Google vs. Yahoo! Results

The following chart diagrams 4 searches performed identically at Google and Yahoo!. Details on how specific information for each column was obtained are listed below:

  • AncPos – The position of the site using the search term preceded by allinanchor: at Google
  • PR – Taken from Toolbar PR of Homepage for site or specific page (whichever was higher)
  • Links – Taken from # of results at Yahoo! for the command linkdomain:url.com -site:url.com
  • Age – Taken from Archive.org
  • Quality – A subjective measure of my own to see how valuable I felt the sites content to be. I generally tried to include criteria as objective as possible, i.e. whether they offered information, products & links or just 1-2 of these three, etc. I did not attempt to judge design or the quality of the products or information offered. Pure affiliate or spammy sites received very low ratings.

 

Search Term/Top 10 Sites
AncPos
PR
Links
Age
Quality
Search @ Google – Christmas Gift Ideas
  1. www.christmasgifts.com
  2. www.santas-wonder-land.com
  3. www.make-stuff.com
  4. www.patagoniagifts.com
  5. www.emusicalgifts.com
  6. www.needapresent.com
  7. www.starregistry.com/christmas-gift.cfm
  8. www.amazingmoms.com/htm/christmasgifts_from_kids.htm
  9. www.paramountzone.com
  10. www.wealthwood.com
3
1
5
7

17
30
27
72
5
5
5
5
5
6
7
4
7
5

1080
2590
3990
1880
2060
1470
13,600
2460
32,900
575

1996
2002
2001
2001
2001
2000
1999
1999
2001
1998
4/10
4/10
3/10
4/10
5/10
6/10
4/10
6/10
4/10
5/10
Search @ Yahoo! – Christmas Gift Ideas
  1. www.christmas-gift-ideas.ws
  2. www.butterfly-gifts.com/christmas-gift-ideas.html
  3. www.maxchristmas.com/christmasgiftideas
  4. www.candy-gift-ideas.net/gift-ideas/christmas_gift_ideas.htm
  5. www.christmas-guide.com/gifts/ christmas-gift-ideas
  6. www.christmas-guide.com
  7. www.piecesofvermont.com/christmas-gifts.html
  8. christmas-gifts.indiangiftsportal.com
  9. www.rwrinnovations.com/christmas.htm
  10. www.makestuff.com/hollidays/christmas.html
4
18


41
41
60
81

4
5
3
4
4
5
4
4
3
5
87
714
169
88
1370
1370
827
25,000
775
2200
2003
2000
2001
2001
2000
2000
2000
2000
2001
1998
4/10
5/10
2/10
4/10
3/10
4/10
6/10
5/10
4/10
5/10
Search Term/Top 10 Sites
AncPos
PR
Links
Age
Quality
Search @ Google – Halloween Costumes
  1. www.thestranger.com/current/special.html
  2. www.halloweencostumes4u.com
  3. www.halloweenmart.com
  4. www.costumepage.org/hallocst.html
  5. www.fabriclink.com/Closet.html
  6. www.robinsfyi.com/holidays/halloween/costumes.htm
  7. www.halloweenmagazine.com/costumes.htm
  8. www.stretcher.com/stories/961021a.cfm
  9. www.halloweenstreet.com
  10. www.retrocrush.com/costumes/
1
2
8
4
23
3
9
6
5
10
6
5
4
3
6
5
6
6
5
5
126,000
458
798
58
17,500
1760
3200
17,900
9660
71,400
1998
2000
1998
new
1995
1998
1998
1996
1998
1998
4/10
5/10
6/10
6/10
6/10
5/10
3/10
5/10
6/10
5/10
Search @ Yahoo! – Halloween Costumes
  1. www.halloweenstreet.com
  2. www.extremehalloween.com
  3. www.costumes-4-halloween.com
  4. members.aol.com/nebula5/hallocst.html
  5. www.robinsfyi.com/holidays/halloween/costumes.htm
  6. www.retrocrush.com/costumes
  7. www.stretcher.com/stories/961021a.cfm
  8. www.bridgeschool.org/about/about_halloween.html
  9. www.halloweencostume.com
  10. www.buycostumes.com
5
15
16
100
3
10
6
17

11
5
5
5
4
5
6
6
5
5
5
9660
360
121
5.7mil
1790
71,400
17,900
970
90
55,500
1998
1998
2002
1998
1998
2003
1996
1996
1997
1999
6/10
5/10
5/10
6/10
5/10
5/10
5/10
4/10
6/10
6/10
Search Term/Top 10 Sites
AncPos
PR
Links
Age
Quality
Search @ Google – Holiday Decorations
  1. www.keepkidshealthy.com/welcome/winter/decorations_safety_tips.html
  2. www.holidaysdecorated.com
  3. dir.yahoo.com/…/ Gifts_and_Occasions/Holiday_Decorations
  4. www.ext.vt.edu/departments/envirohort/articles/misc/holiday.html
  5. www.stretcher.com/stories/99/991129b.cfm
  6. msms.essortment.com/makingchristmas_rftd.htm
  7. fp.arizona.edu/riskmgmt/holiday_decorations.htm
  8. interiordec.about.com/cs/cmasstoragetips/a/cmasstorage.htm
  9. www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/01/01/ findlaw.analysis.hamilton.decorations
  10. www.whitehouse.gov/president/holiday/decorations
1
2
7
8
19
24
11
22
20
31
6
4
8
7
6
0
4
6
9
10
11,700
427
1.8mil
34,200
17,900
218,000
733,000
4.13mil
8.03mil
1.62mil
2000
2003
2000
1996
1996
2001
2002
1999
2000
1997
4/10
5/10
5/10
4/10
4/10
1/10
4/10
5/10
4/10
4/10
Search @ Yahoo! – Holiday Decorations
  1. www.decktherails.com
  2. www.jsholidaycreations.com
  3. www.carleenscreations.com
  4. www.keepkidshealthy.com/welcome/winter/decorations_safety_tips.html
  5. www.seasonalreflections.com
  6. www.allearsnet.com/tp/h_decor.htm
  7. store.yahoo.com/priority-store/ hode.html
  8. www.holidays.net/thanksgiving/decorations/garland.htm
  9. interiordec.about.com/library/bl_cmasstorage.htm
  10. www.ext.vt.edu/departments/envirohort/articles/misc/holiday.html

3
271
2
4
91
120
430
11
7
4
5

6
5
5
4
6
6
7
2470
170
26
11,700
153
1400
16.5mil
53,500
4.13mil
34,200
2003
2002
2003
2000
new
2000
1998
1997
1999
1997
4/10
5/10
1/10
4/10
7/10
5/10
5/10
4/10
5/10
4/10
Search Term/Top 10 Sites
AncPos
PR
Links
Age
Quality
Search @ Google – New Year’s Eve Party
  1. www.askmen.com/fashion/how_to/30_how_to.html
  2. www.newyears.com
  3. www.kidspartyfun.com/pages/themes/newyears.html
  4. www.vegas.com/newyears/?vc1=1&vc2=cal_txt_120
  5. www.party411.com/millennium.html
  6. www.eye.net/eye/issue/issue_12.18.03/plus/nye.html
  7. entertaining.about.com/cs/newyearseve/tp/newyearseve.htm
  8. confetti.co.uk/celebrations/seasonal_celebrations/new_year/default.asp
  9. dir.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Holidays_and_Observances/New_Year
  10. www.edhelper.com/ReadingComprehension_33_20.html
3
8
27
10

83
805
37
11
149
6
5
5
6
6
7
6
5
9
7
111,000
14,700
358
139,000
8510
35,800
14,500
9650
1.8mil
94,500
2000
1998
2001
1997
1997
1996
1999
1999
2000
2000
7/10
6/10
6/10
6/10
8/10
6/10
6/10
6/10
5/10
3/10
Search @ Yahoo! – New Year’s Eve Party
  1. www.newyears.com
  2. www.askmen.com/fashion/how_to/ 30_how_to.html
  3. www.yahoo.com/promotions/newyears
  4. www.murphguide.com/newyear.htm
  5. www.pubclub.com/newyear
  6. www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/1465/nyparty.html
  7. www.butlerwebs.com/butlercounty/newyearseve.htm
  8. dir.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Holidays_and_Observances/New_Year
  9. www.kidspartyfun.com/pages/themes/newyears.html
  10. www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=2542047
8
3


60

56
11
27
5
6
9
6
6
8
5
9
5
7
14,700
111,000
100mil
1580
783
28.7mil
3120
1.8mil
358
140,000
1998
2000
1996
1998
1999
1996
2000
2000
2001
1996
6/10
7/10
2/10
5/10
5/10
4/10
5/10
5/10
6/10
3/10

Analysis

Quality of Results
Neither Google nor Yahoo! are providing high quality results, although as searches get more specific, they both seem to do a relatively better job. However, there are some great sites in the top 20-50 results that I ran through for each of these searches. It seems that a few tweaks in their algorithms could help push the better content sites forward, although it is extremely difficult to automate quality checks. What is surprising in regards to quality is the number of spam-filled pages of nonsense/affiliate referrals that still exist in the top 10 at both engines. They each seem to have their algorithmic weaknesses that smart SEO spammers have taken advantage of.

Links & Positioning
Yahoo! is definitely the friendlier of the 2 engines for sites with fewer IBLs, but not by much. Specific searches seem to return sites at Yahoo! that are less ‘authorities’ on broad subjects and more specific to the search terms. The overlap between the engines is still considerable, although being listed in the top by both companies is not a sign of great content. It was also interesting to see that the sites that ranked well for the least popular search – Christmas Gift Ideas – also had the sites with the fewest number of links ranking well. Google & Yahoo! each had some sites that seemed to rank well in spite of their lack of backlinks, as though they had gotten into the top positions on another, as yet unidentified strength.

Age of Sites
Although both search engines seem to favor older sites, Google is clearly much more strict about this, with 2/40 sites in the top 10 being newer than 2002, compared to Yahoo!’s 5/40. The odds, however, are clearly against newer sites for these search terms.

AllinAnchor
The strange allinanchor results, especially at Google, suggest a pattern that has been noted by many in the industry. Anchor text appears to no longer be the prevalent attribute for sites seeking to rank well, and SEOs would do well to keep in mind factors like deep linking, varying anchor text, and obtaining the strongest ‘on topic’ links possible when link building. Although this simplistic study does not analyze all of these items for the sites that do rank well, the results fit neatly into many of the hypothesis’ regarding successful Google ranking. Lucky for SEOs, Yahoo! appears to be less complicated, and ranking strategies of the past appear to still be successful. It’s surprising that despite Google’s attempts, the quality of their results has not made a marked increase over the competition.

Conclusions

Ranking with Yahoo! & Google in this market segment is both achievable and possible. The criteria that the 2 search engines use are clearly not different enough at this point to prevent a site from succeeding in both SERPs for a given term. Both are focused on links & age, although Google obviously has some more complicated algorithm makeup than Yahoo!. It’s unfortunate that despite their advances, many results are still of very poor quality. A user searching for any of the phrases used, with the exception of New Year’s Eve Party, would probably be sorely disappointed in both search engines.