighthouse is a lightweight site review tool.

But it’s an important site review tool because it represents Google’s opinion of 10 metrics you should be looking at.

If Google feels that these metrics are important, then you should, too.

To make the most of this tool, be sure to check out A Technical SEO Guide to Lighthouse Performance Metrics.

2. Test My Site

Google’s Test My Site auditing tool offers two metrics:

  1. Estimated loading time on a 4G mobile network.
  2. Recommendations for speeding up the website.
Google Mobile Speed Test Recommendation.Screenshot of Test My Site, August 2021

This is a good tool for obtaining a quick snapshot of the speed health of a website.

It’s a good starting point for obtaining an overall picture of mobile optimization.

The tool also offers to email a full report containing suggestions for speeding up the tested webpage.

Why You Should Use Test My Site

You can obtain similar information by using Page Speed Insights.

But the Test My Site tool provides the information in an easy-to-understand manner that’s easy for non-developer stakeholders to gain an understanding of what may be wrong with the mobile site performance.

Yet it’s also good for developers to get a quick overview, as well.

If you want granular details about what needs fixing, then head over to Google’s Page Speed Insights.

3. Page Speed Insights

Page Speed Insights is the tool that provides lab Core Web Vitals performance scores.

Core Web Vitals are important metrics created by Google to represent what a user experience on a webpage is.

This information is important because fixing the highlighted problems will improve SEO, sales conversions, ad clicks, and (if successful in fixing performance bottlenecks) give a small ranking factor boost.

This online tool provides specifics on what is causing the slowdown and gives suggestions for how to fix the problems.

It tells which scripts and style sheets are slowing down the site, which images are too big, and offers numerous other tips for speeding up affected webpages.

Why You Should Use Page Speed Insights

Page Speed Insights not only offers useful solutions for hidden technical issues impacting page speed, but it is also a resource for learning what those issues are.

Each highlighted issue links to a Google Developers page that offers more in-depth background information and an explainer of how to fix the problems.

4. Safe Browsing Test

Google crawls billions of pages every day to check for malware. This tool reports if there is any malware on a site.

The tool also provides the date for the last time the site was checked for malware.

Some sites are tested more often than others.

Why You Should Use the Safe Browsing Test Tool

Many people do not consider website security an SEO problem.

But website security quickly becomes an SEO issue when Google starts dropping URLs from its index because the site is hacked.

That’s why website security should be considered a part of SEO. Failure to secure a site can severely affect search visibility.

5. Google Trends

Google Trends provides information about keyword popularity and also segments the information by time and geography.

The time segment can give you an idea of how seasons may affect keywords. It can also show you if a keyword is losing popularity.

If you see a downward trend in a keyword, this could indicate that a product or trend is causing searchers to lose interest in that search.

Why You Should Use Google Trends

Google Trends is also important for competitive research. It shows you how often people are searching Google with a competitor’s brand name.

The trend line by time will show you how steady this trend is – if it’s going up, down, or steady.

Obviously, a competitor trend line that is trending down is good. A trend line that is trending up is bad.

A trend line that is steady (the most common) means a competitor is doing well and you’ll have to identify their weaknesses and make those your strengths – among many considerations.

For more tips, check out 10 Ways to Use Google Trends for Better SEO.

Make Good Use of Google’s SEO Tools to Improve Rankings, Visibility, and User Experience

While SEO professionals tend to take much of what Google says about what helps rankings (or not) with a healthy dose of skepticism, it would be foolish not to take advantage of the tools it has on offer.

In these tools, you can see exactly what Google is looking for in a quality site, webpage, and user experience.

Use this to your advantage to optimize as closely to Google’s (and your audience’s) expectations as possible.

More Resources:


Featured Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock

A Guide to Google Search Console Reporting for SEO Agencies

If you want your SEO agency’s clients to renew their campaigns or increase their budgets, Google Search Console reporting can help you do it.

A Guide to Google Search Console Reporting for SEO Agencies

When it comes to running a successful SEO agency, there is nothing more important than proving the value of your services to clients.

But without comprehensive reporting, your clients might not see or understand the full impact of your SEO campaigns.

SEO agencies rely on a variety of software tools to execute their campaign efforts. But if you want to really prove SEO success, Google Search Console is still the key reporting tool to do it.

Unless your SEO software is built over Google Search Console, no other tool can compete with Google’s comprehensive dataset.

Here’s why this free platform is one of the best for showing the impact of your SEO efforts.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free platform that allows site owners to track keyword rankings, troubleshoot page experience issues, submit sitemaps, and perform other key actions that help elevate SEO performance.

SEO providers should encourage their clients to create Google Search Console accounts and add their agency as a primary user.

Then, as your agency provides your various services to clients, you can use the platform to prove their overall impact.

5 Reasons Google Search Console is the Best for SEO Reporting

There are a lot of different SEO software options available to agencies to use in their client reporting.

Beyond the obvious – the cost (being that there isn’t one) – here are some reasons why Google’s platform still outweighs most.

1. See 100% of Keywords

The major value proposition of any SEO agency is helping their client’s webpages rank for multiple keyword searches that bring qualified traffic.

But not having a 100% complete picture of keyword rankings means that SEO agencies can’t show their clients all of the work their efforts have accomplished.

Popular SEO software like Ahrefs and Semrush use bots to scrape the SERPs and gather keyword rankings data. These can only see about 30-40% of the keywords a given website ranks for.

For example, see the difference in total keyword rankings for the same website below. The first is shown in Ahrefs and the second in a rank tracker built over Google’s API.

Organic Keywords in Ahrefs vs. Organic Keywords in GSC Insights.Organic Keywords in Ahrefs vs. Organic Keywords in GSC Insights

That’s a huge gap. That difference could be a reason why a client chooses to renew your services or move to another SEO provider.

Nothing can compare to Google Search Console’s keyword data because Google tracks every keyword that your clients’ websites rank for.

That includes all of the short-tail and long-tail keywords that bring users to their sites.

Because every relevant keyword phrase presents an opportunity for your agency to help your clients reach their target audience, it’s essential that you’re able to show all of them in your reporting.

2. Daily Updates

With SEO software that relies on SERP scraping, keyword rankings information is always backdated to the last crawl.

For high search volume queries, those bots scrape SERPs more frequently. But for more niche keywords with less search volume, they are updated far less often.

If your SEO agency works with clients in niche industries that are targeting keywords with lower search volume, these limited updates can be a major hindrance in your reporting.

Your SEO agency may have already driven improvements in keyword rank positions quicker and earlier than is reflected in the tools you’re currently using.

Google Search Console, however, has daily rankings updates. That means you can see SEO wins earlier and faster, proving to your clients the value of your services.

For those agencies that provide smaller campaign windows, daily keyword rankings updates are even more important for showing elevated rankings and performance metrics.

3. Impressions Data

One of the most important SEO KPIs for campaign reporting is impressions data.

Impressions are the total number of times users see your web page in the SERPs, even if they don’t click on your result.

SEO professionals should be using impressions data in their reporting. More impressions show that users are seeing your client’s SERP result and their online visibility is growing.

However, most rank tracking software doesn’t include impressions data.

For SEO agencies that provide content creation, impressions are key to showing that the content is driving more search engine visibility.

In the below example, we can see in GSC that adding new content to the client’s page resulted in a huge jump in impressions.

By answering more of the user’s questions on the page, Google started promoting the page in more relevant searches.

Graph showing how adding new content resulted in a jump in impressions.

In the next example, this SEO agency could really prove its value through impressions data.

Their on-site content services resulted in a steady increase in search engine visibility over the course of a year-long campaign.

Graph showing how on-site content services resulted in increase in search engine visibility.

4. Real Clicks vs. Estimated Traffic

Other rank tracking platforms estimate your organic traffic.

They do this through a calculation of search volume, rank position, and average CTR.

But Google Search Console tells you the actual number of clicks generated from organic search.

The problem with estimated traffic is that it can both over and underestimate the real amount of clicks.

For example, compare one software tool’s estimated organic traffic to Google Search Console’s actual organic traffic for the same page.

A comparison tool's recorded estimated organic traffic.GSC actual organic traffic.

Would you rather tell your agency clients that your optimization efforts drove 13,000 clicks or 28,000?

If you link your GSC account with Google Analytics, you can also know what actions those users take on your website after they arrive from search.

5. Query-Specific Metrics

Most likely, your clients want to rank for very specific keyword targets.

Google Search Console can help you show improvements for those exact high-value search terms that they want to dominate in.

Below, you can see the performance metrics for a single keyword.

GSC performance metrics for a single keyword.

Shortly after this agency started its campaign, the average ranking position for the target keyword took a huge jump. Then, it steadily improved over the following weeks.

Because ranking position improved so significantly, more organic traffic followed shortly after.

Having keyword-level metrics, rather than just page-level metrics, can make a huge difference in campaign reporting.

Sometimes, clients might come to your agency with some blinders on. They might not be satisfied unless they rank for the specific keyword phrases they had in mind at the outset of their campaign.

Having more granular data to present to them can be the difference between an upset or satisfied client base.

4 Google Search Console Reports to Use in Client Campaigns

If the accuracy and comprehensiveness of GSC data make you more inclined to use the tool in your reporting, here are four SEO reports to start using in your client campaigns.

They are super easy to generate. Also, they can help your SEO agency prove value in the variety of SEO services or deliverables your agency offers.

Top Queries Report

This report can help you show clients which keywords are driving the most organic traffic to their website.

To really prove the impact of your services, select a date range three months prior to and after your campaign. This helps clients see their SEO progress.

To generate the report, go to the Search Performance tab in your Google Search Console account and click Export, in the top right-hand corner.

How to export Top Queries Report.

This generates a spreadsheet with all of the keywords that brought traffic to your client’s website for the selected time period. It also includes their click-through rate and average ranking position for the keywords.

Spreadsheet with keywords that brought traffic to the website.

Depending on which type of services you provide to your clients will determine which areas of the report you will most want to direct their focus towards.

  • For link builders or digital PR professionals: Point out improvements in average keyword positions. White-hat backlink services should drive higher rankings across all keywords.
  • For content creators: Point out any increases in total keyword rankings overall. The more relevant content you publish on your clients’ sites, the more queries they should show up for.
  • For technical SEO professionals: Focus on improved click-through rates if you optimized page titles or meta descriptions for your clients’ webpages.

Backlinks Report

For those SEO professionals focused on off-site SEO strategies like link building and digital PR, the Links feature of Google Search Console can help you show backlink progress.

Links feature of GSC.

With this feature, you can see your clients’ external links, internal links, and top linking sites.

If your agency is working on building backlinks to a specific page, you can use the Links feature to review backlink metrics for any page on your client’s site. That is, as long as the page has links pointing to it and has been indexed by Google.

How to see review of backlinks for websites on GSC.

These link reports include all links to the page, regardless if they are dofollow or nofollow links. As you earn new backlinks to your client’s website, they will appear in your link reports.

In general, it’s better to have multiple websites (or referring domains) linking to your clients’ pages. This will help elevate their authority in the eyes of search engines.

If you earn new referring domains for your client over the course of their campaign, direct their attention to this report.

Core Web Vitals Reports

If you provide technical SEO or web development services, the page experience feature of Google Search Console can help you show your agency clients how your work has made their website more search engine-friendly.

GSC Core Web Vitals report for mobile and desktop.

These reports will show daily page experience metrics and whether or not any pages had errors.

Some clients may arrive at your agency with a lot of technical debt. Showing how your technical optimizations help them meet Google’s page experience standards can be a major expression of your SEO agency’s value.

Index Coverage Report

For SEO agencies that serve enterprise clients or brands with large websites (with 500+ landing pages), the Index Coverage report can help you show how any technical improvements your agency employed resulted in maximized crawl budget.

The report shows the index-state of all of the URLs in a web property.

For SEO professionals who use robots tags to help promote certain pages over others, this report can help you show your clients the impact of those meta tags.

GSC Index Coverage Report for submitted and indexed URLs.GSC Index Coverage Report for excluded URLs by noindex tag.

This report will more likely be valuable to SEO agencies that provide technical optimizations and services.

However, if your agency creates new content for your clients, showing them that those pages actually end up in Google’s index can be very valuable.

Why Should My SEO Agency Use Google Search Console?

To keep it simple, Google Search Console is free, accurate, and comprehensive.

The granularity of Google’s data will help your SEO agency display your campaign wins faster and more convincingly.

If you want your agency clients to renew their campaigns or increase their budgets, Google Search Console reporting can help you do it.

More Resources:


Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, August 2021

 
 
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