When talking SEO it’s generally assumed that people are referring to search engines in general, but if there had to be one specific search engine to narrow it down to then most would say Google. It’s the most popular search engine in existence right now and has been for over a decade, but that doesn’t mean that other search engines like Bing and Yahoo don’t matter.

That being said, SEO tips for Yahoo can actually differ than general or Google SEO tips (it’s also important to keep in mind that Yahoo and Bing are partners so they offer similar results, but for a look at Bing optimization you can visit here). If you’re trying to get the most out of your site, you want to utilize the best ways to boost your SEO on Yahoo as well as Google.

How Yahoo and Google are Similar

For starters, they both take links heavily into account. Backlinks have traditionally been a big way to boost SEO and that doesn’t differ between various search engines. Of course, the better and higher quality backlink the more it will positively impact your SEO, so keep that in mind. Quantity does count with backlinks, but quality is much more important.

There are also paid search options for both, and these paid searches carry similar weight with each search engine. In terms of search, always make sure to keep local search in mind for any search engine, whether it’s Google, Yahoo or any other search engine. Your content on your site and your optimization should have keywords based on geographic locations, so people utilizing search engines can find the most accurate results in their area.

How Yahoo and Google are Different

Google allows more freedom with keywords, in that they recognize synonyms and context, finding results that are similar to your search keywords. It provides an opportunity for site managers and SEOs to get more creative with keywords. Yahoo is more specific, as exact keywords provide much better results on Yahoo search pages. So, you can get creative if you’re only trying for Google, but it may be best to use exact and specific keywords to cover your bases across all search engines.

In the same vein as keywords, if you type a keyword into Google that has multiple meanings, they will show the most popular website first. With Yahoo and Bing, they place location as a premium over popularity of sites; so again, local search keys come heavily into play.

Domain age is another factor to keep in mind. Google places a premium on sites they know have quality content and links, like .edu and .gov sites. Domain age doesn’t factor in with Google as much, but it does play a major role in Yahoo. Yahoo favors the .edu and .gov sites, too, but they place a premium on domain age, which means there is not much you can do but be patient and let the time pass for your .com site.

Yahoo also understands and crawls Flash content on websites, even going so far as to give credit to sites that use Flash. Google does not understand Flash websites well, so if you are using Flash, rest assured that your content is showing up and reading properly on Yahoo.

SEO Tips Specific to Yahoo

  • Title tags. Bing and Yahoo place more of an emphasis on title tags than Google does, so using relevant keywords in your title at the top of every page on your site will help boost your ranking on Yahoo and Bing.
  • Technical factors. Yahoo places a premium on page load speed and a clean, easy-to-read sitemap. Remove any unnecessary URLs and keep every page on the site as clean and simplified as possible.
  • Keywords. As we stated above, using specific keywords will help out a lot more on Yahoo, because they don’t have the same capabilities as Google with synonyms and dual meanings.
  • Backlinks. This is a good tip for any search engine, but linkbacks are especially important on Yahoo and they emphasize links from legitimate, credible websites. This goes back to the quality over quantity standpoint.
  • Social. Social media can help boost your SEO profile on both sites, but Yahoo especially focuses on your social media profile and uses that as a determining factor with their SEO results and ranking factors.
  • Local search. Again, like we stated above, local search results will see a boost in all search engines, so this is another quality tip no matter how you plan on boosting your SEO.
  • Content.Content is king. If you have quality material, people will want to read it and check it out regardless of how old your site is, what your social media profile is like or how high you rank on search engines. Of course, ranking higher on search engines will help ensure more eyes see your content, but people will share content that speaks to them. Where Yahoo and Google differ with content is Yahoo places a premium on clear, concise ways to get to content, which helps boost the page in search results.

Have you found any other tips or tricks for boosting your Yahoo SEO profile? What about any other ways where Yahoo and Google differ? Let us know in the comments section below.