Google SEO & Search Engine Marketing Services

The Difference Between Google SEO and Yahoo SEO?

A question which I thought I knew the answer to is “what are the differences between Google and Yahoo SEO or search engine optimisation“?

You see I have always found it easier to rank sites on Google quicker than any other search engine, especially yahoo. For instance take a look at my search engine stats for last week on my 4 month old blog.

As you can see all of my search traffic, just about, comes from Google. I didn’t even get 1 single visit from yahoo and have had 1 the whole time my blog has been up and running.

There is nothing new about this, every site I have ever worked on has struggled to get traffic from Yahoo Search. My theory has always been that Yahoo relies on simple link popularity, who ever has the most wins! I was also under the impression that Yahoo relies heavily on Domain Age.

Anyway I decided to conduct a little research and boy! was I wrong. The research I conducted is far from conclusive but it puts my previous theories to bed.

Below is a table I put together comparing two sites.

1 – The first site ranks No.1 on Google for “search engine optimisation”

2 – The second site ranks No.1 on Yahoo for the same term.

I have highlighted all the areas that the Google ranker seems to out do the yahoo ranker. Let’s discuss this a little.

The On Page Factors

The first thing that is obvious is the site that ranks higher in Google is much better optimised on page. Every aspect has been taken care of from title tags to meta keywords and all headings are utilised.

The Yahoo ranking site misses the opportunity to optimise the H1 tag and has no meta keywords.

I know meta keywords are not supposed to be a ranking factor but every site that ranks high uses meta keywords, surely there is something in this?

Off Page Factors

Again the site ranking higher on Google has a far superior link popularity with a higher anchor percentage and relevance percentage. Also on top of this the average link to this site passes 3 times the PageRank in comparison to the Yahoo ranking site.

Looking at this from a “google seo” point of view it is not hard to see why this site is ranking higher on Google.

Domain/URL issues

The site that ranks on Google is a lot older than the site on Yahoo backing up the theory that Google gives a lot of weight to domain age. Also the PageRank on the Google page is 5 compared to Yahoo’s 3.

The site ranking on Yahoo has the keyword in the top level domain and the site on Google does not and this is where I think Yahoo differs from Google SEO.

How can a site rank No.1 on Yahoo but not make it on the first 10 pages of Google??

Well this is what I think, I believe Google ranks a page based more on factors concerning the site as a whole whilst Yahoo is more concerned with individual pages, hence the site with the keyword rich URL wins.

Take a look at the search result page for a yahoo search:

Take a look at all the ranking URL’s, just about all include the targeted keyword.

Now compare this with the Google Results Page:

Notice how all the URL’s here are mainly company names, some; kind of use the keyword but most don’t.
All this, leaves me with the following conclusions:-

  • To optimise for Google think of the quality of your whole site, how many deep links do I have, are all my pages fully optimised, does PageRank flow to my most important pages, am I building a link profile to all my important pages?
  • Yahoo is simply concerned with the relevancy of a single page and PageRank and domain authority play a minor role if any at all
  • The evidence here could suggest a swing to brand recognition on Google as all the sites ranking in Google are company domain names
  • Google gives very little weight to the domain name now, however it is still a good idea to include keywords in your domain so you can pick traffic up from Yahoo as well.

As far as I am concerned Google brought up the better quality results and so it should as it has such a huge search traffic share of between 60 – 65%.

There are far more hoops to jump through for Google SEO and even though it has it’s critics it would seem it is much harder to spam than what Yahoo would be.

I hope you got something from this.



Line Break

Author: Tim (254 Articles)

is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 9 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Director of Search at Branded3, a Digital Marketing & SEO Agency based in the UK.



Codesucker May 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Never noticed this before, never cared to check either since all my (search) traffic comes from google as well.

This article is very interesting, now we know that yahoo places much more emphasis on the keywords in the URL than Google does. I know what I need to do to get more yahoo traffic, more specific post names, since they go in the URL (I use blogger).. Also, my blog name probably holds me back on yahoo since the words ‘codesucker’ don’t mean anything in my niche.

Thanks for another great article!

PotatoChef May 14, 2009 at 6:31 pm

My potato recipe site has always been ranked by Google. I found many of my posts (not all) on page 2-5. This was before I had a single backlink.

Still before any backlinks I would get about 10% of my search engine visits from Yahoo.

So without any backlinks I got 90% from Google and 10% from Yahoo.

This is where it gets interesting, or frustrating. I worked very hard on a backlinking campaign for the main keyword phrase for my site, “Potato Recipes”. I finally snagged the first position on page one of Google. But on Yahoo, last time I checked, I was on page 5.

Go figure!!!

Can you do a post explaining the proper way to use tags???

Kai May 14, 2009 at 9:17 pm

While Google ignores meta tag descriptions and keywords, Yahoo takes both into consideration. You are no where to be found in Yahoo because you don’t have either one.

Tim Grice May 15, 2009 at 1:56 am


At the end of the day we optimise for Google, they are the main search source. As long as you getting your keywords into the main URL Yahoo should start to pick up on it.

I think you also need a page with good link popularity and this would mean building a lot of links to deep pages, maybe try blog carnivals and social media.

Thanks for dropping in :)

Tim Grice May 15, 2009 at 2:01 am

@potato chef,

The main tags (the ones you should worry about are title/headings/body content

You should also be looking to use your alt attributes for images. Your title tag is the most powerful to use and where you position your keywords within it has a big impact.

I have noticed that yahoo is a lot slower at updating content and links. For instance the snippet of my site on yahoo is a post i wrote over a month ago.

Maybe it’s just simply a game of patience waiting for yahoo to catch up??

Tim Grice May 15, 2009 at 2:09 am


Whether or not Yahoo still use Meta keywords and descriptions for ranking factors is still debatable. For instance check out this story from last year.

Also Griz’s famous “how to make money” blog still gets a first page listing on yahoo with no meta keywords or description.

I would normally use them anyway just to be safe however using the blogger platform makes this difficult. Put on meta keywords and descriptions and you end up with the same meta tags on multiple pages, not good for SEO, looks a bit spammy.

There might be a design change for SEO Wizz in the near future hint hint ;)

Kai May 15, 2009 at 10:36 pm


I am competing against Grizzly’s MMO blog. I even e-mailed him about it lol. I recently launched a MMO blog so it’ll take a lot of hard work and time.

Anyways, I would say staying away from meta tags would be better idea. Not good to piss Google off!

Tim Grice May 16, 2009 at 3:28 am

@ Kai,

Griz has been around a few years now, and we’ve had a few exchanges. If you want to beat him your going too need in excess of 25000 backlinks and a lot of anchors for “make money online”, but it’s possible.

If your monetizing with adsense don’t tell you readers how much your earning, this is against adsense polocies and they will be banned from your site. This is what happened to Griz’s blog I think. He can no longer have adsense on there.

Just a bit of friendly advice :)

Kai May 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm


Thanks for the heads up about the adsense! Yes, I don’t see any Adsense on Griz’s page.

You also have to know the 25,000 anchor texts consist of mostly crappy link juice.

Most of the people can’t beat him because they give up. I am here to stay!

Tim Grice May 17, 2009 at 2:11 pm


No problem,

Thats what getting top rankings is all about consistency and stamina. Just keep going track your progress and you will get there. The things that are worth it are never easy :)

Never attempted the make money niche, mainly because of all the scams associated with it. Maybe one day :)

Kai May 17, 2009 at 9:54 pm


Do MMO niche only if you like it. Don’t scam anyone lol. I’m writing on what my findings are so I don’t BS anyone.

CET June 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I haven’t seen any mention of Alexa ranking. I know Google definitely considers a site’s popularity, time on page, bounce rate, and number of pages viewed per visit. Does Yahoo consider any of these factors? I know you can’t check another site’s analytics, but you can look at its Alexa, which will give you a general idea of a site’s relative popularity.

Tim June 26, 2009 at 11:24 pm


Let me try and answer your query in two parts.

1 – A site’s performance has never been confirmed as part of the Google algorithm, there have been theories posted around the web (mostly back in 2007) but nothing concrete. Even Matt Cutts said a bounce rate and pageviews signal would be too “noisy” and open to abuse There have been a few pieces of research but nothing to prove a “site performance” signal. The authority source for Google ranking factors is at SEOmoz However if you know that Google ‘definitely’ uses this data as a signal, I’d like to know where you get the info from so I can check it out.

2 – I didn’t use Alexa for 2 reasons, one the data it collects is not proven to have an effect on rankings and two the results Alexa produces are unreliable. They are unreliable primarily due to the way they collect their data, it is collected through surfing practices of those who have the alexa toolbar or widget loaded on their site (which is a small percentage of web users). Even Alexa in their disclaimer state sites with “traffic rankings of 100,000 and above should be regarded as not reliable” this is a direct effect of the way data is collected.

So I didn’t use Alexa because it’s not reliable and their is no proof that site performance is a search ranking factor, using it would have added nothing to the test.

If you do know of any authority sites that have ‘proof’ of anything different I really would love to read it.

Thanks for your comment.

Price Hoover January 21, 2010 at 5:12 am

Hello i have a website that ranks in the top 6 for price comparison but nowhere to be found in Google….well yet that is. Do you think if i start using H1 tags this will help it get up higher?

Tim January 21, 2010 at 11:21 am

Hi Price Hoover,

I am not a fan of the yahoo search engine, everything seems to be tailored towards url’s and domain age. When writing posts make sure your url’s are keyword rich and make sure you get links from authority sites with good PageRank. This seems to be the thing Yahoo favours the most.

Tony November 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

No doubt about it, Google takes domain age into account far more than Yahoo and Bing. I can anticipate what Google results will look like months in advance by checking my site on Yahoo and watching it climb. Just be patient and results will come with Google. And throw in some meta tags, can’t hurt!

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