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Search Engine Marketing Outside the “Big 3”

DigiWorld Partners invited one of our trusted partners, Mistral Media CEO Avi Slavin, to explain premium search traffic beyond the biggest names in search engines. Here, we explore the ideas that Avi introduced to us and how you can rethink your search engine marketing strategy.

What Are the Alternative Search Engines?
For the most part, search engine marketing efforts target the “Big 3”: Google, Yahoo and Bing. While these sites certainly account for a hefty portion of online searches, the Internet has evolved far beyond them.

Now, it’s fairly common to visit a site with its own search engine, like how Facebook revamped its search bar in late 2015. Unlike Google or any other major search engine, Facebook’s platform has indexed all content on the site so when users conduct a search, posts and comments come up with news stories in the results.

Essentially, these alternative search engines allow marketers to reach a more focused audience. Advertising on particular websites gives you access to a targeted market that a more general search engine simply cannot.

Which Verticals Will Benefit?The Difference in Cost and Quality
Of course, a media buyer’s first question would be the cost-effectiveness of going beyond the Big 3. While it’s true that the cost-per-click on these lesser known search engines is comparatively inexpensive, it’s actually quality that makes the biggest difference. Avi pointed out that it’s in the nature of the engine. These searches are originating from real people typing the search, so their intended action remains a significant factor.

Luckily, there isn’t any industry that can’t stand to benefit from this kind of search engine marketing. As a media search partner, Mistral works with a number of different verticals, serving searches that range from “cheap auto insurance” and “cheap sneakers” to “travel deals.” However varied these verticals may be, Avi said that Mistral does frequently work with dating services.

Where Traditional Search Engine Marketing Falls
One consideration that Mistral makes that is typically overlooked in Big 3 search engines is language. For companies looking to expand their exposure to other markets all over the world, language barriers easily become search engine marketing barriers. The problem with basic digital translators is that they rarely factor in the true meaning or context of the term, which can make a big difference in search keywords.

To overcome this challenge, Mistral has a team of linguists that can translate keywords into different languages and maintain the original meaning. Mistral has worked with markets all over the world, so they know how important it is to search engine marketing to conquer these language obstacles.

Another challenge that marketers face is ad blockers. With more users installing ad blocker software, the technology has become a threat to the industry as a whole, except for those working exclusively with text ads. Because this advertising format is unaffected by ad blockers, it’s become a cornerstone in these Tier 2 and 3 search engines.

So why do these types of engines seem like such a secret in marketing? That’s because it’s fairly complex and requires a certain level of education on the topic. Avi explained that even the most seasoned media buyers don’t fully understand search engines beyond the Big 3. That’s why Mistral offers educational materials, like demos, to media buyers who are looking to expand search engine exposure.

If you’d like to learn more about Mistral and marketing outside major search engines, please watch our interview with Avi Slavin.

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