Search engine optimization to many people means optimizing for Google, but there are good reasons why this is a shortsighted approach. For one thing, search engine algorithms are always changing and any site that can do well on all three search engines is naturally more likely to be resilient to any changes that any one search engine might make. This is because the criteria that each search engine uses are different. For another thing, not all searchers are as savvy as you might think. There are lots of internet users out there that only know how to search with the buttons that came with the browser and if that browser is Internet Explorer, they’re probably searching on MSN. A search for [presidential election] on Google, Yahoo and Live Search give roughly the same results for Google and Live and a radically different result for Yahoo. In addition, both Google and Live show big changes depending on whether you search for election or elections while Yahoo’s results are largely unchanged. Results like this may cause a poor website owner to wonder if it is possible to rank well for any keywords in all three search engines, but we can attest that it can be done. We have seen some of our clients do it by providing good quality sites, with lots of relevant content. Relying only on Google for traffic can leave you high and dry when the algorithm changes as we saw it do just a few short weeks ago.
Now that Live.com’s new Live Search has been up and running for a while, everyone might want to bone up on their Live Search webmaster site optimization recommendations. Here are a few we found while looking at Live’s webmaster help.