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Answers to Members Question from Yahoo! (Part 1) Edited Version
More answers will be posted shortly!
Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 10:57 pm on Mar 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Admin Note: This thread is an extremely edited version of the original thread found here [webmasterworld.com].

I've removed all posts from this thread that were either off-topic or follow-up questions that were not directly answered by a Yahoo rep.

WG


Q. Why should I pay for Site Match if my site is already indexed or may soon be indexed for free?
A. Our primary goal is to discover and include all content on the web through our free web crawling process. We’ve found, though, that both content providers and search users would benefit from greater interaction between sites and the search engine. In fact, for several years a good number of WebmasterWorld posters have been asking for greater clarity from search engines about how to participate and what the “rules” are. The Site Match program addresses this additional need by providing a value-added service that focuses on providing a clearer, more consistent way to interact with Yahoo! Search Technology. Specific components include: the ability to proactively submit content to us, ensured inclusion, frequent refresh, quality review, detailed reporting, and support when problems arise. The program is cost-effective, easy to manage, and includes the ability to control total cost.

Site Match delivers:
1. Higher quality search results for users, especially by reducing the amount of search spam (spammers are economically disincented to participate)
2. A clearer, more consistent way to interact with Yahoo! Search Technology for content providers who historically have been subjected to unpredictable changes in the way their content has been discovered and presented by search engines.

As we’ve said elsewhere, we think these benefits are of value to many businesses, and the considerable demand for the program we’ve seen thus far would seem to support that. However, the program may not be valuable to everyone. We understand this – not everyone wants or needs the value-added service that Site Match offers. And that’s OK, because it’s likely that we already have your web pages in the regular crawl, and if we don’t yet, then we are working on getting them in over time. Discovering and indexing all of the content on the internet for free is a cornerstone of our mission to provide the highest quality search experience on the internet.

Q. Will Yahoo! Search results favor sites that pay for the Site Match program?
A. Absolutely not. Payment is not for placement or ranking in search results. Our focus is on delivering the highest quality search experience on the web. As a result, all web pages are algorithmically ranked in the results based on their objective relevance to each specific search query in order to ensure the highest quality search experience for users.

Q. Will the Inktomi index be merged with the new Yahoo! index before Inktomi disappears?
A: Yes. Today there is a single, new Yahoo! Search Technology. This new search engine powers Yahoo! and will shortly also be powering the search solutions of all our partners. The search engines operated by the companies we acquired, including Inktomi, will no longer power our search results. Yahoo! Slurp, Yahoo!’s new crawler, is already reaching and indexing more of the web than any of our prior technologies did.

Q. If I participate in Site Match, will my site be “banned” from the search index?
A. No. The Site Match and crawling systems are separate (one doesn’t affect content in the other) and participation in Site Match does not result in changes to the index. For instance, if you submit 1 page to Site Match, other pages that may be in the regular index will not be affected.

However, content from both systems is reviewed and evaluated against the same criteria to ensure all content meets a consistent, high quality standard. If you joined the Inktomi Search Submit program, for example, you may have been reviewed. If problems were discovered, your site may have been partially or entirely removed from the search index. The same thing happens to sites that have been discovered through the free crawl process; if problems were discovered, your site may have been partially or entirely removed from the search index. Any review-related penalty is solely designed to ensure the best experience for our users, not to encourage ongoing participation in our inclusion programs.

For our new Site Match program, we’re considering providing content providers with a formal method way to appeal perceived penalties. Please stay tuned…

Q. Does Site Match require both a per-page, per-year fee and a cost-per-click?
A. Site Match has a much lower up-front cost (less than 1/3) than the 3 programs it replaces: Inktomi Search Submit, AltaVista Express Inclusion, and FAST PartnerSite PFI. One concern with the old programs was that some sites paid upfront and then got relatively few clicks (a common scenario for very specialist sites). This resulted in the service working out to be quite expensive on an effective cost-per-click basis. The new cost-per-click pricing is more equitable in that it scales with the value the program provides to each participating site. In addition, we offer a range of budgeting options that allow content providers to cap their spend at whatever levels they are comfortable with. Finally, and most importantly, cost-per-click pricing helps ensure a high quality user experience. Cost-per-click pricing motivates content providers to submit only relevant content (no one wants to pay for an irrelevant click), further improving the quality of the search experience for users. Without CPC pricing, content providers have no incentive to provide high quality content and avoid gaming the system.

Q. What concerns me with the new Yahoo! PFI system is a lack of geotargetting. With the current Inktomi PFI, if someone outside my intended area clicks on my page in the SERPs, I don't care - I pay no extra for that. It's just a free click. I currently receive about 15% of clicks from countries I don't do business in.

= Q. Does Site Match allow URLs to be targeted to specific countries?
A. Yes. In fact, Site Match does support geotargeting. Through the Overture-branded system, just log in (after subscribing) and go to View/Edit URLs. Click Edit for each URL and you’ll see options to target by region or by country. This is another feature that helps us deliver a higher quality user experience. In the example cite by this post, the user actually would have had a suboptimal experience – they clicked on the page of a business that couldn’t address their need. By offering geo-targeting we enable content providers help make both their experience and the experience of the user better. This is another example of how we are leveraging this program to help us deliver the highest quality user experience.

[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 10:46 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2004]

 

heini

WebmasterWorld Senior Member heini us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 11:28 pm on Mar 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Some important points made, thanks Tim.

I think many members will be relieved to hear that the problem of penalties seems to get addressed.

Pretty interesting also is the geotargeting, this will lead to people definitely seeing different serps, depending on IP, right?

Chicago

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 11:26 pm on Mar 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

thank you, and if you please, one quick follow up.

if you have a page participating in sitematch, will it in any way impede the free indexing of this participating page. if not, and if you can be indexed for free during your participation in sitematch, is the only way to determine whether you are indexed for free to unsubscribe or trigger your spending limits, and go looking for your pages which presumably should be in the same relative serp position?

thanks in advance for your feedback

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 11:33 pm on Mar 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Chicago,
It participating in SiteMatch will not affect your free pages. We have been looking into avenues to provide visibility into whether your SiteMatch pages are in the Index via the Crawl. I will talk to some of the SiteMatch team and find out for you what they are thinking about.
Tim

nevetS

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 12:06 am on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

So... if it's replacing INK's PFI program, and I just paid for the INK PFI, does that mean, I'm out of the index? or do I get to be in the INK index for the 12 months I paid for? Will the INK sites - MSN, etc. be feeding off of the Yahoo sitematch feed?

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 2:12 am on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nevets,
I think this question has been answered a few times. You will continue to get the distribution that you have been getting via Inktomi. You will also get the Yahoo distribution as a bonus up until 4/15. After that you may opt in for the Yahoo distribution by signing up for SiteMatch or you may remain with the existing Inktomi distribution until your subscription expires.

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 7:31 am on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a few more answers to questions in the previous thread. I do not want to take this thread off topic as I think this is a pretty interesting discussion about the value of P4P listings versus SiteMatch. I will talk to the people at Overture and figure out what they think and post an answer soon.

Q. What will happen to my Inktomi paid inclusion listings?
A. You have the option of continuing your current Inktomi Search Submit subscription until the end of its term or migrating earlier to Site Match. If you choose to continue your Search Submit subscription, your URLs will appear until the end of your term on portal partners that were previously powered by Inktomi--we're delivering the value promised by the Search Submit program. As a bonus, your URLs will also appear in Yahoo! Search results until April 15th. Note that feed-based customers may continue participating in the full network of portals, including Yahoo!.

Q. Does Site Match require both a per-page, per-year fee and a cost-per-click?
A. Site Match has a much lower up-front cost (less than 1/3) than the 3 programs it replaces: Inktomi Search Submit, AltaVista Express Inclusion, and FAST PartnerSite PFI. One concern with the old programs was that some sites paid upfront and then got relatively few clicks (a common scenario for very specialist sites). This resulted in the service working out to be quite expensive on an effective cost-per-click basis. The new cost-per-click pricing is more equitable in that it scales with the value the program provides to each participating site. In addition, we offer a range of budgeting options that allow content providers to cap their spend at whatever levels they are comfortable with. Finally, and most importantly, cost-per-click pricing helps ensure a high quality user experience. Cost-per-click pricing motivates content providers to submit only relevant content (no one wants to pay for an irrelevant click), further improving the quality of the search experience for users. Without CPC pricing, content providers have no incentive to provide high quality content and avoid gaming the system.

Q. What happens when I stop paying for Site Match clicks?
A. When you deactivate a URL in Site Match (discontinuing payment for clicks), you forgo all the value-added services offered by the program. If your URL was of acceptable quality and was previously discovered by the crawler, then it will still be included in the index. If the crawler has not discovered the URL it will not be included in the index after you deactivate it. However, as soon as the URL is discovered by our free crawler, it will be included. The free crawler does not discriminate in any way based on a web site's prior participation in the Site Match program.

Q. Will Yahoo! Search results favor sites that pay for the Site Match program?
A. Absolutely not. Payment is not for placement or ranking in search results. Our focus is on delivering the highest quality search experience on the web. As a result, all web pages are algorithmically ranked in the results based on their objective relevance to each specific search query in order to ensure the highest quality search experience for users.

Q. Is Site Match an advertising program?
A. Site Match is not advertising. Site Match is an optional program through which content providers receive an additional level of service from Yahoo!. Unlike forms of advertising (television, print media, yellow pages, Pay-for-Performance search, etc.), by no means do content providers have to pay to have their sites included in the Yahoo! index. In fact, over 99% of our index is from the general (free) crawl; this is consistent with our mission to discover and index all of the content on the Web for free. Site Match simply provides a superior level of service: ensured inclusion, frequent refresh, quality review, detailed reporting, and support when problems arise. If you’ve been frustrated by past search engine updates, Site Match offers a way to interact with us more closely and take some of the guesswork out of search participation.

Q. Why should content providers trust Yahoo! Search?
A. With our recent launch, we're the new kids on the search technology block and we know it. That's why we're going to work especially hard to reach out to the content provider community, maintaining this dialog and being as forthright and consistent as we can. It’s the best way we know to build trust.

Q. If customer service and communication are key benefits of Site Match, why hasn’t initial communication about the program been better?

A. Site Match replaces three programs: Inktomi Search Submit, AltaVista Express Inclusion, and FAST PartnerSite PFI. All of these “legacy” programs were managed by our SEM partners. As such, aside from our press release and information on the Yahoo! and Overture sites, we had to rely on partners to communicate about the new program.

As is typical with any new product, we did not release detailed information about the program to the market prior to launch. However, we did provide partners with communications about the future of legacy programs and a notice that mentioned the forthcoming release of the new program. Judging by customer response to those communications, many people saw them.

Since the program launched, partners have provided detailed communications to their customers, by email and/or on the partner sites. We’re confident that all of our resellers are working hard to provide clarity and excellent service. Some have undoubtedly been overwhelmed by the response to Site Match. Please contact your reseller or let us know (sitematch@overture.com) if you have further concerns.

angiolo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 8:04 am on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi Tim!

I have a question that maybe is off topic: have you suspended the Yahoo (directory ) submission program?
I tried the Express submission program for US Spanish, but it did not work ( I got a message at step 4 regarding the credit card: I tried three different credit cards, all of them are fine, but no way...).
I sent an email at webmasterworldfeedback@yahoo.com with details.

Thanks

thecheat

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 6:09 pm on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)


There are scores of examples showing that if you pay for inclusion with Yahoo... your site will get dropped while the freely crawled "loser" page will show up in the Serps. But, if your page is an organically crawled page, your page will probably do fine and show up higher than the dupe content.

This is based on reports that I am seeing, maybe Tim can weigh in on the issue. I see that Yahoo is claiming that Free pages and PFI pages are subject to the same restrictions, algorithms, and penalties. This was not, however, the case with Inktomi PFI. And it doesn't appear to have changed yet with Yahoo. ALthough Yahoo is still a work in progress. Perhaps the problem will be fixed as Yahoo moves forward.

[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 10:43 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2004]

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 3:38 am on Mar 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

The Cheat,
please send the specific instances of the problems you are encountering so we can look into them. Send them to webmasterworldfeedback@yahoo.com
Thanks, Tim

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 3:45 am on Mar 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Angioli,
We are still offering the Business Express program. I would contact Yahoo support for help with submitting your site to the directory.
Tim

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 2:37 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry for not getting to some of your questions the past few days. I have been on vacation the last week spending time with my family after 10 days on the road at Pubcon in Orlando and SES in NYC. Am back in California now. We will get some answers to your questions in this thread in the next day or two.

Yahoo Team is a new WebmasterWorld member from Yahoo. Yahoo Team will be here to answer your questions on an ongoing basis. I will still be taking part in the WebmasterWorld community (as Tim) in the future but Yahoo Team will be here to answer your Yahoo! questions in a timely manner.

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 2:49 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've been working pretty hard too trying to get questionably penalized sites back in Ink/Yahoo myself. Can't vacation cash flow is down. I guess I'm in the wrong business.

[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 10:08 pm (utc) on Mar. 15, 2004]

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 2:58 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Outland,
I just checked my stickymail and the webmasterworldfeedback account and I cannot see anything from you.
Tim

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 3:09 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think you need to read some of my posts. I'm opposed to manual reviews for people who paid for inclusion. To much spam in Yahoo to justify putting questionably penalized PFI customers through any more hoops. Don't you have any lists of whose penalized already?

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 4:37 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)


Outland,
When you refer to "dont you have a list"? What are you proposing? Just trying to make sure I am clear so I can respond.

Tim

[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 10:42 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2004]

walkman



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 5:00 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Outland,
When you refer to "dont you have a list"? What are you proposing? Just trying to make sure I am clear so I can respond. "

Tim,
he's saying (I think) to start fresh. New search engine so start fresh. Those "penalties" legitimate or not, are still years old and many more questionable sites are making it into Y!'s top ten. If you go through each line of HTML 95% of sites currently indexed would be left out if they got reviewed. Let the algo and the users decide.

There was a mod's yoga site penalized for linking to other locations of the his yoga classes. They have their own sites, so why not link? If you wan to leave a site out, you can find almost any excuse. Of course, you don't to have even have one, I'm just saying.

On edit: we are losing money that's why we may seem a little testy. Nothing personal I hope.

[edited by: walkman at 5:23 am (utc) on Mar. 14, 2004]

cyberfyber

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 5:21 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

TIM, I think that you'd be hard pressed to find few folks here and elsewhere who don't agree with what OUTLAND is saying to you.

as an addendum, does Yahoo want to be considered as one of the many culprits who is making this country or rather this world what it's quickly becoming? A Land, An Earth wherein bad service rules? A place wherein the complaints of the many go unanswered.

If so, remember, you're dealing with a huge number of sources that have a huge reach combined. Such things have been known to ruin and destroy the biggest of companies.

I can see it now, one day the heads of Yahoo may very well be looking out their window and thinking silently: "My God,........they're organizing"

Such are the things that movements are made of.

'and mind you, Yahoo is only one name out of the Millions out there. Millions who have a say with or without you.

'can you imagine a Million voices telling the people not to go to Yahoo but to go elsewhere?

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 5:59 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks Walkman for the clarification. We obviously take feedback seriously and will discuss the issues that you and Outland have brought up in the coming days.

Stay tuned and I hope you will see some positive changes in the near future.

BTW, Cyberfiber I think you are getting a little carried away there. Lets try to stick to talking about search and have a constructive dialogue.

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 6:09 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Walkman, Thank you, that’s what I’m saying.

Tim, you’re shocking me. You must have a lot on your mind.

Back in September 2003 Inktomi begin assessing a lot of bogus penalties on PFI sites. About the only place a site showed up was with a domain search. The resellers argue you are in the Ink engines but the sites never show up in keyword searchs. Even using the title of a site.

It’s a penalty of some sort apparently targeting mainly Inktomi PFI sites. A lot of people have found they are excluded but the resellers give you differing reasons as to why. Another words they don’t know and don’t care. Inktomi itself would never respond to the problem.

What Seasalt is referring to is the Inktomi penalty migrated to the supposedly new Yahoo. When people see the same old Inktomi results and penalty thats a valid arguement. Inktomi/Yahoo is now cutting a pretty wide swath of damage for Ink PFI customers especially in MSN. Lord knows the damage if it migrates to ATW and AV.

It sounds like you’re mainly familiar with your new Site Match program not the Ink PFI programs and problems. That being the case the situation is only going to get worst for the penalized sites. It’s a classic case of the resellers now pointing to Yahoo and Yahoo pointing back at the previous Ink resellers.

One reseller’s support told me to contact 16 major search engines and ask them to remove my listing and that would correct the Ink penalty. Some of the other suggested fixes were even more laughable.

Yeah, sign me up for another screwball support person to find something wrong. I imagine something can be found. Personally I’ve heard enough over the months to realize that Inktomi never kept records of what it was penalizing or why.

walkman



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 6:22 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

"We obviously take feedback seriously and will discuss the issues that you and Outland have brought up in the coming days. "

well, thank you. We are biased of course, but the truth lies somewhere in between what we say, what's right, and you guys think. By the way, I am checking Y!'s home page...and I see the name Yahoo mentioned a few times too many ;). Trying to fool Google, huh? Not to mention the affiliate /adverts and links to countless sub-domains. Just joking of course. Ok, maybe half joking.

Personally, as long as the site is NOT misleading (irrelevant keywords, titles, cloaking), doesn't have 10-15 keywords in one line that don't make gramatical sense I would leave it. If they try to dupe you, you leave the younger one out like Google does.

Right now many are forced to get other domains just for Y!. Your SERPS aren't any better. It's the same exact content and you're getting potential /current customers upset. One person doesn't spend his $100 budget a month on overture (chooses Adwords instead), another $400, another $10,000 and all of the sudden you're talking real money. You can't make everyone happy, and you have to draw the line but it is a balancing act.

Just venting...that's all. I personally gave up on this a few days ago. I started loooking for google SEO to make up for this and can't wait till MSN brings me it's 25% or so share. They're indexing like crazy.

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 6:29 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Outland just to give you some background on me. I was with Inktomi 2000-2002, FAST 2002-2003, ATW/AV/Overture 2003 then to Yahoo 11/03. I was not at Inktomi in September 2003 which you are referencing. I am not trying to duck responsibility but just let you know where I am coming from.

I understand the frustration that you feel with the Inktomi program and the beginings of the Yahoo program. I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to improve our products and services and create a more direct and open communication with our customers and partners. I hope you will see things moving in a positive direction in the coming months.
Tim

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 8:58 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Tim could you give an idea of how you plan to pursue the situation and what you see as the problem? Your perception might be totally different. Plus can you tell me what you think is causing the problem based upon your experience? To me if the problem is clearly identified a fix can be put in place rather quickly, if passed along to the right people.

As I understood it you are on the marketing end of Yahoo. This seems to be a technical problem. Also correct me if I'm wrong. But you did say to a reporter that penalized sites in Yahoo were getting what they deserved. It seemed like pretty harsh stuff I was reading.

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 4:41 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am not sure where this theory comes from that we dont know why we blacklisted someone. I think the real answer is that in the past we have not told people why they are banned. Knowing why & remaining silent about it and not knowing why are two very different things.

We want people to create good content for people not search engines. If search engines did not exist would webmasters be creating sites in the same way or using certain techniques such as invisible text, excessive crosslinking, affiliate redirects etc? Spamming has to do with the extent and the manner in which techniques are used rather than just the use of a specific technique.

People often want to figure out where the line is between optimization and overoptimization and want the Search engines to tell them when and how they have stepped over the line. I believe it is the webmaster/SEO responsibility to know where the line is and work within these boundaries. Obviously we can discuss this but that is where I stand today.

Just to respond to the article in webpronews. I was really talking about something else and was taken out of context. I was talking about newbie people who read forums and use techniques that are considered spam and then get banned without knowing that they have done anything wrong. These people are sometimes innocent/naive and get very angry when their companies domain gets banned. I was not talking about SEO in general. I think if you talk to people who know me on this forum you will find that the article is not really that representative of my views.

walkman



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 7:02 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Tim,
you might want to participate in this thread too...
[webmasterworld.com...]

Tim

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 7:22 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Walkman,
I have thought about participating in that PI thread but it is sort of obvious where I stand on PI and the thread is full of conspiracy theories and the like.

Tim

[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 10:40 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2004]

WebGuerrilla

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1915 posted 10:53 pm on Mar 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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