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SiteMatch Approval Won't Remove Penalty.

I was approved for Site Match and STILL have the dreaded Ink penalty.



12:28 am on Apr 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well guys it seems like even if you pass the editorial review with Site Match (which according to Yahoo insures that the site you submit is of high quality,) if you had the Ink death penalty where you site is indexed but demoted to the very bottom of the search results you still WILL NOT get the penalty lifted.

Either that or the President and Chief Executive Officer of Positiontech doesn't know what he is talking about and they are one of the Site Match program's most recognized resellers if not THE most.

It all started back in December when I renewed my Inktomi PFI pages through Positiontech. Before I was getting loads of traffic and a week or two later it all dried up to absolutely zero visitors a day.

Traffic from google, altavista, fast, and other engines stayed the same. Inktomi supplied engines like MSN were the only ones affected.

I follow all the guidelines and have never participated in link farms, hidden text, cloaking, etc. and I have always owned this domain.

When Yahoo started using Inktomi and their own spider it seemed that the same penalties carried over.

After seeing Tim from Yahoo's post that the Site Match program reviews sites first to insure that they are of high quality and explicitly stating that if your site passes the review then you will have the penalty lifted, I applied for Site Match on 3/30/04 because I knew I had done nothing wrong.

Sure enough, site was approved by Site Match on 4/5/04 and then indexed on 4/8/04 but still apparently has the penalty and it has now been three weeks and counting since I first submitted it.

No one at Positiontech customer support can figure out why it was even penalized in the first place. In fact, the site match editorial quality team gave it's approval, 3 different customer support people at Positiontech looked it over and found nothing wrong with it, and the President of positiontech himself pored over the site and could find nothing wrong.

It's just a little hobby site in a noncompetitive industry but it can't even been found for it's title in quotes until the last listing.

Why would Yahoo's representatives come here on Webmasterworld and tell us to submit a nonrefundable fee to clear the penalty if you are approved for Site Match and then it not happen at all? I talked to HelenP whose site Tim said in a post here at WW that the penalty had been removed but the penalty is still on HelenP's site too.

After wasting my money yet again with Yahoo/Overture/Inktomi it seems like there is more and more evidence that what Yahoo says and what Yahoo does are two totally different things.


11:38 am on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Let's keep in mind that most of us here (and the ones who are MOST frustrated) are the ones who have been affected by Yahoo's duplicate penalty where their spider thinks your site is a duplicate when other sites link to yours with nonstandard html code or redirects or fails to decipher the true original when other sites copy your content.

From what I understand, this is NOT a manually or editorially applied penalty, which is why approval by any editorial team like SiteMatch won't help you at all.

In fact, this problem is purely technical and appplied by the spider and Yahoo has admitted they have a problem with redirects and how they are determining which site is the original.

By the way, I STILL have the problem since I posted this thread over a month ago, contacted Yahoo, and received a reply that there was nothing wrong with my site and that the problem would be corrected. Not to mention the problem dates all the way back to December (5 months ago) and I applied (and was approved) for SiteMatch way back in March. I contacted Yahoo again and now they tell me it will be 2 or 3 weeks.

While i credit yahoo for being responsive (Tim especially), I have seen ZERO results so far and that's just the bottom line. I shudder to think how much worse it will be than this when M$ enters the fray with their search engine.


12:59 pm on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

contentsiteguy, thanks for that.


5:23 pm on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Let's keep in mind that Microsoft is very likely keeping a keen eye on the happenings in this forum as they develop their own search technology.

Microsoft will learn what is right to do by Google and what is wrong to do by Yahoo, just by reading these forums.


8:16 pm on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well for what its worth, Google is still beating the pants off Yahoo. If they can sort the problems being highlighted here then perhaps the tide will change but I remain sceptical. Certainly for the moment, Site Match is not worth considering with so many breakdowns/holes in the chain of command.


12:23 am on May 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

And so I'll ask once again:

I'll ask once again, has anyone had a BONAFIDE Inktomi
penalty removed via Sitematch or other "non sitematch" route since Yahoo Ink inception?


2:18 am on May 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I guess many are realising that Yahoo search is a crap and their only goal is to squeeze out as much money as they can from webmasters.

Google said "let's make the best search engine and hope we will get paid"

Yahoo said "let's make a search engine that can make us as much money as possible"

I've been using Google and submitting pages since 1998. Through good and bad, they are on top, as a search engine and as a money maker.

hedd gwynfor

1:16 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So does a site get penalised for having a domain name point to a folder? i.e.

Our main domain (made up domains used as an example) www.mydomain.com is the corporate site.

we then have folders say

www.mydomain.com/shoes (with a new domain pointing to it www.shoes.com)


www.mydomain.com/shirts (with a new domain pointing to it www.shirts.com)

Is this fine, or will Yahoo ban you because content on www.mydomain.com/shirts and www.shirts.com is exactly the same?

All of my domains have been approved by Site Match, but they are all banned from the Yahho network)


3:29 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

yup, thats identical content.

Wired Suzanne

3:43 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Webmasters are looking for the golden key to super fitted, ever top ranking domains. Fair enough. But when our sites get downgraded because of some irregularity within the syntax or improper cross linking, and this leads to direct financial loss I do question the yahoo business model. After all as a commercial site I am interested in a fair, professional presentation of my ad.

So following the yahoo defense, yet seeing daily evidence of spam that works, I only can assume that in the long run the searcher will look for alternatives. google.com is here a step ahead of yahoo as they simply offer bidding. I.e. the market takes care of itself. To ask for a sign up fee and then go back to the good old spamming invitation will not help yahoo.com


4:05 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The redirect penalty that you are referring to...

We purchased www.widget.net for marketing purposes and built a full site. Several months later we built www.widgets-kw-kw.com, and placed a 301 on the .net so as to not have duplicate content in the SEs.

Are we being penalized for this?



hedd gwynfor

4:12 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So how do you get about it? Our company sell two totally different product lines, and we have therefore bought two domains for the different lines + we have the companybranded domain.

One is to do with Celtic and the other Africa.

So we have a domain with our company name


and then pointed two other domains, one www.celtic.com and one www.africa.com to the two folders


If this is breaking the rules because the domain and subdomain obviously have the same content, how do you go about it?

Are you supposed to get new webspace for each section of your site so that the domain always points at the root folder?

The question really is should you ever point a domain at a folder other than the root folder?


5:05 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


If I understand you correctly, if you have a domain, say subdomain1.com pointing to www.maindomain.com/product1/ you are afraid that since www.maindomain.com/product1/ and www.subdomain1.com are essentially the same page, how will you avoid the duplicate penalty.

It is easy. Make no reference to www.maindomain.com/product1/ from anywhere. For all practical purposes it does not exist. You will have no duplicate penalty. [Always refer to www.subdomain1.com instead.]

Hope I got your question correct.

hedd gwynfor

5:29 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you very much, yes you did get the question correctly. The only prob is that www.maindomain.com/product1/ still ranks well in some SE's other than Yahoo!

I feel that it's Yahoo's mess not mine, but I'm being penalized!


6:23 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Ok, so you can't get a penalty removed with SiteMatch.

Has anyone had any luck with a Sponsored Directory Listing?

I had a previous Inktomi penalty. It affected every single page of my site in the Yahoo serps. EXCEPT....

It didn't affect the page of my Yahoo Sponsored Directory Listing. Saturday my Sponsored Listing was removed because my credit card had expired and I hadn't realized it. No warning by Yahoo that my card was about to expire. Just POOF, my listing was cancelled. The second that happened, the same page seems to be carrying the Inktomi penalty.

So, now I am in the process of trying to get the Sponsored Listing turned back on. It will be interesting to see if that page no longer has the Inktomi penalty.

This listing costs me $100 a month. However, it pays for itself in one days time. All of my main keywords were on that page, and were coming up mostly #1 in Yahoo until Saturday when I lost the Sponsored Link. Of course, it could all be conincidence. The Inktomi penalty could have just caught up with this certain page, and just so happened to be the same day my Sponsored Listing was dropped. We will see.


6:37 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It is easy. Make no reference to www.maindomain.com/product1/ from anywhere. For all practical purposes it does not exist. You will have no duplicate penalty. [Always refer to www.subdomain1.com instead.]

ive seen several examples of slurp trying combinations of directories/pages on the same server. It is possible that slurp will spider domain.com using the subdomain structure.


7:01 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Or worse... your competitors could link to your duplicate content and laugh all the way to the bank...


7:59 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have 2 sites that are well ranked in Google but does not show up at all in Yahoo or MSN. I don't mean poor rankings, I mean they are completely out of the index. They are not spammy sites. They never had an Inktomi penalty that I knew about.

I have 3 other sites that are listed in Google, Yahoo and MSN.

The difference between the 2 sites NOT IN the index and the 3 IN the index is that I paid for Inktomi inclusion for the first 2 sites. So is it that Inktomi/Yahoo pay penalty? How do I get it removed?

I've read at this forum that paying for SiteMatch does not help.


1:41 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This is extremely similar to the issue we are currently having. Google has no problem with it but Y! specifically said it COULD be a reason for banning not just because of duplication issues but instead because:
since your home page mycompany.com just sits there alone and points to the OTHER two domains (as opposed to mycompany.com/shirts.htm), there is (as far as Y! is concerned) NO UNIQUE CONTENT on the home page domain which is against their policy apparently. Even though as you just pointed out, in reality the content IS in fact on that domain, to a casual Y! editor looking for a ban excuse, it could appear your home page is simply pointing to "other peoples content". So your two OTHER domains might get indexed, but since your HOME PAGE is banned, and this is where all the outside sites link, you'll get none of the benefit of the backlinks to your home page distributed to the two other domains.

Forget the fact that your logo is probably everywhere on all three domains and the site is contiguous and consistent in format. This is exactly what Y! suggests got us banned in a recent e-mail. Nifty huh?



1:53 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

> ive seen several examples of slurp trying >combinations of directories/pages on the same server.

This is rather interesting... Can you be more specific? Other than robots.txt and maybe index.html, I can't imagine they would waste their time coming up with and trying just random subdirectry and page names to try out, which never existed at least some time in the past. Are you sure they weren't just trying OLD paths which no longer exist but used to, or possibly following broken links from other sites to a nonexistent page on your site? Or are you talking about xyz.com/~dave/index.htm vs. xyz.com/usr/dave/index.htm?


3:25 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So, am I to assume that I have picked up a penalty along the way? My site has been radically effected in recent days. We did well with Yahoo for our KW's forever it seems... now the results for our KW's could just as well be Chinese. I mean ridiculous. I do the same search on Google and things seem to be from this planet. Yahoo is not of this solar system on any of the searches I am performing and I am seeing tons of Spam/blog/link etc. crap.

Strangely though, I paid my $299.00 pound of flesh to part of the elite Yahoo directory about two months ago.

So again I ask, am I to assume I have been hit with some kind of penalty? How do you know?


5:48 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Sitematch is definitely getting negative publicity because of this thread. I am sure searching Sitematch in Google will reveal a lot of negative info. It would seem that, from a marketing standpoint, Yahoo would work a bit harder to get approved sites listed. There is no excuse for old Inktomi penalties remaining after you are approved. And their form emails saying that the site will be reviewed are unacceptable. In the time it takes them to send the email, they could have reviewed the site and removed the penalty. Meanwhile, more negative publicity mounts.

I am certainly not paying for Sitematch, and I have heard similar responses from others in this thread. I hope new webmasters will save their money until Yahoo gets it together.


7:01 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Bad publicity not just because of this thread - but because for many it just isn't working. Had a long chat with my host in the early hours and he said there were many companies who had paid over the last couple of months only to find they was a penalty in place and they'd effectively lost their money.

As I remarked earlier, Site Match is no different from advertising any other product service. What I find UNBELIEVABLE is that they then take your money and don't provide it. If you'd paid for a respray on your car and it was returned to you exactly the same, you'd be down your local trading standards surely?

To introduce Site Match at this stage was a bad move. The process is full of holes and clearly isn't working. What we DON'T know is how MANY companies are affected like this and how long this situation is likely to go on for. The Yahoo machine is now so big it seems to have no mechanism to communicate with its sub-parts - or indeed its customers.


4:06 pm on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

The_Hitcher, I didn't mean to imply bad publicity because of this thread alone. I do think they made a mistake by using Webmasterworld as a vehicle to promote Sitematch. Doing so opened the door to a great deal of scrutiny. I have noticed that the Yahoo reps are in here a lot less lately, presumably because they have said what they needed to say to promote Sitematch. Those of us who have hand penalties from Inktomi appear to be screwed. Meanwhile, threads like these continue to mount and are indexed by the search engines. Hopefully, Sitematch will be something we can all use a year from now, but for now it is NOT READY. They made a mistake by launching it as early as they did, and thinking that Webmasterworld would just roll the red carpet out for them to promote it.


4:11 pm on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My feeling is that they donīt answer much though they donīt have any answers and solutions, (yet I hope).

We never know if they read for their records without answering...:)


4:16 pm on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Well I certainly don't mean to agitate them in the event that they are reading for their records. But it is very frustrating to get those emails from their "review" department saying "your website will be reviewed". Stop telling me you will review it, and just review it already. LOL


4:11 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

crobb...At least you are getting those emails! I sent in an email and didn't even get an email back saying that they are going to "review" it! I fear an old Ink penalty on my site too :(


Daily Sparring

2:45 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What about using the robot.txt on multiple sites to eliminate certain spiders from visiting 'similar content' sites? If you had 4 sites, all of which were under different domains but the content was similar (different layout) and used robots.txt to not have them spider, how would they know? I am speaking after you get approved for site match.

Another question I have is what if you have 3rd level domains for multiple different websites. Say you have johnsmith.computerprogrammer.com and johndoe.computerprogrammer.com. Different guys, same content because of same experience. If you had this on a scale of more than say 100, would yahoo look at that as a no-no? Would changing to their own domains help that problem?


4:38 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I had gotten hit with a duplicate content / multiple domain penalty by the new Yahoo, which Google is smart enough to deal with on it's own. The multiple domains we had running were all for legitimate reasons (cobranded partner sites).

So we immediately put up robots.txt up on the partner sites (not meant to be indexed by SE anyway, and not indexed by Google because it's SMART unlike Yahoo which is VERY DUMB). Yahoo replied back to me and said "thanks, but we will have to wait three months to re-evaluate your sites, we think you might be gaming us".

Who is gaming who? Yahoo stealing all our money through sitematch and PFI? Yahoo speaking out of both sides of their mouth? Yahoo making promises to work on things and then completely ignoring us and these major!@#!@# problems?

Yahoo is the gamer. Yahoo is the criminal. Not us. We are honest webmasters.

Daily Sparring

5:29 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

haha, honest webmaster, that is funny. I do agree that they are the ones gaming. Did they actually write "we believe you are gaming us"? If they did, that just tells me there are 3 or 4 young punks doing all this damage and the upper echelon at Yahoo have no idea.


11:13 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Did they actually write "we believe you are gaming us"?

Tim: "Without CPC pricing, content providers have no incentive to provide high quality content and avoid gaming the system."

Yahoo_Mike: "If your site was found to be in violation of the guidelines, we do not provide information on why your page or site was excluded. This is to prevent anyone from “gaming” the system."

Yahoo_Mike: "We do not provide informatin on the specific factors or weighting used in order to prevent "gaming" of the rules."

Yahoo_Mike: "Depending on the extent and type of this gaming..."


Quotes made available by Seasalt's Book of Wacky Yahoo Quotes - Unabridged Edition

This 98 message thread spans 4 pages: 98

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