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The Real Deal with Yahoo

2:54 pm on Mar 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member agerhart is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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After ridiculous threads like this one [webmasterworld.com], calling for boycotts, and all of the bad talk regarding Yahoo, I feel the need to clear things up and bring everyone back to reality.

The reality of our current situation with Yahoo, SiteMatch, Google, etc., is:

Yahoo! is definitely still crawling sites for free. If you can't get your site indexed by Yahoo right now, then you need to get into another business. I have spoken with a few other SEOs, and we all agreed that Yahoo is currently indexing new pages and sites faster than Google is. As I said, if you can't get your pages indexed.....then get in the line to the left.

There is nothing wrong with a PFI/PPC model, as long as there is another option for purely informational sites or people who can't afford to pay. As I just mentioned above, there is. Enough said.

The current Yahoo! SERPs look better than Google's do. I'm speaking from a consumer and SEO point of view.

5:01 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>the reason the overture site doesn't mention the free crawling is because Yahoo is slowly positioning itself to shut off a free search traffic.

No, the reason it doesn't mention it is because there is no reason for it to be mentioned. It is explaining a specific program and that is all it's necessary to do.

That is NOT an explanation about what Yahoo is doing, that is mind-reading and guesswork on the part of one individual, projecting one's own analysis onto another's motives. Sorry, but that is not rational, nor is it acceptable.

If that is the case, then PROVE IT.

>>It is posts like this which drag out the conversation. Its funny, I think some people think I am getting redundant by stating the obvious that Yahoo is not interested in free crawling and is moving towards full monetization.

It most certainly is redundant, and what is being stated as "the obvious" is nothing more than one person's opinion ostentatiously and repetitively stated, with no logical reason for anyone to accept it as anything more than the pure biased conjecture of one person.

>>But then people like msgraph post and you start see why I am repeating myself over and over again.

It is not necessary to repeat over and over again; credibility and acceptance do not increase one iota with repetition. It is not people like msgraph's post, it is a stubborn insistence upon agreement with one's own views that are motivating the repetition, and not all are willing to do that and abdicate their own free choice and thoughts to buckle under to domination and bias.

None of us here has been arbitrarily appointed as the WFA (World's Foremost Authority) and we most certainly do want to hear what everyone else has to say. Repetition and insistence, essentially constituting undue domination of others, is getting kind of old.

Maybe it's time for the zipped lip and the open ear on the part of some individuals, who seem to have blinders on so they can't see past their own thoughts and are unwilling and unable to see and absorb what others have to say.

5:17 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Well said Marcia, well said.
It's been the day long redundancy that's been bothering me, not the opinion.
6:35 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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6:47 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What is the Real Deal with Yahoo...?

They cant even keep their own site current about these programs.

on [search.yahoo.com...]

They start off with

Overture Pay Per Performance - and how you can control your own position.

They say nothing said about the new paid inclusion program.

Next they say Inktomi Inclusion Programs....make your site available to users of Yahoo.

While this kind of communication may be somewhat understandable at a little mom and pop website, It certainly isnt setting a very high standard when it is done by Yahoo.

7:01 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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1. Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. The Commission will find deception if there is a representation, omission, or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumer's detriment. See FTC Policy Statement on Deception, appended to Cliffdale Associates, Inc., 103 F.T.C. 110, 174 (1984).


Being Frank about Search Engine Rank
You're using your favorite search engine, ready to find the most appropriate sites for your needs. You type in your search terms, and up comes a list of the most relevant sites, right? Not necessarily, says the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the federal government's consumer protection agency.


Re Commercial Alert Complaint Requesting Investigation of Various Internet Search Engine Companies for Paid Placement and Paid Inclusion Programs

Dear [search engine company]:

The Federal Trade Commission responded to a complaint filed by Commercial Alert requesting that the agency investigate whether certain search engines are violating Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1),(1) by failing to disclose that advertisements are inserted into search engine results lists.

Commercial Alert's complaint alleges that when search engines include Web sites in search results lists, on the basis of "paid placement" and "paid inclusion," such search results are advertisements. It further contends that "without clear and conspicuous disclosure that the ads are ads," such "concealment may mislead search engine users to believe that search results are based on relevancy alone, not marketing ploys."

The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection staff reviewed the search engines listed in the Commercial Alert complaint and others. For the most part, the staff believes that while many search engine companies do attempt some disclosure of paid placement, their current disclosures may not be sufficiently clear. The staff also believes that, depending on the nature of the paid inclusion program, there should be clearer disclosure of the use of paid inclusion, including more conspicuous descriptions of paid inclusion itself.(2) As a general matter, clear and conspicuous disclosures would put consumers in a position to better determine the importance of these practices in their choice of search engines to use.

7:09 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The phrase "storm in a teacup" sums it up.

What the heck is all the fuss about?

Fact 1: If you have semi-decent backlinks you will be crawled and indexed for free and at least as often as Google crawls you.

Fact 2: If you have good backlinks you will not only get crawled regularly, but you will rank at the top.

Fact 3: PFI is only for sites that have no backlinks or want to play with SEO on a daily basis. You can play with SEO on a weekly basis with just good backlinks.

Fact 4: PFI WITHOUT good backlinks is pointless, you will get indexed, but you will not rank high for any competitive term.

Yahoo is doing the right thing, they just seem to be lacking in getting that message across....no offense intended Tim, I know the whiners will make noise regardless of how hard you try.

The whiners should boycott Yahoo and leave it to the professionals who really understand "The Real Deal with Yahoo" IMHO!

My 2 cents and one and only post on this subject :)

7:10 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The post that goes to the issue of the success or failure of this program is chris_d's cost analysis. Yahoo can monetize all they want, or all they can get by the FCC, but the bottom line is, "How many can afford it?".

If I concede logiclamp's position for the sake of arguement and thus my only choice for inclusion in Yahoo is to pay to play, then I will simply forgo Yahoo traffic. Most of my competition will as well. This will leave a rather gaping hole in their index that Joe Surfer cant help but notice. Joe Surfer still has Google.

The #1 reason I dont buy logiclamp's supposition is that this would mean the end of Yahoo as a credible search engine. I cant believe they would be so stupid, greed aside.

<added> percentages nailed it! </added>

7:33 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I agree 100%, I just don't think Yahoo does.
7:43 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Anyways, we should probably put this to discussion to bed at some point. There's well over 500 messages on the subject.

To summarize, I think there was some good discussion even if a lot of disagreement. It is a very important issue I think, as it will determine the democratic nature of the internet itself and not just the salaries and incomes of WebmasterWorld citizens.

How we search will very much determine how we share knowledge, something which has deep philosophical importance for pretty much everything we as a human race do.

And I think Google is right on the money, and they recognize this and they are doing the right job. I have always been a great fan of Yahoo, but I personally believe with the release of SiteMatch they have clearly shown how they're voting on the future - might makes right, and there is no recognizable democracy of information but how much someone is momentarily willing to pay for it.

Some people, of course, think SiteMatch is meaningless, and has no relevancy to the fundamental nature of searching. Perhaps they are right, but I happen to believe that it is the beginning of a very very slippery slope that will hopefully lead to disaster for Yahoo and hopefully not simply a huge step backward for the internet at large.

8:07 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

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"Fact 1: If you have semi-decent backlinks you will be crawled and indexed for free and at least as often as Google crawls you."

On what planet is this a fact? The first part is a hope, that I personally consider likely, but it isn't a fact until it happens at least once. The second part is a lead-pipe certainty to not be true. Google crawls every day. You have to pay Yahoo to get crawled every other day.

Over reaction is a bad thing, but sheer fantasy is no better.

10:01 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps according to above, I was over-reacting a bit. Still, the length of time it takes to get included has got to be pretty high or well you got to be pretty high to want to use SiteMatch.

12:54 pm on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Fact 1: If you have semi-decent backlinks you will be crawled and indexed for free and at least as often as Google crawls you

Then how come it hasn't happened yet? My site which google updates completely at least once a day hasn't been updated in the yahoo database in weeks.

1:32 pm on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Wow, lots of discussion on this subject.

Here's my philosophy:

Adapt quickly to the industry. Yahoo's not going to go away - they're too big. There will be people unhappy at the beginning, then people will get used to it and everything will go on as normal. For people who have been around SEO for a while, we've seen this a thousand times.

SiteMatch is about SPIDERING, not RANKING. It means you can get pages added to the index and refreshed quicker. Pure SEO still needs to take place in order to rank.

My guess is they will be mainly monetizing commercial terms, especially terms where there's $$$$$ For ex, people are making a lot of money from some of the affiliate terms, so now Yahoo can monetize these. These are the ultra competitive terms with a million relevant pages in the index.

They will definitely continue to crawl for free - so much of the web is based on free content. Remember Yahoo wants eyeballs for their other premium services.

Also, it's good to put into perspective that Yahoo is a portal selling many premium services. They are using Search to keep users on their portal, so they will crawl for free to have the most relevant search. Then people will keep coming to the portal and will buy email, games, web services, and any of their other services.

Everybody has different models and situations. I think we all need to make an individual cost / benefit analysis based on our business models and determine whether it's worth it to play, and how much. For example, MakeMeTop may decide to continue paying for many URL's as he knows how to optimize very well for this engine, while others may find it cost effective to only pay for their home page, while yet others may want to include thier product pages. I think we all just need to make our own choices.

2:54 pm on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Site Match is about SPIDERING, not RANKING." - 2_much

I agree. Site Match should be about spidering; however, there seems to be something more to this than spidering.

Because upon submission the page will undergo a quality review. My concern (like others) is that this quality review will influence the ranking algo.

Now in some instances, it would make sense to incorporate the editorial review/checkmark into the ranking algo because Yahoo would have pre-screened the page and given it the green light.

However, the likelihood of a free, spidered page receiving the same check is probably slim to none. So realistically, sites choosing not to participate in the PI program (or other pay programs like Yahoo Directory) would be at a disadvantage.

Personally, I think its brilliant of Yahoo to institute this program. It gives them an opportunity to screen for spam and have the site owner pay for the screening. Of course, this is just conjecture but I'd definitely keep in open eye for such happenings.

This 134 message thread spans 5 pages: 134