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This 98 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 98 ( 1 [2] 3 4 > >     
Yahoo What gives? How do you tell if your penalized?

 7:50 pm on Mar 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ever since the drop of yahoo using google we have been trying to figure out why we arnt listed in yahoo's database.

Our site has been around for almost 6+ years and has always had a #1 ranking in google for various keywords. Our site doesnt spam, nor does it have any special tricks to get better listings.. our site is a single domain name.

anyhow we only have seen yahoo slurp come by once and compaired to other sites we have which slurp visits daily we are getting a bit worried if we have been penalized, or banned from yahoo..

unfortunally we cant find a link or an email to see if this is the case.




 3:54 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

look guys if Y! start telling people why they got banned the bad people in this world would find away to abuse it.....Y! keep your banning policies to yourself or drop me a sticky with a list lol



 7:11 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

They are saying that my site has been banned because I have traded links with other webmasters. And because I have affiliate links on my site.

Well, now, that's just silly, for two reasons. One is that, as has been pointed out, the Yahoo SERPS are still dominated by affiliate sites with no original content. Presumably this means this is a work in progress. If so, then Yahoo has a lot of work to do, and in the end, it probably won't be worth the enormous labor cost they are going to have to pay to do the job. The spammers will just find sneaky ways around it, and legit sites will get shafted.

The other reason is that I for one, and I think I probably speak for a lot of people, am not going to stop doing either of these practices just because Yahoo doesn't like it. Trading links with other sites, as long as they're relevant, is perfectly legit and is a standard practice that most dedicated webmasters use. Affiliate links are also perfectly fine, IMHO, as long as you have unique content which is the major focus of your site (which I do, and that's a lot more than I can say for a lot of sites which are still doing well in Yahoo).

If they follow through on this, it will hurt them as much as it hurts us. So many good sites will be removed that the users will soon realize that Yahoo is only giving them partial results and migrate to Google.

As long as Google has large market share, Yahoo doesn't have the clout to impose a change like this across the entire net, and they should know that. I for one can easily afford to write Yahoo out of my business plan entirely, and am happy to do so if they have decided not to allow affiliate links.

So long, Yahoo, and good luck to you...


 7:25 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Freejung, I don't believe that trading links with quality sites will hurt you. Some may question the benefits of reciprocal linkage, but normal links aren't going to get you dumped from Yahoo.


 7:30 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

If they follow through on this

if? they are out there doing it now. So funny to think of the guy who one day said, hey, i have a great idea, lets take out the affiliate sites. Imagine how he explains that 1 year later all those banned sites have been cloned nultiple times with robots.txt banning all engines except yahoo and flooding yahoo with the same content by an increased quantaum factor in order to beat a filter that was never going to work. Yup a filter that only takes out the sites that have made their way to the top of the serps. Any half decent webmster realises that you just keep flooding the content back in on newer domains since they dont get taken out till they hit the top. So here they come, just like buses. one leaves and the next one takes it place.


 7:40 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well its been a few days now since I sent Y! an email with my concerns about one of our sites with no reply yet. We arnt a link farm and as far as I know we conform to all regulations and do nothing tricky to get baned. Only thing I could think would be the content we have. :/


 7:54 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Tim addressed the delay. they had to attend the SE conferences so there'a delay. I've been waiting for about 10 days...which is not bad if I get the right answer ;).

as far as affiliate links: I doubt they're out to take them all of the index. Y! search would be one empty place. They might take a site that has 10 banners with just affilate links, no original content (or make believe one) and no benefit to the user. If you arrange them based on a niche, and if it's of use to the Y! user, I doubt it matters. At least it shouldn't. If you have a site that took you 30 min to create, never needs updating and has links to another 10 similar ones with ---- onthe domains, it's different.

If you have a site with affil links and Y! will only let you in if you take them out, what's the use? How does getting visitors for a site that's costing money and time help most of us?


 8:06 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

there is a constant thread of..OUR MOST USEFUL SITE...OUR MOST IMPORTANT SITE..i see this too...seems only succesful affiliate sites are being hit...from my own experience this is not based on the criteria mentioned above...sites with unique content and genuinly useful are being taken out..the spammy ones stay in till they hit the top..thats what im seeing.....


 8:14 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>affiliate links

SEs may not ban for affiliate links but they can easily not include a site because of them.

It's not a reason to panic but it is something to consider long with inventive ways to hide those links.



 8:22 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

this isnt a link filter..this is a self confessed demotion penalty......even if you remove the links you stay out....


 12:34 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

rogerd: that's what I'm saying. You wouldn't think that simply trading links would get you penalized, unless you have link-farm or way offtopic links. Furthermore, you wouldn't expect the mere presence of affiliate links to draw a penalty, unless that's all you have. So the statement that the site was penalized for trading links and affiliate links is silly in and of itself. There must be more to the reason the site was penalized, or else Yahoo is being unreasonable.

My guess is, this was not a complete answer. Or else perhaps the Yahoo reviewers were given a company policy doc saying something like: "reasons for penalization: excessive use of affiliate links, link farming or link exchange programs, etc." and they are using poor judgment in applying these policies.

Or maybe those of us who have been penalized are overestimating the intrinsic value of our sites. This is a sobering thought, but one we must at least consider.


 12:38 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Yahoo is being unreasonable.
Freejung, I vote for this answer :-). I think they suddenly realized they simply can't tell the difference between link farms, real spam, accidental excessive cross linking or even competitor activities.

I was just wondering, if anyone had an idea how many "search result" type spam links (also basically indistinguishable from doorway pages or link farms to a search engine) it takes to get a site permanently penalized? Would this be a duplication or spam penalty? I just did a search today for the first sentence of our home page (which most of you know, through my complaints on other threads, has been penalized at Y for no known reason) and over 1300 results came up. At least the first 2 pages full were from totally unrelated, PR0, sites (some with .cz extensions even!) linking to us using that exact sentence, which is also the description which Google has our home page indexed under, thus apparently where they got it since we are in the top ranks for this page there. Of course since we are penalized therefore something like a PR-100, we do not show up at all under our own text.
Obviously someone could very eaisily intentionally screw with competitor rankings by doing this? How would they (the SEs) know the difference?

Secondly, based on some of the comments above, I've started wondering if the SEs, especially Y!, knowing vertical portals are the next (finally!) thing to take over, are starting to penalize those who appear most like themselves (too many external links, therefore must be a link farm, oops or another search engine?, oh well :-) to nip the future competition in the bud.


 1:01 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

If Yahoo is being unreasonable, then it seems to me that it's unlikely to continue doing so for long. Human review is very expensive in terms of labor costs, and if they are not getting good results from it for whatever reason they are likely to abandon the project. Reviewing all the websites in all medium to high traffic SERPs is a huge amount of work. They are probably outsourcing the work to India or something, and if they can't get the employees to exercise good judgment and too many good sites get penalized while spam stays in the SERPs, the program will probably be scrapped.

Or so I hope. ;-)


 1:03 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I do think so,

I only seen more spam in yahoo.co.uk than clean sites...


 1:26 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

My main site has been banned..
However when I first got into the affiliate marketing game 4 years ago, I created a bunch of lets say, low quality sites, I was very experimental with promoting. I added a lot of links in guest books, ffa, etc. Of course all of those sites are banned in Google, in fact I forgot they existed until the new Yahoo.
They are all at the top of Ys search results! If and when the get banned I COULD make a duplicate site in one hour and add all the links that I would need to get it to the top again in half an hour. I dont plan to resort to such tactics but I know many people will. If only Y wasn't so strict this wouldn't have to happen.


 1:30 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I feel for those that are getting hit by Yahoo!, but must say that we have hundreds of sites doing quite well in Yahoo! with affiliate links. If they are going to "demote" affiliate sites, than just cloak the links and be done with it. It's not like they have folks combing over the billion+ pages they index.

Sadly, Yahoo! has come out of the gate as about as webmaster UNfriendly as they could be. paid ads, paid inclusion, yahoo product links, site match clutter their already "selective" index. On the bright side, they are the easiest engine to spam in years. If I was in charge there, my number 1 priority would be successfully indexing the web's content and basic scoring issues - than worry about the fine tuning as they are still barley able to get pages in their index


 1:33 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<So the statement that the site was penalized for trading links and affiliate links is silly in and of itself. There must be more to the reason the site was penalized, or else Yahoo is being unreasonable. >>

It is mind boggling that this would even be a policy AND that they would openly admit it!

Thinik about this for a second. Much of the best content on the web comes from niche sites and small publishers. Would they prefer banner ads all over the site? It is only natural that publishers serve some ads to pay for their site at least. Yahoo!, of ALL companies can surely understand the need to have some ads to support free content :)


 6:43 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

You know, guys, I've been rethinking my position here. Maybe Yahoo is not being unreasonable, they are just not willing to come out and say openly what's going on, which is that they are filtering for quality. These are not definitive, cut-and-dried issues, but judgement calls based on subjective criteria. Quality is always subjective, which is why a machine can never measure it.

No offense intended to anyone, but of all the penalized sites I've looked at, the only one that was definitively good was soapystar's. And he appears to be back in Yahoo and doing well. The rest of us, including me, are admittedly marginal. Sure, I have content, and so do the others, and there are still sites ranking in Yahoo that have none. But the question we have to ask ourselves honestly is: is our content good enough to merit the kind of positioning we have enjoyed thus far? I have to admit in my case, the answer is probably no. I have done well because of lack of competition. Other sites in my field are old, or they have little or no content, or they are not keyword optimized. But looking at it from a somewhat objective standpoint, I probably don't deserve my rankings. I'm working to improve that, and in the mean time, I'll stop complaining.

Yahoo filtering for quality is, IMHO, a good thing. Sure, it's going to involve judgment calls and these will always be controversial. But in the end, the user will probably benefit.


 7:02 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

"the only one that was definitively good was soapystar's. And he appears to be back in Yahoo and doing well"
He's back in? What the hell is he complaining for then ;)?


 7:07 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

forget Yahoo.

Since being penalized by Yahoo, ... I have switched my Overture advertising budget over to Google. Pay less, control your position and actually show up.

Yahoo is attempting to twist the arms of website owners who have great sites and feel it's necessary to be in Yahoo.

Why participate in Yahoos paid programs if they arent going to reciprocate with organic results? Sure, they arent obligated but Id prefer to spend my money where I receive greater returns.

I suppose my site is good enough for Y to take money for advertising but it isnt good enough for their organic results.

Coming out of the box and targeting some of the best sites in different industries is not a good way to launch a new product.

I cant stand going to yahoo's home page anymore.

My advertising dollars will go to their competitors.

Years ago when Altavista seemed like the only game in town, they did something similar. My site and many other legitimate sites were dropped from their index because they dominated most of the top results.

Where is Altavista now? What will Yahoo's market share of searches be next year?


 8:27 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

freejung -
"No offense intended to anyone, but of all the penalized sites I've looked at, the only one that was definitively good was soapystar's. And he appears to be back in Yahoo and doing well. The rest of us, including me, are admittedly marginal."

I'll sticky you my url. Have a look.


 9:14 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Are those sites that are blocked in the Yahoo index if you search site:www.domain.com?

I have a domain thats in Yahoo but donīt show up even if I search for a very unique word, than I get no results.


 12:38 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

dictionary defintion of Yahoo demotion penalty:
"I have a domain thats in Yahoo but donīt show up even if I search for a very unique word, than I get no results."


 3:11 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

a few of my pages are showing up in the serps now, all of them seem to be in the index - slowly but surely, slowly but surely, slowly but surely........


 3:25 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I really donīt understand this........
thougt index was an old google index.
But just checked more pages from this site, and some pages I added for about 1 week ago are in the index?

But only get that result if search for www.mydomain.com
- more pages from this site, this is strange..

Anyway slurp only reads my robots.txt so that result must be googles result or Altavista, strangely altavista keeps spidering me. And Fast stopped coming by.


 8:12 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

SoapyStar.... how funny

dictionary defintion of Yahoo demotion penalty:

"I have a domain thats in Yahoo but donīt show up even if I search for a very unique word, then I get no results."


 8:34 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is Yahoo Canada still using Google results.

While my site is penalized on Yahoo, it still shows up high on Yahoo Canada?


 8:44 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think Yahoo's working on an appeal system so that sites that have been penalized can get back in. They will reveal details in the next couple of weeks.


 8:47 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

is that from Tim's post a few days ago or have some inside scoop :)



 9:06 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

OK, let me qualify that. kanetrain's site looks good too. I think it was established in another thread that it's suffering from some issue related to PFI. I'm talking about the sites that clearly seem to have been hit with a demotion penalty. What I'm saying is, Yahoo seems to be making the entirely subjective judgment call that our sites have too much affiliate content and too little original content.

This of course is subject to being argued about, as there can be no magic formula that says you must have x amount of original content for every y affiliate links. All I'm saying is, maybe we should consider the possibility of working on improving our sites instead of worrying about what Yahoo's doing.

Radical suggestion, I know, but hey, I'm a radical kind of guy.


 9:19 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

freejung: thats very hard saying,
do you really think redesigning 200 pages "with content" will get you back?

come on, I donīt think they gives out penalty for poor design...........
often the poorest designed sites, are the clearest and most informative, just see googles home page.


 9:41 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

You know, I was laying in bed thinking about this last night, and I came to a conclusion. If Yahoo! applied the "penalty" factors that we have been discussing to invent penalties on innocent (or even not so innocent) sites... They'd have to ban themselves.

1. Lack of meaningful original unique content. (EVERYTHING they have comes from someone elses site)
2. Mirror sites. (US, UK, Canada, etc)
3. Massive cross linking (links from search results to directory results and vice versa, not to mention between finance.yahoo.com, shopping.yahoo.com, etc)
4. Loaded with "sponsored" affiliate ads on EVERY page. (they get paid for each clickthru so that makes them an affiliate).
5. Not necessarily in Yahoo!'s case but some other search engines provide misleading links with PAID advertising masquerading as "search results".

So the question is... where does one draw the line between a "spam" site and a search engine?!
To add onto what someone mentioned, how would a totally affiliate shopping site, be any different than shopping.yahoo.com or ebay, both of which are considered NOT spam?

Someone once said "we tend to despise most in others what we recognize of ourselves."

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