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|Yahoo Updates Site Guidelines|
Not entirely sure what has changed, but it's all fairly generic and common sense stuff they have been using since Inktomi days...
>> Pages in great quantity, automatically generated
Good one .. Where do they populate their travel guides from, for example?
I guess my travel guide gets hit because I licensed the content from the same provider as they did?
Wow, I would have thought most of us would have taken this somewhat seriously as it looks like Yahoo! would like to. We are all clamoring for another player in the search space but I don't see any support coming from many participating in this topic.
Let's go over their guidelines one by one without reading something into it that really doesn't exist. These are general guidelines. If you wish to misinterpret what is there, that is fine. But, don't use that misinterpretation as a means to discredit the source.
Pages Yahoo! Wants Included in Its Index
- Original and unique content of genuine value
Isn't this what we all discuss here on a daily basis? Self-explanatory.
- Pages designed primarily for humans, with search engine considerations secondary.
I believe this is also the mantra you'll find from many here at the forums.
- Hyperlinks intended to help people find interesting, related content, when applicable
One that I'm sure many of us may be in minor and/or major violation of.
- Metadata (including title and description) that accurately describes the contents of a web page
- Good web design in general
Hmmm, interesting concept!
Unfortunately, not all web pages contain information that is valuable to a user. Some pages are created deliberately to trick the search engine into offering inappropriate, redundant or poor-quality search results; this is often called "spam." Yahoo! does not want these pages in the index.
What Yahoo! Considers Unwanted
Some, but not all, examples of the more common types of pages that Yahoo! does not want include:
- Pages that harm accuracy, diversity or relevance of search results
- Pages dedicated to directing the user to another page
onMouseOver events, gateway pages, doorway pages, automatic redirects, etc. I'm sure you guys/gals know the routine.
- Pages that have substantially the same content as other pages
This probably refers to many of the affiliate pages out there in addition to other types of pages mentioned above.
- Sites with numerous, unnecessary virtual hostnames
lol, you know who you are. There have been many discussions here concerning this. If you are walking on the fence line, you've probably just qualified for being over the line.
- Pages in great quantity, automatically generated or of little value
Self-explanatory. Machine generated pages using templates (done incorrectly).
- Pages using methods to artificially inflate search engine ranking
Why does everyone insist that what we do is spam? That is not the case. If you are following the published guidelines of web design and those of the search engines, then you are not making pages to artificially inflate search engine ranking. We just happen to know how to build properly structured pages and know what the search engines are looking for. If we go back to one of the original guidelines...
"Pages designed primarily for humans, with search engine considerations secondary"
If you are designing sites for humans (primarily) then the search engine spiders will follow. It shouldn't be the other way around.
- The use of text that is hidden from the user
- Pages that give the search engine different content than what the end-user sees
Self-explanatory. Cloaking, redirects, etc.
- Excessively cross-linking sites to inflate a site's apparent popularity
Another issue that has been beaten to death around here. Anything in excess is going to have consequences, good (short term) and/or bad (long term).
- Pages built primarily for the search engines
Self-explanatory. Gateway pages, doorway pages, bridge pages, etc. In the true sense of the word "Gateway".
- Misuse of competitor names
- Multiple sites offering the same content
Self-explanatory. Microsites, gateway sites, throwaway domains, etc. Might want to include certain types of affiliate sites in the mix.
- Pages that use excessive pop-ups, interfering with user navigation
If I were designing an algo, any page with popups on initial access to that page would not be indexed. If a user wants to see information in a new window, they will invoke the new window themselves.
- Pages that seem deceptive, fraudulent or provide a poor user experience
Yahoo!'s Site Guidelines are designed to ensure that poor-quality pages do not degrade the user experience in any way. As with Yahoo!'s other guidelines, Yahoo! reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to take any and all action it deems appropriate to insure the quality of its index.
While I applaud Yahoo's! efforts to keep its index clean, I will have to agree with some of you that they have some backyard cleaning to do themselves. But, that is no reason to tear the guidelines apart and misinterpret what is there.
All of it is general common sense. Nothing new. It just looks like they want to offer more insight as to why a site is currently not listed in their index and/or won't make it into their index.
I just want to make money. I don't care about Y or G or visitors for that matter. I am not out to help anybody except people that send me money.
Really G is the most helpful because they stay fresh. I like that my spam comes up when most people search. If you know how to search you can find anything you want. If you can't find what you want there is no amount of spam filtering that will help you because it is not there. There are to many stupid web developers out there that can't even put a title tag on there site. It is easy to filter spam when you are searching. Anybody ever heard of the advanced features. I don't feel sorry for people that can't find anyting when they type in debt consolidation or web hosting. If I type in (insert vido game name here) walkthrough I find a bunch of walkthroughs. I may have to go to 4 or 5 before I find one that really helps me but I found what I needed. G and Y need to stop the anti-spam and start educating people on how to find things. If someone types in a 1 or 2 word phrase they should give some suggested searches at top.
Pageone, good post, but unfortunately we're not allowed to roast Yahoo like GoogleGuy evaluated some unfortunate individuals site.
Or are we?
>>>>So no affiliate sites at all in Yahoo then...<<<<
cept yahoo affiliates of course...yahoo shopping, yahoo travel,....right....
>> It just looks like they want to offer more insight as to why a site is currently not listed in their index and/or won't make it into their index.
If this were true, that would be wonderful. But it isnt. It isnt even close. No one is debating the merits of each individual guideline, but rather the fact that reading them in association with Y! is laughable. I find no fault with any of them, but I challenge Yahoo! to show me just one instance where my banned site violates a single one.
I can show them numerous examples of cloaked PFI pages though.
|G and Y need to stop the anti-spam and start educating people on how to find things. |
It isn't Google's job or Yahoo's job to educate people. It is their job to serve up relevant, high-quality search results. Users shouldn't have to take extra steps or become search experts to avoid spam in the SERPs.
I have no problem with the guidelines. As PageOne says, there's nothing controversial there.
But I think the guidelines mask a deeper flaw with new Yahoo - namely a structural disincentive for Y to index the Web properly.
This is a post that was removed from the "Stats" thread for being chit chat :) I'm going to throw it out there again:
< Yahoo doesn't gobble up new pages like Google does. SiteMatch places a disincentive for Yahoo to resolve this (sites have the option to pay to be spidered). SiteMatch is not a viable option for large content sites, as they charge by the page, not the site.
I know for my large content site, the economics of SiteMatch don't make sense - not even close. I now have thousands pages (many of them quality) that are unspidered by Yahoo, but indexed and placing well in Google.
And I would imagine my case is not unique. So, as every month goes by, more and more pages from fairly high profile content sites are invisible to Yahoo, and unreachable by their users. Google, on the other hand, gobbles up every new page in site.
So, if you want a nice snapshot of the Web as it existed 6 months ago, Yahoo is fine. If you want current stuff, G is the only game in town.
Is there any wonder that Y is distributing less traffic these days? >
So getting back to the guidelines.... they're all well and nice, but wouldn't it be simpler to condense (or at least append) them as follows:
Pages Yahoo! Wants Included in Its Index
1) Sites that participate in SiteMatch
What Yahoo! Considers Unwanted
1) Sites that don't participate in SiteMatch
I'm trying hard not to make a value judgment here - it's their search engine and they can run it how they want to. But any set of guidelines that doesn't reference the economics of SiteMatch is glaringly incomplete.
Pageoneresults, if a car manufacturer tells their car salesman that to get customers they need to talk to people well it's a bit like these guidelines...obvious.
I can't believe that you spent all that time elaborating the obvious.
|I can't believe that you spent all that time elaborating the obvious. |
I can't either. But, based on the direction this topic was heading, I felt that it was appropriate. Actually, it wasn't that much time. ;)
good for you pageone. your post was necessary.
|And I would imagine my case is not unique. So, as every month goes by, more and more pages from fairly high profile content sites are invisible to Yahoo, and unreachable by their users. Google, on the other hand, gobbles up every new page in site. |
That's been my experience, too. (Like you, I have an information site.)
|Is there any wonder that Y is distributing less traffic these days? |
Yahoo used to supply me with about 1/3 as many referrals as Google. Now it's around 1/10. And my site complies fully with the new Yahoo guidelines. :-)
as a unique informational site, i comply fully and i get 1/80th the number of referrals from yahoo as i get from google. it's pathetic, to say the least.
|Pages Yahoo! Wants Included in Its Index: |
... 2. Pages designed primarily for humans, with search engine considerations secondary...
It is possible that some of the guffawing in here relates to a perception of insencerity on Y!'s part.
WRT to Point 2 above, for example, what Yahoo! says they want - and what they actually feature in their SERP's - are two very different things.
Then there are these issues:
- Penalization of some pages/sites appears to be highly arbitrary and inconsistent...
- Coverage of sites and pages within sites is *still* very spotty...
- Site Match Xchange amounts to sanctioned cloaking for high paying clients.
Y!'s Guidelines remind me of speaches at a major politcal conventions; what is said in public is one thing, but we all know that what goes on behind the scenes is something else entirely...
When Y! starts deliverying complete, consistent SERP's, that line up with the guidelines they promote, I'll be the first one applauding their achievement.
I also feel many of these items are obvious, but do very much thank you for jumping in and setting the tone to focus on each of the individual line items. I feel that focusing on each individual line item is certainly more productive than each of us debating whether we like or dislike the new guidelines as a whole. The fact of the matter is, the guidelines are in place and we all need to ensure that we adhere to them or everyone will be left behind as everyone who does comply moves forward with Yahoo.
I do feel however that that along with these guidelines there needs to be some consistency in enforcing each and every one of them a more in-depth appeal process available, even if there is a charge for such service. My site is currently penalized after being #1 in the industry for many years. We haven't broken any of these guidelines, yet are still penalized. If Yahoo would set up a very formal guidelines review system that went line by line (as you have) through each individual site reviewed and provided detailed explanations of these items in relation to the specific site being reviewed, I would gladly pay for the service. Obviously, there would be large overhead in doing so, but for individuals like me who are trying to 'clear their name', even paying upwards of $1,000 for this guideline review would be acceptable. Of course, for this amount, I feel it would be appropriate to be able to have telephone conversations with the reviewer to be able to state your case.
Some people may say this feel is extravagent, but I'm mentioning the figure to prove a point, that even at a high cost, I think the option still needs to be available.
Yes large websites seem a no no with Yahoo now. All my websites are 1000 pages plus. Some many more.
I think this serves the user better. They can find the exact information they want.
You can only create general and not specific pages for Yahoo due to Sitematch. For large sites it is just not economically viable. Unless you let yahoo buy you (kelkoo).
This seems a step back in the SE world. This is what it was like before Google appeared. I hoped yahoo would challenge Google by doing what Google does but better.
Until Yahoo dump sitematch and make it a real free search it isn't possible.
The way you beat the top dog is by copying them and improving on the formula. Yahoo don't seem to doing this.
Yahoo haven't eliminated spam, they have just eliminated the biggest and best producers of spam. The little guys are still there and flurishing. I would prefer (Google) to visit a big spam site that produces price comparison and reviews, compared to little spam sites (yahoo) who just have banner pages.
It all seems one hell of a big step backwards.
BP, one concern I have with your solution at the price is the incentive Y! has to penalize more pages for subjective reasons.
The other concern is the existing track record with PFI reviews that cant identify the problems with penalized sites.
Until Y! takes these guidelines (which I like, btw) as seriously as they expect us to, then the only solutions for many are pay to play or write Yahoo off. My site is <100 pages, but I wont be extorted, so my choice is obvious.
|Until Y! takes these guidelines (which I like, btw) as seriously as they expect us to, then the only solutions for many are pay to play or write Yahoo off. My site is <100 pages, but I wont be extorted, so my choice is obvious. |
This is very true. I just don't trust the people who edit which site breaks the rules. We all know from the Dmoz experience where it leads.
It's much safer to leave it to a bot compared to a human. That's why computers were invented to avoid human error.
By the way Yahoo UK Shopping has just changed to Kelkoo
I do agree with your post that this would definitely be an incentive for even more pages and sites to get penalized, which is another angle that I hadn't thought of. From what I've been reading on various threads, people are already getting penalized (including myself), so I guess I was trying to at least brainstorm towards a solution as I'm quite sure people from Yahoo are reading this thread as well.
Personally, if there is a need to pay to play one way or the other, I'd rather pay to ensure that the whole site is penalty free and ranking 'naturally' rather than pay by the page for SiteMatch. Our site has over 25,000 pages with all of our products, which makes SiteMatch totally unrealistic for us to embrace as it is done on a per url basis and would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The fact of the matter is, Yahoo has investors who seek returns on their money. They need to make money one way or another, and I think it's unrealistic for any of us to think that they will meet their target numbers without programs like SiteMatch. What I am proposing is more in line with a one time fee for an entire domain, even if it is quite pricey. Quite honestly, if you charged $1,000 for every domain in the index, spammers wouldn't be able to afford to go into the program and risk loosing their spot.
I also agree with the new (and the old) guidelines, but definely feel they are being misapplied in certain cases with no real way to get back in their good graces (even when no apparent violation has occurred).
|The fact of the matter is, Yahoo has investors who seek returns on their money. They need to make money one way or another, and I think it's unrealistic for any of us to think that they will meet their target numbers without programs like SiteMatch. |
I guess this was the reason Alta Vista results went pay per click. Where are they now?
The web is about free information, this is why Google is so popular with webmasters and users alike. It gives both what they want. I don't think you can apply normal business rules to a search engine. SE's are about sending users to the best resource, big business don't like this.
|They need to make money one way or another, and I think it's unrealistic for any of us to think that they will meet their target numbers without programs like SiteMatch |
Google seem to be making a fortune without the need of sitematch. More a case of Yahoo profiteering. If there is any area Yahoo can encrouch to make a buck they will.
They really couldn't care less about users or webmasters. Just their profit sheet.
This is shown with Yahoo email. The minute Google announced gmail with 1gb storage Yahoo uped their's from about (2mb?) to 100mb. It shows Yahoo just care about their popularity and not the user.
Would Yahoo have uped the storage if it wasn't for gmail? no chance. And they would have kept charging users for extra space.
Google seem to care much more about users and webmasters.
Most people don't seem to grasp that some simple changes to your site or a competitor reporting you may be all it takes to have your site booted at Yahoo. Then you’ll find how broad these rules really are. I know, I know, you play by all the rules and it won’t happen to you. You’re as pure as the driven snow. But if you take a look at many good people who tried to play by the rules and have been ignored, since late February by Yahoo, you might change your mind. I don’t defend things that may potentially come back to haunt me or slit my throat. I would be hoping that that previous supposed offenders would be treated fairly to set a precedent for me down the road. That’s not happening. And it’s obvious the rules will only be enforced against those least able to “lawyer up”.
The only accurate statement I can make about the guidelines is they sound good until you find out how outrageous and broad they are. Other than that some of these posts have me ROFL, especially pages built for humans.
There is no way to be fair about a very generic search term. Even a totally human edited search engine could not have good results for a generic search phrase. There are hundreds of sites that have every right to be number one on some 2 word generic phrase. It's like saying that we could get free super bowl ads if we design the right commercial and submit it to the network. That is what we are getting now. If you can get number one for web hosting or debt consolidation or cheap hotels it is just like getting a free prime time tv ad. It's funny how we expect that from SE's but not from anywhere else.
I was just saying that money and effort would be better spent with education than spam filtering. There is no amount of SPAM filtering that would fix the problem. You are not going to find what you want by typing in some very generic 2 word phrase.
What they will do and are working on I'm sure is a smart SE. When you type in something generic you get different results than somebody else based on past performance or some survey you filled out. What if somebody came up to you and said "what companies are out there that have (fill in blank)." You would look at them and say I don't know do you want to buy something or just want information about it or do you want a place to complain about it or do you want one from the US or another country or do you want a new or used one. Right now the SE does not read our mind and spits out junk which is what it should do when it is asked a stupid question like that. The SE's can't read their minds.
I would simply note that you can never really trust a SE whose top management thinks it is a good idea to launch a PFI + PPC program.
|There is no amount of SPAM filtering that would fix the problem. You are not going to find what you want by typing in some very generic 2 word phrase. |
It depends. In Google, I often have surprisingly good luck with single keywords. I was recently looking for information on several Italian cities, typed in their names, and found the official Web sites for each. I can't complain about that. Similarly, if I search Yahoo for "(city) tourism" or "(city) tourist information," the odds are quite good that the city's official tourism site will be in the top 10 search results. As long as the SE filters out the zillion affiliate hotel-booking pages that might have dominated the SERPs for that phrase in the past, I'm a happy traveler.
|What they will do and are working on I'm sure is a smart SE. When you type in something generic you get different results than somebody else based on past performance or some survey you filled out. |
Yes, I keep hearing about this, but I'm a little skeptical. People often search for new things--not the things they searched for or picked in a survey a month or two earlier. "Smart search" might be useful if it had a limited shelf life (e.g., if it used relatively shortlived cookies to keep track of the user's interests), or if the search form had a "clear memory" or "reset" button to erase the search engine's preconceptions. Otherwise it could be more of an annoyance than a productivity aid.
|It's funny how we expect that from SE's but not from anywhere else. |
This is the world wide web we are talking about not the high street or television. It's a totally different medium and you can't compare it with anything else.
The first job of an SE is to give the user the most relevant results. Television and the high street don't aim to do this.
Therefore if your website has the best content and popularity (incoming links) you should expect it to be top.
This is why pay per click search engines (yahoo basically) have never been more successful than the best free submission search engines. Because they don't give the user and webmaster what they want. The most relevant result.
Marketing does not care about that kind of thing. All they see is eyes. If you can be number one for something that gets searched 15 million times a month like free internet you will get a lot of eyes. On TV they may get a lot more visitors but it is no where near as targeted as the Internet. It will only get busier. TV, Phone, DVD, Internet, and Audio devices are starting to blur the lines already. It will all be one thing one day. I don't think anybody doubts that there will be almost unlimited bandwidth in every home at some point and that will change everything. It may be 10 or 20 years but it will happen. What would you do if you knew how the Internet was being used today 15 years ago?
|What would you do if you knew how the Internet was being used today 15 years ago? |
study the new guidelines...:-)
follow Yahoos lead not their guidelines.
It would be really nice if someone from Yahoo would chime in and join this discussion with their thoughts on this issue. I'm sure they've got an opion on this topic and would be nice to hear their point of view.
"Sites with numerous, unnecessary virtual hostnames "
What does this mean? Is it use of sub domains or hosting multiple sites in the same IP?
|"Sites with numerous, unnecessary virtual hostnames " |
What does this mean? Is it use of sub domains or hosting multiple sites in the same IP?
Basically I think these guidelines have been made so broad that Yahoo can justify deleting any website. Because nearly every site in existance infringes on the guidelines in some way.
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