A major player in the search industry has finally made a change worth calling revolutionary. This morning’s release of The New Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! Search Assist tools provide users with what they need most — a faster and more intuitive search experience.
With thousands of webmasters tuning in, the first question that comes to mind will inevitably be — how can I optimize for The New Yahoo! Search?
The short answer is to cover every aspect possible, including photo, video, event listings and more. The long answer is to read on through this guide on search optimization for The New Yahoo! Search.
Understanding the Changes
First up, we need to understand that successful optimization for Yahoo will involve more than simple organic success. To truly capture the searching audience, site owners will need to become more involved with both social and media hosting online.
Yahoo! Site Explorer
While Yahoo! Site Explorer is nothing new, it is an important foundation for any search engine optimization program. The Site Explorer program is an easy to use, web based interface that allows you to review how Yahoo sees your site, as well as address any technical issues that may arise in listing your site in the new Yahoo! Search results.
Participation in Site Explorer will only require an active Yahoo! User Account, which is of course free of charge, and, is necessary for additional Yahoo! services discussed in this guide.
Local Events with UpcomingOptimization for Yahoo Events will require your participation on Upcoming. Upcoming is a Yahoo service that works as a socially driven portal where users post event listings. These listings are then associated with locations, interest groups, and circles of friends.
When posting a new event, be sure to use the Yahoo! user account that you have associated with your web site. While it’s probably not necessary, any reinforcements you can provide can only benefit your cause.
Now, posting an event is very easy. So easy in fact, you could overlook a great opportunity to reinforce your listings with commonly used search terms. Be sure to check out how events are listed in your area for competitors and mimic the general approach. Another solid tip here is to check in with Yahoo! Search Assist to see what keywords appear to be most relevant. Use the “more details” of the Upcoming event listings to integrate these keywords alongside critical information on your event.
Yahoo! Video and YouTube
Getting your videos uploaded for inclusion on Yahoo Videos is very simple. Again, you’ll be using your Yahoo ID, and again you will want to include important search terms in your listings. When uploading, be sure to include the relevant search terms not only in your video title and description, but your video’s tags as well. Tags will serve as an important indexing tool for The New Yahoo! Search experience.
Of course, existing videos over on YouTube can and often will appear in Yahoo search results. YouTube video optimization is exactly the same as Yahoo! Video — so be sure to use keyword rich descriptions and tags.
While it has nothing to do with video optimization on Yahoo, I think it speaks volumes in that Yahoo! is not afraid to use Google’s own material (from YouTube) to help provide users with a better search experience.
Flickr Photos and Yahoo Images
Yahoo is now using images in their search results, and doing so with less distraction than Google has with Universal Search. The key to optimizing your photos for this purpose is dependent on your listings and account settings in Flickr.
Flickr has quickly become the market leader in photo sharing services on the web, so it was a good match for strong integration for The New Yahoo! Search. When you add in the fact that Flickr is a Yahoo service that relies on that same Yahoo! ID, it’s clearly a perfect fit.
Listing your photos in Flickr successfully will require you to use keyword rich titles, descriptions and tags in addition to descriptive photo sets. Photo sets are basically albums contained in Flickr, so keep your photos together so long as they fit a common theme and topic.
Keeping a Watchful Eye on Search Assist
As users become more acclimated to the new Search Assist feature, search patterns will become more common. Since Search Assist will constantly evolve to reflect what users are looking for — so too will the targets be for your optimization efforts.
Remember at the end of the day that Search Assist is in place to help the overall user experience. Its usage is a gateway to three and four word search phrases, and in the right markets, it can really benefit aggressive web site owners.
Other Yahoo! Services
The New Yahoo! Search integrates a number of other elements including Hotels, Local Businesses, Restaurants, Maps, Health, Music and Movies. Unfortunately for the common search marketer or web site owner, optimizing for these specific areas will be difficult at best since Yahoo! has such comprehensive offerings of their own already in place.
Still, if you can gain access to these additional services, they represent solid opportunities to further enhance your search listings.