Sulumits Retsambew

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Some of you might have read  my last article on MSN Rankings and here I come with 15 steps for Yahoo rankings. Steps are mostly similar but just thought of making a new post dedicated to Yahoo.

Although they’re all search engines, Yahoo is very different from Google as it is from MSN. Optimizing your site for Yahoo could involve tasks similar to the ones you’d have to do for Google, but getting to the top is a different battle altogether. Here are 15 steps that could just get you to that magical first page.

1. Use keywords, and enough of them at that. Keywords are crucial in SEO, no matter which search engine you’re working with. They let the search engines know that your pages are relevant to a particular niche or topic. Having enough keywords is also just as important as having them in the first place.

Before you start with SEO, it’s generally a good idea to do some keyword research and find out what keyword phrases could work for your site. You’ll also want to work with several keyword phrases that are all from the same niche so as to cover as wide a market as possible. If you have a site about cars, for example, you could use phrases like exotic cars, car reviews and car maintenance tips to start off.

2. Find out how much is enough. Of course, you’ll have to determine just what density would be advantageous to use. There are now applications that can analyze a page’s keyword density, so you should make the most of them. Don’t just use them on your own pages, though. Check out what densities the Top 10 pages are using, because that’s probably closest to the number that the search engine wants.

The specific number for ‘enough’ keywords changes regularly, so make sure that you’re diligent with checking the new numbers and updating your page. What counts as just sufficient for one day could be keyword stuffing for another, so this is something you have to do religiously.

3. Look for exactly the right keywords. Research is a big part of SEO, and Yahoo is no different. Not getting the right keywords means missing out on valuable visitors, while using too many unrelated keywords could get you penalized by Yahoo. This is especially true now that the search engine appears to be using a semantic algorithm that finds out if your site content is really relevant to the keywords you use.

Review your site and then make note of the topics you talk about. For every major topic, reduce it to a keyword phrase that’s 4 or 5 words at the longest. You can then use that list when you’re putting keywords into your site content. That should ensure better visitor conversions as well as minimal penalties from Yahoo, if any.

4. Aim for keywords in your domain name. If the option is still available to you, try to get a keyword into your domain name. A keyword, after all, is a keyword, wherever it might be. This little trick is said to work on Google, while it’s apparently effective for Yahoo. Do you already have an established domain? You could get a separate keyword domain and just make it redirect to your main page.

5. Register well beforehand.
Like the case with Google’s much discussed Sandbox, Yahoo also gives consideration to the age of your site when it gives you a ranking. Older sites obviously have an advantage over newer, freshly made ones.

6. Wait. Once you start employing SEO, don’t expect immediate results if you don’t want to get disappointed. Yahoo considers the age not just of your own site but also of the links that point to you. It takes a while for the links to register on Yahoo, and even more time is needed for those incoming links to have their full effect on your rankings.

It’s a good idea to prioritize older and more prominent sites when you begin your link building campaign. It’s not just that those sites have already matured past the Yahoo age requirement; they also tend to have better and more stable page rankings.

7. Maintain relevant backlinks only. It’s not just the age; the relevance of the page that gives each link to your site also matters. Are you thinking of entering a link exchange program with an unrelated site? Don’t bother. You’ll just hurt your site’s rankings.

Look for other sites and directories that are directly and explicitly relevant to your site when you build up links. Do you remember that semantic algorithm from above? It works on the incoming links too, to measure if a linking site is really related to yours.

8. Gather links galore.
Despite the limitation, you should still try to get as many links to your site as possible. More (relevant) links that point to your site translate into better rankings on Yahoo, guaranteed.

If you can’t find a third-party site or directory that’s related to your niche and is okay with linking to your page, you also have the option of starting a third-party page of your own that links to your main site. It’s a little tedious, but it can be very effective if done with all the right SEO strategies on the secondary site.

9. Want for one-way links. Not all links are created equal, and one-way links are a big cut above the rest. Reciprocal links are still helpful, yes, but non-reciprocal ones are even better.

Don’t expect to get one-way links for free, though. Sites that are related to yours may be willing to link to you, but almost always for a price. Don’t hesitate to inquire and negotiate terms with the other site. Manage expectations and prepare your checkbook.

10. Aim for good anchor text.
Yahoo seems to prefer it when links pointing to your site also have the keyword in the anchor text. If it’s possible to discuss this with the other site, do so – it gives you a huge advantage over some random keyword thrown out.

11. Position your links well. One of the more distinct characteristics of the Yahoo algorithm is that it considers the position of links that point to your page as well. Links closer to the top of the page count for more. It’s not that big of a difference, but every bit counts when you’re aiming for Page One.

When you’re discussing terms with the sites that’ll be linking to you, see if you could request for better positioning of your links. Many third-party sites are usually willing to oblige, especially when you’ve already come to terms on the price.

12. Get good sites to link to you. Another similarity between the Google and the Yahoo algorithms is that the weight of a link to your site is partly determined by the ranking of the site that gives the link. If there’s any opportunity for you to attract links from such high-ranking sites, take them.

One technique is to post content like short articles and comments on article directories and major blogs, which often have high page rankings themselves. Inserting links into those short snippets of content usually counts as a contribution to your page ranking from that site.

13. Construct to comply.
It’s a good idea to read up on the W3C standards for website structure before you begin with on-site optimization for Yahoo. SEO practitioners have been finding out that compliance with W3C structure standards appear to improve rankings.

The W3C standards give guidelines with regard to site structure and page sizes, which often result in a site that’s easier for mobile devices to navigate. All three major search engines (MSN, Google and Yahoo) seem to give mobile-friendly sites better rankings, so you may as well take the W3C-compliant plunge.

14. Make meta tags. Had you been optimizing for Google, this would be an unnecessary step. Like MSN, though, Yahoo still considers meta tags and gives higher rankings to pages with relevant meta text.

You could use the list of keywords you created from above to give you ideas for your meta tags. Just plug those meta tags into the HTML code when you begin building your site, and you should get better rankings in the long run.

15. Create content – lots of it. This is one of those universal factors that tie all the search engines together. No matter which search engine you’re trying to court, content will get you very far in terms of rankings. Quality content for your niche or keyword gives you the upper hand because the engines are likelier to recognize your superior ranking.

Generally speaking, optimizing for Yahoo isn’t too different from doing the same for MSN or Google. It’s just that different SEO activities have different weights for each search engine. For the steps above, though, you may as well do them all. They’ll work in your ranking’s favour, no matter which search engine you consider. And ya.. let me give an internal link love to my sulumits retsambew entry too :p.

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5 Responses to “15 Steps to Get Better Rankings on Yahoo”

  1. Hellas says:

    Yahoo sucks. I tried to use it. But I am getting unrelevant results. MSN, Yandex and Baidu are all better then Yahoo.

  2. Ranking on Yahoo and MSN is a waste as long as Google. The fizma team ranks well on both Yahoo and MSN but not on Google. I think we need to get more effort into the contest.

  3. Sunita says:

    Glad to have your response :) But this article wasn’t only targeted to contest. The blog is covering most search engine questions and topics.. not just contest updates. We know that Google gives 75% of traffic but a smart businessman wouldn’t like to ignore 25% traffic too.. that comes from Yahoo. msn and other search engines.

    Hope to see you again.

    Good luck for contest..

  4. [...] was pretty expected. Sharp move from page 15 to 8. Contextual link building is one of the most effective link building strategies that actually works wonders to your search engine rankings. However, to get the best out [...]

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