If you are like most website owners who have applied some search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to your site, your main target has been ranking well in the Google search engine. While Google may be the dominant search engine, there is still much Internet visitor traffic to be gained by placing well in the Yahoo! search engine as well.
The question on the mind of many webmasters is whether optimizing for Google will provide benefits in the Yahoo! search results. The two search engines have differing search algorithms for calculating the search engine results pages (SERPs) for their individual searches. Because of the differences in the algorithms, there is some difference in emphasis on content and link value.
Concentrating heavily on links will certainly provide additional benefits for Google. Placing added emphasis on content of all types will pay dividends in Yahoo!. By understanding the importance of links and content to both search engines, you can successfully optimize your site for both. A balanced approach to links and to content will result in high search engine rankings in both Yahoo! and Google.
While it might seem fairly straightforward to simply add more incoming links and more on-page content, some fine tuning of your optimization efforts will pay off with both search engines. By taking a holistic approach with both Google and Yahoo optimization in mind, your site will achieve top rankings on both search results. With the added high search engine placements, your site traffic will increase, adding many more potential clients and customers to your online business.
Think in terms of both Google and Yahoo, and share in the best of both search engine worlds.
All websites require good, useful and interesting content. That is a given. What website owners want to know is what form that content should take for search engine success. Great content attracts visitor traffic to your site. While there, your visitors can convert to customers for your online business. Content, deemed valuable to other website owners, will attract incoming links to your site. Finally, content will help your site to rank on the search engines, in its own right.
What is required for the website optimizer who has been thinking in terms of Google is to decide which optimization efforts will serve double duty in Yahoo!. In other words, there is a need to know which techniques will work in both search engines, and which SEO methods will not.
Good Page Titles
Most people who optimize for Google understand the power of properly keyword rich page titles. Each page should be given a title that is unique to the content of that page and includes the keywords found within that page’s copy. As with Google, Yahoo! values page titles highly in its algorithm. As on page content, good page titles are in keeping with what appears to Yahoo!’s policy, of rewarding page content heavily. Your Google optimization efforts regarding page titles will pay off with Yahoo! as well.
Fresh content pages are highly regarded by the Google algorithm. By constantly adding new and freshly updated pages to your site, the Google search results will reward your efforts. Perhaps even more than with Google, the Yahoo search engine values on page content. Freshly added created content will serve you very well with Yahoo where content is extremely important and fresh content even more so.
If your site features a blog component, your search rankings will benefit in both Google and Yahoo. With the constantly refreshed content and heavy linkage provided by a blog, your site will benefit in both search engines. All algorithms value fresh on page content. Blogs are the very definition of freshly-minted content. Blogs score highly with the Google algorithm. There is reason to believe they may perform even better with the Yahoo search results.
The use of h1 headers on your site usually has positive results in the Google SERPs. The Google algorithm recognizes h1 tags as being important content that is well positioned on the page. Those h1 tags supply solid value in the Yahoo! SERPs too. Since the tags are part of your site’s on page content, they score high points with the Yahoo! algorithm.
Not only are h1 tags providing top value in both search engines, but your h2 and h3 sub-headers will work well for you too. Both the Google and Yahoo! algorithms will give you credit for those tags, provided you don’t go overboard with their use. Google, in particular, might even have an over-optimization filter for that express purpose. The header and sub-header tags that are successful in Google will work well for you in Yahoo! as well.
If you have been highlighting and bolding some of your more important keywords on each page, Google may provide some value for your efforts. Yahoo!, on the hand, will give you solid credit for your bolded keywords. Bolded text appears to be a moderately important part of the Yahoo! algorithm. Bulleted lists probably have limited value to Google, but are not discounted entirely. In Yahoo!, however, they are given strong consideration by the algorithm. In any case, bulleted points are highly valued for sales and are useful for visitor conversions to sales.
Internal links and site maps are an important part of your primary Google optimization efforts. Whether to direct visitor traffic and PageRank to the various internal pages, or to provide link anchor text help for the SERPs, your internal site links are important. Easy site navigation assists your visitors, whether human or computer robot spiders, to find your web pages. The Google algorithm values useful internal links that feature keyword anchor text. As a bonus, the Yahoo! algorithm places importance on internal links and site maps as well. This is a case where your Google optimization efforts will pay off greatly with Yahoo!’s search rankings as well.
Most website owners have placed meta tags on their sites. While of extremely limited, if any, value to the Google algorithm, meta tags carry some impact in the Yahoo! search placements. Since the meta tags are already in place, they provide some help with your Yahoo! optimization efforts. Be sure that you use only the most important keywords and only for keywords found on the page itself. Limit your meta tags to a maximum of five or six to a page, listing them from most to least important.
There is little doubt that inclusion in the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) helps a site’s rankings with the Google algorithm. Google has long valued human edited directories, of which DMOZ is considered the most important. Being listed in the DMOZ directory appears to have value with the Yahoo SERPs as well. The time spent submitting to the DMOZ directory will pay dividends in both the Google and Yahoo! search rankings.
As an incoming link, having your site listed in the Yahoo! Directory carries a $299.00 entry fee. While not for everyone, the listing does provide an important backlink in the Google algorithm. Since the Yahoo! Directory is part of the Yahoo! system, it seems logical that inclusion would carry some weight in the Yahoo! search rankings too.
Inclusion, in the Yahoo! Directory does apparently result in your site being crawled more frequently by the Yahoo! spider. Whether that results in more pages being indexed by Yahoo! is debated by many SEO experts. Overall, however, it’s probably safe to say that the Yahoo! algorithm is weighted toward sites included in its own proprietary directory. It’s up to individual website owners to determine if the investment in the Yahoo! Directory is worth consideration for your site.
As everyone involved with search engine optimization is already aware, Google values incoming links very highly. Even more emphasis is placed on the link anchor text, and the theme and topic of the linking page. In other words, Google places primary importance on links. In its simplest terms, the more links the better, and the more theme keyword oriented the link text, the better. The question then becomes, whether or not the heavy concern for links expressed by Google’s search results spills over to your Yahoo search placements as well.
Yahoo!’s algorithm takes a more content based approach to the search results. While there is importance placed on incoming links, Yahoo! does not place the same level of importance on links as Google’s algorithm. That is not to say that links are unimportant to Yahoo!. Links are very important. They are simply not weighted as heavily in the search calculations as they are with the Google search results.
If you have optimized your link anchor text, with varied keywords, you will do well in Google’s search results. At the same time, you will get that link popularity boost from Yahoo!. The emphasis in Yahoo!’s search algorithm is on content. That content requirement extends to off page and off site items that include link anchor text. Thinking about your linking will give you benefit in both the Google and Yahoo! search rankings.
When employing the most basic search engine optimization techniques to your site with hopes of scoring high search rankings with Google, you can also gain extra value in the Yahoo! search engine.
While content is important to the Google search algorithm, taking care of your content is absolutely vital to getting high search rankings in Yahoo!. Content is important to Yahoo!, whether on page, off page, or even off site. The Yahoo! search algorithm thrives on fresh and plentiful content.
If you are well optimized for Google, you should also be on the way to solid search rankings with Yahoo! as well. While Yahoo!’s search algorithm may take slightly longer to reflect your added content, and on and off site optimization, it will eventually appear.
Think in terms of good basic search engine optimization practices and your site will soar in both the Google and Yahoo! search engine placements.