In terms of relevancy Yahoo! is the number one search engine, while Google leads the market in terms of popularity. The question is: could you optimize for both? It depends…
One of the major differences between Yahoo! and Google is the keyword density tolerance. Google tolerates a maximum of 3% keyword density while Yahoo! around 5-6%. Now, the question is: are you going to ignore Google and start optimizing for Yahoo!?
If you go over the 3% keyword density boundary Google might penalize your website, considering it keyword stuffed. Are you going to take that risk for higher rankings in Yahoo?! Certainly not. Then what could you do to “score” in both search engines?
Use synonyms. The Yahoo! search algorithm is language based so it will recognize your words and reward your website for its variety. This way you’ll add a few more searchable keywords to your content and this might bring good results in Google too.
Stemming works well in Yahoo! too. Stemming refers to word variations, including prefixes and suffixes. For example the stem forms for tattoo: tattoos, tattooing, tattooed, tattooer, etc. Google doesn’t consider stemming spam either, but you should be careful how many keyword variations you use.
These two techniques will help you write your page copy in a more natural form and well-written content is valuable for your clients too. As a matter of fact the main purpose of your website is to rank well among your visitors. That’s why natural language is the best approach.
Adding More Content
Adding content works for all search engines. It’s like a magic potion: Google, Yahoo, MSN fall in love with content-rich websites. But you’ll need to do this constantly. You’ll also need to refresh web content on regular-basis. Additionally, more pages mean more possibilities to be found be your target customers.
When you add more pages don’t ignore website usability. Your visitors should be able to find their way through your website and not feel as walking thorough a virgin forest. This is why you need a site map, good internal linking, clear menu bars and a easy to use website navigation.
Both Yahoo! and Google love fresh content so both love blogs. Adding a blog to your website will give the search engines a reason to come back and crawl your site more often. Yahoo! treats blogs even better than Google, so it shouldn’t surprise you when you see a blog placed higher in the Yahoo! SERP than in the Google SERP.
Remember that each page, no matter how new, needs its own title and description. META tags are not as important in Google as they are in Yahoo!
In conclusion, enough quality content, good keyword choice and relevant linking will bring you results in all search engines, no matter the algorithm differences. But if you optimize for Yahoo! it is always useful to know that content is really the key.