If you are struggling to optimise your site for one or more of the main search engines, then no doubt you will be wondering what you need to do to get to the top of one or more of them. But, what are the differences in methods for optimising for each search engine? What does each search engine favour?

Much is talked around search engine optimisation tactics and what is required to get to the top of any particular search engine. But, most of these discussions centre around what is required for Google optimisation. This is fine, considering they currently carry most of the search traffic, but what around Yahoo and Bing, both of which have loads of visitors?

A while ago I started to optimise two of my own different sites for the same keyword phrase, and over the 15 months since I started this I have watched them move around and finally one of them take top spot on Google. At the same time, the other web site takes 2nd spot on Yahoo and Bing and 4th on Google.

This is remarkable, but the site that is 1st on Google is not on the top page of Yahoo nor MSN, which tells me ample round the different tactics used to optimise for these search engines.

Now I have to point out that I have done heaps more work for the site that is top of Google and that is why it, rather than the other web site, takes top spot there. But, that indicates clearly what is required to reach the dizzy heights of first place on Google – a load of article writing and guest posting. I have lost count of how numerous articles and guest posts I have submitted to a whole arrange of directories and websites, but it has been done on the side of other activities, so it is achievable by anyone.

The crucial factor is that the site does not feature top 10 in Yahoo and Bing, though the other site is second, with less articles and guest posts. For these search engines other factors are important.

With these search engines, the inbound links have been indispensable. That website would not have risen the way it has without them, but Yahoo and Bing do not put so much total faith in the incoming links. For the web site that does well on these two search engines is also the website that I did a little bit (but not too much!) work on the code.

Both web sites have the keyword phrase in the title meta, but it is only the one that does well in Bing and Yahoo that then goes on with supplementary mentions of the phrase. This website also has the search terms in the meta description, the keywords and twice in the body (once being in emphasised text). They also appear in a h1, but as part of a longer expression.

So to reach top spot in Google, one mention on the page is enough (and even that is not required), but to rank well for Bing & Yahoo, make certain that you do at least reference the search terms a couple of times, but do not go excessive.

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