This is from a post I made at Link Referral, where I am a regular participant in the advice forums. I felt it was worthwhile reposting it here to help others focus on a different approach to SEO…
Everyone seems so concerned with bending over for Google and pleasing their algorithm every time it changes that they sometimes miss the potential in the next biggest search engine, Yahoo. You’ll notice that the search results in Yahoo can be wildly different from Google, so obviously they use a different set of rules to list results. That can be to your advantage if you’re not currently doing so well in Google.
Yes, they have a lot less surfers, as they are a distant 2nd to Google, BUT I’ve noticed through my research that it’s more of a BUYERS audience, and that’s what you really want when trying to convert visitors into sales.
I’ve noticed through experimenting with some of my sites and maximizing some for Google and others for Yahoo, that the ratio of visits to sales is much better in Yahoo, and this is for the exact same products offered through all the sites. This may have something to do with Yahoo being a portal site with a wide variety of visitors, including other sellers with Yahoo stores, whereas Google is still mostly used as a search engine for people just looking up information.
Another bonus I’ve noticed through Yahoo is, unlike Google, they list subdomains created to get affiliate sales. Those of you who cloak your affiliate links through tinyurl or whatever will notice how Google penalizes that as duplicate site names, as well as penalizing subdomains that point to duplicate content on affiliate pages, but Yahoo allows it and I make FAR more sales from my cloaked subdomains that way.
Yes, Yahoo is a smaller audience, but it’s a better converting audience. Would you rather have 1000 visits through Google with 1 sale, or 100 through Yahoo with 5 sales? Don’t put all your eggs in the Google basket.