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Yahoo PFI influences results or not?
onebaldguy




msg:833603
 2:24 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

From Tim:
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.

I wanted to do a little test to see whether or not this were true or whether the Yahoo! PFI would influence results.

For "Red Widgets" my site's index page ranked 76 on Tuesday. I then submitted to Yahoo! PFI via PositionTech in the afternoon. Wed and Thursday produced the same results - 76th position.

However, this morning my site miraculously appeared in the 11th position in the SERPs on Yahoo! for the exact same search. Either it is an amazing coincidence and that is one hell of an algo change or Yahoo! lied when they said PFI would not influence results. (Just to make sure it was not something on my computer/connection, I called a friend and had him do the search. The site was ranked 10 in his SERPs).

My site was definitely in the index and they said if you are in the index, there is no need to submit as it would not influence you results.

Everyone was skeptical when Yahoo! said PFI would not influence results. But every Yahoo! rep I have talked to since the announcement assured me this would have no influence.

Either they all lied or they are totally ignorant of how the algo works. Regardless, I do not think this is the way it should have been handled. Looksmart had some troubles after they switched to CPC model. Heck, they are basically Adsense affiliates. But at least they were honest. I do not know what is going to happen to Yahoo! but this does not seem like the way to beat out google or gain an overwhelming amount of support, loyalty or trust.

I remember a phrase back from my childhood days that is appropriate for this situation:

"Liar, Liar, pants on fire!"

 

Chndru




msg:833604
 2:27 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Beyond algo changes and everything,

how long have those pages been in the index?

I would be very worried if your 11th position sticks for a while.

ppeter




msg:833605
 2:34 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Check this post: [webmasterworld.com...]

It could just be algo changes.

onebaldguy




msg:833606
 2:35 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Technically there has not been a Yahoo! index for very long to test against. But it has been in the Yahoo! directory for 19 months. And it was definitely in the SERPs since Yahoo! has changed to their own index.

I understand Yahoo! is testing new algos all of the time. But going from 76th to 11th (and 10th) approximately 72 hours after I submitted for inclusion seems like to much of a coincidence since I have not changed anything on the pages, nor gotten any more links for it.

I would like to see if others have tested this out to confirm whether this has happened to them (or if I am just very lucky).

willybfriendly




msg:833607
 2:37 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

The SERP's have been changing quite a bit in the past 36 hours. Yesterday I was getting what looked like SERP's from at least two data centers. I don't know that we know enough about Y to conclude anything on one experiment.

WBF

ppeter




msg:833608
 2:38 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

That said, even more dramatic fluctuations appeared during the Florida/Brandy updates at Google, so I would suggest Yahoo are just making algo changes that are having a similar (though less dramatic) effect on rankings.

What do you think?

Zeberdee




msg:833609
 2:46 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am not in the SEO biz, but I was told by the one and only SEO I have ever met, with a nod and a wink, that PFI comes with a flick of a switch which allocates a certain amount of pre-ordained link popularity. He was very convinced about it and rambled on about all sorts of evidence and supposed 'insider knowledge'.

Your comments BaldGuy fit with this version very well.

If it turns out to be correct, the real loser will end up being Yahoo. In the long run that is certain.

As we say around here, "the truth will out". I personally hope that it is wrong, but I wouldn't stake a wager on it!

onebaldguy




msg:833610
 2:48 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been doing some more investigations. It seems as though Yahoo! directory listings are doing better (and the site in question is in the directory).

Can anyone else confirm this? I was considering taking the site out of SiteMatch program to see if the SERPs would change again.

But I have several sites and most of them are ranking top 10. So I specifically picked this one to test because it was ranking so low. I could understand a change of 3-5 positions as a result of an algo change, but going from 76 to 11 seems a bit much. Let's hope I am wrong.

thumpcyc




msg:833611
 2:53 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yahoo has updated its index. It now reflects over 130 more pages for my site than it had showing up in search results a couple of days ago. These are NOT PFI pages.

If I had a boss, I would have gotten a raise after this update. Yahoo must like the way I write.
;-)

Thumpcyc

PCInk




msg:833612
 2:53 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

It could be that Yahoo are giving a higher weighting to recently modified pages. If yours has been refreshed recently, it would be an up-to-date version whereas all the free listings could be a few weeks out of date.

Kirby




msg:833613
 4:09 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

>I have been doing some more investigations. It seems as though Yahoo! directory listings are doing better (and the site in question is in the directory).
Can anyone else confirm this?

One of my sites has been in the directory since 1999. It has been steadily dropping down page 1 since Y! made the switch. Now I cant find it in the first 100 results, so I wouldnt bet that the directory has any influence.

ILuvSrchEngines




msg:833614
 4:24 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, Yahoo has just posted the results of a DEEP Yahoo craw it appears. The results just appeared today! The new Yahoo results looks strikingly similar to what Google results used to look like before Google corp went into the idiot zone with the Florida update.

ILuvSrchEngines




msg:833615
 4:30 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Liar, Liar, pants on fire!"

LOL

You might owe someone an appology. (at least for today) The way things are these days it is very easy to make these assumptions. Corporate greed is rampant, and after all the crappola that has been fed to us from Google, people are justlty a little skeptical of these type claims. Todays changes look like a Yahoo deep crawl however.

alika




msg:833616
 4:31 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

For our keywords, the results are EXACTLY Google's

walkman




msg:833617
 4:33 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

yep, deep crawl. One site of mine had 27000 pages... about 5000 more then Google. I didn't even know it had that many pages.

worker




msg:833618
 4:38 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

If PFI allows you to have your URL crawled more frequently, and if you can tweak your page to 'optimize' it for better positioning...then doesn't PFI allow you to slowly but surely move your URL higher within the SERPS?

Isn't it disingenuous to claim that PFI does not affect the SERPS when it can provide clever webmasters with the ability to get better placement more quickly?

If this theory is correct, then how long will it take before the SERPS are dominated by PFI webmasters that have figured out how to 'optimize' for Yahoo?

makemetop




msg:833619
 4:46 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

>If this theory is correct, then how long will it take before the SERPS are dominated by PFI webmasters that have figured out how to 'optimize' for Yahoo?

About the same length of time it took them to work out how to optimise for Inktomi :)

Alternative Future




msg:833620
 4:47 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>yep, deep crawl. One site of mine had 27000 pages... about 5000 more then Google. I didn't even know it had that many pages

Walkman - have you tried looking to the end results to see if there are still that many results reported as found? I just checked, and, I have more listed that what is currently in the google SERP's, when I got near the end the results gradually dwindled away...

Am not sure what on earth is going on but Y has found every single page on my site roughly (1700) pages, but I cannot find the index page for the life of me.

-George

Nipsy




msg:833621
 4:59 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing the reverse...
All 4020 of my pages were there until this morning, and I'm now down to 1300.

Climb in G, fall in Y...climb in Y fall in G. I feel like a yo-yo.

walkman




msg:833622
 5:20 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Walkman - have you tried looking to the end results to see if there are still that many results reported as found? I just checked, and, I have more listed that what is currently in the google SERP's, when I got near the end the results gradually dwindled away... "
now it went down to 73 pages. Hahaha. still updating /fine tunning things I guess.

Alternative Future




msg:833623
 5:56 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

How is everyone checking the results for amount of listings?

I am using site:domain.com, which seem to be returning a consistent amount each query. Except of course once you drill down into the SERP's

-George

onebaldguy




msg:833624
 6:04 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>"Liar, Liar, pants on fire!"

>>You might owe someone an apology

I hope I am wrong and I would certainly owe an apologize to Tim and the other Yahoo! reps.

But I was shocked this morning when I saw these changes. It is hard not to come to this conclusion when I have tracked the results for this particular SERP since Yahoo! changed to it's own index. And this page has never appeared higher then 73. Then 72 hour after I do a PFI, this page goes up to 11.

I also checked another one of my sites (with a similar amount of backlinks and it is also in the Yahoo! directory, but I did not include this in PFI.). It went from 64 to 60 (not as significant of an increase in rank as 76 to 11).

The nice thing about this forum is that we can collectively come to some solutions, but I have not seen anyone else post about what has happened to their pages after doing PFI. Has anyone else done it? If so, have you noticed any differences?

As for some people saying google and Yahoo are the same results, that is vastly different from what I am seeing on our various results. We are in 2 different industries. For one industry we are doing great in google, not so good in Yahoo. And the exact opposite is true for our other industry.

SiteMatch makes sense as to why they are doing it. And if it doesn't influence results, I think it can help their results. However, one problem I have is that I would have to pay per click on results I would not want to rank for (for example, if I rank for a certain result that does not convert, I do not want to have to pay for those visitors).

[edited by: onebaldguy at 6:11 pm (utc) on Mar. 19, 2004]

skibum




msg:833625
 7:26 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

PFI comes with a flick of a switch which allocates a certain amount of pre-ordained link popularity

How else would a dynamic page (that may be Flash or almost all images) buried deep within a site show in the top rankings above a page that got in for free because an engine found it and included it by following links?

Maybe someone should Ask Jeeves, they seem to have come up with a theory.

Chris_R




msg:833626
 9:17 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

1) If you are number x for a certain keyword and haven't been crawled in a long time - getting crawled recently might have an effect.

2) One page isn't enough to show this is or isn't true. You need multiple pages with PFI and without. Both getting indexed at the same time.

3) If it is true - the party will be over soon. It won't take much for a place like Consumer Reports to do a test on this (it is a little beyond my patience to test).

4) My suggestion for anyone wanting to run such a test is to SSI the date in the title. Pick X pages (AT RANDOM - NOT YOUR RANDOM BUT USING A COMPUTER) and do PFI and the rest not PFI.

5) You have to have the same date showing in the title for all pages and then you can draw some real conclusions.

SAME DATE + RANDOM PAGES

Otherwise we are just guessing.

steveb




msg:833627
 10:40 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Either it is an amazing coincidence"

Are we going to have to see these sort of posts every time Yahoo updates? Sheesh. Search results change drastically over over the place, but one site movement brings out the black helicopters.

"Yahoo PFI does appear to influence results" = "Results do change on Thursdays" = "Wearing red underwear influences the results"

kanetrain




msg:833628
 10:46 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ya--- It's going to take more time to tell. Tim and Mike and the rest of the crew have given us many answers and have completely honest with us. We have no reason to believe otherwise. They said it doesn't affect ranking... let's not jump to conclusions. If you want to prove the occurance, you'll need quite a bit more evidence.

Yahoo is in the middle of a update. Things will continue to fluctuate. Plus, keep in mind that your pages were just crawled are "fresh". Fresh content may be given a boost in the serps.

pmac




msg:833629
 11:01 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

>"Wearing red underwear influences the results" <

I know for a fact this is false.

On a serious note, Y! results are changing on almost every refresh for the last couple days. Impossible to draw conclusions unless you take ChrisR's advice.

cjtripnewton




msg:833630
 11:52 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

A possibility: the page which was showing up at 76 hadn't been updated in the Yahoo! database for quite some time. When you PFI'd it, it was spidered and updated, and improved in the rankings because you have edited it since the last time it was spidered, or because it is now considered "fresh."

I tend to believe that PFI listings get a boost though. When I spoke with an Inktomi salesperson a while back about getting in on the XML feed thing, he assured me in every way he could without directly saying so that their team would work with my team to ensure that we got the clicks we needed for our clients. Yahoo! has to be doing the same thing - giving out tips and advice on how to make sure your pay-for-inclusion-per-click pages get the clicks so that they can get the cash.

Yahoo_Mike




msg:833631
 6:42 am on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wanted to chime in on a couple topics that have come up. First, Site Match isn't a repackaged version of Inktomi. Both the new Yahoo! Search Technology and the Site Match program are newly developed technologies. Certainly we used some of the knowledge and experience from several companies (Inktomi, AV and FAST) but Site Match is not the Inktomi Search Submit program.

The second item is that yes, as some posters mentioned, Yahoo! has been rolling out and testing software changes and making adjustments in the scoring algorithms. The goal is, of course, to continue to improve the relevance of our search results. For some, the effect of these algo changes on their rankings will be small. In a few cases the change in rankings may be more dramatic. We'll continue to adjust the algos and our editorial process to reach our goal of providing the most relevant search results to users.

I know we've said it before, but just to reiterate. we do treat the crawled and the Site Match sites the same when it comes to relevance.

percentages




msg:833632
 7:01 am on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

>we do treat the crawled and the Site Match sites the same when it comes to relevance.

They do indeed...their pants are not on fire. In fact on the old Inktomi (PT) program I have evidence to show that PFI damaged your positions, don't have that for the new program (yet).

Yahoo seem to be doing the right and honorable thing. Free crawl is just as good as PFI, no benefit either way....other than one is free of course :)

This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >
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