What are on-site on-page guidelines that can optimize a site for Yahoo search?

Its been over 6 years since I have been running a number of websites and for some reason the traffic and ranking from Yahoo has always been disproportionally low. Given that Google sends so much traffic (except for one site which dropped last week - the topic of another question), I never found out what Yahoo likes (and other engines but lets leave this question Yahoo specific).

Lets exclude things like 'great content', 'good navigation', 'user-oriented text' etc which are a given basic for any site and search engine. I am already passed this ;) What I am looking for could have to do with page structure, linking structure, layout, length of various parts, etc.

Just a note, my sites are all indexed crawled by Yahoo already. Their SiteExplorer shows that they have index most pages (from 10s to 1000s for bigger-sites), just that they rank less well outside of Google.

  • 2
    Yahoo doesn't have it's own search engine technology anymore. Since 2009 they've been using Bing's.
    – Renan
    Jul 21, 2011 at 17:03

2 Answers 2


As Renan says, they use Bing. So your best option would probably be to start at:


However, look at how much of your traffic is coming from Google. For me it's a good 99.9%. So if you have huge value from one source, focusing energy on another might:

  • Be a waste of time (your time/reward ratio will be bad as well probably)
  • Cause harm to your main source

Also note a good SEO site isn't Google specific, they are fundamental rules that should help on all search engines worth their salt. Google/Bing specific optimisations are probably going to be short lived and -EV (I've never seen any specific engine optimisations either, I'm sceptical if any exist past signing up on their local business directories etc).

  • +1 for saying that SEO is not search engine specific. In fact most SEO has nothing to do with search engines at all and more with how to build a site properly.
    – John Conde
    Jul 21, 2011 at 18:35
  • Since 92% of my search traffic used to come from Google but that went down to almost zero (I am working frantically on solving this) reducing this dependency is a good idea. My expectation is to get traffic in proportion to the market share and Google's is not 92% yet! As I said in my question, I already now the general SEO practice but the disproportionate traffic indicates an uneven applicability.
    – Itai
    Jul 21, 2011 at 18:40
  • @John - While it is not SE specific. Each SE uses different hints and therefore rank things differently. Knowing these hints would let me know what my sites do not rank in proportion to the market-share of search engines. Google traffic used to be (up to one week ago) 10X larger than any other search-engine traffic for at least one of my sites.
    – Itai
    Jul 21, 2011 at 18:42
  • @Itai, most of the ranking factors used by search engines are going to be common across them. What will vary will be the weight attributed to them, their expertise in using them, and then there will be the unique things that they use that are either patented or not yet considered by the other engines.
    – John Conde
    Jul 21, 2011 at 18:46
  • You'll also find that since Google has the lionshare of the search market and (not coincidentally) the more advanced algorithm you're going to find that they are going to deliver the most traffic. Also, if you do some research you'll find that it is not common to rank well in Google and then also rank well in Yahoo/Bing. Yahoo/Bing just can't get their quality up to Google's yet and thus deliver different results.
    – John Conde
    Jul 21, 2011 at 18:48

Turns out I almost had the answer when I wrote the question.

Yahoo puts greater emphasis on in-page factors such as headings than Google which puts more emphasis on anchor text of incoming links. Keywords in the URL seems to be much more important to Google.

Yahoo and Bing may share a common engine but do not return the same results. Yahoo includes more synonyms when searching for results, which gives more result having different keywords. So on Yahoo, a site may compete with sites that are ranked for apparently different keywords.

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