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Yahoo Search Engine and Directory Forum

How are web sites ranked in Yahoo?
Why am I so far down the list?

 10:54 am on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

I apologise in advance if this is a regular question on this forum. This is my first visit to the Yahoo section (I spend FAR too much time with Google!), so it may be that someone could just point me to previous relevant threads.

I have a listing in Yahoo that appears close to the bottom of every search phrase I look at. Even a three word phrase that appears exactly in my Yahoo description brings me out at 42 out of 52 sites.

So what I need to know is simply, how are the web sites in Yahoo ranked for relevance in response to keyword phrase searches?



 11:51 am on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

You write of search phrases. When you enter a search phrase in Yahoo, the results are provided by google, so basically you should spend even more time there :-)

For the directory part of Yahoo, as far as I know the results are listed by alphabetical order.


 11:56 am on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

At least in my primary keywords my rank on Yahoo is identical to my position in Google. (and yahoo seems to be reflecting the recently ended Google dance results too)


 12:12 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

When you enter a search term, the serps are as follows.

Directory listings first, these are not ranked alphabetically as serps, they are if you drill through the directory cats to the site/title listings. Hence their is an algo in effect ordering the relevance of these, present thought is that it is a popularity based algo, which is dependant on clicks.

Next is the pages > which are straight google results, though rumor has it this may change to FAST.

To climb yahoo, definetly look at google, also clicking, though unfortuntatly they have to be unique clicks, not one man click on the directory link 100 times a day.


 12:29 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Perhaps this wasn't such a silly question, as there seem to be a number of views on it already!

Let me be more specific. The home page of my website is optimised well for my main search term in Google, has a good PR and a lot of incoming links. So it appears in Google SERPs at number 6 for my primary keyword phrase, out of 303,000 pages in the index.

When I go to Yahoo, and do a web pages search, I get the same result (obviously) - #6 position.
But if I do a web site (directory) search at Yahoo I find 223 entries, and my site placed at #174! There is no indication of any alphabetical order here.

If visitor numbers count for Yahoo directory position, does this mean visitors through their wep page listing, in which case my site gets a lot more visitors than all but a handful of the many sites above mine. Or does it mean visitors through their web site (directory) listing, in which case it's Catch 22 - I'm at the bottom because I don't get click-throughs, and I don't get click-throughs because I'm at the bottom!

Any more thoughts, please?


 12:34 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

if you reread what i said about the directory from a search point of view not being alpha ordered. Its more based on popularity and a relevancy algo not associated to google.

I would start hunting around your own listed cat, and getting links from the top ranked sites, via the serps, and also start looking at the other cats, where sites are listed from above, and hunt down links from the top ones.


 1:51 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

baldrix, imagine your Y! listings as a mini-web page. For what I imagine is your targeted phrase you have the wrong title and URL, you are also in the wrong cat. Your description is OK though :)

Not a lot you can do about unless you are prepared to build a new domain for Y!.


 2:01 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

It's my understanding that in the click popularity algorithm, sites that are way down in the results get more brownie points for being clicked than do sites that are higher up. So if your listing attracts clicks even once in a while, it will begin to rise in the ranks.


 2:06 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

>click popularity algorithm,

Some will disagree but there is no click thru algo at Y! IMHO


 2:10 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks NFFC. I spotted the title significance a few minutes ago, and I have submitted a requested change to that so that it incorporates my top keyword phrase as well as my company name. Hopefully that will be accepted and will help. I also changed the description slightly. Can't do much about the domain name, and I think I'll let the category stand for now. It seems like the title is the biggest factor, so fingers crossed!


 6:36 am on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Some will disagree but there is no click thru algo at Y! IMHO

I noticed today some changes in Yahoo ranking for my "targeted" keywords.

Is this change related to the recent google update?


 12:09 am on Jul 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

angiolo, yes.


 4:27 am on Jul 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I just got a free listing today...so I'll be able to verify some of the claims when it comes up in the next 2 days or so...


 1:43 pm on Jul 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

My free listing came in at #4 out of 176. Keyword in title, description came in good.

It seems link pop was the only thing that kept me from achieving #1

Does anyone know if that changes month to month based on new incoming links?


 9:56 pm on Jul 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Y! "Web Pages" SERP is using Google, "Web Sites" SERP is related to google PR rank



 1:52 am on Jul 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Y! "Web Pages" SERP is using Google, "Web Sites" SERP is related to google PR rank"

This is true, but let me make a slight addition:

"Web Sites" SERP in yahoo is related to google PR rank AND the content on your site. A lot of people tell me otherwise, but I can flatout prove them wrong based on my yahoo listings and my experience of tracking results (variations anywhere from extreme to minor DO occur based on content changes).


 1:16 am on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm startin to believe yahoo "web site" results are also determined by google PR.

I have noticed top 5 results for 2 very competitive keywords all have PR 5 or better and backward links of 22. Now I am pretty much sold that link pop on "web site" results on Yahoo is in effect. Now what about click popularity?


 7:36 pm on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Rudy, I don't think clickthrough matters any more.

ScottM, Yes, Yahoo updates frequently and your PR will influence your ranking.

NOTE - I've noticed that for one of my keywords, Yahoo has updated every FRIDAY for the last month.


 7:47 pm on Jul 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

What is the point then with Yahoo's human edited
system. I thought the purpose of this was to retain
quality of their directory results. This weekly update,
is this human and manually edited or automatic by
a spider or something. If automatic, this would seem
counter productive to their human edited intengrity bull****.


 11:02 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Rudy it makes sense to me. Sites admitted are manually reviewed, but people can't rank thousands of sites.


 4:40 pm on Jul 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Baldrix, Yahoo editors usually won't let you keyword-stuff your title. They want the title to be the name of your site. For example, if your company is Acme Manufacturing, they will list you as "Acme Manufacturing". If your target keyword is your product, steel widgets, they almost certainly won't let you do a title like "Steel Widgets from Acme Manufacturing". If your rankings are bad, you might have to create a new site, like "Steel Widgets R Us", to get a keyword based title. Or, you could redesign the existing site around a new name - I've had occasional luck getting a keyword title by modifying the site name/company name in just about all references on the site.


 7:12 pm on Jul 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have a similar problem to baldrix.

The editors chose what title to give my site as well as the description. In my case they've missed the most obvious keyword. Then the search compoment of Yahoo! ranks sites based on the title and description that they themslves have chosen. It seems like they load the dice right from the start.

If they weren't so resistant to change it wouldn't be so bad, but getting a title changed seems to be pretty hard.


 7:47 pm on Jul 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't think Yahoo is resistant to change, they just want the site title to be the true name of the site/company. They aren't concerned about your position in the results, and will edit blatant keyword stuffing, even in the description. If you want to be found for "steel widgets", then start a website at steelwidgets.com called "Steel Widgets, Inc.". I guarantee you'll get your keyword in the title. (If you really want to try your luck, go for a1steelwidgets.com and call the site "A1 Steel Widgets, Inc"... that will bump you to the top of the alphabetic list, too... ;))


 8:16 pm on Jul 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi rogerd,

Where do you (or Yahoo, to be more pertinent) draw the line between stuffing and an accurate description?

The situation that I'm in is that my site is called something like Worldwide Widgets, but Yahoo titles it simply "Worldwide" and so people searching for "widget" are virtually unable to find me.

The site's been going for 18 months, and it's a bit late to go back and create a new domain. We're #1 in Teoma/Ask for "widget", and in the top ten in Google for the same term. But Yahoo! is a tough nut to crack. I keep trying, though. So far I haven't even been able to get them to spell our name quite right!


 1:43 am on Jul 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

MeditationMan, quite a few people have reported success getting titles changed.

Lately they seem to be paying more attention to changes like these.

In your request, emphasize that this change will improve Yahoo's RELEVANCY and will benefit Yahoo's users.


 2:13 am on Jul 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

That's encouraging, 2_much. I'll keep on trying.


 11:16 am on Jul 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just want to say that I now have widget in the title and come up #7 on a search for "widget". The change only took about four days from the last request for a change. It's obviously worth doing.


 3:46 pm on Jul 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

We've been very successful with paid for submissions to Yahoo that contain descriptions that are exactly 16 words long. If you go insane with keyword stuffing they edit your text, but sometimes you strike lucky.

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