I do not think the recent Yahoo! Update was as sharp as they may have hoped for. If you have a variety of sites that were marketed using vastly different techniques and know a market or two well it is pretty easy to pick up on some of the patterns.
Caveman, one of my best friends in the biz, is great at picking up the high level changes (and maybe that is why he got the nickname algo guy). He made a couple great posts in a WMW thread about the update
Here he talks about filtering out the most appropriate page
Odd. I see orphaned pages (i.e., abandoned; not doorway pages) - with NO inbound internal or external links any more - ranking on page 1 of numerous SERP's. Don't think I've ever seen that before. ... They seem to be filtering out the best sub page to show for a specific search (e.g., "red widgets") and instead are now showing a page above it or below it or beside it.
When I mentioned Google ranking a home mortgage type page for a consumer loan (a few weeks back in a rant post) that I am now seeing the exact same page rank for the exact same query in Yahoo! (not due to any type of spam, but due to algorithms that are ranking page B for having navigation related to page A on it - see DaveN's post about a recent Google non-relevancy fiasco).
I am seeing some sub pages rank for things you would expect the more authoritative home page to rank for, and in other cases I am seeing the home page rank for rather specific queries where far more relevant sub pages exist.
I am seeing the move toward promoting authoritative domains in Yahoo!'s SERPs in general. Not only is the trend visible as a general rule of thumb, but I also have a crusty old authoritative domain. I extended the domain out from its initial focus into related higher margin fields. I have not built up the authority on those new pages yet, but they ranked well in Google due to crustiness and high authority links to the site in general. They also ranked well in MSN due to on the page optimization. The site was not getting much love in Yahoo! until this algorithm update. The love (and increased earnings) are likely due to Yahoo! placing far more weight on core domain authority and applying that throughout relevancy scoring for all documents on the authoritative site.
Here Caveman talks about Yahoo!'s shift away from a literal MSN type algorithm to attempting to move more towards a more elegant link based Google type algorithm
What if, for example, Y! substantially altered the way that links factor into the algo: Both from a quality and quantity standpoint.
Y's algo used to be much more onpage and kw oriented. Last year that began to change. Links became more a factor.
In this new update, links are again, IMO, playing a significant role: Both the quality and quality of links. Y seems to be exploring ways to push authoritative links more to the fore.
Brilliant stuff Caveman.
As a marketer, I think Yahoo! shifting toward a sitewide authority type algorithm that tries matching natural text is a big deal since it leaves MSN as the last literal type search algorithm. The current Y! algorithm hints that Yahoo! is willing to throw a bit of paid inclusion revenue in the trash can if it leads to more relevant search results. Within a year I wouldn't be surprised if
- Yahoo! solves their guestbook and blog spam link problems (and some of the other low quality link issues)
- common forum questions about things like keyword density and the like are replaced by people talking more about spreading out your keywords, writing naturally, and using semantically related phrases
- many people trade websites instead of just buying / selling / renting individual links
- about 100,000 free service sites pop up that are nothing more than link schemes (via stuff like add our link to your site with this badge or whatever)
As a bonus, here is an image of the Yahoo! SERPs for SEO. Notice how many of the domains listed have the word authority next to them in my description of why I think they rank.
As far as SEO goes the word authority is generally synonymous with "heavily linked to via natural citations from other powerful sites."
Gain a Competitive Advantage Today
Your top competitors have been investing into their marketing strategy for years.
Now you can know exactly where they rank, pick off their best keywords, and track new opportunities as they emerge.
Explore the ranking profile of your competitors in Google and Bing today using SEMrush.
Enter a competing URL below to quickly gain access to their organic & paid search performance history - for free.
See where they rank & beat them!
- Comprehensive competitive data: research performance across organic search, AdWords, Bing ads, video, display ads, and more.
- Compare Across Channels: use someone's AdWords strategy to drive your SEO growth, or use their SEO strategy to invest in paid search.
- Global footprint: Tracks Google results for 120+ million keywords in many languages across 28 markets
- Historical data: since 2009, before Panda and Penguin existed, so you can look for historical penalties and other potential ranking issues.
- Risk-free: Free trial & low price.