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We've got <title>=<h1> on all pages and we are nowhere in Yahoo. When I checked the first 10 results in our niche, none of them had <title>=<h1>, moreover most of them didn't have <h1> at all, and had a quite messy html, that wouldn't validate.
It would be interesting if others check this for their keywords and report back here
I run about 40 different web sites that have all ranked pretty pretty well in Yahoo over the years. Most stayed in high ranking, but some fell out of the top 20 this last update. I have seen some very solid web sites just disappear and generic templates popping up under local keywords that simply don't belong in the top 100 for any keyword, let alone significant local SERPs.
I can say from personal experience that some local searches really seem to have been effected here. However, the results are extremely inconsistent. Some local SERPs appear decent while others are way way out of line and are not following the same algo as other cities.
I will say this with much certainty .... If the update is complete, there are a few cities that are the subject of some type of weird case study because SERPS are absolutely horrible and following a totally different algo. Perhaps YAHOO is gauging PPC increases in those subject areas and will activate something when they are done with the 30 day study? I certainly hope that is the case, because I am at a complete loss to make sense of those test areas.
Could the problem be keyword prominence and/or density in the first n words?
It seems to me that the very things that make you do well on Google, in this regard, make you do badly on Yahoo. Perhaps they are trying to differentiate themselves from the big G.
From what I can see, density over 5% and prominence over 70% seems to trigger the filter.
Sorry to do a follow on but, I just spotted a site using CSS to reorder page and therefore show search engines content in a different order to that seen by browsers. All of the body copy in a div called seo is inside H3 tags but it looks like a 10 point (or less) footnote in light grey.
The page is in the top 5.
Even if <h1>=<title> alone is not sufficient to bury a site in Y! SERPS, I do believe that it is a combination of on-page factors that triggers over-optimization filter. It may be a keyword prominence/density as suggested by Sid, possibly combined with <h1>=<title> criteria, etc
Our main website is exceptionally strong when judged based on off-page factors. We have a plenty of authority links. For our main keywords, in google we hold simultaneously #1 and #2 positions, plus #1 position have Sitelinks. In Yahoo, we are outranked by parked domains (same as textex). The site is completely white hat. What the hell does Yahoo want from us?
It is funny if we are penalized for keyword prominence or density, because at this point I do NOT even KNOW what the keyword density is on our home page. As I am writing this post, I can not say if the keyword density is 2% or 7%. The page was written with our audience in mind, disregarding keywords issues whatsoever.
May be the time for a little black hat adventure has come ;-) An interesting experiment would be to cloak the page just for Yahoo. The Slurp loves to crawl messy invalid HTML without <h> tags, low kw density. Keep quality for the visitors, feed Y! junk.
Hmm... being a bad boy ... I have to think about it.
I would hate to say that domain name is playing a significant roll here, but that is definitely factoring in at a much higher weighting. Almost looking like SERPs from 3 years ago in MSN. I could virtually guarantee a SEO client who bought the right domain name that I could get them traffic less than 4 weeks after launch because of the good old dependable MSN algo. Buy widgetinkansas.com and you could easily rank for the term "widgets in kansas" .... IMPRESSIVE.
I have seen domains that I have not bothered to market in years surfacing in the top 10. WHY? Well, it seems that it is because they utilize the keyword phrase in their domain name. Sub pages are ranking like mad in this new algo. Example: city-keyword.com/keyword.htm or .php , etc. WOW, it ranks again with no additional marketing efforts! ;-) Yes, I used simple on page marketing techniques, but they don't belong back in any type of top ranking position.
I would have to disagree with a penalty for keyword density. If anything, sites in my study are sometimes being rewarded for stronger keyword density. Other keywords, on the contrary, are being penalized and this is what is confusing. The consistency level is just not there at all.
I would get into specifics on my research here, but wouldn't want big brother snooping into things too much. Trust me when I say that the algo is not being applied equally. Something is wrong in Yahoo land, but no one is talking at the moment over there.
Does anyone know if they are done with this implementation?
Just trying to figure out why a site outranks us for 3 word term that we target.
It has zero occurrences of the term on the page but does have the words that make up the term.
The URL does not contain the term but does have the words in a different order (one of the words is pluralised).
It only has 13 backlinks shown in site exlorer.
It is #1 on uk.yahoo, yahoo.com and google.co.uk.
How the heck can you compete with nothing?
This latest update seems to put Yahoo's integrity into question.
Unfortunately we don't (our domain was set up when we bought the business) and although we rank very well on Google for our geography (.co.nz) on Yahoo we are terrible. More bizarrely when we do show up at 30 or 40 , often the page they have chosen seems to be a pretty minor page, deep in the website structure and not particularly relevant to a real user.
[edited by: encyclo at 6:57 pm (utc) on May 25, 2008]
[edit reason] no specific search terms please [/edit]
This being said, it puts things in a bit of a situation. Some of us may end up having to create some content on keyword rich URLs we own here and also rename some pages and do a redirect on the original page. I might recommend some of you create sub pages utilizing your keywords in the page and linking to them from your home page. If they are indexed, they just might show up if your other on page factors are correct. Unfortunate to see Yahoo take about 10 steps backword in their newest algorithm.
I do believe they made this shift to coincide with MSN more and anticipating a potential buyout offer. That way, it would have made the MSN transition a bit easier. Since the deal went bust, the real question is whether or not they will keep this new algo in place for any extended period.
I have always believed that domain name should play some significance, but Yahoo's latest algo is extreme. It is rewarding some very poorly developed sites, some of which don't even exist yet.
[edited by: engine at 8:50 am (utc) on May 25, 2008]
[edit reason] No specifics, please, thanks. [/edit]
If I was hand selecting sites for the top ten 5 of the current top 10 would be in there so its not all bad in our niche. Its just difficult to work a plan that I'm confident would get us back near the top.
I just can't work it out.
PS Told yer the mods 'd have yer Toprock
Yahoo! takes about six months before they realise the sites contain no original content whatsoever and then they drop in the Yahoo! SERPS.
Yahoo is just plain sad as far as search is concerned.
Call me cautious but....I don't want to make changes to my site that could take me out of first place in the more popular engine.
Funny thing is I reported their spam link rings twice to both Google and Yahoo. Neither seems to care.
Although the following is based on a very narrow analysis, the results are always very consistent in my niche.
Google loves links, can't do without em and allows them to impact on SERP's seemingly to the exclusion of almost everything else. When Google has to rank pages that are similar in most respects, it favours the page with the most links. Despite all the claims that this does not happen, the reality of SERP's says otherwise... and has done for a long time.
A site with hundreds or thousands of artificially created links (subdirectories/subdomains/every page interlinked/page footer crud links/interlinked family of multiple sites etc etc) can, and usually does, outrank a similar page with "legit" SEO and no link abuse.... everything else being equal.
I have a page that will not budge from a position of 15-18 in Google. I refuse to link spam it like the top ranking pages. It has all the usual <title> <header> and onpage optimization.
Yet that same page is #1 in Yahoo and as far as I can see the only difference is in the link profile. Google is responding to link quantity over page relevance, no matter how poor the links may be. Yahoo seems to be ranking the page on its relevance and is not so influenced by the links.
So if your top ranking in Google is being driven by a large pool of artificial links you have created yourself, then that may be the very thing that is holding you back in Yahoo.
Maybe Yahoo is better at detecting link spam?
Just my 2c worth.
We're doing too well in Google with the sub domain site to find a different way to split the site, especially since chances are that we still wouldn't do well in Yahoo even without the sub domain.
Domain name or folder names and html or php or asp page names are weighting pretty heavy in this latest update. i.e. http://www.example.com or http://www.example.com/keyword/keyword.php.
Just to give my 10 cents on the domain name age debate (my 2 cents has already been spent as the american dollar sucks right now) .... Sure, the age of domain name can matter, as it should. It makes logical sense. If someone is willing to keep a domain name around for many years, they must have an interest in the subject of the site and must be willing to pay to keep it going (hosting expenses and registration expenses at the minimum). That, in the opinion of many search engines, merits some credit. However, that is not really what has changed heavily in this latest update.
You can have a good shot at ranking in Yahoo very fast just by purchasing a keyword rich domain name, utilizing some h1 tags, h2 tags, proper meta titles, descriptions, and keywords. IF .... yahoo accepts the domain name submission and adds it into SERPS before they decide this algo is not worthy of anything after the year 2000.
[edited by: engine at 8:02 am (utc) on May 26, 2008]
[edit reason] examplified [/edit]