You may only think of Google as your target SEO search site, but don’t forget about Yahoo, the world’s second largest search engine. (And in third place, Bing now owned by Microsoft) You may wonder, are there any differences between these search sites? Is what is good for one good for everybody? This is a great theory…unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. The sites are different entities altogether and use different algorithms to determine their search results.

Yahoo has actually changed a lot over the years, and its results are now powered by Bing. So while Yahoo has the big name, Bing is the search company you should concern yourself with. Of course, you do have some advantages going into this already. For one thing, all major search engines are focusing on creating superior organic search results. What attracts search engines the organic way is creating lots of quality content that matches popular keyword phrases.

Google is obviously the largest site and the most elaborate in terms of searching the entire Internet. Immediately, you should note that Yahoo / Bing will not present as comprehensive a search return as Google. Other webmasters have noticed a few quirks about Yahoo:

  • Many users still report using reciprocal links to their advantage
  • Yahoo has a lot of internal content as well as a paid inclusion program. This results in some bias when returning search results.

The disadvantages of Google may well be its greatest assets. Whereas Yahoo seems to be easy to influence through linking strategy, Google looks for natural link growth over a period of years. Google also prefers informational resources and trusts “senior” sites…sometimes more than it should. On the other hand, Google is far more aggressive in filtering out scraper sites and duplicated or plagiarized content. Assuming of course, that Yahoo will even “see” low quality sites that cut and paste in the first place.

Ultimately, both major search sites are worth a separate strategy. Yahoo is constantly creating new features and tying it in with major news stories. A entirely different audience may use Yahoo Search and you would be missing the boat by not reaching out to them.

Having said that, don’t forget that there are hundreds of search engines out there – each with their own specialty or quirk. Different search engines can be popular in other countries. Search engines like Alexa, Excite, Altavista, Ask, AOL, Yandex etc may be more effective in cerrtain niches or countries.

For more information on SEO, try discussing the issue with an SEO consultant.