Although the Internet has been around for quite a few years now, there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the so-called rules of the World Wide Web are getting any easier to figure out. This is in part because of the frequent changes made by search engine providers that keep businesses and marketers on their collective toes accommodating the numerous changes and alterations.

Just this month, both Bing and Google have announced changes that will require search engine marketers and anyone with a web page to possibly shift marketing plans, retool ads for paid search, and rewrite content.

The Challenge of Keeping Current

With this many changes constantly popping up, it’s often difficult to know what merits attention and what can be put aside for the time. Because of the volume of search traffic handled through Google, their algorithm changes typically garner the most attention and subsequent action. With a smaller portion of the search engine pie, changes announced by Bing don’t earn the same level of attention. That said, it’s always important to be aware of what’s currently happening because changes in the algorithms or guidelines of one company’s policies have a tendency to create a trickle effect when they are found to be effective.

More Changes Afoot

At Bing

  • Bing’s Opportunities tab will allow users to see the potential opportunities of trying out new strategies on current ad campaigns. A quick click can let you know if increasing the location or position of keyword bids or raising campaign budgets could provide the improvement that you’re looking for.
  • The Microsoft-based search engine also announced it would be disallowing the use of phone numbers in ad copy. The reasoning given was a change to editorial policy. Changes will take effect next month and will be for the US-, UK-, Hong Kong-, and Taiwan-based customers. Only call extensions and location extensions will be allowed. Bing’s blog warned ad holders in other areas of the world that the same change could be deployed in all markets in the future.

At Google

  • Considering that Google makes more than 500 algorithms changes in a year, another alteration should not come as a surprise. In this case, the change targets paid search but the effect on ads and subsequent rankings are still being debated.

Ways to Make Search More Effective the First Time

While it’s important to stay on top of the changes, there are a number of other things you can also do to make sure that your site remains relevant to current and potential customers.

Keep options open by placing ads on more than one search engine – There’s a good chance that individuals will search using the default browser for the particular device in use.

Make all content relevant and easy to find – Never make someone dig for information. By having current and relevant information in multiple formats (blogs, social posts, infographics, contact information, etc), your site will become the go-to knowledge source.

Build cross-purpose relationships in person and online – No matter where the conversation begins, keep it going by engaging outside the initial information source whether that’s through social networks, speaking engagements, or networking through like-minded groups.