Search engines can provide excellent information that can help site owners increase traffic. Often that information is available via an easy-to-access set of search engine optimization or webmaster tools.
The search engine market is very competitive in 2012. Google, as an example, has made several changes to its algorithm in an effort to improve the quality of results that it returns in response to a user’s query. Bing recently redesigned its search results page, and Blekko is inviting visitors to play “3 Engine Monty,” comparing its results to others.
Each of these search engines also provides a set of tools to give site owners insights, including how often the search engine’s bots visit and what those scripts find.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google — the largest and, therefore, most important search engine for many if not most marketers — offers a comprehensive suite of Webmaster Tools.
From the Webmaster Tools dashboard, site owners learn how often a site has been presented on a Google search engine results page and how many times visitors clicked.
This basic information is augmented with specifics about how Google’s bot has interacted with the site. Site owners will know specifically how many pages Google indexes from a site on a given day.
In fact, the tool set covers everything from malware tracking and traffic sources to tips for improving the site’s HTML.
To get Webmaster Tools access, Google requires a short verification process that includes embedding some code on site.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing is Google’s closest competitor with about 25.6 percent of organic searches in May 2012 compared to about 68.9 percent of organic searches for Google sites, according to trend tracking firm comScore.
Bing’s Webmaster Tools suite gives site owners a second perspective and provides data about how the number two search engine is interacting with the owner’s sites. The tool set makes it easy to learn which pages have been indexed and what keywords Bing located on the site.
Blekko SEO Tools
Site owners may also gain some insights from small or emerging search engines like Blekko. Blekko recently updated its SEO tool set and reports that its bot, Scoutjet, indexes something like 100 million web pages every day.
Any user can see how Blekko has interacted with a site by typing the site domain followed by a slash and the term “seo”.
This means that Blekko may be used to compare competitive sites and, potentially, gain insights that could lead to a competitive advantage.
Unfortunately, Blekko’s results are not nearly as comprehensive as either Bing’s or Google’s.
Google, Bing, and Blekko are three search engines that offer SEO-related tools that may help site owners improve site traffic. Google and Bing both provide complete information about how each search engine is interacting with a verified site, while Blekko supplies less detailed information about any site, including competitors’ sites.