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SiteMatch Approval Won't Remove Penalty.
I was approved for Site Match and STILL have the dreaded Ink penalty.
contentsiteguy




msg:835545
 12:28 am on Apr 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well guys it seems like even if you pass the editorial review with Site Match (which according to Yahoo insures that the site you submit is of high quality,) if you had the Ink death penalty where you site is indexed but demoted to the very bottom of the search results you still WILL NOT get the penalty lifted.

Either that or the President and Chief Executive Officer of Positiontech doesn't know what he is talking about and they are one of the Site Match program's most recognized resellers if not THE most.

It all started back in December when I renewed my Inktomi PFI pages through Positiontech. Before I was getting loads of traffic and a week or two later it all dried up to absolutely zero visitors a day.

Traffic from google, altavista, fast, and other engines stayed the same. Inktomi supplied engines like MSN were the only ones affected.

I follow all the guidelines and have never participated in link farms, hidden text, cloaking, etc. and I have always owned this domain.

When Yahoo started using Inktomi and their own spider it seemed that the same penalties carried over.

After seeing Tim from Yahoo's post that the Site Match program reviews sites first to insure that they are of high quality and explicitly stating that if your site passes the review then you will have the penalty lifted, I applied for Site Match on 3/30/04 because I knew I had done nothing wrong.

Sure enough, site was approved by Site Match on 4/5/04 and then indexed on 4/8/04 but still apparently has the penalty and it has now been three weeks and counting since I first submitted it.

No one at Positiontech customer support can figure out why it was even penalized in the first place. In fact, the site match editorial quality team gave it's approval, 3 different customer support people at Positiontech looked it over and found nothing wrong with it, and the President of positiontech himself pored over the site and could find nothing wrong.

It's just a little hobby site in a noncompetitive industry but it can't even been found for it's title in quotes until the last listing.

Why would Yahoo's representatives come here on Webmasterworld and tell us to submit a nonrefundable fee to clear the penalty if you are approved for Site Match and then it not happen at all? I talked to HelenP whose site Tim said in a post here at WW that the penalty had been removed but the penalty is still on HelenP's site too.

After wasting my money yet again with Yahoo/Overture/Inktomi it seems like there is more and more evidence that what Yahoo says and what Yahoo does are two totally different things.

 

bbonline




msg:835575
 8:58 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am very certain there is a huge number of sites involved. No matter how you look at it, something weird is going on and it is very important that Yahoo steps up and fix it, just like Google eventually did if things very unfair or wrong.

IMO Yahoo should look to Google for many things.

bbonline




msg:835576
 9:05 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I read Tim's explanations and it is pure rubbish. Is the technology age still to come to Yahoo? Editorial team, 2 weeks etc., what a bull****. The staff haven't replied in like 2 months for a simple question.

It should be easy for all that staff Tim is talking about to write a filter that rules out mirrors created by spammers and let the original sites have the priority. The page that is perhaps ruling my site out is not even in existance but only as a file in Yahoo's database.

Tim talks like an employee of a small non-tech company. Google guy takes some request and have them done immediately if he suspects an error.

Yahoo can do better.

cbpayne




msg:835577
 10:37 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

>IMO Yahoo should look to Google for many things

Why?
I would have thought that Yahoo are trying to differentiate themselves from Google.

seasalt




msg:835578
 10:44 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I sent a spam report in over 6 weeks ago on several sites that use the keywords of my industry. These were blatant spam sites - ones even spammers would admit are spam.

Are they now gone?
No!

Mike/Tim - what kind of business plan is this? You have an algo that cannot glean the real spam and manual reviewers that have trouble picking out legitimate sites from the rest.

Life Engine?...yeah, right. Not-Ready-for-Primetime Engine.

seasalt

helenp




msg:835579
 10:49 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I sent another one,
7 diferents domain with same content and an dialer is instaled if you click the links,
these sites are still on top of search...........

soapystar




msg:835580
 3:25 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

is it just me or does it appear they never considered how per url approval would work when the site as a whole is penalised? I mean if lifting a penalty was as simple as getting a single url approved then everyone would submit the worlds cleanest page for inclusion, right? So their problem is dealing with approved urls when other urls from the same site are still dodgy.

bbonline




msg:835581
 2:05 am on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

We have been discussing about possible penalties with Yahoo. One of the possible reasons in Yahoo guidelines is about mirroring a site and duplicate content.

When I discovered my sites got a penalty, that is the URLs are in Yahoo database but not available in SERPS, I found many sites that seem to contain a mirror of my sites. At first look I thought the sites had created mirrors and were using them to attract search engine visitors. I even contacted some webmasters and told them to remove the mirrors. They claimed they had no mirrors and didn't understand.

After checking things out even further it seems the error is in fact at Yahoo and I want to explain as far as my English goes.

I searched for a popular keyword for one of my sites and instead of one of my sites there was a site with my title and description the same as my page and it appears to be a mirror but is in fact a PHP generated url. Yahoo seems to pick up the PHP url but does not understand this is a link but not a site.

My understanding is that Yahoo is treating PHP links differently from other links.

soapystar




msg:835582
 7:27 am on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

its not PHP urls its just about any type of redirect non-standard link. The question is, are sites banned because of mistaken duplicate penalty or do the wrongly indexed urls show simply because your site itself is banned. And if you are banned wouldnt that in itself show that if the same content is now showing but with a different url the whole system is flawed anyway no matter what the reason for directs being indexed as you.

bbonline




msg:835583
 11:39 am on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

No matter how you look at it the Yahoo system is flawed in a big way. The system makes no sense. If a site is banned the mirrors are ok. I just don't get this soapystar.

twebdonny




msg:835584
 4:37 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

So once again, has anyone had a bonafide Inktomi penalty removed by Sitematch? We had a real, not imagined Ink penalty, wrote the powers that be, and still have not had neither a response nor a removal of such. When Yahoo first started using Ink data Yahoo Mike and Tim were all over these forums, now they are rarely seen. Was that all a ploy to tout Sitematch? Was all that talk about rereviews and penalty removals just smoke and mirrors?

I'll ask once again, has anyone had a BONAFIDE Inktomi
penalty removed via Sitematch or other "non sitematch" route since Yahoo Ink inception?

The_Hitcher




msg:835585
 5:23 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Long silence......hark, was that a pin I heard drop?

justsold




msg:835586
 6:07 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

How do you know if your site has been penalized? I have always ranked at the top in Google for VERY competitive search terms in my industry, but I am nowhere to be found on Yahoo. Can you tell me how to find out if I am banned for some reason?

twebdonny




msg:835587
 7:13 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

The silence is deafening....Yahoo Mike...Tim? anyone?

The_Hitcher




msg:835588
 8:11 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Justsold,

This is the point we're all making here. At the end of the day, if you ARE penalized you'll have a job finding out why (sorry, scrub that - never find out) and even if you do, theres no real mechanism or coherence between Site Match and Yahoo to sort it out.

The reality I suppose is that are probably thousands and thousands of sites not showing on Yahoo that are not spam but victims of Inktomi penalities, 301 Yahoo redirect bug or who knows - bad weather?

It kind of leaves you wondering how many they have down there on the review team. I'm sure Yahoo are aware of the problem but are they committing the resources to actually address it?

In common with many here, I'm not touching Site Match with a barge pole - you can lose your money. Its like buying a car, paying your money and then the seller telling you you can't have the car and thanks for the money! In any other situation this would be trades description issue. The only problem is you can't even discuss it with the seller and thats where its one almighty mess. The doors are shut and theres not even a red-faced salesman at the window.

bbonline




msg:835589
 8:30 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I guess the sites with penalty on them are in big numbers which makes the Yahoo search engine not so good. A good start would be a way for webmasters to find out about the penalty on their sites, they will then fix them, the Yahoo engine gets better and everybody will be happy.

The_Hitcher




msg:835590
 10:24 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thats a nice way to look at it and one which i aspire too. Its not quite that simple though as you'll see on many of these Yahoo threads. If Yahoo tell everyone (and I'm not getting into debate on whether some have or haven't been told whats wrong with their sites) then far more people have a real insight into how Yahoo works and consequently more spammers follow - worse serps.

What it DOES need is a team at Yahoo that deal directly with the issues raised and at least provide SOME help. Its just too guarded and I suspect Yahoo are up to their eyes in it. I did once happen by the review department and there was a little old lady in there with a pot of tea. Nice woman but her intray was over six feet high....

sachac




msg:835591
 11:57 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Tim,

Is Yahoo Mike still around? He promised to investigate the reason why my company's website does not show up after paying for Site Match in March. I sent him three "gentle reminders" but have received no response.

If he isn't around, please check into this for us. The site in question is the same as the one in my profile.

I would appreciate some feedback.

Wired Suzanne




msg:835592
 3:29 am on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can only agree. Have to admit though yahoo staff is responding very quickly to my complaints, but without details, simply referring to the guidelines. So i am never really sure what the cause is for our (obvious) penalty. And as other members stated, at the same time I see other companies posting - under the same URL - 3 sites (position 3/4/5).

One cannot help the feeling that yahoo is happy to get the sign up fees and then seems to care little about performance results. We signed up over 40 URL's. After initial top rankings all have now disappeared below rank 30. Why would yahoo care, after all if they don't get the 30 cents from me, someone will surely pay.

so what is the answer. well, i guess i have to start spamming like the rest to get my monies worth. more work for all of us, including yahoo. more dissatisfaction for the searcher and google.com laughs all the way to the bank.

mbennie




msg:835593
 4:22 am on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Seems the only way to counter the huge penalties that have been given out for the most minor infractions is to become a mega-spammer.

Hello throw away domains. Robots.txt that only allow slurp. Machine generated sites by the dozen. I can build them much faster than Y! can ban them.

Sad thing is that once everyone does this it will completely trash what could have been a good search engine.

cabbagehead




msg:835594
 4:56 am on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

"One cannot help the feeling that yahoo is happy to get the sign up fees and then seems to care little about performance results. We signed up over 40 URL's."

Dude - seriously - I work at a fortune 500 company and I can verify POSITIVELY that is the case. We only provide a bare minimum of resources and budget to support - its ALL about sales. Doesn't it just piss you off?

Regarding robots.txt - actually, i was looking at the pages Google has "slurped" and from what i can tell its completely IGNORING my robots file. I have a directory that doesn't allow any crawling by any bot, but suprise ... Yahoo has all my content of that directory listed plain as day. ... I guess chalk that up as another Yahoo problem that needs fixing.

Yahoo_Mike




msg:835595
 4:08 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

In response to some of the earlier posts on this thread, during investigation of some of the sites that had reported problems, we found a few issues that seem to affect several sites.

For example, if you have multiple domains pointing to the same site / content, only one will be listed. Also, cross linking with sites that have nothing to do with a given site's content is typically problematic.

twebdonny




msg:835596
 5:29 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do we have a secondary domain? Yes. Have we told Yahoo not to index it? Yes, our robots.txt file illustrates that. Is that the domain we wish to have the penalty removed from and listed in Yahoo accordingly? No. I mean, what else should we do, we haved paid for Directory inclusion, have added true content, have thousands of sites that link to us Because they find us a valuable resource, and yet we still retain this Ink penalty. We have considered Sitematch, but how can we justify spending the money when we can't get the penalty removed in the first place. Ban our secondary domain, please do, but allow our main domain to have that old Ink penalty lifted.

Sincerely,
Donny n Cherie

nerolabs




msg:835597
 5:33 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yahoo_Mike,

I've heard of this problem, Tim explained this above several dozen posts ago.

But now that we have your attention, you are saying that if an affiliate site and a master merchant site are in the database and have duplicate content, then the master merchant site might get knocked out of the databsae in favor of the affiliate site "by accident"?

That is funny because we do have an affiliate site that is still in the index, and our master merchant site is not (our master merchant site which is 30 times larger and has 30 times as much traffic than the smaller affiliate site).

We already figured this might be a problem, and I reported this to Yahoo Tim who AGREED WITH THAT ASSESSMENT. Since then, no response. Zero. Nothing. Nada.

It's just disgusting that Tim and yourself are admitting there are problems with the editorial process, and sites are getting banned with out care for accuracy... and yet nothing seems to be getting done about it?

It's been over TWO MONTHS NOW WE'VE BEEN REPORTING THIS PROBLEM, NEARLY EVERY DAY TO EVERYONE WE CAN GET THE ATTENTION OF. WE SPEND $100K PER YEAR AT YAHOO! WE ARE LEGITMATE! WHAT THE HECK DO WE HAVE TO DO TO GET ANYTHING DONE ABOUT THIS!

Sorry for yelling but this is ABSOLUTELY, COMPLETELY, RIDICULOUS!

nerolabs




msg:835598
 5:34 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry for getting upset. But this is just pure torture sometimes :)

MikeNoLastName




msg:835599
 9:51 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hmm, I think WE are being included as one of the "earlier posts on this thread" that Y_Mike was referring to. I'm starting to see a pattern here and I ask that others review their own sites to see if there is a consistency. This post is about trying to make sense of this banning logic.
In a personal e-mail Mike or Tim stated that a "possible" reason of "MAYBE" why our site had been banned was because there "is very little content" on the domain and that it "mostly points to content on other domains". I took an objective step back and looked at our domain which has been banned, in that perpective, and while I wholeheartedly disagree with their opinion, I could visualize how they might have originally come to that conclusion. In a nutshell, if you have an extensive article about the very latest fashion craze and you link to past comparitive references in the NY Times fashion archive and the LA Times (even if you OWNED both of them), your article (and thus the entire domain) is considered to have little or no content.
In our case, our site has been around nearly 10 years. In the early days 200Mb/day/domain was considered a LOT of traffic to hosts. So when we started breaking the limit daily and getting shut down, our host made us open and pay for additional new accts with different domains. Over the years we ended up with our content (think vertical portal/e-zine) over 6-10 domains, all with the same logo on every page, but with different departments on different related domain names. In a typical newspaper (or Yahoo for that matter), think finanace, sports, shopping categories, each with totally unique content, but on a different domain. Our "home page" which is on the domain they have banned, stayed historically in the same location since day one, because of the hundreds of offsite backlinks, and the rest of the content fanned out from there. I disagree, as mentioned above, with their opinion that there is little content on the original (banned) domain, since there is more unique content on that one domain than would be found on 90% of the websites on the net, but there IS probably 5 times that amount spread on the other 6-10 domains linked to as well, so there is room for argument in the 'relative' respect. Because 90% of our offsite backlinks link that particular home page which is banned, it unfortunately loses us all those backlinks from contributing to the rank of the pages on our domains which ARE NOT banned, and they just mostly get cruddy ranks. Personally we considered moving everything eventually onto the same domain, but this will involve redirects which we understand Y has serious problems with too, so is it really worth it for as much labor as it will take and for as long as we expect Y to stay around at this rate? We've decided not.
Looking at certain other sites mentioned in this thread and what Y_Mike just said, it looks very much like they are attempting to eliminate redundancy but, as others have pointed out, are more often than not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I see part of their dilemma. Should sites which link lots of other sites for a lot of their content be considered exceptionally helpful to readers or just spam? The problem is that those who link a lot fall into four diverse basic groups:

1. Link farms.
2. Affiliates (in cases where they don't provide their own unique product descriptions.)
3. Conglomerates (multi-magazine publishers/newspapers like Time Warner and international corporations like Canon both of which have highly duplicated and many interlinked sites.)
4. Search engines

Obviously Y is definitely after eliminating 1 (although apparently a losing proposition) and for some odd reason, to some extent, #2 (apparently easier to accomplish). #4 I think they have identified specially, but have they really done so fairly? Otherwise they'd have to eliminate all their own directory pages which have no content other than links to other sites. I see a lot of sites "acting" like search engines, copying descriptions from other sites and linking them, which rank higher in the SERPs than the actual sites themselves.
So that brings us to #3 (and some #2's fall here too)which (and correct me if I'm wrong) seems to be the gray area that is the most affected. It seems they need to review and identify these manually and it is a very subjective area often apparently taking into consideration the famousness and credibility of the publisher. It is apparently tough for them telling which are linking, for the benefit of their readers, to someone elses site or their own sites, which are an intentional out and out copy, and which are intentionally trying to usurp others content. Personally it seems to me it should be obvious that a site which freely provides links from its home page to other popular and highly ranked domains and likewise has hundreds of non-reciprocated, independent links INTO it is obviously not one of the later two types, but that is just my opinion.
As far as WHY they are so adamant about eliminating these kinds of sites is still a mystery to me as well. Google simply finds redundant PAGES and picks one to be the original. This works fairly and relatively infallibly both within and across domains and it is obvious why a page has been banned. The fact that Y still INCLUDES ALL the banned sites and pages in the index, tells me it's not an index size issue. If it were up to me, any bans would be strictly on a page by page basis, similar to G and definitely NEVER on an entire domain basis, leading to the loss of huge amounts of unique content along with the bathwater.
So to summarize how to avoid a penalty on Y:
1. Linking to other domains IN ANY WAY (even your own, and especially high-quality sites) is apparently to be HIGHLY discouraged, as it may make Y think you are a (relatively) non-content site (unless you do it enough or in such a way as to look like a search engine which Y doesn't judge competitive).
2. If you are going to sell someone elses products make sure you don't associate yourself in any way with the other party's website or let on that you've ever heard of them (maybe Y will think YOU'RE the original).
3. Forget the above rules if you are a multi-national corporation on the Forbes 500 whom at least 51% of the employees at Y has heard of and trusts unquestionably to be above doing anything intentionally against the policies.

nerolabs




msg:835600
 10:10 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sounds about right to me.

Don't forget these one:

4) Treat all small businesses as criminals or "gamers" by low level editors with a devout assumption of guilt.

5) Totally ignore legitimate webmasters request for a reasonable re-review especially when the data or policy is ADMITTEDLY INACCURATE by thier own employees.

6) Enjoy pushing established businesses (which also happen to be current paying customers) into financial misery through draconian policies that serve nobody, not Yahoo, not the user, and not the merchant.

7) Watch Google laugh at your ridiculous ineptitude.

8) Piss off tens of thousands of webmasters that are they very same opinion makers on the Internet that can make or breaka business and watch Google gain more and more market share due to the advice of those extremely upset webmasters.

Yahoo PLEASE WAKE UP!

MikeNoLastName




msg:835601
 10:36 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Oh, I almost forgot about Y_Mikes comment:
"Also, cross linking with sites that have nothing to do with a given site's content is typically problematic."

I really LOVE this comment/joke! I REALLY hope it is not true!

So let me get this straight... If I sell a product I can link my closest competitors, but not complete non-competitors?

If I have a shoe repair shop website I can't link my wife's pet grooming website and vice versa without getting banned? If my website is deemed by Yahoo! to be about what deems chocolate to be a type of candy, I can't link to examples of what is NOT candy, like beef or bubblegum for contrast.

Beware everyone, unless your website is entirely about search engines you WILL get banned for linking Yahoo!? Right? Or is that a SPECIAL exemption?

What "has to do with" a site's content can be as subjective as who you personally pick for friends or enemies or what you like to eat. My friend happens to link to his favorite local bars and restaurants where he meets with people of common interests after work, (so what if he OWNS the bar too and links back), and also to travel related organizations since he likes to travel, and to his favorite charities like a local animal shelter (which his wife volunteers at and links him back as a generous business supporter) and the Salvation Army, from his personal business website which deals primarily with his business of computer-repair. Should it by definition be banned for this?

I'm sorry, but especially considering their other inefficiencies, Y should NOT be in the business of deciding what content 'relates' to other content in any way shape or form!

Meanwhile obvious spammers who interlink their thousands of self-owned and more-obviously interrelated link farm domains "hotels in new york", "hotels in oshkosh", "hotels in cambodia", etc., etc., is apparently by definition and by practice, perfectly fine with Y?

How TWISTED does it get?

bbonline




msg:835602
 11:07 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thank you MikeNoLastName for your great input.

It puzzles me that Yahoo explanations of penalties doesn't make sense when searching at Yahoo. The index is full of sites that, according to their guidlines, should be banned.

If Yahoo eliminates affiliate sites, reciprocal link pages and websites with mostly links then I can not see what is left. Academic pages maybe.

This just doesn't make sense.

cabbagehead




msg:835603
 5:41 am on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Tonight I notice that some of my websites are back in Yahoo!

Ironically however, my most important site however - the one that should pass the editorial reviews with flying colors - is still not listed. Don't get me wrong - I'm happy the others are back, but this just makes the whole thing even more confusing to me(?).

steveb




msg:835604
 7:58 am on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's great to see at least a significant number of the redirect/duplicate sites returning. Hopefully the rest will follow soon, then at least these "penalty" threads can be talking about only actual penalties rather than the much more common technical errors.

contentsiteguy




msg:835605
 11:38 am on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Let's keep in mind that most of us here (and the ones who are MOST frustrated) are the ones who have been affected by Yahoo's duplicate penalty where their spider thinks your site is a duplicate when other sites link to yours with nonstandard html code or redirects or fails to decipher the true original when other sites copy your content.

From what I understand, this is NOT a manually or editorially applied penalty, which is why approval by any editorial team like SiteMatch won't help you at all.

In fact, this problem is purely technical and appplied by the spider and Yahoo has admitted they have a problem with redirects and how they are determining which site is the original.

By the way, I STILL have the problem since I posted this thread over a month ago, contacted Yahoo, and received a reply that there was nothing wrong with my site and that the problem would be corrected. Not to mention the problem dates all the way back to December (5 months ago) and I applied (and was approved) for SiteMatch way back in March. I contacted Yahoo again and now they tell me it will be 2 or 3 weeks.

While i credit yahoo for being responsive (Tim especially), I have seen ZERO results so far and that's just the bottom line. I shudder to think how much worse it will be than this when M$ enters the fray with their search engine.

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