Every search engine differs a little bit from the others, and Yahoo! is no exception. Where Google focuses on elements like relevance of content and links, and MSN focuses on freshness of content and the tags on your site, Yahoo! is more focused on keyword density and keywords in the URL and title tags.
So if you’ve used basic SEO techniques, you’ll likely be listed with Yahoo! in a matter of time. Your rank on Yahoo! will depend on competition, of course. So you’ll need to focus carefully on the keywords that you select if your industry is a highly competitive one. Just be careful, because using a higher density of keywords so you’ll rank well in Yahoo! could cause you problems with MSN and Google. It could look to those search engines as if you’re stuffing your site with keywords.
The Yahoo! Search Crawler
The Yahoo! search crawler is called SLURP, and it will rank your page based first on your keyword density. The optimum keywords density according to Yahoo! is:
Title tag — 15 percent to 20 percent: Yahoo displays the title tag content in its result page. Therefore, write the title as a readable sentence. A catchy title will attract the reader to your web site.
Body text — 3 percent: Boldfacing the keywords sometimes boosts the page’s ranking. But be careful not to overdo it. Too much boldfaced content irritates readers.
Meta tags — 3 percent: The meta description and keyword tags provide important keywords at the beginning of your web page. Just be careful not to use the keywords repeatedly in the keyword tag, because Yahoo! may consider that practice spam. Write the description tag as a readable sentence.
Yahoo! also looks at the inbound links to your site. And of course, there are other factors SLURP looks at while it’s crawling your site.
Even when you’re optimizing for three (or 15) different search engines, there are a few basic optimization strategies that are essential and relevant for all of them. Rather than focusing on all of the differences and stressing yourself out, focus on all of the actions that are similar for each search engine, and then think of how you could change or improve your site so that it will be the most relevant, and the most locatable, for your potential visitors.
Put customers and visitors first, and your search engine rankings should follow naturally.