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Q. Will Yahoo! Search results favor sites that pay for the Site Match program?
A. Absolutely not. Payment is not for placement or ranking in search results. Our focus is on delivering the highest quality search experience on the web. As a result, all web pages are algorithmically ranked in the results based on their objective relevance to each specific search query in order to ensure the highest quality search experience for users.
I wanted to do a little test to see whether or not this were true or whether the Yahoo! PFI would influence results.
For "Red Widgets" my site's index page ranked 76 on Tuesday. I then submitted to Yahoo! PFI via PositionTech in the afternoon. Wed and Thursday produced the same results - 76th position.
However, this morning my site miraculously appeared in the 11th position in the SERPs on Yahoo! for the exact same search. Either it is an amazing coincidence and that is one hell of an algo change or Yahoo! lied when they said PFI would not influence results. (Just to make sure it was not something on my computer/connection, I called a friend and had him do the search. The site was ranked 10 in his SERPs).
My site was definitely in the index and they said if you are in the index, there is no need to submit as it would not influence you results.
Everyone was skeptical when Yahoo! said PFI would not influence results. But every Yahoo! rep I have talked to since the announcement assured me this would have no influence.
Either they all lied or they are totally ignorant of how the algo works. Regardless, I do not think this is the way it should have been handled. Looksmart had some troubles after they switched to CPC model. Heck, they are basically Adsense affiliates. But at least they were honest. I do not know what is going to happen to Yahoo! but this does not seem like the way to beat out google or gain an overwhelming amount of support, loyalty or trust.
I remember a phrase back from my childhood days that is appropriate for this situation:
"Liar, Liar, pants on fire!"
I understand Yahoo! is testing new algos all of the time. But going from 76th to 11th (and 10th) approximately 72 hours after I submitted for inclusion seems like to much of a coincidence since I have not changed anything on the pages, nor gotten any more links for it.
I would like to see if others have tested this out to confirm whether this has happened to them (or if I am just very lucky).
Your comments BaldGuy fit with this version very well.
If it turns out to be correct, the real loser will end up being Yahoo. In the long run that is certain.
As we say around here, "the truth will out". I personally hope that it is wrong, but I wouldn't stake a wager on it!
Can anyone else confirm this? I was considering taking the site out of SiteMatch program to see if the SERPs would change again.
But I have several sites and most of them are ranking top 10. So I specifically picked this one to test because it was ranking so low. I could understand a change of 3-5 positions as a result of an algo change, but going from 76 to 11 seems a bit much. Let's hope I am wrong.
One of my sites has been in the directory since 1999. It has been steadily dropping down page 1 since Y! made the switch. Now I cant find it in the first 100 results, so I wouldnt bet that the directory has any influence.
You might owe someone an appology. (at least for today) The way things are these days it is very easy to make these assumptions. Corporate greed is rampant, and after all the crappola that has been fed to us from Google, people are justlty a little skeptical of these type claims. Todays changes look like a Yahoo deep crawl however.
Isn't it disingenuous to claim that PFI does not affect the SERPS when it can provide clever webmasters with the ability to get better placement more quickly?
If this theory is correct, then how long will it take before the SERPS are dominated by PFI webmasters that have figured out how to 'optimize' for Yahoo?
Walkman - have you tried looking to the end results to see if there are still that many results reported as found? I just checked, and, I have more listed that what is currently in the google SERP's, when I got near the end the results gradually dwindled away...
Am not sure what on earth is going on but Y has found every single page on my site roughly (1700) pages, but I cannot find the index page for the life of me.
>>You might owe someone an apology
I hope I am wrong and I would certainly owe an apologize to Tim and the other Yahoo! reps.
But I was shocked this morning when I saw these changes. It is hard not to come to this conclusion when I have tracked the results for this particular SERP since Yahoo! changed to it's own index. And this page has never appeared higher then 73. Then 72 hour after I do a PFI, this page goes up to 11.
I also checked another one of my sites (with a similar amount of backlinks and it is also in the Yahoo! directory, but I did not include this in PFI.). It went from 64 to 60 (not as significant of an increase in rank as 76 to 11).
The nice thing about this forum is that we can collectively come to some solutions, but I have not seen anyone else post about what has happened to their pages after doing PFI. Has anyone else done it? If so, have you noticed any differences?
As for some people saying google and Yahoo are the same results, that is vastly different from what I am seeing on our various results. We are in 2 different industries. For one industry we are doing great in google, not so good in Yahoo. And the exact opposite is true for our other industry.
SiteMatch makes sense as to why they are doing it. And if it doesn't influence results, I think it can help their results. However, one problem I have is that I would have to pay per click on results I would not want to rank for (for example, if I rank for a certain result that does not convert, I do not want to have to pay for those visitors).
[edited by: onebaldguy at 6:11 pm (utc) on Mar. 19, 2004]
PFI comes with a flick of a switch which allocates a certain amount of pre-ordained link popularity
How else would a dynamic page (that may be Flash or almost all images) buried deep within a site show in the top rankings above a page that got in for free because an engine found it and included it by following links?
Maybe someone should Ask Jeeves, they seem to have come up with a theory.
2) One page isn't enough to show this is or isn't true. You need multiple pages with PFI and without. Both getting indexed at the same time.
3) If it is true - the party will be over soon. It won't take much for a place like Consumer Reports to do a test on this (it is a little beyond my patience to test).
4) My suggestion for anyone wanting to run such a test is to SSI the date in the title. Pick X pages (AT RANDOM - NOT YOUR RANDOM BUT USING A COMPUTER) and do PFI and the rest not PFI.
5) You have to have the same date showing in the title for all pages and then you can draw some real conclusions.
SAME DATE + RANDOM PAGES
Otherwise we are just guessing.
Are we going to have to see these sort of posts every time Yahoo updates? Sheesh. Search results change drastically over over the place, but one site movement brings out the black helicopters.
"Yahoo PFI does appear to influence results" = "Results do change on Thursdays" = "Wearing red underwear influences the results"
Yahoo is in the middle of a update. Things will continue to fluctuate. Plus, keep in mind that your pages were just crawled are "fresh". Fresh content may be given a boost in the serps.
I tend to believe that PFI listings get a boost though. When I spoke with an Inktomi salesperson a while back about getting in on the XML feed thing, he assured me in every way he could without directly saying so that their team would work with my team to ensure that we got the clicks we needed for our clients. Yahoo! has to be doing the same thing - giving out tips and advice on how to make sure your pay-for-inclusion-per-click pages get the clicks so that they can get the cash.
The second item is that yes, as some posters mentioned, Yahoo! has been rolling out and testing software changes and making adjustments in the scoring algorithms. The goal is, of course, to continue to improve the relevance of our search results. For some, the effect of these algo changes on their rankings will be small. In a few cases the change in rankings may be more dramatic. We'll continue to adjust the algos and our editorial process to reach our goal of providing the most relevant search results to users.
I know we've said it before, but just to reiterate. we do treat the crawled and the Site Match sites the same when it comes to relevance.
They do indeed...their pants are not on fire. In fact on the old Inktomi (PT) program I have evidence to show that PFI damaged your positions, don't have that for the new program (yet).
Yahoo seem to be doing the right and honorable thing. Free crawl is just as good as PFI, no benefit either way....other than one is free of course :)