Your Search Engine Strategy For The Coming Yahoo-microsoft Alliance

Back in July, Microsoft and Yahoo inked a deal that is going to impact your organic rankings in Yahoo. If your search engine optimization strategies are solely focused on Google, the deal won’t have a direct influence on your natural search traffic volume. However, if you’re receiving any natural traffic from Yahoo, you’ll need to make some changes. As you know, Google rules the roost in the search industry. They control nearly 70% of search traffic. Microsoft (and in particular, Steve Ballmer) has always been jealous of that fact. The recent agreement between Microsoft and Yahoo forms a partnership through which they hope to trounce Google. Today, I’ll explain what this alliance means with regard to your search traffic.

The Practical Nuts And Bolts

Microsoft’s Bing is relatively new, so your exposure to that search engine is probably limited. Even if your websites are optimized for Bing, it’s unlikely that you’re seeing a significant level of traffic. In 2010, that’s going to change. Yahoo has agreed to start delivering organic results from Bing’s index. That means when people visit Yahoo and do a search, they’re going to see the same results as they would if they had conducted that search on Bing. This is important to your online business for one very good reason: nobody is entirely certain how to optimize for Bing’s organic algorithm. It has only been around for a few months and we’re likely to see big changes in the future. Early test results suggest the algorithm values low-quality links (Google’s algorithm doesn’t). If that remains the case in 2010, your competitors will be able to “game” Bing by planting a ton of poor links pointing to their sites. Currently, the exposure is limited; Bing only gets a trickle of traffic. However, when their natural results are funneled through Yahoo in 2010, the exposure will become significant. Another problem is that Yahoo has historically delivered an audience that has converted better than Google. This has been the case for traffic coming from their organic listings as well as their paid listings. That might change when Yahoo adopts Bing’s algorithm. With the changes that are coming in 2010, it’s worth making preparations now. Here are a few ideas:

Don’t Forget About Google

Google will continue to be the top dog in search as long as they don’t make any outrageous mistakes that alienate their users. Don’t neglect them. With nearly 70% of the search traffic, you should keep them as your top priority. That means building high-quality inbound links across a diverse set of domains and addressing your on-page elements, such as your title tags and keyword density.

Look For Another Link Analysis Tool

Up until this point, Yahoo Site Explorer has been the most effective tool for analyzing the link profiles of your competitors. The data is more exhaustive than what is made available through similar tools, including Google. The problem is that it’s unclear how closely this tool is integrated with Yahoo’s search results. When Yahoo’s listings are tossed aside for Bing’s in 2010, the Site Explorer may be phased out. If you have been procrastinating on any heavy link analysis, it’s a good idea to move on it. At the same time, start looking for a link data tool that can potentially replace Yahoo Site Explorer.

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