SEO & Linking for Yahoo, MSN or Google?
This week some SEO sites have revisited the old argument of whether or not to target all search engines with a site, or focus the SEO techniques for one specific search engine. Although when representing a business entity, white gloves optimization which should attract respectable rankings among all search engines is a good rule of thumb.
However, for more sales, product, or niche target demographic oriented sites; optimizing for only one search engine (or the Yahoo-MSN tag team of average head of household, money spending Internet users) – could result in high ranking and enhanced conversions.
Andy Hagans discusses the technique of targeting site SEO towards the algorithm of one search engine over another in terms of affiliate site SEO:
Are we getting to a point where it’s more cost effective for affiliates to take an either/or approach to ranking in Google or MSN/Yahoo! ? In my experience, if you target both, it’s hard to do GREAT in either (For simplicity’s sake I’m lumping Yahoo! and MSN together as they both seem to reward linking in the same general way.)
MSN/Yahoo! is my bread and butter for new affiliate sites. The tradeoff always comes down to this: I can do XYZ and it will probably screw the site in Google, when it may have ranked well there 2 years down the road — but I’ll rank in MSN in a month, and Yahoo! in three months. Or I can skip XYZ which will make ranking in Yahoo!/MSN impossible but hey who knows in 2 years Google may want to rank my site! Doesn’t even seem like much of a choice, to me…
Barry Schwartz discusses some techniques used for Yahoo oriented SEO which may differentiate a bit from sites looking for high rankings via link building on Google:
* Get ODP/Dmoz links
* Get related directory links
* Trade links with related but not competing businesses
* Send out articles for other sites to syndicate (include links in them back to you)
* Use Yahoo!’s Site Explorer Tool
* Link bait!
* Get on the good side of bloggers
* KEY: Try to get the attention of local media
I’ll dig a bit deeper into what Barry is listing.
Some of the link building techniques such as link bait, DMOZ listings, coverage by bloggers and media, are good practice for SEO across all major search engines as these techniques are as organic as can be.
In my opinion, the emphasis on getting the ‘attention of local media’ is quite important for search engines like Yahoo and Google which are working on methods of changing the results served to users based upon user profiling via gender, region and online behavior.
Article distribution as a link building tool, make that mass article distribution, is a bit more effective for building Yahoo backlinks than it is for Google, as Google has a tendency to identify syndicated duplicate content and omit it from its results.
Directory links also tend to lean more towards Yahoo & MSN SEO than Google, as some in the SEO community tend to reap the rewards of focusing on building site value and definition via targeted directory listings.
Other link building techniques which in my experience have high value in Yahoo include:
* Targeted, relevant and conversation building blog comment links
* Local oriented directory links
* Wikipedia links for resource sites
* Yahoo 360 blogs – link comments, don’t spam – be responsible
And what about linking for Google?
My opinion is that hard work, link baiting, slow and targeted linking, and most importantly building yourself or your business as an authority on a subject both on and offline are the ways to differentiate your site from the rest.