Yahoo! Coming To It’s Senses

A big story I heard MUCH about at the SES Conference in San Jose was the apparent chaos that was reigning in the Yahoo! search results. Even during my session there on ranking across all three major engines questions came in regarding how to react to the issues site that had ranked well for years were having. My advice at the time, if the tactics you’re using are ethical and your pages are well optimized with good links coming in and the sites you’re seeing rankings are not (which , judging from what I’d seen – a good shared of them weren’t) then don’t chase it, wait it out.

When an algorithm goes astray and you can see that bad sites are ranking – that’s the time to suck it up and stick to your guns. Chasing a bad algorithm will only hurt you on other engines and hurt you on the engine you’re chasing when the issues are addressed. Well, it’s been a while but it appears that Yahoo! is in the process of correcting the issues with their latest update. While still not fully implemented it appears that they are making efforts to correct against the poor results that were sitting on the first page and the good sites that fell are starting to gain ground.

The philosophy not to chase bad algorithms first came to my attention (and to my arsenal of SEO tactics) back during the notorious Florida Update by Google). Sites that chased it ended up losing miserably when the algorithm was corrected. While that update had devastating effect on ethical site owners in that sp@m rules and it occurred in November and wasn’t corrected until January (Merry Christmas to the ethical out there) those who chased it never seemed to get the high rankings they wanted for Christmas and lost out in the post-season correction. Sort of a double edged sword on that one.

And so it will be interesting to watch the rest of the corrections as they come in (we’ll be covering it here of course). And to those who, like me, stuck to your guns and waited it out – you should see the solid rankings regained shortly. For now you should have decent rankings for the first time in a few weeks. At least that should show you where you’re headed.

And when in doubt, check the results up here in the Great White North (http://ca.search.yahoo.com/). Up here we never did see the same backlash that was felt south of the 49th parallel.

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