Different Search Engine Means Different Algorithm
All search engines have their own algorithms to determine the value and, therefore, positioning of websites. While the majority of SEO work tends to concentrate on Google because of the sheer weight of searches they receive it would be foolish to discount or ignore the other major search engines. Yahoo is considered one of the big three along with Google and MSN and by concentrating a little more time and effort on Yahoo optimization it is quite possible to gain a good amount of traffic. With ultra competitive keywords it may actually provide an easier way to generate search traffic than gearing all your efforts solely towards Google.
The Most Important Yahoo Optimization Factor
The first, and most pertinent point is that Yahoo judges content to be the most important factor in their algorithms. They do still consider inbound links and other factors but they are attuned to the way of the content site and they love sites that provide keyword-optimized content in large mass. While that may make it sound easier than concentrating on generating a huge base of inbound links as you would for Google, Yahoo optimization presents its own challenges and its own unique quirks that you should consider.
Looking At Keyword Density
Because of the relevance that Yahoo places on the content within your site, the keyword once again becomes a vitally important aspect of your research. While Google have been striving to promote sites that use organic content and webmasters and SEOs have been optimizing with around 2% to 3% keyword density Yahoo prefers a much greater density level. The danger, of course, is that giving Yahoo what they want may cause Google to deem your content as being keyword stuffed but there is another difference between the two algorithms that can help to counteract this problem.
Using Stems, Inflexions, And Variants Of Keywords
Yahoo is very heavily language based. This means that it is, strictly speaking, more aware of the nuances of the written language. It will include synonyms and inflexions of a keyword when considering your keyword density; something that Google does not consider to the same extent. This means that it is possible to optimize for both without diminishing your ranking with one another.
How To Optimize For Yahoo Without Getting Penalized By Google
Google likes a density of around 2% and Yahoo likes a density as high as 7% or even 8%. This means that you can effectively use 4 variations of a single keyword or phrase and a density of 2% for each. This offers further advantages. With Google you are now gearing your content towards four different keywords and offering the level they want, and you are still providing Yahoo with the much higher density rate that they require. Because you can include plurals and further stems of keywords this means you can write in a much more natural tone.
Using The Near Forgotten Meta Tags
One area that a lot of SEO professionals and webmasters alike now tend to overlook is the Meta tag. However, Yahoo appears to still give consideration to the keyword and description tags in particular. This is quite rare in the case of most search engines and Google certainly do not look for keywords in your Meta tags. Do not attempt to dupe Yahoo, though, and only include keywords that genuinely appear on your page and are relevant to your topic.
Regular, Fresh Content Is King
You’ve probably heard the saying that “content is king” and this is even truer when considering Yahoo optimization. The more content you provide the better. This may mean making regular additions to your site but it will generate the kind of results you are looking for. Blogs are also a very good way to continue adding relevant content to your site that Yahoo will smile down on.
The Lazy Yahoo Bot
Compared to other search engine spiders the Yahoo bot is a comparatively lazy animal. It doesn’t crawl as often as other bots and it certainly doesn’t crawl as deep into your site to find all of your pages and index them. This means you should pay extra attention to creating a legible sitemap and keeping it updated as regularly as possible. Yahoo has a sitemap submission feature that is similar to Google’s and using this is heavily recommended to try and ensure that Yahoo stays on top of the infrastructure of your site and ranks you accordingly.
Inbound Links And Controlling Them Yourself
Inbound links are still important to Yahoo, but again a lot of emphasis is placed on content. Textual relevance seems to be one of the most important factors so having control over your inbound links and being able to determine the pages where they appear and the anchor text of each is important. Perhaps the best way to generate inbound links for Yahoo optimization is to use the article directories to your benefit.
Yahoo Optimization Conclusion
Google may be the search engine that everyone talks about and optimizes for but ignoring Yahoo would be foolish. This is especially true because while the Yahoo algorithm is quite different to the Google one and other algorithms, it is still quite easy to optimize for both. The most important factors to remember are to use relevant Meta tags for every single page of your site, include as much content and update your site with new content as often as possible, and update a sitemap both on your website and with the Yahoo sitemaps function.
About the author: Matt Jackson ,WebWiseWords specializes in SEO writing geared toward any search engine or any SEO guidelines. They can create website content pages, articles, blog entries, and more that utilize search engine optimization rules to help promote your site with all of the major search engines, not just Google.