SOURCE: Optify


March 13, 2012 09:00 ET

Optify Study Assesses How Search Engines React to Breaking News

Performance of Bing and Google During Three Breaking News Events Reveal Key Lessons for Marketers and Publishers

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - Mar 13, 2012) - Optify, a leading provider of B2B inbound marketing software, today announced key findings of a report analyzing how search engines react during breaking news events. The report compares and contrasts how Bing and Google treat breaking news search queries differently from other search results, along with a list of recommendations for marketers and online publishers.

Optify's study was conducted around three breaking news event types: the tsunami that hit Japan, the resignation of the late Steve Jobs, and Amanda Knox returning to Seattle. These events were chosen as examples of worldwide, local, and business breaking news, respectively.

For each event, Optify identified keywords that would drive the highest volume of results and conducted the searches on both Bing and Google. To analyze the evolution and performance of these keywords, search engine results were observed over a period of time. Both Google and Bing made major changes in their SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) to react to the breaking news. Sponsored content declined or eliminated, integrated or multimedia content increased, and recent news content rose to the top of the page, pushing down ranked search engine results.

Organizations with authority and social reach fare better during breaking news cycles. Therefore, while exact keyword strategies can't be prepared ahead of time, the report suggests that publishers and marketers must familiarize themselves with trending terms and the processes in which users search for these events, in addition to incorporating real-time elements into their SEO strategies. The study concludes with ten best practices to help marketers and publishers drive organic traffic during a breaking news event.

A summary of some of the key findings of the study include:

  • On average, about 70% of content above the fold was used for breaking news results rather than ranked results.

  • Both search engines react quickly by surfacing news, videos, images and real time updates above the ranked results.

  • In surfacing news results, Bing favors most recent results, and, serving results just a few seconds old. Google favors authority and reach, serving results from prominent publications.

To download a free copy of the full report, visit the Breaking News Study.

About Optify
Optify delivers an integrated top-of-the-funnel solution for marketers responsible for fueling their company's growth. Optify helps B2B marketers reach more buyers and generate more demand for their products or services month-after-month. The Optify Inbound Marketing Software Suite brings together the enterprise-class SEO and social marketing tools that marketers need to increase awareness of their business, influence buyers across social networks, and engage with prospects at the earliest point of their buyer's journey. Optify is available in multiple editions to scale from smaller businesses to the largest enterprise requirements and includes a free trial. Optify is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. For more insights on inbound marketing, visit the Optify Lead Generation Blog at

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