Yahoo Algorithm Update – Here we go again!

Marjory Meechan - November 25, 2008

This weekend, Yahoo announced another algorithm update. That makes 8 updates this year and in some cases, with big consequences for search engine rankings for some sites. While this might seem like a lot, it’s actually not as many as last year (although the year isn’t over yet). However, in the past two years, it’s clear that Yahoo has been actively working to improve its offering on the search front.

Many pundits have been sounding Yahoo’s death knells lately, so it’s easy to forget that Yahoo is still a formidable force in cyberspace. A comparison of, and shows that while Yahoo may not have the search volume of Google, they definitely have significant traffic to their domain — and involved traffic at that:


That said; Yahoo’s star has definitely been fading over the last couple of years. Recent news that Yahoo’s CEO Jerry Yang is returning to his roots as Chief Yahoo and turning over day-to-day operations to more capable hands have not reassured investors or others in the industry. So, with all this in mind, how much should you worry about your rankings in Yahoo? It all depends on the answer to two important questions:

  1. How much traffic do you currently get from Yahoo?
  2. How much traffic do you want to get from search engines in the future?

If you currently depend on Yahoo for a big part of your traffic, then an algorithm update that changes their emphasis on factors that you might not be strong on could affect your traffic in a meaningful way right now. If this is the case, an algorithm update at Yahoo should be of prime concern to you. However, even if Yahoo isn’t a major source of traffic, it’s important to remember that all search engine engineers are primarily working toward giving searchers the most relevant results and if Yahoo’s engineers find the magic formula, they could regain market share. Remember that it only took Google two years to overcome Yahoo. Currently, there is still plenty of room for improvement in search engine results — even with personalization and universal search. Yahoo still has lots of great properties and really good search engine technology which, as the results we’ve seen after these recent updates show, are only getting better.

The fact that Yahoo’s algorithm updates are still going on shows that they need to be taken seriously. Naturally, if most of your traffic is coming from Google, maintaining those rankings should be foremost. However, Yahoo may rise again and when it does — or these updates find a place in the search technology of the future either through new alliances between search engines or a buy-up of Yahoo’s assets by Google or others, their search algorithm could have an effect on your rankings with those other engines. Make sure that your site is ready. Create good keyword relevant content that people want to link to and you should be a success in any good search engine.

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