For The Big Three
SEO For The Big Three
Three engines, three algorithms, three different sets of rules
- and yet there are websites out there that have first page rankings
across them all – how do they do it?
While all of the major search engines use different algorithms
the end goal of all three is the same: to provide the searcher with
the most relevant results available. It is this one common thread
that makes it possible for an SEO to rank a website highly across
all the major engines. While there are a variety of factors at play
and an even wider variation in the weight each of these factors
are given – the possible variations that can produce relevant
results are limited.
For example, if inbound links are given 0% weight then insignificant
sites will ranki highly for high-competition phrases. Many reputable
companies such as Microsoft could lose rankings for their own names
so links must and will always hold value. On the other hand, if
links were to hold 100% weight then sp@mming the search engines
would be a simple matter and so there are a limited number of possible
variables in between these extremes that this factor can have, no
matter which engine we are optimizing for.
That said, there are still three main engines with three distinct
algorithms despite common requirements. To clarify how to optimize
for all of them its easiest to discuss them individually first.
Due to the way their algorithms work one is best to expect rankings
on MSN first, followed by Yahoo! and finally Google (I am assuming
that the phrase is of at least moderate competition). For this reason
we will discuss them individually in that order.
SEO For MSN
Proper SEO for MSN requires that a site be structured well with
a distinct theme throughout and many inbound links. The advantage
an SEO has while optimizing a site for MSN is that MSN tends to
pick up and credit new content and inbound links very quickly. That
means that with the right tactics in place one can rank a website
relatively quickly on this important engine.
While MSN has the lowest number of searches performed on it, ComScores
report back in July revealed that MSN searchers were also 48% more
likely to purchase a product or service online than the average
Internet user. A very important statistic for website owners that
To rank highly on MSN one needs to build a solid sized site (exactly
how large will depend on your industry – look at the size
of your competitors sites for an idea), a relevant theme throughout
the site that focuses on your primary keywords and a good number
of links. MSN doesnt (at this time) employ an aging delay on links
such as the one employed by both Google and Yahoo! so the effects
of the site and inbound links can be picked up very quickly and
with good SEO efforts one can rank well within a few months on MSN
for competitive phrases.
SEO For Yahoo!
Until recently Yahoo! acted very much like MSN, now its leaning
a bit more towards Google. Ranking a website well on Yahoo! requires
a solid-sized site with unique content and a very good number of
While PageRank is a Google factor, Yahoo! does have some type of
page value factor at play. Many moons ago Yahoo! was playing with
a PageRank-like calculation called WebRank. They even went so far
as to put out a beta toolbar testing it. This indicates that there
is a factor at play in the Yahoo! algorithm similar to Googles PageRank
– they just dont advertise what a specific pages value is.
Yahoo! is placing a large amount of emphasis on the age of links
though not in the same way that Google is. We will get to Google
shortly however to understand what to expect from Yahoo! one must
understand that when you get a link to your website it wont hold
its full value for a number of months. While the exact number of
months in unknown it appears to be around 8 before it hold its full
weight though it will hold some from day one and this weight will
increase as time passes.
To rank well on Yahoo! you much optimize your site similar to what
you would do for MSN and you must build a large number of inbound
links and have patience as these links age. You will not see a sudden
spike 2 weeks after a large link-building campaign, you will likely
have to wait 3-4 months to notice any significant effect.
SEO For Google
Virtually every webmaster and website owner is primarily concerned
about attaining Google rankings due to the significantly higher
number of searchers using it. Provided that you are building your
website following the best practices of SEO (i.e. unique content,
a sizable amount of content, and a good number of incoming links)
then your rankings are sure to follow, however due to their aging
delay it will likely take longer than on MSN or Yahoo! Google considers
the age of your links, your domain and even the individual page
to be a factor and the longer your page has been online the better.
Essentially, ranking a site on Google requires that you take the
same actions as for the other two, continue your link building efforts
on an ongoing basis to insure that you end up with more-and-more
links, and that you update your content and add content on a fairly
regular basis (though the addition of a blog for example).
Tying It Together
The logical process for a new website or one at the first stages
of SEO is to first target MSN. At this point you can focus your
attention on continuing to build high-quality, relevant links to
and content on your site which will continue to increase your value
on Yahoo! and Google.
Analysis will be required to determine exactly what weight you
will be giving to different areas. For example, if your onsite factors
are optimized for MSN then you know that you will need to make up
for this in the offsite factors for Yahoo! and Google. If you figured
you would need 100 links to rank on Google then you will now need
to up that number to account for the fact that you have optimized
your site itself for a different engine.
During the analysis process you will likely want to use a tool
to speed up the process of keyword density analysis and competitor
link analysis. At Beanstalk we use a tool called Total Optimizer
Pro (www.totaloptimizer.com) though there are others out there (note:
I have yet to find one that does what this one does as quickly and
I am hoping that none of you read the title and were expecting
to rank on the first page of all three major engines next week.
Ranking highly on all three major engines takes time, patience and
a good few rounds of tweaking to get the perfect balance of onsite
and offsite optimization. Of course, as you can gather, done properly
its well worth the effort.
About the Author
This article first
appeared on http://www.websitehostings.biz website