Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: martinibuster

Message Too Old, No Replies

Yahoo What gives? How do you tell if your penalized?



7:50 pm on Mar 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Ever since the drop of yahoo using google we have been trying to figure out why we arnt listed in yahoo's database.

Our site has been around for almost 6+ years and has always had a #1 ranking in google for various keywords. Our site doesnt spam, nor does it have any special tricks to get better listings.. our site is a single domain name.

anyhow we only have seen yahoo slurp come by once and compaired to other sites we have which slurp visits daily we are getting a bit worried if we have been penalized, or banned from yahoo..

unfortunally we cant find a link or an email to see if this is the case.



9:41 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You know, I was laying in bed thinking about this last night, and I came to a conclusion. If Yahoo! applied the "penalty" factors that we have been discussing to invent penalties on innocent (or even not so innocent) sites... They'd have to ban themselves.

1. Lack of meaningful original unique content. (EVERYTHING they have comes from someone elses site)
2. Mirror sites. (US, UK, Canada, etc)
3. Massive cross linking (links from search results to directory results and vice versa, not to mention between finance.yahoo.com, shopping.yahoo.com, etc)
4. Loaded with "sponsored" affiliate ads on EVERY page. (they get paid for each clickthru so that makes them an affiliate).
5. Not necessarily in Yahoo!'s case but some other search engines provide misleading links with PAID advertising masquerading as "search results".

So the question is... where does one draw the line between a "spam" site and a search engine?!
To add onto what someone mentioned, how would a totally affiliate shopping site, be any different than shopping.yahoo.com or ebay, both of which are considered NOT spam?

Someone once said "we tend to despise most in others what we recognize of ourselves."


9:54 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


I'm not talking about design quality, I'm talking about the quality and quantity of your actual content. The message we seem to be getting from Yahoo is that they expect you to have lots of high quality content if you're going to have affiliate links.

I haven't seen your site yet. I'll check it out and see if this seems to apply to you. I think it will be different for everyone.


10:07 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

you really put all in the same bag, except one..........


11:01 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Just got a note from webmasterworldfeedback@yahoo.com (after I wrote a second time since they didn't respond the first time). It specifically confirms that our domain DOES have a penalty and goes on to say that they are "CONSIDERING" building a "formal" appeals process in the coming "MONTHS". (emphasis mine) I thought that was why Tim asked us to write in the first place. So no improvement for MONTHS I guess.
Obviously they're not stupid. They bought Inktomi for a very good reason... another revenue stream scam through reviewing banned sites (i.e. fixing their own mistakes)! Wanna bet it'll be another $299 review with no guarantees like before with directory inclusion? And then what? If you don't renew in a year, they re-ban your previously un-banned site? What a scam! Sounds like they've recognized another opportunity to say "Get out your wallet and bend over for us".
Looks like time to just cut loses and let ourselves be forced to transfer all to a new domain like the TRUE bad boys.
Anyone know if a penalty gets transferred when you use a 301 redirect? :-)


11:06 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Just got a note from webmasterworldfeedback@yahoo.com (after I wrote a second time since they didn't respond the first time).:

Didnīt they say what kind of penalty and why?


11:09 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Considering the concerns over World Wide Yahoos, here's the following (something many of us know already):

Yahoo Cuts Google Search in Asia-Pacific Network

Note: there's also this on that page which might be of interest to some around here.

The Search Engine Journal is working with the Kelsey Group to promote a new Paid Search Survey. Itīs a very important study and if you buy pay per click keywords on any paid search advertising sites, please take the quick survey. Much Thanks.


11:39 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi Mike Penalized ;),
I thought Tim was going to unban the ones caught by mistake too. Personally, at this point I wouldn't mind paying $300 a year to be reviewed /included ....no one to make the check to.

I e-mailed them again and I'm bracing for the bad news. I guess the previous e-mail must've been lost in some filter somewhere.


2:02 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Someone from Yahoo wrote back to tell me that the site in my profile was not included in the new Yahoo search because it was set up for link inflation purposes (!). It's the website for a meditation center which is used to provide information on its classes!

They sent me this link:

I'm not one bit impressed with the review service they've set up or with how they're dealing with webmasters. Lots of promises, nothing real.

And if the website for a non-profit meditation center with information on meditation and their classes isn't considered unique content, then I wonder what is?


2:07 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I didn't even see any links to other sites? all the links seem to be to your own pages minus those on resources. Those are relevant. I don't get it. Maybe the conspiracy theorists :) are right...


2:43 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

2_much, That's a handome site if I do say so.

I like the layout and the color scheme. As for why it was penalised, I can't see a thing wrong with it.


3:14 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This is the reason Tim and his bunch need to abandon this manual review process. As I said a while back they're just going to "fine tooth" these banned sites and "rubber stamp" what Inktomi did. This guarantees your banned now and in the future.

Start from scratch and develop some decent spam filters like other search engines. But you can't because a great amount of Yahoo paid content is pure spam. Not to mention a lot of the free content. Admit the fact Inktomi's primary spam filters were just competitors reporting competitors. The reason you want a manual review is nobody at Inktomi ever kept track of who was being eliminated and why. It was done subjectively.

But I'm talking to myself. Nobody at Yahoo intends to do anything, they've dissappeared.


3:24 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

They have chosen not to index my site apparently.

"If Yahoo!Slurp fetches your robots.txt and nothing else, either your robots.txt is blocking us or we have decided not to index your site. In this case it is the latter. We are considering an appeals process, and appreciate your patience while we look at this option. Having the same domain name on both .net and .com is not a problem; we recommend that you 301 the less used one and point it to the primary one."

nothing I can do or say but wait. What's amazing is that my site looks like a Boy Scout one compared to their top 20 list on my keywords. Oh well. I tried


3:27 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well folks, I myself have finally heard from Yahoo as well.

What the fella has said is that I'm not blocked and I'm indexed. (errrr, I already knew that one)

An email later after I asked whether he actually knew or not? 'he responded to say that there were NO Ranking Penalties on my sites, but it seemed strange that I was ranking pretty low on their results. He said he'd check with others there (I'll be very surprised and yet very impressed if he actually gets back to me with another response)

Thing is, I'm way below just "low"...I'm at the very bottom.


3:33 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I'm at the very bottom"
does Slurp stop at the robots.txt?

At least he was nice enough to respond...I got mine hours after e-mailing (the first e-mail was lost I guess)


3:58 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Bingo Outland888, I've been thinking exactly the same thing, as far as no one ever kept track of the real reasons and it was competitors, etc.

Nope, not a clue on the reason. I had mentioned the fact that I had paid for inclusion with Inktomi but still was not showing up and that Positiontech recently responded that "there was a problem at Ink/Yahoo and they were working on it". In reference to this the Yahoo Dude simply said: "using paid inclusion would not impact this, since we do not take that into account when reviewing sites." That was pretty much it. It was from someone named Jon.

I like that page they linked you to
" [we do not like...]
-Pages dedicated to directing the user to another page
-Pages that have substantially the same content as other pages "
So I guess by the word of the law that means every SE directory page and search result page on Yahoo and every other SE would NEED TO BE BANNED! :-)

I wouldn't mind paying that much either if I thought I could actually trust them. Forget the fact that it's THEIR database which was broke in the first place, considering they added many of our pages without asking, just fine to their directory over the years for free, and then just wipe them all out over night based on some bad advice from Inktomi (who came up with a stupid name like that anyway? There's no INK on the net!). Based on their past record, as was just mentioned, what's to stop them from taking a 30 second look, pointing out one little thing on one page, that everyone else in their index is doing too, and dismissing it with that as a reason. I think if they did that to just about every page in the index, they could find SOME reason to ban every single domain on the web. It's just too darn subjective. Maybe if they allowed you to successfully justify it by pointing out one other site in their approved index doing the same exact thing, it would be a breeze to pass. It's all obviously a confidence game and my confidence in them is awfully low at this point. Now on the other hand, if I could pay to submit my competitors' site which wasn't yet banned we might have something here...
Their buddies down the hall at Overture have been doing the same thing with the same attitude. We had keywords there for years, from the beginning when they couldn't get anyone else to bid even at .01, we were there and later grandfathered in at .05. Suddenly they start sending us one e-mail after the other about how SUDDENLY we're not qualified to bid on this keyword and that, and in MOST CASES THEIR REASON IS ENTIRELY NOT TRUE!. Their "support" person simply needed to fulfill their quota for the day or something. Pointing this out to them only gets you a form letter back. In one case, early on, I resubmitted the exact link and text as a new keyword and they happily accepted it back! I laughed all day. Personally I don't have time to re-evaluate MY marketing campaign every time one of their boobies has a hissy fit, so I've stopped adding keywords. When they run out of ones to disqualify us for, we'll be done spending money with them and spend it elsewhere. And I tell them that every time I get one of those e-mails. the other PPCs bring us tons more traffic and they're not nearly so d@mn picky.

Good Night


4:27 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

we recommend that you 301 the less used one and point it to the primary one.

Except, they don't handle 301's very well. I have 2 listings in the top 20. One is a very old URL that is 301'd. The cache of both listings is the same, although the URLs are different.

I have just not been very impressed with this whole rollout. Reading this thread confirms my disappointment. With so much human review it suggests that Y can not break away from their roots in a human edited directory model. That can only become cumbersome, inefficient, time consuming and expensive.



6:08 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Statements made by Yahoo in the past few weeks.

True or False?

1. We are opening up lines of communcation between Yahoo and webmasters.

Answer: False
It would be a radical move if Yahoo did this and one that would be welcomed by all webmasters. Yahoo's new search is far from radical and the lines of communication that are open, travel one way - from webmasters to Yahoo.

2. Our primary goal is to discover and include all content on the web through our free web crawling process.

Answer: False
Yahoo has already exluded a substantial amount of relevant, quality content. It is not possible to discover all if they decide up front what is and what is not discoverable.

3. Site Match program addresses the need for greater interaction between sites and the search engine by providing a value-added service that focuses on providing a clearer, more consistent way to interact with Yahoo! Search Technology

Answer: False
Yahoo uses the term "interract" to mean, you will pay us more money. The value being added is to Yahoo's bottom line.

4. Site Match delivers Higher quality search results for users, especially by reducing the amount of search spam.

Answer: False
Yahoo has combined indexes that were never very good at determing what is and isnt spam. Site Match doesnt have any affect on the large number of "spam" sites that show up on Yahoo searches.

5. It’s likely that we already have your web pages in the regular crawl, and if we don’t yet, then we are working on getting them in over time

Answer: False
Unless your site is new, if it isnt showing up in Yahoo, it isnt going to show up in Yahoo's search results.

6. The search engines operated by the companies we acquired, including Inktomi, will no longer power our search results.

Answer: False
Yahoo is a conglomeration of old search indexes. There is very little evidence that Yahoo has added much value to the quality of results.


10:07 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Finally I got an answer, on the second I wrote the other day, and I did tell that all small posible not good content is fixed, as avoid robots to spider similar pages etc, and for years did sign in an linkfarm, but went out for years ago.

And in fact they donīt know why a site is penalized.
This is their answer:

Your site is blocked from inclusion in the Yahoo! index (probably as a result of the past practices that you have mentioned below). We appreciate your work to improve the site and remove any past spam activity; and are currently considering offering an appeal process. We appreciate your patience while we look into this option, please stay tuned.


11:13 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Your site is blocked from inclusion in the Yahoo! index (probably as a result of the past practices that you have mentioned below).

note: 'probably'

conclusion. They have a list of blocked domains and they have no idea why those domains were blocked. This list is not new but most probably imported from Inktomi and possibly others. This fresh new search technology is as stale as the bread i threw out 5 years ago. So, if someone at some point poorly judged your site as spam or poor quality you are banned from the "fresh" index. That ban have may been done on the basis of sharing an ip with a banned site. Incredible. They are admitting their algo cannot handle quailty issues. They are saying that though their new (?) algo determines your site should be listed prominently they believe it shouldnt. Then this means the algo is already brocken. They are using an algo they cant rely on to remove spam. Wow.


11:31 am on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

soapystar: This list is not new but most probably imported from Inktomi and possibly others.

not probably imported from Inktomi, itīs must be imported from Inktomi, though I discovered the problem I had with Inktomi reading only robots.txt from the 13/1 2004, date when I got an program to read the weblog, thats was before yahoo bought Inktomi I think?

Just seing the poor stats my host has, there I can see spiders but not files viewed, and can see that fore november and december, Inktomi didnīt spider me at all, and started to heavily read my robots.txt on january 13.

Important, in November I changed host, maybe I am blocked for charing same IP as spammers?


2:42 pm on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

Lots of promises, nothing real.

Yes unfortunately this seems to sum up Y's approach so far. It's as if they believed they could just talk their way into good relationships with webmasters.

Saying one thing and doing another; saying things we can see with our own eyes are not accurate ... these are good ways to deepen the feelings of mistrust that were ported over to Y from INK at the same time the db and misapplied penalties were ported over.

I welcome the more competitive landscape. What we need from Y now: more facts, more straight talk, less spin ... on all fronts.

Unfortunately, part of their communication problem may be that many aspects of their free and paid search programs (that existed without much scrutiny in the darkness over at INK) don't stand up to scrutiny in the bright light. So what do they do?: Defend the indefensible...or scramble to morph into something more straight up and useful.

My guess is that they started by selling and defending, and now they are scrambling.

Strikes me as being similar to what happens when a state senator or governor decides to run for president. They're often caught off guard by the higher standards of quality expected of them ... even though they shouldn't be.


4:03 pm on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Why hasnt Yahoo dealt with this problem?

They have the resources to easily put up a group responsible for this issue. It would take a couple of days to do this.

If they charged a fee to review a site, they could even make a profit or at a minimum cover the cost of setting this up.

Why dont they? The problem may be larger than we know about.


4:21 pm on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yahoo is scaring webmasters away from paid inclusion programs.

Whether they intended to or not, the fact that sites were banned right off in a "fresh" search results and many of these sites had used Ink, has led many webmasters to conclud that once you pay, and stop paying at some point, you will never get into the natural results.

It doesnt matter so much whether this is the real cause of not getting into Y results.

The recurring theme being communicated is pay, be prepared to not have your site in the natural results when you stop.

This could have huge implications for the potential revenue that Y generates in the new paid program.


8:49 pm on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>Yahoo is scaring webmasters away from paid inclusion programs.

Abolutely. I was planning on investing in two programs but backed off completely because of Poisontech and Yahoo troubles.

I was a heavy user of the PFI at one time. But this shiftover of questionable penalties from Ink to Yahoo and then Yahoo claiming its a whole new database is bogus. I speculated a very long time ago what would happen if I quit paying some of these resellers. I'm finding out and paying dearly now.

This greedy Yahoo bunch is quickly wrecking everybody's ability to make money on the Internet, except their own. These Yahoo fellows are going to destroy the Internet for atleast 2 years until competitors arise. They'll totally wreck AV and All the Web next with their attempts to corner and monopolize the search market.


9:16 pm on Mar 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"This greedy Yahoo bunch is quickly wrecking everybody's ability to make money on the Internet,"

I don't know that I would go that far...they are trying to make money just like everybody else. You can't blame them for wanting to make money. They are a business, that's what they do.

But I agree that site match is a somewhat dangerous program. There are so many reports of PFI pages getting dropped and banned in Inktomi immediately following PFI, that it's unnerving.

I'm not necessarily opposed to site match completely, but I don't know how any resposible webmaster or SE specialist could justify putting a site into Yahoo's PFI. That's a slippery (and dangerous) slope to go down unless you are prepared to deal with obliteration in Yahoo.

I was not hit with any of the PFI penalties, but I too have held off doing anything with site match because of all of the PT/Inktomi problems and the reports from webmasters around the web regarding this.


12:29 am on Mar 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What scares me the most is that they have automatic filters and old penalties being applied to fresh, relevant sites and editors responding to questions without getting accurate data.

In my case with the meditation site, the editor said I was building additional sites to inflate my link popularity and I should put them all on one domain. I help out meditation centers in different states, all with their own programs, legal status, and organization. There is nothing that isn't unique about each of the domains, from the content to the design to the classes, etc.

So not only did they make a mistake by banning the site, the editor then entered in dialogue with me without having any evidence and replying with comments that made no sense. Then I didn't hear back after I pointed out the obvious.

It's really too bad.


12:37 am on Mar 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

But they gave you an reason....to me they said properbly....that means they donīt have a clue way, there is no special code for diferents penaltys, so they must guess I think.


2:54 am on Mar 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>I don't know that I would go that far...they are trying to make money just like everybody else. You can't blame them for wanting to make money. They are a business, that's what they do.

Can't agree with that. Even though everybody wants to make money it's the way you make it. Forum after forum I look at people seem to think this Site Match program will make money for Yahoo but is either to costly for themselves or of questionable value. Add to that dubious penalties, practices, and tactics of previous Ink resellers and you have a company saying you can make us money but who cares about you. You can't pursue strictly your own goals in business, with a wanton disregard for customers, and have other people look after you in the long run.

Personally I would be working pronto to correct the penalty situations Inktomi created. Yahoo's credibility selling a new program with a past one loaded with disputed integrity doesn't seem to be passing muster.


3:14 am on Mar 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

2 Much your situation is why I have been opposed to manual review of sites since the beginning. I personally think 90% of sites on the Internet would fail a manual review. I see one site in my area under a major major keyword with 16 of the top 20 sites. That says to me there is little if any filtering going on to begin with.

With a manual review they are fishing because they don't have adequate records to begin with. For legal purposes they should already. Show them a site that is penalized and somebody to warrant his job will come up with a reason for the penalty. Is anybody going to admit to an error that was costing you money for no reason at all? Except for a few sites its a lose lose situation all around.


6:05 am on Mar 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You know i never meant to stir alot of stuff with this topic, I did feel that with the movement of yahoo to use its own or bought technology to at least say something about sites that I Know personally have been listed in google for years at #1 with out any tricks. I have tried to email the email given in this thread with out any luck..

IM not gonna speculate as to why we arnt showing up, as far as i know we do things by the books, BUT to not get any answer or even a note saying we are looking into the issue is pretty distrubing.. I KNOW their are growing pains but Yahoo has been around for quite a long time..

we dont use affiliate links
our site uses asp if that is an issue, but shouldnt cause when its rendered it looks like plain htm.

our domain name is a popular keyword and our sites content reflects this with out any trickery..

anyhow.. i see alot of people posting to this but has this done any good?

This 98 message thread spans 4 pages: 98

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month