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Yahoo Search Ranking Factors

One of my site is ranking well in Google search engine from last few years. But the same site could not make it into Yahoo top 100 for the same keyword(s). I have always used the regular SEO methods and have focused more on the Google side to optimize my site.

But, around 3 months back I thought of optimizing my site for yahoo as well, so that I can get a good ranking there. My work for the last 3 months has paid me back. I am able to achieve the top 5 ranking from my keywords in Yahoo.

So, what did I do to get my site up in Yahoo SERPs? I am not going to put them exactly on what I did, but I am going to put down some general Yahoo SERP guidelines, which in my opinion, works for Yahoo SEO. Let me call them “Yahoo Search Ranking Factors.”

  • Correct HTML - Yahoo puts more emphasis on correct HTML. So make sure your site is W3C compliant.
  • Fresh Content - Yahoo likes fresh content more than Google. So, make sure you are regularly (at-least one a week) updating your site.
  • More Links From Yahoo Sites Try to get more links from Yahoo sites like Yahoo directory, Yahoo buzz, Yahoo answers, Mybloglog, etc. Google is “just” a search engine while Yahoo is a full fledged portal. Yahoo loves links from its own sites.
  • Yahoo uses meta keywords tags for categorization of your site. Yahoo says that they do not use meta keywords for ranking, but I have seen my site ranking for a misspelling of my keywords on Yahoo just because while writing my keywords I added a misspelling. So, I don’t agree on that Yahoo.
  • Yahoo gives more weightage to on-site SEO factors like title, headings, keyword-in-domain etc., than Google.
  • Yahoo prefers a keyword density little higher than Google. Proper heading & structures are required too.
  • Links from article directories like,, etc. seems to have mattered more.
  • More weightage to age of the site than Google.
  • Yahoo considers click-popularity also in SERPs.
  • Your category in yahoo directory also matters.

I hope these tips are helpful for you to rank well in Yahoo search engine.

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62 Responses to “Yahoo Search Ranking Factors”

  1. Farrhad A responded on 27 Aug 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    Very interesting post. I too have ranked well in Google comparatively easier than Yahoo.

    For my aviation site with loads of off site SEO I was even ranking higher than Wikipedia on G but on Y was pages and pages behind.

  2. Shardul responded on 28 Aug 2009 at 12:20 am #

    Nice article Your third point (More Links From Yahoo Site) is a perfect and correct way to rank on Yahoo !

  3. Mangesh Karla responded on 28 Aug 2009 at 3:08 am #

    I agree. The Yahoo directory listing and high keyword density on the page makes huge difference.

  4. Cache Videos responded on 28 Aug 2009 at 3:47 am #

    well fresh content is THE factor I think :)

  5. Rahul responded on 28 Aug 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Thanks for post. I was searching for Yahoo SEO. Yahoo traffic converts well as compared to Google.

  6. Ankesh Kothari responded on 28 Aug 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    Umm… isn’t yahoo SEO optimization a moot point now that yahoo is going to rely on bing for its search crawling and indexing?

  7. Digital Scales responded on 28 Aug 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    I would agree– yahoo is a moot point now. Google is the only SEO worth it.

  8. Free XBox Live responded on 28 Aug 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Yes, Google is definitely one of the only search engines that SEO’s worry about these days. Yahoo is 2nd, but still not a priority.

  9. Jim Karter responded on 28 Aug 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    Oh yes, Google is still the boss, but do you ever leave 20% of your money lying on the table all the time?

  10. Swami responded on 29 Aug 2009 at 3:43 am #

    Well! age is the factor! I have site with plenty of fresh articles, I receive 92% traffic from Google and 1% Yahoo. My site is just 10 month old.

  11. Rachel responded on 29 Aug 2009 at 6:22 am #

    I think Yahoo is most easy to understand than Google.

  12. Decoratiuni Nunti responded on 29 Aug 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    At the moment Yahoo is way behind Google, which by the way is the only one which count for SEO

  13. Apps-R-Us Facebook And Twitter Application Developers - Viral Scripts, Marketing Guides, And More responded on 29 Aug 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    We have also found that Yahoo traffic converts better than Google traffic… I wonder why?

    Anyway, thanks for the great article! :)

  14. Levvit responded on 30 Aug 2009 at 1:35 am #

    I don’t think it’s gonna work well as before. Since, bing has taken over yahoo search. Better start to care bing more than yahoo if you want to rank well on yahoo.

  15. Jim Karter responded on 30 Aug 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    May be then we should start learning the SEO factors for bing. :)

  16. responded on 30 Aug 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    Keep in mind the yahoo - bing deal is a long way off from being rolled out so its worth the time & effort to keep yahoo rankings high. They are also talking of integrating many technologies so it will most likley be a hybrid of both algo’s.

  17. Finance Management responded on 31 Aug 2009 at 11:56 pm #

    Hey Jim,

    You are always rock..! Amazing Post..thanks for it…but I believe that if you do all the necessary SEO activities on site then you will have sure rank well…I am getting good rank on all major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Altavista) for my all clients.

    Anyways, May I know why you have stopped updating your blog?

    Sir, I want to see more new rocking post over here. :)

  18. Dentist St Petersburg responded on 01 Sep 2009 at 12:46 am #

    Good article about yahoo search engine factors. I’ll care this factor and try to my site rank well in yahoo. Thanks.

  19. Womans Magazine responded on 01 Sep 2009 at 8:27 am #

    Yahoo ranking is similarly important as Google. Why to leave 20% highly targeted traffic which can be converted a lot.

    Points mentioned here are more or less are those what we use for google SEO normally.

    Yes, ‘links from ‘yahoo family sites’ is really strong and good point…. thanks Jim.

  20. MoneyMan responded on 01 Sep 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    Great post.

    However, I don’t really ever focus on SEOizing for Yahoo. Google brings the most traffic.

  21. Hindi Radio responded on 01 Sep 2009 at 8:52 pm #

    Hey Jim

    Once again a sure shot from you!

    Yes even I am facing problem with my blogs / sites when it comes to the Yahoo ranking. But I think you have provided nice checklist kind of list to get the things done for yahoo search as well. thanx for sharing!

  22. suround responded on 03 Sep 2009 at 8:43 am #

    to obtain the highest ranking in Google search engine is rather easy . I have difficulty to get into top 10 ranking results in yahoo. Your article is very helpful. thanks jim

  23. Free Wii Points responded on 05 Sep 2009 at 12:36 am #

    Thanks for the tips, a few things I really never though of until now. I’m having the same problems as most my sites are ranking well in Google but nowhere to be found in Yahoo! search. I’ll probably use Y!A more often now.

  24. MoneyMan responded on 05 Sep 2009 at 9:21 am #

    Yahoo is kind of specific. It places substantial weight on the domain name. If you have an exact domain name match with your keyword, you will rank better.

  25. Vish responded on 07 Sep 2009 at 6:51 am #

    Very Nice Post . Everytime i find articles about how to get on google . Yahoo is rarely found . Thank you

  26. marcus@make money online responded on 07 Sep 2009 at 10:52 am #

    I found it easier to get optimized blogger blogs ranked higher in Yahoo faster than in Google.

  27. Alex responded on 07 Sep 2009 at 11:33 am #

    Hey great article. Thanks for publishing all comparison of search engine

  28. J.K.Jung responded on 08 Sep 2009 at 4:28 am #

    Dear Sir,

    How are you today?
    First, I would like to introduce myself to you.
    I am Korean and living in Korea.
    I am very interested in your blog and your contents.
    So, If you don’t mind, I would like to translate your contents and copy to my blog or homepage.
    Of course, I will make the link to your blog.
    Please confirm and infome me of your opinion about this.
    If you refuse, I will not do this. But I hope I will get your positive response.

    Thank you in advance for your good understanding.

    Best regard,
    J.K.Jung from Korea.

  29. Radio Diva responded on 08 Sep 2009 at 9:21 am #

    Thanks. I’ve been out of the loop for awhile. I will use this as an outline on how to get back on track with Yahoo SEO.

  30. Alex Yeo responded on 09 Sep 2009 at 4:19 am #

    I believe age of a domain is definitely a factor for yahoo. Somehow, some of my sites don’t ranked very well for yahoo…

  31. Money365Unlimited responded on 09 Sep 2009 at 11:43 am #

    Thanks for this post. I think we should consider both Google and Yahoo while promoting our site. Blogger blogs are easily ranked in Google than Yahoo. For free blogger Google is best option. Try to focus on titles and keywords.

  32. OnlineMoneyMakersTactics responded on 09 Sep 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    Very interesting. Most of us seem to target ranking in Google when we optimize our pages. I am one of those who tend to neglect Yahoo optimization.

  33. Wilbur Woods responded on 12 Sep 2009 at 7:06 pm #

    Thanks for the advice!

    I’m so obsessed with Google that it is hard for me to start working on Yahoo…

    Great post, I’ll come back for more

    Stay frosty,

    Wilbur Woods

  34. Decoratiuni Nunti responded on 15 Sep 2009 at 5:23 am #

    Thanks for the tips, is nice to have your web site ranked also in google and Yahoo. I have a good pr on Google, but on Yahoo i didn’t gave my intrest so much. I will try to follow your steps, you never know what can be happening.

  35. Baic responded on 16 Sep 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    Very interesting, your site has very good information. lol

  36. Tolworth Web Design responded on 17 Sep 2009 at 4:24 am #

    It is true that Yahoo looks closely at META keywords and description. It’s quite handy as I first optimise my sites for Google and then start by adding plenty of keywords on my pages (which Google ignores anyway), and my Yahoo ranking seems to improve. I’m not sure I’d agree that validation has it’s benefits in Yahoo but it can’t hurt and should be done as good practice anyway.

  37. Chris Peterson responded on 17 Sep 2009 at 5:01 am #

    It’s all the usual points according to me, had you mentioned it that way. But your comparative interpretation & game plan. For sure, it would be an added advantage. Are they important in same order or you have mentioned in general?

  38. Joe Hernandez responded on 17 Sep 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    I had a site rank on the first page of Yahoo for a nice generic term that was returning 50 million results.

    I was getting some nice sales from it, and am trying to figure out how to get back there.

    As a result of this post Jim, one of your boys back home just made some money, as I outsourced some articles and backlinking to him. Let’s see how it works.

    Jim:I’ve been following you lately, nice work.
    Looked at some of your directory’s, you do you use?


  39. Alex responded on 18 Sep 2009 at 5:02 am #

    Great article. Interesting, I’m the other way round; I have some sites that rank really well in Yahoo and are way down in Google! And my Yahoo rankings make me some money, so it’s not to be ignored.

    It seems to take a higher number of links before a site will start getting Google traffic. I also have found that Yahoo and Bing place greater emphasis on the domain name than google - and it seems to me in general that the Y + B algos must be quite similar, while G’s is different.
    I’ve also read that Yahoo prefers longer pages, which seems to correlate although I don’t know if this is actually true.

  40. Cash Searcher responded on 18 Sep 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Good article. It seems easier to rank well in Yahoo for chosen keywords compared to Google. I do get quite a few visitors to my sites from Yahoo. It’s nice to know they know im there! For some of my sites im number 1 in Yahoo, but for the same keywords in Google im on pages 2-3. Write unique content and Yahoo will find you. Content is king!

  41. responded on 21 Sep 2009 at 3:15 am #

    Great post..
    know i see difference between these two giants and how to optimize my site..

  42. Kunyuk Nyengir responded on 23 Sep 2009 at 2:47 am #

    I’m just build a new website.. I’m lucky to find this article

  43. admin responded on 28 Sep 2009 at 11:49 am #

    niece article thanks you very much..

  44. Turkey Fryer responded on 30 Sep 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    I didn’t know that HTML was such a factor for yahoo, that’s really good to know. In general, I just assumed that the SEO for google was the same for yahoo. It’s good to have some pointers on what to do different to get your site to rank in yahoo.

  45. Get Rich Online responded on 03 Oct 2009 at 4:34 am #

    Thank you for the post. It is really very useful. I also noticed that I get some traffic from yahoo but only for the specific keywords. I will make some research about it using your tips.

  46. Marco Polo responded on 06 Oct 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    The difference in search engines is something to behold. seems to me the more you please one the more you distance yourself from another. Thanks for the tips, I’ll give em a shot.

  47. Website Logo Design responded on 09 Oct 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    Keyword relevance. If someone is looking for a SEO book than if your book title or website has these keywords the most relevant will show up first. Very similar to the search engines.

  48. Website Logo Design responded on 09 Oct 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    They met in the first months of the new century, but then the bubble burst. Fred lost a great deal but stayed upbeat, unflappable; she lost nothing but became someone else, perhaps the person she’d been all along…

  49. Carpet Cleaning Edinburgh responded on 09 Oct 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    whats happend to Jim?? :(

  50. Forex Robot Reviews responded on 11 Oct 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Thanks for this info.

    I have always had the same problem, not bad ranking on google but very little love from Yahoo or MSN/Live/Bing whatever they want to call it!


  51. Rachel responded on 12 Oct 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    As always this is a very informative post.

  52. Rahul responded on 13 Oct 2009 at 12:15 am #

    I am always looking some thing in your blog. Waiting for next update.

  53. iYogi Business responded on 15 Oct 2009 at 3:08 am #

    A lots of thanks to share this tips for the seo
    It is really useful tips and help us to increase our ranking in Yahoo

  54. marcus@make money online responded on 15 Oct 2009 at 9:42 am #

    Thanks for the tips. I have been able to gain high rankings in bing and google but yahoo has been really hard to rank well in for me.

  55. Web Marketing Tips responded on 16 Oct 2009 at 1:04 am #

    Well I never knew that Yahoo is still following few old tactics. People are abusing these kind of tactics from 8 - 10 years and its really strange to see that Yahoo is still using this one.

  56. Money Siphon System responded on 16 Oct 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    Everyone always seems to forget about the 2nd giant and now soon to be a 3rd with bing in the mix. Giving it that much for for us bloggers and SEO specialist to learn. Being able to tap into 2 of the 3 is A+

  57. Natespost responded on 16 Oct 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    I think yahoo traffic converts better than google because of everyone’s deranged obsession with google. Leads to more click fraud, etc. with google.

  58. Adsense in Pakistan responded on 17 Oct 2009 at 9:48 am #

    This is one of the greatest posts you made. Thank you for putting them altogether.

  59. Rachel responded on 17 Oct 2009 at 10:27 am #

    nice article thank you very much…

  60. Character Illustration responded on 18 Oct 2009 at 3:17 am #

    Some good points there :) I’ll try some of those on my own sites.

  61. IBSEric responded on 21 Oct 2009 at 10:26 am #

    Thanks Jim. Pleasantly surprised to see about Yahoo liking their own sites for links, which I guess bodes well for me.

  62. gt1987 responded on 24 Oct 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    Hi, thanks for sharing your knowledge with others. I would like to see some advices for since it has became pretty popular in last few months.

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