If you guys are serious about recovering all that lost market share in searches try this simple idea.
Unclutter your homepage.
When I'm about to begin a search, I don't want to see flashing ads for minivans, irrelevant news story headlines, sports scores, and pictures of the latest teen idol. I just want to focus on my search.
Over the past year or so, I've begun to realize that Yahoo search results are superior to Google's, in most cases. If you pay close attention to search result comparisons between the two big SEs, you will notice that the first few pages of Google results are jammed with mostly old dinosaur sites. Why? Well, Google places a great deal of weight on the number of incoming links that a site has. This means that old sites launched back in the mid-1990s, when everyone was into exchanging links, dominate Google's search results today.
The problem with this approach is that Google moves at the proverbial glacial speed in indexing new sites. Often the new sites have far superior content to the old. But since they haven't had time to accumulate thousands of "incoming" they may as well not exist--at least as far as Google is concerned. A further issue that works to the detriment of Google's search quality is that we now have what I call "link exchange fatigue". New sites have a far tougher time collecting incoming links than did sites ten years ago when everything on the Net was fresh and new. Think about it. Those sites that already have the links have no incentive to link to new sites. This makes sense. Why help new competitors?
Thankfully, SEs like Yahoo place far less weight on the number of incoming links and focus instead on content relevancy which is what searchers value.
How do I know this? One of my companies launches and operates online businesses. We have noticed that when a new site goes up, Yahoo and most of the other SEs will have it indexed within a month. Not Google though. No, sir. It will take over a year for the new site to appear on the Big G. Rumors on the various sites for webmasters claim that Google deliberately stalls properly indexing new sites in order to force them to spend money on its Adwords pay-per-click advertising program for exposure.
I suspect that this is true.
One wag summed it up nicely:
"Isn't Google a verb now? Enshrined in the lexicon of technology to forever mean 'Search' " ? Well, maybe to people who still think AOL is the internet. To all of my techie friends out here in Silicon Valley it means, "First three pages of any search are filled with SEO spam and linkfarm bullshit."
So Yahoo, unclutter your homepage. That uncluttered homepage was a huge factor in Google's early success. It's what attracted me to switch. So get rid of all the garbage and offer a nice clean page for search starts and watch a reverse exodus from Google back to your site.
It's that simple.