When you think SEO, you probably think Google, and considering Google absolutely dominates the space with 91% market share, that’s understandable. While ranking on Google is essential, it’s equally important to remember that other search engines exist out there too, like Yahoo, Yandex and DuckDuckGo.
Just because they’re considerably smaller than Google in terms of popularity, that doesn’t mean these options should get left behind in your marketing strategy. Expanding into new territory where your competitors aren’t could give you the competitive edge you need to reach new audiences and establish your business.
Here, we’re focusing on SEO for one of the top 3 most prominent search engine: Yahoo. We explore the reasons why you should consider optimizing for Yahoo, uncover its importance and explain how to execute this process successfully. Let’s dive in!
A Brief History of Yahoo
Founded by electrical engineers Jerry Yang and David Filo, Yahoo was launched as a web services provider, getting its start in 1994 with the far less catchy name “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web.”
Yahoo was a pioneer in the early internet era, seeing rapid growth in the 90s and squashing many of its competitors along the way. Now powered by Bing, it holds just over 3% of the search market share, raking in about 600 million users every month. That number alone should be enough to make you consider optimizing your SEO for more than just Google.
As part of Yahoo’s long-term success, it has since been able to expand its offerings, providing a variety of apps for differing consumer needs. The Yahoo team describes its services as follows:
“Our media, technology and business platforms connect hundreds of millions of people around the world to the things they love. With apps and sites like Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Fantasy, Yahoo Mail and more and a powerful, open platform that connects brands and publishers to passionate fans, we’re all about putting an exclamation point on what you’re into.”
Starting as a student hobby and evolving into one of the biggest search engines in the modern day, Yahoo provides businesses with an often understated SEO opportunity that shouldn’t go overlooked.
Yahoo! SEO Tips, Tricks and Best Practices
When you boil down SEO, a lot of what works on Google can be carried over to other search engines; Yahoo included. To get the most out of your Yahoo SEO initiatives, we’ve listed the key recommendations for ranking highly — backed by Yahoo itself!
- Do Keyword Research and Use the Right Terms
As with any SEO strategy, keywords play an integral part in how you rank on Yahoo and whether your content ends up in the search engine results pages (SERPs). To ensure your marketing efforts perform well, you should conduct thorough keyword research using SEO applications like Yahoo! Native or Yahoo’s Search Assist tool. Once you’ve identified the necessary keywords for your topic, weave these phrases naturally within your content.
We recommend adding the relevant terms to other aspects of your written material, such as page titles, title tags and meta descriptions as much as possible. Also, choosing an appropriate heading will make users more likely to click your link if the title matches their search.
- Avoid Encoding Text in Images or Graphics
Another consideration for Yahoo SEO is to ensure you keep relevant text and links in HTML. Encoding your text within graphics or image maps will make it difficult for search engines to identify the text, which impacts the content’s overall search ranking. It can also impact a user’s ability to follow links to your website’s other pages.
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- Enhance Your Social Strategy
Unlike Google, your brand’s social media presence is taken into account in SERPs, which can significantly impact your Yahoo SEO. Brands with more followers are likely to rank higher, and companies with high engagement levels will also achieve better ranks. That’s why refining your social media strategy is critical to good performance on this search engine.
We recommend focusing your social media marketing initiatives on the most prominent online networks, including Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, Linkedin and TikTok, while also keeping your key demographic in mind.
- Use Alt Text for Images
When creating a blog post, you may have a great visual aid that supports the messaging of your content. Make sure to add alt text as it can contribute to the searchability of your web page when including JPEGs, GIFs or other graphic files. It also makes your material more accessible for visually impaired users on text-only browsers.
- Have a Link-Building Strategy
Building quality backlinks (or cross-linking, as Yahoo calls it) can be incredibly beneficial to your ranking performance. Yahoo prioritizes this more than Google does, so whether you link back to your own website or to external sites, make sure that these related posts have high authority to enhance your performance.
Moreover, these links have the potential to attract higher volumes of traffic to your webpage. When formulating a content strategy, consider making backlinks mandatory in each blog post. This can add value to your content by providing recent, reputable data, and checking their authority will help secure a good rank. Online tools like Moz’s Link Explorer enable you to identify the web pages that are linking to the most popular articles for a specific keyword.
- Have Readable and Relevant URLs
URLs are more important than most people give credit for. Picture those links that are filled with nonsensical numbers and symbols while taking up 3 lines of space. It’s safe to say that this won’t be appealing to search engines when considering your SERP ranking.
Instead of keeping cryptic URLs, refine your links to make them clear, concise and organized. Also, ensure they’re relevant and accurately represent the content of your web pages.
And of course, other typical SEO best practices still apply here, too:
- Write Quality Content
SEO and content marketing go hand in hand — you can’t have one without the other. Yahoo knows all about this. As Google’s main competitor, the Yahoo team cares about the web pages allowed to rank, which is why the search engine is programmed to prioritize quality content for its SERPs.
When it comes to content creation, avoid simply whipping together a significant number of blogs. Instead, invest time into creating content that’s practical, informative and well-structured. Providing genuine substance while including the relevant topics and keywords, as well as internal links, will help you rank highly and boost visibility.
It’s also important to note that content isn’t evergreen. Set time aside to reoptimize your performing content to update statistics, add missing information and revitalize your keyword score.
- Be an Authority in Your Industry
Authoritative content is critical, not just for your readers, but for your search engine performance. To rank highly on Yahoo, make sure you deliver content that contains rich media, provides scannable action items and brings something new to the conversation.
Offering a fresh and unique perspective helps you establish yourself as an authority in your industry. Focus on enhancing the value of your thought leadership while building an engaged following, and Yahoo search algorithms will reward this accordingly.
- Don’t Stuff or Fluff Your Keywords into Content
Readers care about meaning. Filling your articles with long-winded, world-building content to make a small point is unlikely to keep users engaged. To give potential leads what they’re searching for, ensure your content is concise, insightful and backed by recent data. Not only will this offer value to the reader, but it will also establish your brand as a trustworthy, knowledgeable source.
Also, when employing your keyword approach, it’s important to avoid “stuffing” your content, which involves unnaturally shoehorning these phrases into your material in an attempt to boost performance. Many search engines are aware of this practice and have algorithms in place to prevent such web pages from ranking highly in SERPs. Readers may also notice a stuffy approach and form negative associations with your business.
Making the Most of Your SEO
Yahoo!, while its heyday may have passed, is still relevant in today’s search market. When developing and deploying your SEO strategy, it’s essential to consider other search engines beyond Google to boost visibility. That way, you won’t miss the valuable opportunity on the table to reach these sites’ thousands — if not millions — of monthly views and visitors.