Search engine optimization techniques for Google and Yahoo are quite different. Many websites rank well in one search engine but not the other. This is the direct result of each search engine having its own unique ranking algorithm. For example, the Google algorithm predominantly values the anchor text of in-bound links. Yahoo places more emphasis on keyword density and meta tags.
The primary reason for the difference in ranking algorithms is that Google owns the patent on Page Rank (PR), named after Google's founder Larry Page. As a result of owning this patent, other search engines need to place more emphasis on different optimization factors including website URL, keyword density and so on.
What are the greatest differences in search engine algorithms?
Google places a significant amount of emphasis on inbound links to your website. The value of these inbound links are measured based on their Google PR. The more links you receive from high Google PR web pages, the better your search result placements will be for a given keyword or search term.
Yahoo places emphasis on website URLs, meta tags, and keyword density. These factors can be analyzed on any website with a limited amount of effort, allowing Yahoo to quickly and easily rank websites properly.
How you can optimize your website for both Google and Yahoo!
The challenge all website owners face is making the most of their optimization efforts. When thinking about search engine optimization, you need to cover all the bases. To do so, pay particular attention to the following guidelines.
Keyword Targeted URL. If your website URL doesn't contain your keywords, consider purchasing a new one or creating a new page off of your root directory (ex: marketingscoop.com/internetmarketing.htm). Having your keywords in the URL helps improve both your Yahoo and Google search results. Yahoo weighs the website address as an important ranking factor. Google values a keyword rich URL when third party websites place a link to your site using nothing but a web address.
Meta Tags. Although not as important as they once were, Yahoo still uses meta tags to help align search engine rankings and appropriate website pages. Make sure that your meta tags are complete and include your keyword phrases in the title, description, and keyword tags.
Keyword Density Between 6 - 8%. Although much has been written about the importance of keyword density remaining between 2 - 3%, Yahoo looks for sites with keyword densities as high as 8%. Don't be afraid to include your keywords throughout your webpage content. Make sure however, that your keyword density is not more than 8%.
Link Building. This is the most important factor for increasing Google search result placements. Develop a link building campaign and give other sites a reason to link to your site. This may include free downloads, tools, or other valuable resources.
Site Map. Publish a sitemap. This makes it easy for search engines to spider your website and access all of your most important web pages. Site maps should be accessible from your home page and kept up-to-date.
Optimizing for both Google and Yahoo can be challenging. Following basic seo principles and working to develop incoming links can help you reach the top of the largest search engines. Apply these techniques regularly to see the greatest results.
About the Author: Michael Fleischner is a marketing expert with more than 12 years of Internet marketing experience. Learn how to improve search engine rankings with his latest ebook, The Webmasters Book of Secrets at http://www.webmastersbookofsecrets.com.