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Questions for Yahoo!

Round them up and post them here.



9:01 pm on Mar 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been fortunate to have several Yahoo employees spending time answering questions about the new Yahoo Search.

This level of participation in a webmaster forum from a public search company is truly unprecedented, and is something we definitely would like to continue. However, the shear volume of questions and responses we’ve received has created some threads that have become quite difficult to follow.

So, in order to try and make things a bit easier to follow, I think now would be a good time to move to a Q & A similar to the format that we’ve used in the past in the Google forum.

Here’s how it will work:

Questions will be posted in this thread. We will let this thread run for the next few days. Once we have a solid list of quality questions, this thread will be locked. If/when someone from Yahoo Search decides to respond to a question from this thread, we will split off that particular Q&A into its own thread. Any follow-up questions or discussions will take place in the new thread. Doing this will help us keep everything on-topic.

With that in mind, here are some ground rules:

1. Keep the questions focused on Yahoo Search’s products and services. (No asking Tim what his favorite color is)

2. Keep the questions short and sweet. (You will have the opportunity to get long-winded in any follow-up discussions).

3. No specific site information. (We are not the Yahoo help desk or spam police)

4. Keep the tone positive and professional. (All rants will be nuked)

5. Read the other questions before you post yours. (I hate spending time deleting duplicates).

And finally, please keep in mind that just because you ask, doesn’t mean you will get an answer. There are obviously many questions that Yahoo can’t/won’t answer. And we (Mods/Admins) have no input or control regarding which questions, if any, they choose to answer.



4:13 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yahoo Mike said:
Yahoo!'s mission is to deliver the highest quality search experience. If we aren't including good sites or artificially boosting our own properties, we won't deliver on our mission and people won't want to use Yahoo! That's not something we're going to let happen.

Does Yahoo! really believe that people will want to use the Yahoo! search engine when users can't find sites that they know to exist?

Can you please define 'good sites'?

I won't even go into the 'artificially boosting our own properties' statement. That's just too spooky for words.

One last question.

The company I own spends approximately $30,000 per month with Overture and an additional $5000 per month with Yahoo! (banners). I am also evaluating a proposal to increase the banner spend to $15,000 per month. Should I continue to spend nearly $500,000 per year with Yahoo! even though Yahoo! won't tell me why they have blacklisted one of my primary properties or should I re-evaluate my advertising budget and spend the money with companies who view me as a partner instead of an adversary?


4:57 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

should I re-evaluate my advertising budget and spend the money with companies who view me as a partner instead of an adversary?



4:59 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If it looks like Google you're still banned

because they are still serving some old google serps. Only real way to determine a ban i believe is to see if slurp is only pulling your robots.txt and then leaving.


5:06 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A question for Yahoo - Has Yahoo pulled the plug on the Inktomi PFI listings already? Can't find any of my PFI this morning anywhere.


11:36 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I have other sites linking to me through redirects. When I do a search for my index page title, 6 different redirects to my site appear in the first 10 results. I see my title and description but the redirect URL - all the redirect URLs are different. Clicking on the link goes to my site.

Meanwhile my site is buried many pages down.

1. Does Y! think that the redirect is actually the original page and that mine is duplicate content spam?

2. Will this be address with the algo? When?



11:40 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Has Yahoo pulled the plug on the Inktomi PFI listings already?

I was wondering the same thing. The one page I had in PFI is gone now too. I noticed Y! was running what looked like the current Google result for awhile last night (US). Maybe they pulled them out then?



11:41 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I do not know if it´s correct but seems strange to me.

early January, I wrote Inktomi.

28/2 I wrote webmasterworldfeedback@yahoo.com
12/3 got answer: Your site is blocked from inclusion in the Yahoo! index, were they asked please stay tuned, we´re looking into an review process.

first 15 days of march, Tim posted this adress to appeal: reportsearchspam@yahoo-inc.com
I didn´t write until 23/3 though I already written and ask in this forum if supposed to write this adress as well, time went by and no answer, so appealed as well 23/3 at reportsearchspam@yahoo-inc.com

19/3 members said resolution favoured, they back in serps.
22/3 slurp stopped spider my robots.txt, until that date several times per day.
1/4 an moderator said this: In my case, the site in my profile had an old Ink penalty, I contacted Yahoo, and it's now back in the database and getting traffic from Yahoo and MSN.
1/4 Tim: HelenP, Your site has been looked into and you will be back in the serps in the near future,
6/4 slurps starts to spider my robots.txt again just as before, read it and leave.

So really my question is: if my site site don´t get spidered how to be in serps?
I do understand that updating of serps will be when site is spidered and index is updated, but don´t understand why slurp keeps reading only my robots.txt, been 2 weeks since my penalty was lifted.
It´s hard to be patient, especially when you have been on this for months.


5:47 am on Apr 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I keep reading about how any specific answers from yahoo would be considered "gaming the system" or whatever. I was just wondering what if a editor could give you the exact number of the guideline(s) that your site has been penalized for. How would a spammer be able to game the system from this info? I mean the editor wouldnt even have to give specifics of what exactly to change, just that guideline #2 & #4 have been breached and suggest to fix them (minus the details on how to fix). Would this be helpful to us all who got crunched by Yahoo so that we can understand how to fit into their guidelines better? I mean it really is too vague to give some general guideline list and say it could be all of them or maybe just 1 that caused the penalty...


8:50 am on Apr 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

on the one hand they say 'here are the guidlines', on the other 'if we tell you what you did wrong you will game the system'. First of all i dont understand what they mean by gaming their system. Do you? Second they are admitting their guidelines are meaningless since if these covered all bases youd have all you needed to know right there.


8:09 pm on Apr 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am starting to think there are very few "human" handles on this system - I think it is probably mostly computer driven - I thought I was packing a penalty, then I thought no, then I didn't know, then my INK PFI all disappeared yesterday - on all INK databases, now I am seening frequent hits on the serps but I can't see where they are coming from when I try to track back, maybe every Yahoo data base is different - how many do they have anyway?


1:55 am on Apr 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yahoo Mike said:
"Yahoo!'s mission is to deliver the highest quality search experience."
Mike, that is the mission of most Se's, what single thing seperates Yahoo from the rest.


7:16 am on Apr 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

what single thing seperates Yahoo from the rest.

The ability to not have to follow the same guidelines you ban your competition for being outside of. The ability to move the goalposts while you dont need to actually score yourself. The ability to have your own subdomain keyword stuffed links at the top of every serps.


9:00 am on Apr 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

According to Yahoo Mike
If you used Site Match, your reseller may offer services and advice on what caused your site to violate the content guidelines and what changes you may need to make.

I had a domain which Yahoo penalized. I then submitted through Site Match (without changing anything), but the reseller didn't raised any objection and the site was included and it ranks last for it's own domain name.

Why is a site, which is deemed objectionable for Yahoo is being added and not objected at the time of inclusion so that the site owner can remove things which are not considered acceptable and resubmit?

What should I do in this particular scenario?


12:20 pm on Apr 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>I had a domain which Yahoo penalized

How do you know it was penalized? It could be it just ranks poorly. Participating in Site Match won't help ranking.


2:37 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I know because it was ranking very well before it was dropped and now doesn't even appear on its domain name. Then I tried Site Match, and expected to be pointed out about the problem my site had, but it was included and now ranks LAST on its own name.


3:33 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yahoo - please answer this:

When using the site: command at Yahoo then Google, the results are almost identical.

I have been watching this now since Yahoo left Google and I gotta tell you the similarites are just to close to be totally independant.

What is the REAL deal?

What relationship between Yahoo and Google still exists?


4:01 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


You mentioned that you are working on a process for webmasters who do not know that they are in violation of the guidelines (I didn't know how I was in violation, but later found out that our site had some problems - we made the corrections and submitted a reinclusion request). Could you describe any proposed process and how it might work?



5:48 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I have already (last 2 - 3 days) had one site that was in Inktomi PFI (through Position Tech) dropped from its position of being on the first page for it's main keyword. It now shows up last for an exact phrase search of it's title. The index page as well as many interior pages show when searched for 'site:www.example.com'. This site has also been in the Yahoo directory for some time. It has a large number of one-way, quality inbound links.

Am I being penalized for not converting from Inktomi PFI to Site Match? Will this phenomenom reverse itself over time or do I have reason for concern? Do I need to do a free submit now or will the links/directory listing do the job?

Any clarification would help.



10:33 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

How can I find out if a page/site is having technical problems or is penalized?

This site (www.mysite.de) is in Yahoo's directory and is spidered frequently. However, even when searching for the domain (company) name the page isn't shown (just an inner page at the end of the results).

The reason why there might be technical problems could be that years ago two domains (de and com) pointing to the same (German) content. However, since more than a year the com domain have different (English) content. To overcome this problem I already blocked all spiders from the com domain. Interestingly, the com domain is still shown in the results (just title and URL) but with a German title which is years old. (This title is the same as the one in the Yahoo directory for the de domain. However, all links in the directory point to our German de domain. We changed these links from the com to the de domain in the directory two years ago.) Moreover, an URL is displayed in the results which doesn't exist on the com domain but on the de domain.

I already wrote an E-Mail to Inktomi and Yahoo to clarify the situation. I got a standard reply from Inktomi after a month while I didn't receive a response from Yahoo.


9:01 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I work with a few nationwide, fully licensed in all 50 states, completely legitimate pharmacies and have not been able to get into the directory obviously. Is there any system in place of verification of credentials to allow my clients in the directory? If not, what is Yahoo's plan or timeline on getting something like this in place?


6:49 am on Apr 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


1. What is the status on the problem concerning redirects? I still have a redirect to my site (Overture, no less) ranking highly while my actual site sits at the bottom. Is this causing my actual site to not rank as well?

2. To restate an earlier question not answered: A site was in the Inktomi database (via PositionTech PFI) and ranked well. In the past week it is now at the bottom of Y! (did not opt for Site Match). Should that site be crawled and included if it has good inbound links? Why did it go to the bottom instead of just disappearing? Is this some sort of penalty?

Thanks in advance,



6:52 am on Apr 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Mike

If all pages in a site are listed in Yahoo but the index page only is missing completely does this imply a ban only or could there be other reasons?



8:25 am on Apr 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

why are you saying some reciprocal links are ok but not too many? How did you come up with that idea? Based on what criteria? So 99 is fine 100 is not? How can you define the limit? A new site can have a few in the first month thats fine, but a site up for 5 year and collecting a few monthly now has a lot and is banned? Sorry but dont see the logic. Either its ok or it isnt. So you say some is ok but wont tell us how many? So if a site removes half of its outbound reciprocals now it will be ok? Or it wont because you work on numbers and not precentages? Does content actually count for anything these days? Wouldnt you be better off on focusing on finding content rather than your war on your personal redefinition of spam? Oh well. Tim wil tell. Sorry i mean TIME wil tell.


3:45 pm on Apr 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It was a good thread. Lets winder 'er down here in a few days and more on.


4:10 pm on Apr 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Your point is good:

"A new site can have a few in the first month thats fine, but a site up for 5 year and collecting a few monthly now has a lot and is banned?"


4:36 pm on Apr 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yahoo's new search algo is screwed up.

The most successful sites in a commercial industry are doomed to trigger Yahoo's algo as these sites have been around for a long time, have many cross links, have often times branched out and created other sites related to their main site.

The most successfull and authoritative site in my industry just got penalized by Yahoo.

Its a huge joke. Yahoo is trying too dictate how legitimate businesses should operate online. Since when is there anything wrong with segmenting your business into different targeted sites and cross linking them?

Moreover, if you have been successful online and the result is more companies in your industry have asked for reciprocal links... since when does this rise to the level of trying to game the search engines.

Yahoo's search results and penalties are way out of control.

I respect Tim and Mike and appreciate their feedback and guidance though the review process doesnt work.

Yahoo's feeble algo and their attempt to dictate how online business should be run will not survive the natural impetus of online businesses to expand by utilizing strategic online relationships and creating new sites to promote specific categories of products.

In fact Yahoo does this themselves. It's disgusting that they penalize others for doing what Yahoo itself does more aggresively than any other online business.


6:15 pm on Apr 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

they say:
reciprocal links are gaming our system.

man with brain in head says:
those TRULY gaming Yahoo are creating subdomain directories or placing links from other sites than they are asking for the link to. In other words creating the illusion of non-reciprocal links.

innocent webmasters swapping links from their genuine sites are banned for gaming, the true gamers flourish in the new Yahoo.

when will you start banning for cheating rather than simply not being the right look and structure for Yahoo.

why are bans defended on the basis of new guidelines. Having imported INK penalties you are justifying this on the basis of guidelines that werent even in operation at the time of being penalised.


8:52 pm on Apr 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>It was a good thread. Lets winder 'er down

I agree. We now resume our regular programming....

This 148 message thread spans 5 pages: 148

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