If Bing is the T.J. Maxx of search engines, then Yahoo! is the weird impulse-buy section of eclectic snacks in T.J. Maxx by the registers. Yes, it’s weird that I’m intimately familiar with the interior set up of T.J. Maxx.
Bing supplies the search juice for Yahoo!. Yeah, Yahoo! is basically a search-engine shell. So should you be optimizing for it? Although Yahoo!’s market share in the US looks pitiful in comparison to Google’s, Yahoo! still fields about 2.4 billion searches a year. For America’s third choice in search engines, that’s not too shabby.
But should you be optimizing your site for Yahoo!? While Yahoo! doesn’t use its own algorithm, we’re going to detail a few ways you can still get value over your competitors specifically through Yahoo! We’re going 2002-style today.
Yahoo! and Bing: Identical Twins with Different Personalities
In 2012 Yahoo! announced that the Bing algorithm would fuel all of its search results. While Yahoo! has since regretted that decision, and is desperately trying to break out of their contract, Bing currently powers Yahoo!. So, if Bing and Yahoo! use the same algorithm, they produce the same search engine result pages (SERPs), right?
Not exactly. Like identical twins, they look the same and have the same genes, but their personalities are completely different.
Well maybe we can’t even call them identical twins. Maybe they’re more fraternal. Anyway, not only do the two search engines prioritize local results differently, but their search results vary. Interestingly enough, the paid results are different on the different searches.
Even searches designated with a geo specific keyword get entirely different results. For the picture above “Gaithersburg HVAC repair,” Yellowpages ranks high on both searches, but the local results and the following searches below the Yellowpages are different. The sites are comparable, but they’re ranked differently
Where Should You Focus Your SEO Efforts for Yahoo?
Generally, if you optimize your site for Bing, you’ve already optimized your site for Yahoo!. However, where Yahoo! is trying to distinguish itself from Bing and Google is with its local results. In June, Yahoo reoptimized their Yahoo! Localworks page, which allows small businesses flexibility to create their own Yahoo! Local listings.
Securing a spot in the local listings for your business is vital. When your potential clients are looking for a specific service, they’ll designate their search with a geo-targeted keyword. Signing up your business for the Yahoo! Local service is fairly easy. Even if you don’t want to pay the $10 a month to have “enhanced” Yahoo! Local service, you can still customize your Yahoo! Local to optimize your search in the category. Go back to the screenshots. The local results are different for Bing and Yahoo!, and (not pictured) they’re different for Google, too. It’s worth it to add your business to the directory.
The Future of Yahoo! Search
Although Yahoo! caters its search Thanksgiving instead of cooking the turkey algorithm its self, it may become its own independent search engine again as soon as 2015. Yahoo! and Bing’s contract is dependent on Microsoft helping Yahoo! reach certain goals, which have never been met and probably never will be met. So getting your business hooked up with Yahoo! Local early in the game could be beneficial in the long run. Whether Yahoo! will miraculously flame out early in its second run of independence is to be determined. But right now, focus on Yahoo! Local to drive in some new traffic.
Let Blue Corona help you with all your search engine optimization needs. Enter your website below. We’ll see what direction you should head in.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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