In this article I will review the similarities and differences between the ranking algorithms of Google, Yahoo and Msn. Google and Yahoo are considerably reasonably close in terms of off-page factors weighting compared to Msn, which is more on the on-page side. Like Google, Yahoo and MSN will discount obviously identical and unnatural looking anchor link text. Since these algos are frequently updated, I will only concentrate on those factors that do not. Otherwise, mayor updates should take place for them to be replaced by other/better methods.
The Google Factors.
It is a known fact that Google is focused on links. Therefore, it ranks them by quality and relevancy factors. With that said, on-page factors such as title keywords, content keyword density and relevance also influence the ranking of a given page. Google also looks into the “neighborhood” of your site analyzing outbound links. If you link to related quality sites with relevant content, search engines will associate your site with these “neighbor” sites.
The Yahoo Factors.
Yahoo tends to be the most active of the three when it comes to crawling. Not a general rule though. But in addition to its nature, having RSS on your site will get it more aggressive and frequently crawled. Similar to Google, Yahoo gives a lot of importance to inbound links, looking into factors like relevancy and anchor text, and heavily at volume of links. Their TrustRank is a form of PageRank, but with a special teleportation to a subset of high-quality pages. Yahoo search rankings appear to place extra importance on your site being listed in their directory, especially for highly competitive terms. Keyword density in title and content relevance also count.
The Msn Factors.
Maybe a substantial different from the other two, Msn normally gives more weight to the title text. Also, CSS optimization plays an important role at getting better rankings here. Msn is second to Yahoo on links volume, but the link analysis is reversed, analyzing inbound links for quality, anchor text keywords, and relevancy. Inclusion in the MSN endorsed directories would boost your site high in the SERPs. This fact still holds true, but its advantage has lessened with the new Live version. Content freshness is still very important, boosting rank of frequently updated pages.
Optimizing for all.
Yes, it is possible. Did someone said: wikipedia? Regardless of the algo differences of the mayor search engines, a site with great content that attracts users, and generates lots of natural occurring inbound links having great anchor text, has a great chance of replicating similar success. Of the off-page factors, quality of inbound links is the most important. Of the on-page factors the keyword density in the title. A good balance between conservative keyword density and other elements like RSS and CSS need to exist when used, since they all get particular boots or penalties with the search engines.