Sharing the ad:Tech New York Love

  • Posted November 13th, 2007 at 3:56 pm by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Search

As we mentioned last week, some of the folks here at Yahoo! headed out to ad:Tech New York to take part in the industry discussions there. We thought we would share a few helpful tips gleaned from the SEO Workshop panel.

Moderated by Bruce Clay, the panel included Tim Mayer, VP of Product Management at Yahoo! Search, Sandor Marik, Director of Marketing at CondeNet and Bill Macaitis, VP of Online Marketing and SEM/SEO at Fox Interactive Media.

The talk was sliced into five sub-categories — spiderability; duplicate content; linking strategies; fighting spam; and blended search, social marketing, behavioral search, and local issues — with an interactive Q&A after each. The result was a best practice talk, of sorts, on optimizing rankings. Here’s a look at the key topics discussed by the panel participants and a couple tips from our team that you may find helpful:

Spiderability — Refers to the ability for a spider to crawl and find your pages

  • Low spiderability can result from poor site structure or login requirement for content access (spiders can’t log in); use of link based navigation and sitemaps submission helps spiders discover more URLs.
  • Inform search engines of the most important pages on the site (and the less important) through sitemaps and the use of meta data such as priority and update frequency.
  • More important content should be placed higher up in the directories; it’s easier for the spiders to discover easily found content than to discover deeply embedded content.
  • Directories should be no more than 3 or 4 levels deep.
  • Search engines care about how fast your site is; a slow server equals reduced spiderability.
  • Use Robots-Nocontent to tell Slurp (Yahoo!’s spider) what parts of a page are unrelated to the main content and are only useful for visitors. Having crawlers focus on the main content results in proper matching and targeting which increases both the traffic as well as the conversion on your site.

Duplicate Content

  • Try to have one unique URL for one page of content. Doing so should help you steer clear of lowered rankings due to duplicate pages and content.
  • From a search engine perspective, static URLs are preferred when spidering a site. This does not mean that dynamic URls are not crawled. The cardinal rule is easy to find URLs; whether static or dynamic, they’ll be crawled before the others.
  • Use Yahoo!’s Dynamic URL Rewriting feature that provides the ability for site owners to alert Yahoo! of the dynamic parameters in URLs that they’d like Yahoo! to ignore; we’ll then automatically rewrite accordingly. This will result in more efficient crawl, deeper site coverage and better site ranking due to reduced link fragmentation.

Linking Strategies

  • Link to as many relevant pages as possible. Don’t be an island, but at the same time don’t link to sites that are not connected to you in any way; this can hurt search engine results. If you link to spam, your ranking could be severely hurt.
  • The pages you link to are the pages your users will link to. Content is king. Create great content and ask yourself if you’re a fan of it and if you would link to it.
  • Use descriptive anchor text when linking internally and externally. Use of contextual and descriptive anchor text can have a huge impact on site rankings.

Fighting Spam

  • IP cloaking, keyword stuffing and other spam techniques can draw unwanted attention to your site and potentially reduce your rank or get you removed from specific search engines.
  • Spamming can get you penalized, so even though the site may be retained in the search engine index, rankings may be negatively impacted.
  • While there are a limited number of policemen out there, that doesn’t mean they’re not actively looking. There are both human and automated ways to detect spam.

Blended Search, Social marketing, Behavioral Search, and Local Issues

  • Adding multimedia content with different formats has been working well, like with videos ranking in video searches. This multiplies ranking opportunities.
  • Upload your videos to video service sites like YouTube, Yahoo! Video and MetaCafe for expanded results.
  • Participating in vertical forums where sponsors answer questions can help build a reputation and create a relationship to sell products to your audience.

So, there you have it — a few high-level tips to help you get better rankings. If this post has sparked any questions, please feel free to leave your comments here and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Yahoo! Search Blog team

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