Though Google is the leading search engine on the web, it is not the only important player in the market that search marketers should focus their efforts and attention to all the time.

Yahoo! Search is the third biggest player in the search engine market and is an established media company worldwide.  Though the gap of market share between Google and Yahoo! is quite huge, making sure that you know how to make your website become more visible in both search engines can give you an edge from your competitors.

Reasons Why Optimizing for Yahoo! Search is Still Important

As of December 2009, Yahoo! Search is the 2nd largest search directory on the web by query volume and earlier that year it merged with another big search engine player – Bing of Microsoft.  On the same year, Yahoo! Search is already powered by Bing, which means it is always up to compete with Google.

Optimizing your websites for Yahoo! has lots of benefits compared to optimizing them solely for Google.  In desperate and disappointing times, you may find Yahoo! Search as your only source of search traffic and referral.  This can happen especially in trying times such as the devastating results brought the Panda and Penguin, the search algorithm updates that shook the small business world.  Google had removed websites (those which violated their rules) from their search index leaving webmasters and SEOs groping for ways on how to regain the loss traffic and income.

The point here is, you will be left with nothing if you will only depend and base your optimization on one search engine.

5 Important Tips in Optimizing your Website for Yahoo! Search

You’ve already heard much about how to optimize websites for Google.  Now is the time to check how search engine optimization is done for Yahoo! Search.  The following are the top 5 basic SEO tips to gain higher ranking in Yahoo!’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

1.  Site Structure –This factor is one of the most important website components that affect your Yahoo! Search ranking.  A good site structure helps Yahoo Slurp (Yahoo!’s search engine bot) and your readers index and find your contents easily, respectively.  A well-structured website is characterized by properly-categorized pages in the main menu and well-ordered sub-menus.  This helps Yahoo Slurp in determining which content need priority in indexing.

2.  Content and Keyword Density – Just like in other major search engines, quality of content and enough keyword density are among the major factors that need to be taken care of if you are planning to rank in Yahoo! Search.  The search engine usually prefers the keyword density of 7 to 8 percent, which is higher compared to most webmasters and SEOs preference.  But, same with Google, keyword stuffing should also be avoided.

3.  Sitemaps and Yahoo Bot – Unlike the search spider in Google, the Yahoo! Slurp doesn’t do much deep indexing.  This is the reason why you should create a sitemap for your website so that the bot can just easily crawl it and index your content from there.  If you are using a WordPress CMS for you blog, you can just look for a sitemap plugin and upload it.  The sitemap will update automatically once you have a new content, thus giving Yahoo! Slurp a signal that it needs to be crawled and to be indexed again.

4.  Inbound Links – Inbound links is very important in ranking well in Yahoo! Search.  Website quality and anchor text are basic factors that determine its relevance.  Though Yahoo! Search favors websites with lots of inbound links, it also doesn’t tolerate mass linking and other web spam techniques that lower down the quality of users’ search experience.

5.  Domain age – Yahoo! Search doesn’t easily crawl and index newly launched websites.  It would take around 3 to 4 months before the search engine bot will consider it for indexing.  And, in most cases it would take 8 to 12 months before its optimized keywords will rank on Yahoo!’s SERPs.

Optimizing in Yahoo! Search is not that different in optimizing for Google Search.  As this is the case, it is more advisable to get the best of both search engines.

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