Google vs. Yahoo - Search Engine Differences

Because different Search Engines use different algorithms, your web-site will never have same position in different search engines, no matter how optimized it is. The question is, for what search engine should you target optimization?

Google, Yahoo, MSN, AllTheWeb, Altavista, or some other?

One way to decide is to know what search engines have most users. Those are Google and Yahoo. However, these two give very different results. Which one is better? Well, experience tells it is Google, and for several reasons. When typing a 4 word query that exactly matches a (good) page on one web-site, and gives a total of only 40 results, Google gives the right page, while Yahoo gives several wrong pages that link to the right page. This is only one obvious example that tells with certainty that Google algorithm works better.

Google algorithm is more democratic. This means that new pages and web-sites can more easily compete with old and well established web pages. For Google, content is more important than links and site history. Yahoo seems to have an opposite approach. This is an obvious reason to choose Google, as content can be changed, history cannot. Also, since the number of new websites is expanding every day, new site owners will like to see their sites in search engine results, and since this is more probable with Google, you can bet that Google will have more and more users, and Yahoo will have less and less.

As a conclusion, while most engines have some things in common, and therefore some search engine optimizations will be useful for all, in some aspects they rank results very differently, and therefore, what is better for one engine is worse for another. This can be made an advantage, if for example website SEO achieves top results for different variations of a phrase in different engines.

Note that if you are in a competitive industry, optimization for multiple search engines is possible with technique called cloaking. Cloaking means that different pages are shown to users and to search engines. In addition, each search engine can be served with a different page, but this requires additional investment. Also, it needs to be done ethically, as providing one page to users and significantly different to search engines would be misleading for users, and would get your site on a black list (banned). Ethical means, for example, providing some text in bold to one search engine and in italic to another because each may like better bold or italic.

Next: Common SEO myths.
Previous: Link building.

Tutorial Articles

Basic reading: The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine

Further reading: SEO references, Google papers, Google's patents.

Creative reading: Blue Hat SEO.

Unofficial Dictionary - SEO terms related to this page:

* Algorithm is a list of instructions that tell search engines how to rank web-pages that are results of submitted queries.

* Cloaking is serving one page to human visitors, but a different page to search engine spiders.

* Index is a search site's database consisting of all web-sites that it had crawled.

* Keywords are word(s) or phrase(s) a person types into a search box.

* Query is the same as Keywords, only with implicit question mark.

* Rank is position where a site appears in search results. We all want to be on top no matter if we deserve it. Therefore all these 'unnatural' ways of achieving optimal 'natural' search results.

* Search Engine is the thing without which this site would have no need to exist. It collects all web-pages on the internet, and when we look for something, search engines tell us on what web-page we will find it.

* Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via natural (organic or algorithmic) search results. This process includes optimization of humans who make web-sites to achieve higher performance in web-site design by trying to figure out what exactly are search engines doing. Once they find out, few guys in search engine companies change how these engines work, so that other SEO guys would have what to do in their free time - as if we didn't hear about books, television, travel, and dance!

* Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is a page that sometimes displays the results you were searching for.

* Spider is search engine bug (also known as bot or robot) that crawls the world wide web and gathers details of all flies (also known as web pages). When you want to find a particular fly, spider will point you in the right direction.


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