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Optimising Your Site for Yahoo

As the most popular search engine on the World Wide Web at present, Google has become a household name. How does one go about optimising a website for Google?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) & Google
SEO is vastly becoming a successful art form in the field of online business. It is a marketing tool that has a significant impact on how a business develops on the web. The development of search engines has contributed to the birth of SEO techniques, both honest and not (ethical or “white hat” and unethical or “black hat”).

A head and shoulders above anyone else, Google is the world’s most favoured search engine. Google simply has a system that works, which attracts an enormous following of internet users world wide. Since internet users are drawn to Google, so too must online companies who are competing for optimal business success and growth. The market is competitive. This, Google caters for.

There are many SEO factors that online businesses must take into account when trying to achieve ideal search engine rankings. Getting listed well means understanding how Google determines where a website should feature on search engine results pages (SERP’s).

Optimising your Site for Google
Search engines are a useful way to create brand awareness for an online business. How does one go about optimising a website for Yahoo?

SEO & Yahoo
As one of the largest and most popular search engines on the World Wide Web, Yahoo can assist online businesses establish better growth potential in such a competitive industry. Search engine rankings are an effective way to make your online business target an audience. The more well known a website or brand the more clicks it can attract. This then increases the possibility of converting a visitor into customer. Optimising a website for a search engine is “big business”. What techniques can be implemented to better optimise a website specifically for Yahoo?

Before implementing any SEO techniques, understanding that all search engines each operate according to different algorithms in order to determine the quality, relevancy and ranking of any given website is important to factor in. Yahoo is regarded among the top 3 search engines in the world, alongside the likes of Google and MSN. Bing, Microsoft’s answer to Google is up and running, vying for the top search engine spot.

It is no secret that Google currently holds the number 1 position, receiving the majority of internet search visitors. Yahoo, still, is significantly popular enough and shouldn’t be discounted as a search engine when implementing an SEO marketing campaign.

Optimising your Site for Yahoo
The following are key factors in how to best optimise a website for Yahoo:

  • Content & Keyword Density
  • Yahoo favours content, first and foremost, considering it to be the “above all” most important factor within their algorithms. Keyword rich content in large amounts is vitally important. The more content provided on the web pages of a website the better for your Yahoo search engine rankings. Regular additions and updates to content web pages and blogs are good ways to stay in Yahoo’s good books.
  • Many SEO consultants and companies promote a keyword density of approximately 2 – 5%. Yahoo favours a higher percentage of up to 7 – 8%. There is a danger to “getting keyword happy” with your content. Too many keywords, known as keyword stuffing will result in other search engines, namely Google, disfavouring a website and rather regarding it as spam (i.e.: a site which is making use of unethical or “black hat” SEO techniques with the sole purpose of boosting their search engine rankings). Keywords that are used should be thoroughly researched and ensured that they are relevant to the content.
  • Yahoo is also programmed to pick up on the many nuances of the written language. Yahoo will provide synonyms for any keyword submitted when considering the keyword density within a piece of content. Yahoo also regards plurals of keywords as one and the same.

Meta Tags & Title Tags
Whilst many professionals in the SEO field have begun to disregard the Meta tag, Yahoo very much favours them. Supplying relevant keywords in Meta tags is, therefore, very important and should match the topic of your content. Yahoo will pick up on any “mismatches” of keywords that are used in the Meta tags but aren’t apparent within the content.

Title tags should contain target keywords and phrases. A company name or website name is not as necessary to place within the title tag. This way, Yahoo’s “spider bots” will locate a web page a lot more efficiently, accurately and quickly.

The Yahoo Bot & Sitemaps
The Yahoo “spider bot” is comparatively “lazy” than other search engine “spiders”. The Yahoo bot is known not to crawl through websites and web pages as often or as deeply in order to find and index them thoroughly as other search engines. A legible sitemap is thus very important to have if you want your website to rank highly on Yahoo. Keeping this sitemap as up to date as possible is just as important. This way Yahoo is able to keep up to date with the infrastructure of your website and rank it accordingly.

Inbound Links & Backlinks
Keyword or textual relevance with regards to inbound links is very important when it comes to ranking highly with Yahoo. This means that as a website owner, having control over inbound links, anchor texts and being able to determine the web pages that they appear on is highly important. Inbound links must be sourced from other websites who offer quality and relevant content. Using article directories in order to better optimise your website for Yahoo is one beneficial way to do this.

Yahoo also favours a relatively high number of backlinks to a website. Caution should be taken, however, once again, where “overdoing it” is concerned. Link farms or other mass linking web pages are not always legitimate and will not attract an effective kind of attention. The focus should be on quality rather than quantity.

ALT Text
The addition of ALT tags to images that are displayed on a web page makes for easier indexing by Yahoo. ALT text or HTML tags help to “describe” an image that is displayed on a web page. Keywords can also be used to describe an image within an ALT tag.

Sponsored Listings
Sponsored listing programmes are a good way to improve a search engine ranking on Yahoo. Sponsored listing programmes are paid advertisements for a company that are displayed on other websites within the same listing category.

Content Tags
Content tags refer to H1 and H2 tags, bullets, italics and bold features etc. Keyword phrases should make use of variations in bold and italics within content. Content whereby bullets are used makes for easier readability as well. Using tags adds variety and aids a “spider bot” in being able to index web pages more efficiently.

Clean Code
Yahoo is one such search engine that particularly favours clean code. Yahoo will downgrade a website’s rankings who’s coding is badly written. Yahoo will thus regard the website as one that is guilty of unethical or “black hat” SEO techniques. Website code should be clean and ethical (“white hat”). Websites as a result are then much easier to maintain and are more likely to avoid search engine penalties.

In Conclusion
It’s a fact; search engines are a popular tool for internet users. Search engines cater for this demand by operating in the very way that most appeals to an internet user conducting a search. For an online business to be listed in such a way that also provides an internet user with what they want, rankings must be high and of a good quality. This is where SEO becomes the necessary tool for optimal business growth. Optimising your site for Yahoo is not all that complicated, it simply requires understanding.

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