Is Yahoo Search As Effective?

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Organic search engine listings, to some, are the equivalent of life-blood of many sites. With Google and Yahoo driving the search engine industry, gaining respectable organic listings within is considered to be golden. In fact, Rustybrick of SERoundTable.com, states that Google “provides over 70%” search engine traffic that his site receives. Compare this to Yahoo Search, which is only responsible for 10% of his traffic.

How successful has Yahoo been for your traffic? Discuss this at WebProWorld.

Can Yahoo keep up?
Can Yahoo keep up?

A WebmasterWorld member named Michael_T has this story to tell about Yahoo’s impact on his search engine traffic:

“I’ve been paying my Yahoo bills since 1999 / 2000.

I’m in two directories and I also pay to sponsor two sites. The latter costs $100/ mo each.

I get virtually no search traffic from Yahoo, where as Google sends me 12,000 per week.

I do get visitors from the Yahoo directory listing. They do buy, so the ROI is OK.

I used to get a lot of Yahoo search traffic. I think that was all Google based. Now I get almost nothing from Yahoo search.

I think they have serious management problems over there. I’ve called Yahoo 4-5 times to run some paid adverts and the guy has not returned my calls.”

These facts may contribute to some questions regarding the effectiveness of the Yahoo search engine. Could the problem lie in the idea that Yahoo values Site Match listings over organic listings? Some posters around the search engine forums think so. This is an easy conclusion to reach being that Yahoo and Yahoo-owned search engines are the only ones currently using paid inclusion.

However, when you consider Michael’s post, even sites that he has paid listings for aren’t performing well. Like Rustybrick, he receives most of his search engine traffic from Google.

If you peruse the forums, you find that there are many topics discussing the lack of traffic coming from and the difficulty of maintaining consistent rankings in Yahoo. The speculation for the inconsistencies centers on Yahoo’s spider Slurp. That and the fact that Yahoo no longer uses Google search results.

The main complaint about Slurp is that it doesn’t seem to crawl the web nearly as frequently as Google’s. A few posts from WebmasterWorld would seem to support this theory. John_Caius, a senior member at WMW says:

“My site has been online for two years and has had about 3000 pages of content for over six months with plenty of incoming links. We get >10,000 hits from Googlebot per month, >10,000 hits from Google’s Mediapartners bot (Adsense) per month, but only about 500 hits from Yahoo’s Slurp bot per month. Google fully indexed the content within a few weeks of it going live. Yahoo has never had more than 520 pages in its index.”

And akreider finishes the point with, “Google is about 50 times more traffic than Yahoo, ever since Yahoo stopped using Google’s results. Before that, Google traffic was only 4 times that of Yahoo.”

So what can be done to help your site’s presence in Yahoo’s search engine? ddogg has a biting comment concerning Yahoo and result listings: “Yahoo does a terrible job crawling. They want you to pay them for inclusion instead.” This may very well be the case, which is reinforced by ihelpyou, the administrator at the ihelpyou forums (oddly enough). Instead of paying for Site Match, he suggests paying $299 to be indexed into Yahoo’s directory.

According to ihelpyou, “the minute you pay, you will be crawled and indexed.” Although, some have speculated that if you’re already in Yahoo Search’s index, submitting to their directory can hurt rankings you’ve established from the free crawl. DaveAtIFG, an administrator at WMW says, “There have been reports that a Y(ahoo) directory listing can hurt your Y(ahoo) free listing. A title from the directory listing seems to have “priority” over a title spidered from a web page. I expect this will be corrected, eventually.”

As it stands, if ranking in Yahoo is important to you, it may be advisable to pay the $300 and join their directory. This will ensure your site will be crawled and indexed. As for increasing traffic that actually comes from Yahoo, optimize your on page content. It seems that Yahoo’s ranking algorithm values this more than backlinks pointing to your site. Which, of course, is almost in direct contrast to Google’s ranking procedures.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

Is Yahoo Search As Effective?
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