The nuts and bolts of metasearch engines

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meta_small.jpgADOTAS – Metasearch engines have always appealed to search marketers. To appreciate the relationship between metasearch and search marketing, it is important to first define and understand what a metasearch engine is all about.

Metasearch engines have interested me for a long time. I have not only studied metasearch technology, but have built several metasearch engines over the years. A metasearch engine allows a company using minimal hardware and the right software to pull results in real time from many other engines and re-sort and display a final aggregated list of refined results. Essentially, it allows a search engine to display the best of what the Internet has to offer within one data set.

One of the keys to building a successful metasearch engine is to make sure you acquire the right engines for aggregation. If good data is filtered in, then good data is spit out.

The same is true with bad data. Carefully selecting the correct sources is almost as important as how the results are displayed, which leads to the next crucial step of defining a noteworthy metasearch engine.

Having an intelligent and highly qualified relevancy algorithm is what sets one metasearch engine apart from another. It is necessary to determine what makes one listing more relevant than the next and which listings have more interest to your users than others.

Sorting those listings in this fashion ensures you have what your audience will want to see. It’s worthy to note that the larger search engines, such as Google, dedicate a countless number of resources to design their relevancy algorithms and continuously test and tweak their system.

Despite people’s comfort with Google, the comprehensive results that metasearch engines provide are an appealing factor to many. As more robust engines enter the market and users find the one they like, they will continue using the engine as long as they continue to find what they need.

Now that we have a better understanding of what a metasearch engine is, let’s answer the question “How does this appeal to a search engine marketer?”

Search marketers are always looking to reach new people on the Web. Advertising with metasearch engines allows search marketers to reach people who they wouldn’t normally reach through traditional search marketing efforts. With more and more people using alternative metasearch engines, these engines are a logical choice to target when setting up search marketing campaigns.

The ability to pick your sources is extremely influential when it comes to metasearch engine popularity within search marketing. Metasearch engines can be designed to pull and aggregate specific information to fit a particular demographic audience.

A perfect example of a specialized metasearch engine would be Business.com, which is focused on business and draws in a business-minded demographic. Search marketers are thus given the option to be more specific when it comes to targeting an audience.

On the other hand, a broader focus can also be of interest to search marketers. Metasearch engines such as eZanga.com, which focus on a broader audience, provide online marketers with a wider demographic and more options to appeal to a general search audience.

Another reason why search marketers are attracted to metasearch engines is the less competitive advertising market in comparison to the larger search engines. What does this mean? Less money spent due to a lower cost per click for the search marketer. The support services associated with metasearch engines are typically more hands-on because they are smaller companies, which is another valuable resource to a marketer.

So what can search marketers gain from running search campaigns on metasearch engines? Clean, qualified and refined results displayed to an audience not typically reached by major search engines, at a lower cost per click, within a less competitive advertising network, along with excellent customer care.

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