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Help Appealing to Yahoo
bppilot




msg:824444
 7:31 am on Jul 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know if there is any appeals process with Yahoo for an unknown penalty that has been levied against our site?

I've corresponded with Yahoo_Mike and made him aware of our situation, but haven't heard anything back from him for over a month so I assume he's been busy. I'm still very hopeful that he'll follow through on his word though and check into this situation to help get it resolved. I've also written to the webmasterworldfeedback address and have been told that the status has not changed. For what it's worth, the webmasterworldfeedback individual has been very prompt in replying and has been extremely polite which is appreciated during this unfortunate situation.

It's really very strange - for the past 5 years, our company has been the well recognized leader in our industry and has always ranked #1 for related terms. We've got 10x the amount of valuable content than our closest competitor and deliver a good, solid experience for our visitors.

Just today, we were featured in a magazine cover story about how we lead the pack in online activities within our industry. As well as our primary business, I have also given speeches to heads of Fortune 500 companies concerning online activities and am a regular technology magazine columnist. Not to toot my own horn, but these things certainly don't happen by having site content that's not 'up to standards' - In fact it happens because our site is 'the industry standard'.

Yet, after all of this, Yahoo decides that our content no longer meets their guidelines. This just really makes no sense.

At this point I'm frustrated since it's overly obvious that virtually every magazine, manufacturer, etc. within our extremely large industry knows we deliver quality, yet Yahoo feels we're no longer relevant. How can these viewpoints be complete opposites?

Does anyone have any ideas for an additional appeal to Yahoo besides those we've already taken to help them to 'see the light' and no longer penalize us? This is a two way street - Yahoo needs great search results for their business model to work and for users to return, and we need search engine traffic for ours to work. It's a win-win situation, but not without both parties taking part to ensure this happens.

I would greatly appreciate any ideas or suggestions.

Have a great weekend!

BPPilot

[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 5:22 pm (utc) on July 13, 2004]
[edit reason] Removed off topic remarks [/edit]

 

bppilot




msg:824445
 6:02 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Mike, Tim, or anyone else at Yahoo still around and able to help resolve or comment on this issue?

Thanks in advance!

BP

twebdonny




msg:824446
 4:50 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Good luck, we have done the same thing and never get an answer. Even signed up for Sitematch and they had no idea
about penalty removal, nor did ever get an answer from Yahoo about it. Eventually they just refunded our money because they didn't have a clue.

As I said...Good freaking luck

IanCP




msg:824447
 11:32 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm in the same boat. I have absolutely no idea what is wrong. The reply I received after being well represented in Yahoo for four+ years was:

It has been determined that your site does not comply with Yahoo!'s Content Policy Guidelines located at:
[help.yahoo.com...]

Now I don't ever engage in any of those kind of activities and the only changes to my site over the last twelve months are including AdSense.

I just wish they would be more specific and not so cryptic.

[typo]

SuddenlySara




msg:824448
 1:02 am on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

looks like the problem is running "adsence" on your site.

SuddenlySara




msg:824449
 1:03 am on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

adsense ;-)

Sunset_Jim




msg:824450
 1:13 am on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wish you luck. Since you represent a large well-respected company you may be treated better by Yahoo than I have been.

Ever since Yahoo switched from Inktomi to their own search technology my site has suffered some kind of penalty. I first sent the Webmaster World Feedback Team an e-mail back in early March informing them of my situation and asking for a review of my site. At first I received a courteous reply informing me that I did have a penalty applied to my site and that they had asked the Yahoo editorial review team to review my site to see if the penalty is still warranted. I was also told that a review usually takes 4-8 weeks and asked me to be patient.

On April 19, some six weeks later, I was told that Webmaster World Feedback was still waiting for a judgment from the review team and that they should have something from them in the next couple of weeks.

I inquired again a couple of times, but never received any replies. It has now been over four months since I first asked for a review and I have still not heard a word since the above reply.

I believe my site meets Yahoo's guidelines. I have reviewed it many times and find no reason for the penalty. It is a quality site and has links from many other quality sites having a similar theme. Also, my site consistently ranks in the top 10 of Google's SERPS for highly competitive search terms.

Yahoo Mike said at one time that Yahoo was working on a process whereby Webmasters could have their sites reviewed. It has been a long time since I have heard about this process. It seems that when Yahoo first switched to their own technology and needed feedback on their technology, they were courteous, friendly and responsive, but now they are seldom heard from. I feel like Yahoo let me and a lot of other Webmasters down.

If you read some of the posts to this forum that were made in March and April you will find that countless numbers of Webmasters have had their sites penalized by Yahoo for unknown reasons and that these penalties have seldom been removed. I sometimes wonder if Yahoo knows how to efficiently remove these penalties.

I wish I knew what to do now.

giggle




msg:824451
 10:11 am on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

We tried the same. Been with Yahoo in their directory for almost three years then last month - penalty.

Tried apealing. Got a response, checked the guidelines. Made some changes, got reviewed by Site Match as well, finally got an email that said "We will not review you web site".

The mis-spelling of your (you) is worrying, suggests that it was not an automatic response and that someone actually doesn't like our web site now!

soapystar




msg:824452
 6:47 pm on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

yup...another thread with no answers..you might get more response if you ask about one of their products..they like to respond to those questions..:-)..im not whining, honest...just smiling....

"We will not review you web site".

this does not meet my guidelines for an adequate reply.

!we will not review your site" makes no sense given the fact that if you submitted to sitematch thats what you paid for.

MikeNoLastName




msg:824453
 1:49 am on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi all,
I'm sure by now, you all have seen at least one of my posts in the many threads on this subject, if not, check my back posts. And I like others have made calls on here for ANYONE who has had a ban removed to please step forward. Well, I have to admit, and I truly thought I'd be the last to do so, but our previously CONFIRMED banned site, has finally started appearing in Yahoo! again this past weekend. Now before everyone starts filling my mailbox with questions, pleas, threats... I'll post here as much info as I can:
Checking our logs, it looks like Slurp started visiting pages other than our home page (our home page had been in the index all along, but, as typical, was banned down to not coming up in ANY SERPS even for full sentences) around about early morning July 13 and another batch late July 18 early July 19.
I just discovered the SERPS this morning when I noted our referrer reports started showing some odd behaviour from Y!
What did we do? No flippin' idea!
Yes, I wrote to the previously mentioned addresses about 3 months ago, at which time they confirmed a ban and gave me one of those "maybe it's this" type responses, but no clear reason. I also wrote a short follow-up note to both addresses on July 7 mentioning that it had been 3 months and whether there had been any changes to the policies, but got no response.
Yes, we re-submitted key pages weekly to the Y! Free submit form. Yes we made complaints about spammy competitors, but only anonymously and did NOT mention our pages at all (i.e. via the feedback page).
No, we did not start or stop any new PPI or PPC programs. We HAVE used a number of the Overture type PPC programs for years, but it apparently never helped us get in before. Also we had previously PPId on Ink AND Lycos (or whatever the two old ones were, FAST?) and since everything has been changed and moved around I no longer have any idea if they may have expired, been discontiued or what.
No, we have not changed IP addresses recently.
No, we have never to our knowledge done anything to get us banned in the first place.
Yes, we had STARTED migrating some of our most popular pages to our other domain which was not banned.
Yes, we had generally cleaned up stray pages, broken links, general housekeeping type stuff as we came accross them, but nothing significant. In fact about half of the first 10-20 pages which are now back in the SERPs have not been touched in over a year.
Yes, we are getting appropriate SERPs on most of the newly re-included pages compared to Google, although not quite like previously on Y! I expect this will improve as more of our more popular pages are re-indexed, backlinks recognized, etc.
Yes, it is also starting to appear (only a few pages so far) on Alltheweb.com as well.

Other than that I don't know what to suggest to others.
Our site has been around for a long time and just disappeared from Y! when they bought and started including the Inktomi database and bans.

I'll click the box for e-mail notification of replies and WILL answer any other questions I can, but it might take me a while to respond.

Mike

IanCP




msg:824454
 2:27 am on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Mike,

Our site has been around for a long time and just disappeared from Y! when they bought and started including the Inktomi database and bans.

I'm thinking for myself, that this is the key to it all.

bppilot




msg:824455
 3:12 am on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Mike,

Thank you VERY much for your insightful response to my original question. It definitely gives me hope that maybe, there is a tiny chance that we may once again get back into their index in the near future.

I'm still hopefully that Yahoo_Mike, Tim or another Yahoo rep will read this thread and chime in on their thoughts and opinions on this one. Of course, I would love it if one of them would Sticky me so that we can discuss our particular case and getting this resolved, but I think that general comments from them as far as what is going on with the appeals process, etc. would be helpful to all.

I've even offered to fly out to their headquarters to meet with them or members of their editorial staff to discuss this issue and find some mutual resolution that will help us as well as the quality of their search results. Unfortunately, no one within the organization will even respond to this request, but the offer is still on the table if anyone from Yahoo is listening.

Thanks again, Mike, for sharing your information. It really is greatly appreciated by people such as myself who are trying to get through this mess without any luck so far.

BP

mcjim




msg:824456
 4:14 am on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I too have been in the "black hole" for months

epicadventures




msg:824457
 5:44 am on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I saw my first yahoo search result in more than a month tonight. It was only one and when I tried to search using the same terms I didn't see my page but maybe there's hope that they are coming around.

giggle




msg:824458
 7:59 am on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Received a great email today:

It said that my site would be reviewed and that it may take several weeks.

Fingers crossed...

Thanks "Jon"

IanCP




msg:824459
 9:02 am on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

It said that my site would be reviewed and that it may take several weeks.

Gee aren't most of us in this same never-ending boat? Who can seriously say they were released from purgatory?

Fingers crossed...

Indeed, I'm with you, but without my "fingers crossed". Yahoo have discarded too many decent sites here [from many reports across threads].

Our local Yahoo representative [here] has apparently been very unresponsive to this issue. Maybe Brett might give him / her a wakeup call.

I have no problem with Yahoo saying:

"You violated terms 5.7 (b)"

That's mythical, but from what I've seen so far here, all Webmasters are abiding by the rules, both in spirit and in practice, yet being penalised for some obscure or esoteric reason.

So be it, I need to live with a post Yahoo world, I'm arrogant enough to believe that Yahoo Searchers are the one's being penalised. Such is the value of my "content".

I still think the basic problem is the dopey change of underlying SE's.

For reasons I've never understood, Inktomi has always hated me.

I'll learn to live with it,

bppilot




msg:824460
 2:20 am on Jul 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am certainly in agreement that the individuals truly being penalized are the searchers using Yahoo. I feel this forum is filled with webmasters who are genuinely concerned about creating a good experience, and hope that this shines through to the individuals at Yahoo.

People here care about what they are doing or they would simply turn to spamming techniques to manipute the results and 'game' from the system. Instead, we are pleading for some help and a life raft and doing 'the right thing'.

I feel that staying on this course of action and continuing to play by the rules and do the right thing will ultimately lead to success... It certainly does in many other areas of life.

BP

ogletree




msg:824461
 2:31 am on Jul 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

epicadventures I think what that means is that someone got a hold of yahoo with G results. I have seen this happen. There are some places where Y still shows G.

MikeNoLastName




msg:824462
 6:21 pm on Jul 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ogle,
You could be right in epics' case. One would have to check their logs for a visit from Yahoo Slurp. In fact that was my first assumption when I saw our hits, and then when I saw SERPs I had this flashback that Y! had started using G results again. But, no, we've been steadily gaining indexed pages almost daily. I've been able to monitor Slurp visiting new pages daily and about 2-7 days later they finally get into the index.

I also noticed something NEW today. Is there any way to tell if a Yahoo directory listing is a paid listing or a grandfathered in free one?

The reason I ask, is because, as I mentioned earlier, I had sent repeated feedback complaints to Y! about a competitor. I wish I could be more specific here so you all could see, because it is so pathetic, it's almost hilarious, what they did.
Basically, a competitor with a LOT of money to spend on Y!, has had a directory listing on Y! for a highly Y! optimized gateway page which has been around for a rather long time. Let's call it domainA.com/index.htm The page happens to come up consistently #1 on a VERY, very highly competitive travel related keyword phrase. There is absolutely nothing else on domainA.com but this one short, apparently optimized page and every single link on it points to a different page of their single other domain, lets call it domainB.com. This is supposedly against Y! policy (lack of unique content, gateway pages, etc) and was even claimed by a Y! person as one of the possible reasons OUR site was banned (in our case this was obviously determined to be entirely unfounded since there was indeed much original content on the formerly banned domain which is now being indexed). Anyway after about 3 complaints. Someone, either the competitor upon advisement of Y! or someone at Y!, instead of banning domainA.com for a blatant policy violation like they obviously had no problem doing for far less with so many other sites, and smacking their butts permanently out of the SERPs simply, MODIFIED THE DESCRIPTION LINE of the directory listing to include the words "Part of domainB.com" at the end! FOUL, FOUL!

Either Y! has suddenly taken a completely new "kinder and gentler" stance on their penalty policy, or there is obviously something highly uneven with their handling of certain listers versus others.

outland88




msg:824463
 6:55 pm on Jul 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

The latest change to Yahoo seems to be they’re purging all remnants of penalized sites. Used to be you could access these sites with the site:yourdomain.com. Seems like they’re getting more vicious to me.

twebdonny




msg:824464
 7:50 pm on Jul 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>>Fingers crossed..<<<<<

just don't hold your breath...

chadmg




msg:824465
 8:25 pm on Jul 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Couldn't it be that they just don't care. They're just some regular joe schmo employees of yahoo. They get your email and maybe check out your website. If they still really have no clue why your site is banned either, they send you a non-descriptive email or don't respond at all. Telling you it's your fault and not their algorithms. Then they move on while you are left confused and angry. I have a contact inside of yahoo and it's not exactly a tight ship over there. It may just be another case of managerial retardedness. I don't know, but it sounds like a logical explanation.

P.S. I have not talked to my contact about this matter. It's just simply my own hypothesis.

Watcher of the Skies




msg:824466
 5:49 pm on Jul 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, I've been "bamboozled" as well. It's as if some stupid dumb---- has made an arbitrary decision based on ----all. Actually, it seems like ODP has taken over Yahoo! (almost) and the ----ing retar-s there are now driving. What a glorious cluster----. Some moro- probably just out of college with a base list drawn up by slightly older moro-- is making life decisions. Never trust anyone over, er, UNDER 30. (sigh) I'M ON TO THE DARK SIDE BOYS. BLACK HAT, HERE I COME!

PS - Quick memo to Yahoo (I just KNOW they read everything I write): Being slightly conservative than over-aggressive in your witch-hunts would have been best to avoid vigilante mf's like moi going to the DARK SIDE. I really, truly was a very honest WHITE HAT and now this. Converts make the best zealots..... So, am I just pissing in the wind? Take a look at the topic titles in WebmasterWorld in the Yahoo! Search cat. Not an inspiring site.

jentotaltravel




msg:824467
 12:06 pm on Aug 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Re Help appealing to Yahoo.

Example: Our travel sites have been dropped from Yahoo web search results, although the older, Australian one is still listed in their direcory.

This situation is currently being looked at by the Yahoo! Australian editorial team.

The new UK site appears to be in limbo. It was listed for a few days then dropped out of the web search results. Our AU contact stated that he could do nothing about the UK site.

The re-consideration for AU has only come about because we spend $*** au dollars a month VIA Overture and have made contact this way.

twebdonny




msg:824468
 12:55 pm on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>>Re Help appealing to Yahoo.
Example: Our travel sites have been dropped from Yahoo web search results, although the older, Australian one is still listed in their direcory.<<<<<

Good luck, From what we have found Yahoo does not want any
competition from travel sites, with travel.yahoo.com. I truly believe this is one of the reasons that are site is
penalized, as is yours. Help because of an Overture or Sitematch acount...doubt that, they have no ability to help
other than just send emails to support same as you can. Want to read more? PM me and I'll send you a very interesting thread to read about such "help".

cyberfyber




msg:824469
 3:44 pm on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

outland88: <<<The latest change to Yahoo seems to be they’re purging all remnants of penalized sites. Used to be you could access these sites with the site:yourdomain.com. Seems like they’re getting more vicious to me.>>

Outland88, I've found the same thing has happened to me with my biggest site as per 5-7 weeks ago. You can't even find it on yahoo anymore...as if it were totally banned.

Yet I continue to go forward and ignore them since I'm doing extremely well with Google. 'though it would be nice to have all that extra traffic, I'm through beating my head up against the wall and trying to contact the powers that be within Yahoo. I'm quite tired!

randle




msg:824470
 1:38 am on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

We have had many sites dropped ever since Yahoo went live with the "Yahoo Search" results. Used to do great with Inktomi, so no penalty connection there. Seems to me they were not really ready when they launched the algorithm. It is WAY too sensitive to cross linking, so if you have sites of your own, linking to one another, that’s the first place to look. In addition, their concept of “duplicate content” is extreme given the overall nature of the internet, traffic generation and affiliate marketing. It sure would have been nice, and avoided a lot of grief for everyone, if they could have floated out (leaked?) some of the major traits of their system/algorithm prior to blindly kicking so many sites out that are operated by well meaning people. I suppose that’s a bit unrealistic though. We were guilty of seeing too much through the eyes of Google. We have had years of experience knowing what is acceptable with a lot of search engines. Kind of a rare day, when one of the biggest there is, just flipped a switch to something totally new. It was a very rude awakening for us, but I suppose that’s our own fault.

We always thought the Yahoo algorithm would be pretty simplistic, and anything that was O.K. with Google would be O.K. with Yahoo. Not so, as Yahoo has some very aggressive penalties, and is a formidable algorithm. At first we really thought it was a manual penalty system, but now, given the scale of it, are convinced it is an algorithm applied penalty.

It is extremely frustrating to be as polite as possible, bide your time with the utmost patience and then finally get a rather cold note, “sorry your site does not meet our guidelines posted at yahoo.com/xyz”. There is a real message right there that they don’t want your site, and are not real concerned that you change it and re-submit. At the end of the day, it’s there search engine, and it’s our job to work within it, and put forth sites that it accepts, and rewards. What is particularly frustrating is the amount of spam they allow, versus the number of quality sites that are jettisoned. They play a rough game which is O.K.; I just wish we all knew the rules.

DaveAtIFG




msg:824471
 2:11 am on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Seems to me they were not really ready when they launched the algorithm.
I think they thought they were ready. And now they're busy scrambling to patch the SE up and customer service has taken a back seat. Although we've heard little from the Yahoo reps lately, I'm confident they value ANY feedback we can provide.

At the end of the day, it’s there search engine, and it’s our job to work within it, and put forth sites that it accepts, and rewards.
That's the nature of the search biz.

What is particularly frustrating is the amount of spam they allow, versus the number of quality sites that are jettisoned. They play a rough game which is O.K.; I just wish we all knew the rules.
The guidelines were revised recently, I think the rules are evolving along with the SE. I also believe they will get the "spam vs quality sites" problems resolved. Eventually. I hope no one starves first! :)

cyberfyber




msg:824472
 2:22 am on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<<<I hope no one starves first!>>>>

Though I'm not starving just yet.....MY KINGDOM FOR A POTATO!

jrs_66




msg:824473
 2:14 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Our site was banned for 2 years. Thanks to Yahoo-Mike our ban was lifted and traffic has been flowing from Yahoo. Just wish it didtn't take so long for updates to happen.

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