Archive for the ‘Yahoo Search’ Category

Will Yahoo Site Explorer (as we know it) go the way of the Dodo Bird?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 |

Yahoo-dodoNow that Microsoft will power Yahoo! Search for at least the next ten years, many SEOs (and people who love backlink data in general) are wondering aloud whether the current incarnation of Yahoo! Site Explorer, which shows more backlink data than any available tool, will die right along with Yahoo’s search technology.

If Yahoo is going to farm out all of their search technology–and lay off many engineers in the process—it is logical to assume that Yahoo! Site Explorer will also evaporate.  I can’t imagine why anyone, expect Microsoft, would take pleasure in this.  But what Microsoft needs to understand is that this doesn’t have to happen.  Microsoft can surprise everyone by stepping up to the plate and showing more Bing backlink data.  If they did, they would win many fans not only in the SEO community but in every community that values the freedom of information.  Ultimately, Microsoft should want their search technology to be loved by all people, not hated by SEOs who will blame them for the destruction of Yahoo’s backlink information.

Thankfully, Bing won’t be fully integrated into Yahoo! search for 24 months.  Microsoft has a lot to think about over those months.  Do they want to embrace openness as Yahoo has for many years by showing hordes of information about the links going to the sites in their index?  Do they want to reap the benefits of lifting the veil of secrecy on the backlink information they’ve gathered? Or do they want to be more like Google and show precious little information about the sites in their index?

Microsoft’s search market share will only jump to about 28 percent in the U.S. after their Yahoo integration is complete.  If I was them, I would want to please as many people as possible, not enrage them by completely dismantling a superior product.

We’ll see what Microsoft decides in the next 24 months.  What direction do you think they’ll go in?  Is the slow, inglorious death of the Yahoo! Site Explorer tool inevitable?

Youtube surpasses Yahoo Search Engine

Friday, December 19th, 2008 |

Youtube.com has more searches than Yahoo!

Video search on YouTube accounts for a quarter of all Google search queries in the U.S., according to the latest search engine numbers from comScore. Its monthly qSearch report, which was released on Thursday night, breaks out the number of searches conducted on YouTube. If it were a standalone site, YouTube would be the second largest search engine after Google. More searches are done through YouTube than through Yahoo, which has been the case for the past few months. – From TechCrunch

Wow, Yahoo! has certainly fallen from those halcyon days when they ruled the Internet. But this news is really more important because it tells the SEO community that you should not be overlooking the video world of YouTube.com. Big Oak SEO has been stepping up its efforts into the video marketing world and this is a sure sign that it was a good move on our behalf. Are you using the power of video for your product or service? It would be a mistake not to and it is a lot more affordable than you think.

And lest you think your videos would only show up if someone is searching on Youtube.com, take a look at the screen shot below. I did a search for cheap wine (don’t ask) and the screen shot shows the last results on page 1 of Google’s search results. Yes, you see two videos from Youtube.com. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your video there if you are a wine seller.

Results for Cheap Wine. Notice the last results are videos from Youtube.com

Results for Cheap Wine. Notice the last results are videos from Youtube.com

I have also seen video results in the #4 position on Google’s search results and I’m sure this will only continue to happen more in the future. Don’t sell your service or product short, anything that can be marketed on the web can have video marketing to support it. Make sure it is part of your Internet marketing plan.

Google Launches Trends for Websites

Friday, June 20th, 2008 |

Google launched Google Trends for Websites today and I’m excited.

Not a lot of time today, but if you are a linkbuilder this is great news for you.

Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land, makes a good point that I agree with:

Now, if you think like a link builder – you can use this tool to find sites that are within your “neighborhood” or industry. So if I want to find link partners for the Search Engine Roundtable, I enter in seroundtable.com, look at the related sites and ask all of them for links. Then I go to all of those sites and see who is related to them. You can, theoretically, keep expanding that list, as far is it makes sense.

Our best tool so far has been Alexa and Compete with Yahoo Site Explorer thrown in. This could change things drastically. And I personally like the price: FREE. If it is half as good as Google Analytics it will be a very helpful tool for SEO companies. Competitive reporting for the masses, so to speak. Give it a look and start thinking of the awesome power of knowledge.

Yahoo Admits Google is Better and Adobe is the Grand Poobah.

Thursday, March 13th, 2008 |

I accidentally did a backlink check on Google.com today. And right before I went to close the browser window my eye caught something very amusing, to an optimizer’s mind anyway.

If you subscribe to the belief that Yahoo shows backlinks in order of importance (e.g. the first backlink is the most important and so on.) then it must be surmised that the first backlink listed for Google by Yahoo Site Explorer is the most important backlink for Google. Funny enough Yahoo considers a backlink from Adobe better than a backlink from Google (see image below), although it is a subpage from within Adobe.com (the Acrobat Reader Download page).

Yahoo Backlinks for Google.com

After this initial revelation, I then decided to check the backlinks to Yahoo.com. Surely Yahoo wouldn’t consider another website more important than their own, would they? As it turns out, I was wrong and PHP.net was listed first.

Yahoo Backlinks for Yahoo.com

PHP.net was listed under Google.com in the first search. Following this logic, one would surmise that Yahoo admits to PHP.net being more important than Yahoo.com, and we already knew Google.com and Adobe.com are more important than PHP.net. So I am led to believe that Yahoo admits to Google being more important than itself and Adobe is the Grand Poobah of all backlinks.

All this of course means little to nothing, but I did smile at the irony. You can check for yourself by clicking this link and this link.

And don’t forget to tune in next episode when we reveal that Google admits…

Google Admits AltaVista is the Best Search Engine

AltaVista is the number one search engine!

When to Use a 301 vs. 302 Redirect – SEO Tip Week 35

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007 |

SEO TipsThere are two types of redirects you can use, a 301 and a 302. These numbers refer to the HTTP Status Code returned by the server for a given URL. A 301 redirect tells the search engine that the page has moved permanently to the new URL. A 302 redirect tells the search engine that the move is only temporary, and you may decide to show content at the original location in the future without a redirect.

301 Redirects
All three major search engines handle 301 redirects the same, that is to say they ignore the original URL and instead index the destination URL. For example, www.beekerfurniture.com uses a 301 redirect to www.hendersonsfurniture.com and Google, MSN and Yahoo all return the result www.hendersonsfurniture.com when searching for “beeker furniture”. The word beeker doesn’t appear anywhere on the hendersonsfurniture.com site, and a site search in Google shows that only the home page has any relevance for the word. Clicking on the Cached link in the site search results further shows that the word only exists in links pointing to the site, “These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: beeker.” Those links Google is referring to are actually pointing to www.beekerfurniture.com and the 301 redirect is passing along the relevance of the word beeker to hendersonsfurniture.com.

301 redirects can be very powerful when you redesign your site and the URLs change, move to a different domain, acquire a new domain, or implement a URL rewrite. In most cases, this is the type of redirect you want to use because you know exactly how the search engines will respond.

302 Redirects
The three major engines handle 302 redirects very differently, and because of this 302s are typically not recommended.

Google treats 302 redirects differently depending if they are on-domain or off-domain. An example of an on-domain redirect is athletics.mlb.com which uses a 302 redirect to http://oakland.athletics.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=oak. If you search for “oakland a’s” in Google you will see that athletics.mlb.com is displayed in the results because links point to that URL, which in turn uses a 302 redirect to the destination page. This is a great example where 302 redirects can be used effectively, since the shorter URL looks much more enticing in the results pages.

Off-domain 302 redirects would be ripe for hijacking situations if treated the same way. Because of this, in most cases, Google will treat off-domain 302 redirects like 301s, where they will ignore the original URL and instead index the destination URL. I say most cases because Google will sometimes determine that the 302 is legitimate & index the original URL instead. An example of an off-domain redirect is pets.roanoke.com which uses a 302 redirect to a third-party site http://www.gadzoo.com/roanoke/pets.aspx. In this case, Google determined that this was a legitimate use of a 302 redirect and displays pets.roanoke.com when searching for “pets roanoke”.

Pets Roanoke Google Search

MSN treats 302 redirects exactly how it treats 301 redirects, it will always ignore the original URL and instead index the destination URL. A search for “oakland a’s” in MSN shows the URL oakland.athletics.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=oak in its results. And a search for “pets roanoke” shows www.gadzoo.com/roanoke/pets.aspx in its results.

Yahoo takes the same stance that MSN takes, except that they reserve the right to make exceptions in handling redirects. A search for “oakland a’s” in Yahoo shows the URL www.oaklandathletics.com in its results. (www.oaklandathletics.com also uses a 302 redirect to http://oakland.athletics.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=oak) But a search for “pets roanoke” shows www.gadzoo.com/roanoke/pets.aspx in its results.

Pets Roanoke Yahoo Search

There are very few times where you actually want a 302 redirect, although they are used more often than 301s merely because most people don’t know the difference. 302 redirects are often the default redirect in website control panels, and JavaScript or Meta redirects will produce a 302 status as well. In certain situations however, 302 redirects work wonders.

As with all our tips, please use them responsibly. When in doubt, use a 301 redirct.

How to Improve Local Search Results – SEO Tip Week 31

Friday, August 3rd, 2007 |

SEO TipsIn SEO, local search should never be overlooked. It can provide a boost in traffic has a higher tendency to convert more visitors to customers since most people prefer working with local companies, even SEO companies.

Here are some factors that Big Oak SEO feels are important and should be considered when trying to get higher rankings for your site, whether or not you are marketing to a national or local market. I have tried to list them in order of importance but it really depends how important local traffic is to your site.

Location in the Title of your Pages
Including your city and state, especially if you are counting on local customers is imperative. Don’t overdue it, but be sure to include it. I talk about this in detail on my SEO Titles: Using the Title Tag post.

Link Building with City and State Keywords
When building links to your site, include some with local terms like we do in this example: Richmond Virginia Search Engine Optimization Company. You get the idea.

Tell the Search Engines Where You Work
The physical location of your site should be on the footer of every page. If you work from home, get a P.O. box and list that address. It is important for the city, state and zip code be on every page.

Submit Your Site to Google’s Local Business Center
You can’t get found in a search unless Google knows where you are. Submit your business to Google’s Local Business Center even if you don’t have a website…yet.

Keep Your Contact Page Connected
Your physical address should be at the top of the contact page, above your contact form. At the very least it should be easy to find and accurate.

Link to your address on the Google Maps and Yahoo Maps. For example, go to Google Maps and then do a search for you physical address. After finding your location you will see a “Link to this page” link. Click that and then copy and paste that link on your contact page.

Adding written driving directions will allow for many local keywords to be included so having this in addition to a link to maps.google.com is a good idea.

List Coverage Area
Big Oak SEO is located in Glen Allen, Virginia, but very few people have heard of or search for Glen Allen. We are in the Richmond, Virginia area so we use Richmond in our footer and mention it on our company page as well as other local locations. Try to include the metropolitan areas on your site if that is what people will be searching for.

Add Listings in Yellow Pages, Superpages & Similar Sites
While I don’t often feel the cost is warranted for phone book sites, if you can get a free listing or a discount because you are already paying for a printed listing it can help to have a link pointing to your site from the online listing.

Provide a Local Phone number on Every Page
It is a no-brainer to have your 800 present at the top of every page, but be sure to list your local number in the footer as well. Don’t forget to include the area code.

List your Site in Directories for Local businesses
Sites like Yelp.com and Citysearch.com are good places for local businesses. They can also provide real traffic and not just higher rankings. I’m looking more into Yelp and hope to write a post about them soon.

Get your site or business reviewed
I think this is undervalued in importance, but getting a few reviews from a site like CitySearch and Yelp is a good thing for search engine rankings. Submit your site and ask friends to review for you. Of course this isn’t applicable to all businesses, but it should be part of the marketing plan if you count on local consumers.

Google Coupons
This isn’t new but not many people are using it. Google coupons was announced in August 2006. It may help your ranking, but it can’t hurt, especially if you have actual cost savings to offer over your competition.

Do you have any ideas or have any advice that has worked for you concerning local search. If so, send us an email or submit a comment to this post. We are always looking for new ideas to share.

Research Your Competition with Yahoo Site Explorer – SEO Tip Week 28

Friday, July 13th, 2007 |

52 SEO TipsI’ve got a simple SEO tip today. As an SEO Company we are always doing competitive research. Many of our clients are astounded at the wealth of information that can be discovered using Yahoo’s Site Explorer especially for competitive link research. Site Explorer can help you track down the links pointing to your competition and allow you to contact those same sites and request or pay for a link to your site.

Yahoo’s search engine also provides information about competitor backlinks. You can find tools to do this for you but going to Yahoo! Search and typing in the following commands will work just as well.

  • If you are looking for web pages that link to multiple competitor, usually you will find good backlink pages like this, you would type in:
    linkdomain:competitor1.com, linkdomain:competitor2.com
  • We also should all know how important .edu and .gov links can be to our site. So why not look for competitors who have these links. I’ll give an example as if I was looking. I would type in a keyword such as “seo” and then do a search for only .edu domains. I would type in: seo site:.edu Replace the .edu with .gov for government backlinks.

Of course there are many other things you can do for research and seeing what advanced options are available can be a great catalyst so be sure to view the advance search options in Yahoo! for more ideas.

Google also has advanced search but I think Yahoo! does a better job with options and functionality, especially when it comes to researching backlinks.

Please send any suggestions or add them to the comments on this SEO tip. We are always looking for new ways to improve our SEO research methods.

Sitemaps for Websites are Automatic

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 |

As of April 11th there is no longer a need to manually submit your sitemap to search engines. Last fall, the major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and MSN) agreed on a sitemaps format. You can now add a simple line to your robots.txt file and let the engines know where your sitemap file resides.

Include the following line in your robots.txt file:
Sitemap: http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml

Robots.txt has been used to instruct the search engines how to crawl your site – where not to go on your site. This latest sitemaps implementation of robots.txt will now tell the spiders where to go when indexing your site..

Sitemaps are important, especially for new sites, will help improve your website visibility in search results.

What is a xml sitemap?

PageBull – Search Engine Displays Full Web Page Results

Thursday, January 25th, 2007 |

The home page description says it all about the search engine, so let me quote:

Your visual Internet search engine.

Recommended: broadband, large monitor, mouse with mousewheel.

If you have a large monitor to see the search results in their full glory take a shot. But beware, you need a least a 19inch monitor to appreciate it and fast connection to the Internet.

This may change the way we search forever…or at least for a few minutes. They even have a feedback link for you to make suggestions.

Without further ado, please visit PageBull and try a few test searches. It appears to by powered by Yahoo! so we will assume the results are similar to Yahoo! results.

Sitemap support from MSN, Yahoo and Google

Thursday, November 16th, 2006 |

google has really done a great job making sitemaps integral for any true SEO company and now it seems as if the other big two are following suit.

You can read more about it from Sitemaps.org, the homepage for this new initiative:

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.

Will this be widely employed? Check out the big 3 and see: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft

Meta Search Engine Provides SEO Tool

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 |

ZippyZippy was launched in September by the seasoned SEO Dave Naylor, and provides some valuable tools for site optimization.Zippy’s design is similar to Technorati’s new design, with a minimalist white background and lots of bright colors. The site is pretty easy to use, and has a slick feel with the help of some ajax. It took only a few minutes worth of playing around to really get a grasp on the functionality. However, a tutorial or features page, would be nice to help introduce the functionally to a new user.

The basic search functionality for Zippy queries Google, Yahoo!, MSN and Ask and mashes the results together. It then ranks the results among the four.

Zippy is a new meta search engine that queries other major engines and returns results in a format most suited for Webmasters and SEOs. Read more.

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at contact@bigoakinc.com or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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