Looks like Yahoo has updated and reorganized its Search/Webmaster help pages, which are worth reading for the small business owner/webmaster.
I’d point out these pages in particular as worth reading, esp. if you’re new to the web development / SEO / SEM arena:
Yahoo! Search Content Quality Guidelines
Nice summary of DOs and DON’Ts.
How do I add my site to your search engine database?
As I’ve written on the Search Engine Submission page here on SBS, you don’t need to worry about submitting. “Yahoo! Search crawls the web every 2-4 weeks and automatically finds new content for indexing. If pages already in the Yahoo! Search index link to your site, it will be considered for inclusion in the next update of the index.”
How are web documents ranked?
They don’t, of course, give too much away, but … “Yahoo! Search ranks results according to their relevance to a particular query by analyzing the web page text, title and description accuracy as well as its source, associated links, and other unique document characteristics.”
How do I improve the ranking of my web site in the search results?
Pretty basic stuff here, though a bit odd to see them still recommending using the meta “keywords” tag. Elsewhere in these pages they only refer to crafting a good page TITLE element and good meta “description” tag.
My site used to be in the database. Why did it drop out of your results?
Watch out for that all-Flash site you have in mind. “Pages with no unique text or no text at all may drop out of the index or may never be indexed.”
Do you index dynamically generated pages (e.g., asp, .shtml, PHP, “?”, etc.)?
Very interesting to see them almost shunning dynamically-generated content in this reply. “We recommend you avoid using dynamically generated links except in directories that are not intended to be crawled/indexed.” Are they serious?
How do I notify you of new or updated pages on my site?
Link to your new content, of course! “…make sure to build links from your existing web pages and navigation tools to the new pages. When our crawler refreshes content from the known pages, it will find the links to the new pages and consider them for addition to the web database.” This goes back to what I wrote last month about Training the Crawlers, remember?
How do I change the abstract shown in the search results for my page?
Good summary of where Yahoo gets the site snippet that appears in the SERPs. “These sources include, but are not limited to: text on the page, the page’s meta description, and editorial descriptions from Yahoo! Directories and third parties. The abstract will change depending on the search terms entered. Changing the content on your page and the meta data will influence the abstract.”
(Hat tip to the SEW Blog….)