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How search engines work, Yahoo pay per click advertising, internet advertising and affiliate marketing to increase online sales.

Yahoo has been around as a search engine longer than just about everyone but has been usurped by Google in terms of the search engine market. In my opinion, the Yahoo algorithm is better than MSN at determining relevancy due to its ability to recognise link cheats, but Google has the edge.

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Yahoo set its stall out very early on to be the largest content directory on the internet and as a result, in my experience, along with its paid for inclusion programme means it tends to lean towards favouring commercial results at times. I tend to find this extremely irritating when trying to source specific items or information.

Yahoo has been aggressively acquiring search engine companies and combining their various expertise and technologies for some time. It bought Overture in 2003 who had already absorbed AllTheWeb and AltaVista having already acquired Inktomi and has gone on to buy numerous other IT companies since. This resulted in them replacing Google who had been providing their search technology in 2004.

There are a couple of things I particularly like about Yahoo as a search engine. The first is their ability to penetrate deep into sites to index pages and the second is the fact that they do appear to put a lot of emphasis on page content. However, unlike Google, they have difficulty clustering results if web pages with related content are not linked internally. This means one web page from a website may appear high in the natural listings and a second, possibly more relevant page may appear well down. Google seem to have this problem nailed.

This may be because Yahoo is promoting paid for inclusion pages and its own commercial pages and is therefore looking to profit. Nothing wrong in that unless the results are poor and on business searches I have often found this to be the case.

Yahoo seems to concentrate on matching sentences within meta tags which is fine all the time they are checking quality. However, this is open to abuse from spam sites that carry duplicate content and seem to proliferate Yahoo search results with pages that are solely for the purpose of generating pay per click income.

If you want web pages within your site to rank high on Yahoo, I believe you need to gain link popularity to individual pages. This is certainly true with Google but Yahoo does not appear to check the quality of the referral site or link. Paid for linking can therefore benefit your search results on Yahoo but expect to be penalised by Google.

I have read on other sites that it is possible to get websites ranked faster on Yahoo than on Google because Google places greater emphasis and trust on long established sites. This is not the case in my experience as I have never experienced the Google sandbox.

Yahoo generates income from both sponsored pay per click adverts and paid for inclusion links in their natural listings. This I believe diminishes the quality of their organic results and places smaller businesses at a disadvantage. Not the level playing field everyone talks about. You are more likely to find better quality sites with more relevant content far down the Yahoo search results.

I think Yahoo also have a useful human review resource that check sites out and then manually manipulate their search results for the more competitive search terms; promoting quality sites and penalising spam or poor quality sites. If your site is dropped by Yahoo, you have no option but to clean up your act and apply to be listed again.

Yahoo has so many SEO tools and related services that it is often difficult to determine what each one does. Like MSN, they are trying to promote a number of different products and services like Yahoo Answers and My Yahoo that the message has become confused.

How the Google search engine works

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