Optimizing for Yahoo!

Among the top search engines in the market today, Yahoo! is the earliest players to emerge. More than four years after David Filo and Jerry Yang established Yahoo!, Google was born and created buzz because of its then unorthodox approach of search-and-go (How can you earn if your visitors only see your logo and go away?) yet provided more precise results that even if people are driven away from the moment they see the search results, they keep on coming back.

Yahoo! on the other hand is the undisputed king of portals as it developed (Mail, Photos, Briefcase, Music, News) and acquired (Flickr, E-Groups, Overture) but undoubtedly it began as a simple search tool. Therefore as it was first known as search engine, Yahoo! continuously improves its search algorithms.

With MSN, another popular search engine launching a new service called Windows Live Search using another set of search ranking criteria, it becomes difficult to optimize a page for all three major search engines.

Just like Google and MSN, Yahoo! performs the same way when scanning pages for its search index database. It uses robot called Slurp that crawls pages from time to time. As Yahoo! is not reputed to have the Sandbox phenomenon, it is faster for a new site to appear on Yahoo! search results than in Google.

Yahoo! appears to place significant importance on keywords that appear on domain names and filenames. With history of being a directory before becoming a search engine, there seems to be a relationship in getting listed on search results and appearing on one of its directory pages. If you search for hong kong property agents, Sallmanns Residential is on top even if none of the keywords appear on its URL and page title.

Keyword density in a page is also important in Yahoo!, so that a page with relatively high keyword density will have a bigger chance of landing on Yahoo!’s top results. But Google is also sensitive to this, so if you aren’t careful enough, your site might disappear in Google or MSN while getting high rankings in Yahoo! And since Google has higher market share, meaning a loss in its rankings could mean huge drop in visitor traffic.

Since not two search engines use the same search algorithms, never overdo one aspect of SEO. Go back to your senses and think if what you’re doing will bring value to your reader online. Will it help my readers if I add more hidden links at the bottom of the page? Probably not because they cannot see it. Sprinkle more keywords within the page? Probably not because it distorts the organization and thought of your content.

Building a page on a honest to goodness approach, no tricks and no shady techniques will eventually be a rewarding approach for an Internet marketer.