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Yahoo Updates Site Guidelines
Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 10:28 pm on Jul 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Freshly Updated:

[help.yahoo.com...]

Not entirely sure what has changed, but it's all fairly generic and common sense stuff they have been using since Inktomi days...

 

mikeD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 5:08 pm on Jul 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

"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.

pageoneresults

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



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 5:16 pm on Jul 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

What does this mean? Is it use of sub domains or hosting multiple sites in the same IP?

virtualhostname.example.com

ogletree

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



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 5:25 pm on Jul 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree it is normal lawyer speak. It is a way of saying something without saying something. Even reading that conservatively you can remove any site.

webmktg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 6:59 pm on Jul 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Sites with numerous, unnecessary virtual hostnames "

I think its talking about sub domains. Because most of the websites share common IPs.

If yahoo has a commercial intention it could remove any website from its database. But I don't think Yahoo will do that because Yahoo's strength is depend on its database not on the PPC or Site match results.

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 10:25 pm on Jul 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Only a small minority of the genuine sites on the Internet would violate the "unwanted" guidelines (more would violate the "good web design" part but that isn't important).

The amazing thing is anyone, even junk peddlars, would spend one second whining about such clearly sensible guidelines. (Note the use of "artificially" in the sixth item; nothing said about organic methods.)

Good job Yahoo. Now onto the work of getting rid of the total crap that stinks so bad it can't even obey guidelines this straightforward.

bppilot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 12:32 am on Jul 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's interesting that Yahoo's guidelines allow it to dump virtually any site, and from reading this and other treads, seems to more and more often now. The only question is, "why" would they want to continue dumping sites?

Sure, there are the obvious examples where people use site.com/keyword/keyword/keyword (or a million other combinations) that offer absolutely no content or value. But for the legitimate sites that actually offer content and don't play these games, why would they want to be dumping them and shooting themselves in the foot by offering less content to their searchers? The spammers will simply change their domains in a heartbeat and start up new sites with new tactics to get around any new filters. The legitimate businesses will be left in a boat without a paddle and not be able to just throw away their domains and start over again. In our case, we've invested several million dollars into our online division, and yet Yahoo has 'dumped us' out of the blue. Do we develop an entire new online enterprise (and hope that doesn't get dumped), or do we instead 'give up' on them and figure that searchers will find us using competitive engines that offer this content Y has has dumped? Who wins here?

For a very short term business plan, I think Yahoo might be on the right track to increase revenue (look at their latest financials, it's working!). For a long term business plan however, I think the practice of dumping sites with no explanation is extremely misguided.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are many very good people at Yahoo, and I hope a few of those who actually have some power are reading this thread. Things certainly need to change. At least when people are penalized for breaking the guidelines, let them know what they did. By not disclosing this information, there's no way to fix it. I know the argument, if they say what you did wrong, spammers would figure out their system. Here's a news flash, spammers are VERY aware of what they did already and won't waste their time spending weeks trying to get resolution. They'll dump the domain and be right back in the index with a new one.

Although my request is for Yahoo to speak up and disclose specific content violations and allow an appeal of this decision, a VERY good start would be at least replying to e-mails. I've had e-mail communication with a number of people from Yahoo on here who initially say they'll look into things, then they are never heard from again. If they actually look into things, they would see that ourselves, along with many others on here actually have legitimate issues that should be resolved for the good of their search engine database.

It's as simple as this. If you say you're going to do something, please do it. It's the honorable and right thing to do. When your word is worth nothing, all credibility goes out the window. If you don't have the authority, pass things along to someone who does.

As a Boy Scout Eagle Scout, I was always taught to "do the right thing." I'm asking for Yahoo to step up to the plate and "do the right thing" in this scenario and follow through with their communications and actions. Wouldn't it be great if someday the Yahoo forum only had messages about how great things were going? This won't happen overnight, but it's time for Yahoo to start taking steps to move towards this goal.

Frustrated,

BPPilot

soapystar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 7:47 am on Jul 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

By not disclosing this information, there's no way to fix it. I know the argument, if they say what you did wrong, spammers would figure out their system.

This is just not the case. A select group of webmasters have been told exact reasons and been allowed to clean their sites. It might be argued that maintaning a stance where the wider group of webmasters are led to believe that Yahoo cannot tell you exact reasons for a ban/penalty for reasons of principal is very benefical to Yahoo. Having this policy together with the all embracing guidelines leaves them in the position of being able to manually manipulate their index without having to justify their reasoning. This may simply involve quality issues but of course it may not.

bppilot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 4:14 pm on Jul 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Soapystar,

I appreciate your insight into this. The basis for my comment is my own experience with Yahoo, as well as other posts that I've read here time and time again about webmasters not one being told reasons. I agree this does allow them to manually manipulate the index without having to justify their reasoning, but once again, it brings me back to the question of "why". Why would they want to just kill good content instead of communicating so that the webmasters could modify it to better fit the needs of Yahoo which would improve their index? After all, webmasters need traffic from Yahoo, but in turn, Yahoo needs good content to keep visitors coming back.

Any idea how I join this 'select' group of webmasters?

BPPilot

yaelede

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 5:08 pm on Jul 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

join this 'select' group of webmasters

Yahoo! doesn't even give a chance to get back..
- After they dropped my site from the index, I wrote to webmasterworldfeedbackATyahoo.com for a review (June 1st)
- answer from Yahoo! on 18th June: they will review it if it meets their guidelines.
- nothing happens until 14th July - I wrote another mail asking about any further news.
- answer on 16th July: review of my site completed, and it didn't result in a CHANGE OF STATUS..
- on same day I sent a request about explaining if the above meant a ban for my site ... NO reply since then.

My main problem is: how could I (and other members of 'unselected' group of WMs) get back to Yahoo!, when Slurp has been hitting ONLY my robots.txt since the beginning of April a thousand times? Should we send emails again and again when we do some changes in our sites? Is it the only way with Yahoo!?

Google at least gives you a chance: I had another site which had been banned from their index. Googlebot decreased its activity to a bi-weekly visit, BUT it NEVER stopped visiting it completely! Then I 'reviewed' that site, discovered the mistakes, corrected them, and then waited. I waited months, but it got back at the end.
With Yahoo! it seems to be impossible..

GlynMusica

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 9:10 am on Jul 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

"The only question is, "why" would they want to continue dumping sites? "

Because less sites in the indexes Organically = more reach / lower costs on paid programmes.

Based on the fact that the average internet user (ie, someone not working in SEO) can't tell the difference between a sponsored listing, organic and a PPC my point would be, any search engine could change the layout of their listings on a daily rotation between these program types and their average user audience wouldn't tell the difference.

We might, but what percentage are we exactly?

:)

GLYN

....and don't worry too much because next up on the chopping board from listings are going to be the affiliates.

spaidermen

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 4:50 pm on Jul 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

By the way, are infringiment to these guidelines actually prosecuted by Yahoo!, that is, pages removed, or do they just work as a deterrent?
Because there's no point in having rules if the ruler can't force people to obey them.

mikeD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 4:51 pm on Jul 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah noticing Inktomi Slurp not hitting my sites much now. Used to be more activity than googlebot.

Think there has been some sort of change at Yahoo.

Makes me wonder if they crawled and indexed most sites when Yahoo search was launched to get good feedback in the press. Then slowly start kicking sites after the press attention had subsided. Seems a typical Yahoo tactic.

mikeD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 12:26 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I guess you are referring to this spamreport,

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.

First Yahoo's results are no cleaner than Googles. I can find just as much spam. The problem being the quality of the spam on yahoo is far worse.

Yahoo's results seem full of the spam which was found on Google 2 or 3 years ago. They have manually edited the big well known 'spam' type sites. But they can't get rid of the small couple of pages spam sites.

And who have Yahoo bought and indexed fully in their search, Kelkoo. Kelkoo are probably the biggest example of professional spammers on the web.

Basically Yahoo's guidelines go out the window if you can pay them loads of money. Or they own the spam. This policy shows that Yahoo don't really care about spam. They just want to protect the spammers who will pay them.

So I wont applaud Yahoo's effort in any shape or form.

The bottom line is money, not search quality. Google inclines more to search quality in my opinion.

spaidermen

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 12:38 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, you are right on Kelkoo. It's a curse that infests Google too, though.

That's why I wonder about what these rules stand for, if they are not able (willing) to oblige people to obey them.

mikeD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 12:59 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, you are right on Kelkoo. It's a curse that infests Google too, though.
That's why I wonder about what these rules stand for, if they are not able (willing) to oblige people to obey them.

So basically Yahoo says it's fine to break their guidelines such as Kelkoo if you are owned by Yahoo or pay them.

This doesn't seem very ethical

And it's not a practice I've seen Google perform. They don't ban competitors of their advertisers (kelkoo competitors) from their search.

soapystar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 2:37 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

there are two clear lines of debate here. The rights and wrongs of the guidelines displayed on their website and the actual guidlines and reseaons for bans/penalties used internally. They are two different debates.

When the guidelines include inbound links to your site and shared hosting with other sites with whom you have no connection they will be of more use in finding clues to why your site is banned/penalised. (again two different things)

mikeD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 3:01 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

shared hosting is a good point soapystar. One of my sites which was doing fine in Yahoo and then suddenly disappeared is on a shared host.

IanCP

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 3:02 am on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Maybe it's just my view but I think all of us are just speculating the in's and out's of Yahoo's Guidelines.

Until we factually know why so many sites with seemingly good content are being dropped, we're just whistling in the dark.

Personally, I'd like to know whether Brett has had an opportunity to personally speak to someone at Yahoo about the issue. Someone in authority who know's exactly what is going on.

Brett?

DaveAtIFG

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 1:29 pm on Jul 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Please stay on topic folks. I had to delete a few posts and I dislike doing that! :)

grandpa

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 9:05 pm on Jul 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Pages built primarily for the search engines

Self-explanatory. Gateway pages, doorway pages, bridge pages, etc. In the true sense of the word "Gateway".

Of the few pages on my site indexed in Y!, the one with the best listing is exactly what they don't want. It's a doorway for the WebRings I participate in. It was created simply because I don't want the ring links on my pages. Meanwhile, the index page and relevant content pages go unnoticed.

Y! <shrug>

soapystar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 12:10 pm on Aug 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Grandpa

indexed or well ranked? Seems risk of ban/penalty increases as your rankings increase.

grandpa

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 1:28 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well ranked. I just checked the phrase again and now I find my index page ranked higher. For some period of time the index page was ranked really low. For my last .02 on the topic, (with apologies for an off topic comment) I think Y! is still 6 - 12 months out from a good search. At that time my replacement can worry about it all :)

twebdonny



 
Msg#: 2544 posted 4:30 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Pages built primarily for the search engines
Self-explanatory. Gateway pages, doorway pages, bridge pages, etc. In the true sense of the word "Gateway".

Ummm...

that would be like travel.yahoo.com and all of its thousands of subpages....OR NOT...

Results 1 - 10 of about 22,700 from yahoo.com for boston motels.

thats just boston alone

what a freakin farce

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