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Four Reasons Why The Smaller Search Engines Matter

By Bill Platt

These days, all search engine optimization gurus only seem to 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 tïght 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 millïons of people use Google daily for their search activities, and we know that our websites receive a lot of traffïc 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 Traffïc

Niche content search engines can be a very powerful force in your marketing arsenal.

For example, suppose you have a website dedicated to helping 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 Big Three search traffïc, 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 monëy in tow.

The smaller niche search engines may not serve as much traffïc, but they definitely allow you to reach more people for the same monëy. 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 traffïc for a lot less monëy 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: carries a PR6. carries a PR6. carries a PR6. carries a PR5. carries a PR5. carries a PR5. carries a PR5. carries a PR5. carries a PR4. 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 Result 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 Traffïc

Yahoo, MSN,,, 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 searchers 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 millïons of additional searches a day or month.

The Big Three: Google, Yahoo and MSN only served 73% of the Internet’s search traffïc in July 2005 (, and 81% of the search traffïc in November of 2005 ( 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 traffïc!

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…

Below 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
Yahoo Search Engine & Directory Listings
International Directory of Search Engines

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 investmënt 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 traffïc with a real potential for increasing our salës and profïts. And, the best reason to use the smaller search engines and directories is that they actually serve another 950 million searches a month.

About The Author
Bill Platt is the owner of Article Distribution Service. He has been ghost writing for clients since 1999, and he has been distributing client articles since 2001. Bill regularly maintains his database of submission resources, and he applies the human touch to every article distribution. By reviewing every article and manually selecting where it will be distributed, publishers and webmasters trust that he will send only the most appropriate articles to them.


Camilla Todd
Camilla Todd is Head of Digital Marketing at WNW Digital and manages Search Engine Optimisation, PPC, Social Media campaigns and Brand Awareness for WNW Digital SEO clients. You can follow her on Twitter @camilla_wnw, email her at or phone on 01392 349580