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We have the same situation. We do quite fair on Google but absolutely nowhere on Y. Have never been able to figure it out.
Our rankings are almost identical on Google and Yahoo. It would be a strong case of understatement to say that Google brings in 100 times more traffic than Yahoo. I'd not even consider chanigng a byte on a site that works fine in Google in oder to maybe improve on Yahoo.
I would never try to optimize for Yahoo and risk good Google rankings. My advice is to optimize for Google and let Yahoo just be long-tail gravy.
You won't get considered SPAM just because you have created subdomains. They are sometimes necessary for many reasons. That would be like banning someone as SPAM because they happen to create a sub folder utilizing a keyword. SPAM content might get you banned. Link Farms might get you banned. But sub domains will not ... In fact, I would argue that it can rank you higher if used correctly. At least under this current algo.
The domain name significance is nothing new with Yahoo. It's been this way for years.
What's interesting about Yahoo is the one thing it gets "right" is finding newly launched websites. Somehow it finds them before you even try to get them indexed (Add URL), and sometimes that is even before Google finds your site.
I just recently discovered Yahoo has only indexed ONE PAGE from my entire (main) site. One page. Can you believe that? MSN and Google index every page.
I was wondering why, in the last five years I have only received Yahoo traffic for one search phrase. Incidentally, Yahoo results haven't changed for this phrase for the last five years. It's more like a Directory than a Search Result Page.
Yahoo was originally a directory, so it makes sense in a way, even though we're now in 2008, no longer 1995. I find it very difficult to see any progress Yahoo has made with its algo in the last 10 years.
I'm hoping somebody else will buy their search engine and fix it once and for all. I don't care if the buyer is MSN or Google or another company. It needs to be put out of its misery. Euthanized.
No links were added. Domain and page names went unchanged. The most deciding factor (my best guess) is registering the xml sitemap at Y!, making small changes to content every few days, and renewing the crawl at Y! site tools.
I cannot think of any other real changes made to the site.
most of them didn't have <h1> at all
I have H1s and rank fine. But as mentioned before, that H1 is unique, it does not simply re-iterate the title tag or a phrase that is repeated constantly on the page.
We used to rank number 10 on average for 'antiques', which was great, then Yahoo dropped us, without reason ... Yahoo gives not a crap, esp. with this Microsoft purchase possible, why should they put any effort in to improve anything; would be just a waste of time, money, resources.
Always makes me laugh when people's definition of "improving something" is the rank their site at the top.
It seems to me that the very things that make you do well on Google, in this regard, make you do badly on Yahoo.
Excellent spam prevention direction really. Spammers target G, not Y. So if you use a totally different algorithm to G then you don't have the same spam problems. Good in theory, practice seems to be less than perfect.
You CAN target both G and Y with your SEO work. You just have to know the common ground and work on those issues much, much harder. I just spent 20 mins writing out a chart to post here that gave a much fuller explanation then one of my colleagues who spotted me sanely pointed out "what are you doing? we spent thousands working that out!" - I'd imagine that the rest of the good helpful information will be missing from this thread. It will mainly consist of whiners saying how they feel they should be at the top.
The mindset is all wrong. Just read some of the posts above. "My site is great, Yahoo are stupid for not ranking me higher." The original post questions was correct, "how do I rank in Yahoo", not, "what should Yahoo change". Get your head around the fact that SE's hate SEO's and you'll be halfway there.
I've never worked out how to get a (free, old) Yahoo Directory entry updated.
"You will probably have only 2 to 5 targeted keywords per web page. Yes, no more!"
So I thought I'd have a look at the main 2 word term I target and this is what I saw. The numbers are the number of times that the 2 word term appears for the page that ranks at #1, #2 etc. This is based on the ranks at uk.search.yahoo.com
"in text" includes title but not metas or image alts.
#1 Has 5 repeats in text, +2 in metas (In title, not in H1)
#2 Has 4 repeats in text +3 in alts +5 in metas (In title, no H tags on page)
#3 Has 14 repeats in text +4 in alts +4 in metas (In title, also both words in H1 with class style applied but words separated by other words)
#4 Has 6 repeats in text +3 in alts +20 in keyword meta (Not in title but in H1 tag with class style applied)
#5 Has 4 repeats in text, 4 in alts + 19 in metas (twice in title and once in H1 tag with no class style)
#2 and #5 have the term in the URKL but not in the domain. The one at #2 is also at #5 on Google for the target term.
I also noticed this under the heading "Making Your Content King".
"# Place Keywords early and prominently in the content. For instance, place Keywords as the first words of the first sentence and perhaps in bold.
# When possible, use your Keywords in a Heading Tag, <H1>, included in the title at the top of the page."
I suspect that this is the on page recipe for success.
2 to 5 (target search term) repeats on page of which, one in title, one in H1, one at start of first para. Use synonyms and stems to build the theme. Use the term in the URL. I suspect it is even better if it is in the domain name.
Add a few back links with the term in anchor text and you have a chance of being near to the top.
I have one site that fits this exactly and it is at #1 on both Yahoo and Google for its target 2 word term. Another page that targets a 3 word term that fits exactly and is at #4 on Yahoo for that term and is at #1 on Google.
My main mission critical site is at #2/#3 on Google but at #23 on Yahoo but has a much higher keyword density than Yahoo is looking for. I may start to incrementally reduce the keyword density while at the same time increase prominence by switching some of my later repeats to stems and synonyms.
If anyone here can confirm or deny the hypothesis that what is quoted in bold above works please chip in ASAP.
I also own a domain "specificwidgets.com" that has been #1 in Google for years. Not in top 1K at yahoo....
Been looking around this board today to find answers, and I'm still lost about it...
G sends me 60% of our traffic. Y less than 5%.
I just don't get it..