It all started with a gasp…while reviewing traffic report for one of our sites I noticed that traffic was down significantly from day before. I soon discovered that change had occurred at Yahoo.
So I navigated to Yahoo, typed in keyword, and gasped. The trusty Yahoo search ranking page we had come to know and love (because our site was ranked #1) was gone! It had been replaced by what appeared to be a normal, non-categorized search listing like you would find at most other search engines. And more importantly, our site was no longer on top of that list!
By now you probably know that Yahoo has changed way that it delivers search results. The old way, of showing a page of categories (Business and Economy > Business to Business > Construction > Metals) in response to a search has been replaced. Visitors now see a few one-line category links followed by a list of sites that rank well against that search term.
What does this mean for Internet Marketers? First, it probably means that your site has changed in ranking on Yahoo. You might be lucky and your site is in much better position now than it used to be. But you also may not even show up in listing, especially if your success was based on having an alphabetically-prominent company name (Yahoo used to list sites alphabetically).
Second, it means that search engine battleground has probably changed yet again. Yahoo currently represents about half of all searches on net. My prediction (and I’m sure Yahoo’s hope) is that since this change makes information easier to find, it is going to make them significantly more popular, resulting in greater market share, and hence more searches, going through Yahoo in future. (I’ve already called my broker…)
Keys To Ranking High on New Yahoo!:
The formula for getting ranked high on Yahoo used to be one of easiest to understand in search directory/engine world. Now that formula’s not so obvious, and more importantly, it may become a moving target, just like most of other search engines. What works well this week, possibly won’t next. But that’s life!
In spite of that, it’s fairly clear that Yahoo will be utilizing several factors in their equation to determine what comes up first in their ranking. Keep these in mind as you register new sites:
1. Presence in their database. They won’t list you if you’re not there! So if you haven’t done it yet, get off your duff, dust off your credit card, and fork over $299 to get your site listed. You can’t afford not to, period!
2. Presence of keyword in your URL, Yahoo title and Yahoo description. Yahoo still doesn’t appear to be ranking their search results based on page content of your site itself, but rather by information in title, description and URL that is listed in their database for your site. Your site must provide valuable information to be accepted into Yahoo directory, but when it comes to determining who gets ranked first on any given search, it’s words in titles, descriptions and URLs that determine ranking order, not actual copy on your site.
Ideally, keyword that people will most likely find you under will be listed in your URL, your company name (which Yahoo will use for title of your site in their listing) and right at beginning of your site’s description on their database. For example:
http:compostmakers.com Compost Makers Inc. Compost makers, tools, and equipment for making your garden healthy
will score considerably better for a search on “compost makers” than would http:gardenstuff.com Bob’s Hardware Store Compost makers, tools, and equipment for making your garden healthy
3. Primacy of keyword in your URL, Yahoo title and Yahoo description. Yahoo places more weight on words at beginning of terms than that same word later on in your description. So: Compost makers, tools, and equipment for making your garden healthy