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affiliate sites, duplicate content
helenp

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 11:20 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

one supose stupid question, don´t know.

Actually what is considered afiliate sites?
searched for it and can´t find it.
Ever had similar content on my site.

Well for 1 or most 2 weeks ago, I put in an secondary page with interactive language lessons, my site is about travel in that country.
I thought our costumers would love that, and actually they does, and for me that is more content and information for our costumers only.
but.......I am afraid of duplicate content, to acces the course is by an javascript, and the course itself is flash files, so spiders shouldn´t read them,
if customer decides to buy further lessons they linked away to the company that sells that, thing that I tell the visitor. We only have free lessons and information on our site.

Can that be considered afiliate sites or duplicate content? If so, maybe should take it away or tell spiders not to read the page with the internal link to these lessons?

Understand I am scared.... actually don´t think on anything else than this penalty I got....

Btw, still waiting for answer if should write to apeal to the new e-mail though already written to webmasterwordfeedback,
don´t want an second penalty on top of first one for duplicate e-mails, lol :)

[edited by: helenp at 1:06 am (utc) on Mar. 20, 2004]

 

helenp

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 11:22 pm on Mar 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

what happend, this I wrote in more questions for Yahoo?
sorry can´t delete this.......

2_much

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 6:22 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Affiliate sites are quite different from what you're talking about, if you have an informational site, I wouldn't worry.

soapystar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 6:41 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

she's worried because she's banned and cant get appropriate help or straight answers from Yahoo! I believe she is representative of what will be a significant problem for Yahoo sometime down the road.

helenp

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 7:39 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>Affiliate sites are quite different from what you're talking about, if you have an informational site, I wouldn't worry.

No I have an local travel comercial site, but with lot of local information.

Yahoo_Mike

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 10:14 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Helenp

>>>>>>>>>
Actually what is considered afiliate sites?
>>>>>>>>>

To reduce the chances that you will be categorized as an affiliate site, you should make sure that...

- You have a high ratio of original content to content that can be found on other sites

- You do not have an excessive number of links to other sites, and you shouldn't have links to sites that are unrelated to your own site (from a visitor's perspective).

What is the proper content ratio? What is considered to be an excessive number of links? There are no specific answers to those questions. You should use your best judgment, be objective and focus on making your site a valuable resource for your visitors. If you do that, you probably won't have any problems.

Yahoo_Mike

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 10:17 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>>
Btw, still waiting for answer if should write to apeal to the new e-mail though already written to webmasterwordfeedback
>>>>

You should write to reportsearchspam@yahoo-inc.com

helenp

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 10:23 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks Yahoo-Mike,
So I shouldn´t worry at all about that.

hamster77

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 10:43 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

"and you shouldn't have links to sites that are unrelated to your own site (from a visitor's perspective)."

This bothers me a bit. Who's to decide what's related?

fello

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 11:41 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> You should write to reportsearchspam@yahoo-inc.com <<

I did that over a week ago about the sites being dropped problem (http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum35/1950.htm) but still got no response and Yahoo has made no comment on this problem either.

soapystar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 1:39 pm on Apr 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

To reduce the chances that you will be categorized as an affiliate site, you should make sure that...

- You have a high ratio of original content to content that can be found on other sites

- You do not have an excessive number of links to other sites, and you shouldn't have links to sites that are unrelated to your own site (from a visitor's perspective).

What is the proper content ratio? What is considered to be an excessive number of links? There are no specific answers to those questions. You should use your best judgment, be objective and focus on making your site a valuable resource for your visitors. If you do that, you probably won't have any problems.

Having reread this i find it quite interesting. The answer was "how to avoid being catageorised as an affiliate site". If taken literally Yahoo are classifying a site as affiliate and if so would be banned. Cleary this could only be done by human review given the answer that says add content that cant be found on other sites. I dont see how a filter could achieve this having to both look for unique content, weigh it against affiliate type links and then give the site a categeory. The point i would be concerned with is how a reviewer makes the decision as to what is unique content. They would need to delve deeply into a site and be aware of content on every other site, i dont think this in reality is going to be the case. Also how are new sites supposed to grow? By defintion when first seeing the light of day most fledgling sites will be bare of content. Sites that are rich in content now tend to have been around for years and have accumulated content over time. This whole policy i believe will stifle the natural growth and progression of websites. The other guidelines are given the caveat "There are no specific answers to those questions." If thats the case how do reviewers know when the guidelines are being brocken?

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 9:27 pm on Apr 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Soapy,

I agree with you. I am especially concerned with this quote from Yahoo_Mike.

What is the proper content ratio? What is considered to be an excessive number of links? There are no specific answers to those questions.

The editorial review process is bad enough and will continue to be disastrous if they do not set specific guidelines for their editors. The only fair way to handle "Spam" sites is to ban or heavily penalize the extreme cases on a case-by-case basis, and let the algorithm uniformly and objectively handle the others, in my opinion. I see marginal sites with a great deal of content, and a few affiliate links getting removed editorially.

Yahoo_Mike has been very helpful here. I hope he can convince the powers-that-be to revisit the concept of editorial reviews, or atleast develop specific guidelines for the editors.

Yahoo_Mike

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 11:18 pm on Apr 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Where I stated that "there is no specific answer" to what constitutes excessive links or having enough content, I mean that there's no exact answer. e.g. You must have one page of unique content for every 10 external links or some type of measure like that. It is a subjective decision.

With that said, there are very few cases that are "grey areas" as to when a site's real goal is to add value by having good content or if the main purpose is to channel visitors through their site on to another site where they will collect a commission on a sale. By looking at a site you can pretty easily spot which is which and it usually doesn't require going too deep into a site. It does not come down to "they added 1 too many links on their site".

>>>>
how are new sites supposed to grow? By defintion when first seeing the light of day most fledgling sites will be bare of content. Sites that are rich in content now tend to have been around for years and have accumulated content over time. This whole policy i believe will stifle the natural growth and progression of websites.
>>>>

You should ask this question from the perspective of a search engine user. If a fledgling site is bare of content, why would someone want to visit the site. As a site is developed and becomes more valuable for searchers, it should naturally progress to better placement in the results.

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 11:28 pm on Apr 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Mike,

Some people may hope to accomplish both: Add value with original/unique content, news updates, etc, AND make some money. It seems unfair to single out websites that do have good content (original, not just copied content from other websites) and also make some money from affiliate links. There are all kinds of ways webmasters are making money. Why single out good websites that happen to have some affiliate links? Why remove the most content-oriented affiliate websites and allow the ones with no content articles to remain?

soapystar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 7:40 am on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yahoo_mike

I appreciate that you take the time to attempt to reply to most questions and dont attempt to duck them. However i still dont quite get what you are saying. On the one hand you say you are looking for unique content which can outway affiliate links, but then you say you are actually looking to exclude sites then exsist simply to send the user to another site where you get commission. You make it sound like the two are mutually exclusive. This clearly is not the case. An affiliate site on a subject may well have unique information since he would need to keep his/her customers coming back. You then went on to say this can be spotted quickly. Mike it could only be spotted quickly if the sole aim was to identify if you are an affiliate site or not. It is not a quick effort to read through the pages and see if the information is unique or identical to sites of a similar nature. I realise this a policy decision and wont change but may i ask one thing? You have also said that you hope one day to allow the algo to handle the filtering exclusively. If and when that happens will you remove all current bans and allow every site to compete on a fair and equal basis within the algo?

You should ask this question from the perspective of a search engine user. If a fledgling site is bare of content, why would someone want to visit the site. As a site is developed and becomes more valuable for searchers, it should naturally progress to better placement in the results.

i meant in terms of sites now banned as sites without enough unique content.

[edited by: soapystar at 9:17 am (utc) on April 26, 2004]

TravelMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 8:01 am on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I read a Mike Grehan interview with Jon Glick? The upshot on the aff thing, or the argument/pretext ;) put forward was that Y took the view that if you have 3 or 4 hundred sites all trying to sell the same thing all vieing for first position then the value to the search engine user could be diminished via lack of 'real' choice.

The reality is that some aff sites are better than those they actually sell the products for. Granted some are not so good, but to simply take a carte blanche your-site-exists-to-earn-a-commision-and-is-therefore-unwelcome is imo, a little sad and has the potential to exclude 1000000's of useful pages that add real value overall.

I know of one hotel provider who shows little if any supplemental information other than the name of the establishment, location, description, photo etc.

One of their affiliates, took their content, and decided to add stuff like, calculating distances to local attractions, airports, train stations etc, offering visitors the option of writing area reviews, hotel reviews. The net effect of their actions are that the pages created as a result are in fact of more use than those that they 'exist' to provide traffic too.

All of that effort took months of planning and research. Are they in the Y!ndex? Nope, they are not. Why? well good question. I'd assume that its because someone decided that they only existed to provide sales to a 3rd party, that someone being a misguided reviewer with a mishapen view of what is and what isnt useful content...

- You have a high ratio of original content to content that can be found on other sites

The reality is that in the example provided it does indeed have content found elsewhere. It also supplements and adds value to that content, yet put against that particular quote it would appear that added value isn't wanted. How does this benefit the user?

Anyhow, the moral of this story is that the owners of this particualr site simply found an alternative way back in to Y index using the same content wrapped up in various flavours and guises and IP addresses.

These people arent rocket scientists and Im sure that many other people will employ similar tactics..the end result is, that Y! just ends up full of multiple websites when if it had applied things fairly, it might not be faced with the spam assualt its likely to get.

soapystar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 8:26 am on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

i did make that point in one of my very first posts on the topic. The onyl people that dont get suffer are the pro's who contuine to churn out multiple sites and ip's as you said above. What Yahoo is doing is making an open inviation to turn your sinlge stes into multiple sites and keep the effort of more sites going on continually. Totally contrary to their belief that they will remove spam this way. However i still ask even while we are aware of their policy and motives how are the actually implementing it? Why are we seeing the marginal sites taken down and the pro's still flourish? I cannot come up with anything that make sense.

soapystar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 8:31 am on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

the funny thing Travelman about the SEVERAL HUNDRED SITES ALL SELLING THE SAME THING theory is that the sites they deem NOT affliliate are simply pulling the GDS database. They are in a way worse than the affiliate sites. Many affiliates look to get an edge on the competetion with targetted information the user is after and present the information is an easy to use format. They have more information than the so called main site. The main sites are still all competeing with the same database so thats ok is it? If they carried the idea through then really they should just carry the GDS database.

some of those banned sites are actually based in the location that they are aimed at and have better knowledge of it than the main sites, they have also taken and added their own pictures for hotels that have no or inaccurate gds pics. They have then found the so called MAIN AND WORTHY SITES are now stealing their those pictures!

jackson992

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 8:06 pm on Apr 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

"or if the main purpose is to channel visitors through their site on to another site where they will collect a commission on a sale. "

This is the way some of us make our living. I used to think Yahoo was rising above Google, but if Yahoo feels this way about my affiliate sites it is going to sink to the bottom fast as there are a lot of affiliate webmasters that provide search traffic

2_much

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 9:13 pm on Apr 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

What Yahoo_Mike said makes perfect sense to me. For human review they can't have strict formulas.

If I see a page that has no unique content and is simply a collection of information that can be found elsewhere on the web, and was created only to get affiliate income, I can see how that isn't valuable.

However, if you write unique informational content and throw a couple of affiliate links to where people can buy the product, then it's of value to the end users, therefore of value to Yahoo.

jackson992

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 8:32 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I design sites for people to shop at. The content is the variety of products along with descriptions, prices etc of the product. To say this isn't what the shoppers are looking for is very naive. By blackballing affiliate sites, Yahoo is turning away all shoppers

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 2:31 pm on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

If I see a page that has no unique content and is simply a collection of information that can be found elsewhere on the web, and was created only to get affiliate income, I can see how that isn't valuable.

It's not that clear-cut. There are numerous sites that have been "banned" by editorial review because the reviewer was incapable of making an objective judgement about the value of the site as a whole. They saw an affiliate link and said "oh, the book says no affiliate links, so I have to ban it". Many of these sites have lots of content and might be of great value to Yahoo users.

Even if a successful appeal gets your site back into Yahoo, you risk having it banned again as soon as one of your competetors reports you and it is reviewed by another "editor".

C

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1943 posted 6:12 pm on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

One of the things I noticed in my areas is that six of the leading authoritative sites are nowhere to be found in Yahoo. I know many of these sites receive over quarter million hits a day. I’ve long argued these sites have little unique content. The sites contain thousands of links pointing to where you can find the information. In turn they sell advertising on these pages. This is nothing new to most people. The number of visitors has basically branded the sites as quality. Obviously they are drawing penalties in Yahoo based upon the number of links.

The point though I’m trying to make is what fills the void when these sites are kicked out. Interestingly many of the replacement sites tend to be retro in look. Also quite a few have long been abandoned by the owners except to draw a small income. These sites would have seldom violated any rules because the owners could barely set up a few pages of text much less optimize their sites to trigger penalties. At least with the sites that were kicked out the owners were passionate and worked on the sites daily. In effect they became quality by hard work. Its obvious with many of the replacements the owners thought by throwing up a few pages they would become instant millionaires. When hard work entered into the equation they lost interest. Now Yahoo is ranking them basically because they are of inferior quality.

Bottom line in an effort to increase quality Yahoo is probably doing more to decrease it than anything else. The Yahoo methodology is flawed from the get-go. Lord knows DMOZ with 10,000 editors still has heavy backlogs only placing index pages. Now “Johnny-Come-Lately” says it can do better evaluating whole sites. “Gimme a frigging break.” It’s obvious the Yahoo filter is counting links and measuring as little a two sentences as duplicate content. As Yahoo persists in this lunacy it’s just going to cripple the cash flow thousands of businesses indefinitely, in an already crippled economy.

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