When it comes to SEO, most people wonder if it’s really worth it to optimize for all different search engines. Luckily, you only have to keep up with the three major contenders of Google, Yahoo, and Bing (unless you have a highly specific niche), as these are the most popular search engines operated by everyday users. Each one appeals to different audiences and displays results in their own distinctive ways. Understanding these two components will help you decide whether to just focus on one search engine or to spread your reach across several different platforms. Let’s take a look at the Google versus Yahoo differences.
One of the first differences users notice between Google and Yahoo is the interface. Google’s page is fairly basic, with options to categorize search results under pages, pictures, maps, and more. Yahoo offers users content right up front such as news, articles, weather, among other focused interests, under the search-bar itself. Although Google seems to be far more popular for searches, Yahoo still attracts more unique users to its platform. Still, the term “Google it” is heard far more often than any variation of “Check Yahoo”. When it comes to target audience, it is vital that you learn which platform they prefer and focus your efforts there, without completely ignoring the other. Since users tend to stick to one search engine, you may be missing out on a huge percentage of potential views if you’re only optimizing for the other.
Since Google owns YouTube, these videos are more likely to pop up in search results than other types of videos. As far as images go, Yahoo’s connection with Flickr yields more results from this site than others. Both platforms offer their own email service, which connects users to these search engines automatically depending on whether they have Yahoo mail or Gmail as their primary email base. For mobile voice searches, it is interesting to note that Siri uses Bing* for results while Android relies on Google.
The Search Results
A unique feature Google offers is Google Instant, which anticipates the searches of each user and automatically lists results as the user is typing. Instead of typing the entire search phrase, users can also choose from a list of search results Google Instant thinks the user is trying to type. This can be especially helpful when determining the popularity of keywords and phrases you’re trying to rank for. Google can also show results for synonyms of keywords, giving you more flexibility in your SEO approach. Yahoo prefers exact match keywords. Yahoo also ranks older, more established pages higher, where Google prefers up-to-date and newer content.
There are several key differences in what determines page rankings between these two platforms. However, the SEO strategies you employ for each are becoming more similar every year. You may have to tweak a few details to fit the algorithms of one server or another. Even so, you won’t have to build a completely new strategy for each. The most important factors the big search engines are ranking for include quality and relevant content, optimized websites, and user-friendliness.
*As of September 2017 Siri uses Google for search results and Bing for image results