|Doing SuperDuper in Google, Nowhere in Yahoo! & MSN|
My problem: Google absolutely adores my site. Going on circa 3 years now, I've sat unmoveable in positions 1-3 for a whole huge swath of competitive keywords. But on Yahoo! and MSN - I simply don't exist anywhere within the top 50. It's bizarre.
I'm not looking for a bunch of MeToo posts, because it's pointless and useless to read yet more testimony about how much MSN and Yahoo! suck (personally I already know that, thanks).
What I want is any kind of constructive info -- practical clues to follow, perhaps a few helpful heads-ups regarding other WebmasterWorld posts on the topic -- anything I could actually use to help fix the problem, and not merely complain some more about it.
Without more information about the site's strenghts and weaknesses it's very hard to guess. But I'll try. ;-)
Google most heavily relies upon the quality and nature of backlinks of the three. Yahoo is sorta in the middle. MSN can still rank you with iffy backlinks and aggressive on site optimization.
One possibility is that the site is not very well optimized, and/or that it may also have too much internal duplication (Y and MSN filters are more heavy handed IMO).
So it's possible that your links are carrying you in G, but your lack of optimization or other internal site issues are causing problems in Y and MSN.
That's where I'd start, anyway, FWIW.
What I find intersting is that a thread on the inverse of this issue, ie: "Doing great on MSN/Yahoo, nowhere on Google" runs into two pages of posts, and growing. But this opposite dilemma seems to be an orphan. Wierd. Am I all alone?
Well maybe given the extreme nature of your rankings splits. But certainly I've had many sites that have done better in G than the other two. The trick IMHO to ranking well in all three is to have all bases covered: Excellent site wide and on page SEO, high quality relevant links, and broader based links too, with varying anchor text. Get all that done and you should be in pretty good shape. Definitely the thing that most kills rankings in Y is their heavy handed dup filters. The MSN problem you've got is a little more perplexing, unless you really have just a limited amount of very high quality links, which can move you further ahead in G than in MSN. Volume helps more in MSN, IMO.
For years, the problem with any of my sites was great rankings on Yahoo but awful ranking on Google. Two things have changed in the last year, though: I've improved the number of backlinks for my sites, and Yahoo changed their algorithm. Now, my clients rank well on Google for terms that they were dropped from page 1 to 5 on Yahoo.
I gave up on trying to figure Yahoo out, their engineers are probably shaking up the results just to get us to spend more money on paid sponsor listings.
An overzealous duplicate content penalty makes a lot of sense for my site. I have hundreds of individual product pages. After awhile it gets tedious + ridiculous to try creating absolutely fresh content for each one. What I tend to do is optimize for whatever keyword happens to need firming up at the moment that I enter new products, whatever's a bit sluggish in the rankings at the time.
So, if 5 new items come in, I'll create 5 pretty much identical pages all optimizing for the same keywords, with the same text. Next 5 products, a different set of keywords and a different piece of descriptive blahblah. Face it, a commercial site offering hundreds or even thousands of products, all unified under the same general industry header, is going to have a lot of overlaps in the verbiage -- and still be totally dead-on relevant to the search.
Google doesn't mind this. Yahoo apparently does.
The other thing is that, although I'm in every obscure and relevant directory out there, plus I have a real solid set of links & backlinks (all created around 3 years ago right after initial site launch) I haven't done a single link exchange with anyone in well over 2 years. SEO via link exchanges is such a transparent game, and by now I look at link exchange solicitation eMails as an almost pure form of spam.
By the looks of things, using my own site as the Petri dish, Google seems to agree with that view of link exchanges: again, no new links since well over two years now, and I'm still solidly sitting at #1, like an iron doorstop, unmoveable.
Yahoo's still guided by some dark ages paradigm, long ago outmoded by ever-evolving Internet reality.
Just gotta repeat: Google keeps me literally stuck at number one position. I don't even budge for most of the money kw's in my trade. Logic dictates I must be at least somehwat relevant to those searches, eh? ...but I don't even exist on Yahoo. I do mean z-e-r-o rankings. Nowhere. Zip. Bupkus. Non-entity.