Check Out Your Business on Search Engines

People go to the Internet to discover almost every kind of business. Using social media for commerce begins with researching what is on the web concerning your business.

Whether they're looking for cupcakes or dentists, their first stop is a search engine. How many people go to these sites? The numbers are staggering.

The three most popular search engines — Google, Bing, and Yahoo! — have become the Yellow Pages of the Internet. These sites guard their own traffic data. The numbers that follow are estimates from third-party analytics sites. These numbers might help convince you as to why you need to beef up your online presence. The customer is looking for you on these sites, but do you show up?

  • Google is the undisputed leader in swiftly retrieving large numbers of fast and relevant results.

    • Alexa traffic rank: 1

    • Compete rank: 1

    • Quantcast rank: 1

    • Alexa traffic rank in the United States: 1

    • Alexa, number of sites linking in: 4,916,599

    • Compete, estimated U.S. unique monthly visitors: 166,472,109

  • Bing used to be called MSN Search, but Microsoft successfully rebranded the site in 2009.

    • Alexa traffic rank: 25

    • Compete rank: 5

    • Quantcast rank: 13

    • Alexa traffic rank in the United States: 13

    • Alexa, number of sites linking in: 173,184

    • Compete, estimated U.S. unique monthly visitors: 134,101,020

  • Yahoo! began in 2002 and has since become a global favorite.

    • Alexa traffic rank: 4

    • Compete rank: 3

    • Quantcast rank: 5

    • Alexa traffic rank in the United States: 3

    • Alexa, number of sites linking in: 1,961,427

    • Compete, estimated U.S. unique monthly visitors: 157,558,013

Suppose folks in your community are looking for someone in your area of expertise. When they do a search, does your business name appear in the results?

These images show a search for a dentist in a suburb of Los Angeles. In each search, a different group of dentists show on the first page. Why? Some dentists have bought ads that appear on the page. At the very least, they businesses claimed their business listing on review sites.

When you run your search on the big three, see where your business name is listed. The first page of results is clearly the most desirable.

A Google search for a dentist in Northridge, CA.
A Google search for a dentist in Northridge, CA.
A Bing search for a dentist in Northridge, CA.
A Bing search for a dentist in Northridge, CA.
A Yahoo! search for a dentist in Northridge, CA.
A Yahoo! search for a dentist in Northridge, CA.

If you don't see your business name while performing a search, type your profession (or merchandise lines) and then your business name. When you do find your listing in this manner on the various search engines, immediately click to claim and edit the page.

This way, you can add more information, photos, and details. Here are the links to look for after you have clicked through the links to your business name pages:

  • Google (and Google+ Local): Is This Your Business? Manage This Page link

  • Bing: Update This Page link

  • Yahoo!: Edit Business Details link

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