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Yahoo ARE listening

Dropped sites and how to get back in



11:56 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A few words of encouragement in a very dimly lit room.

Yahoo ARE responding to input via their contact email address. After mailing them they were kind enough to let me know that my site had been removed because it was outside their guidelines. Obviously they wouldn't say WHY but I carefully rechecked everything and removed ANYTHING that I thought might be causing a problem. I'm now back in for a re-review at least.

Also, some years ago, a student signed us up to a blasted link farm which caused us numerous problems in Google which after mucho conversations with them we managed to resolve but we still find the blessed things now and then. Anyway, we continue to work on that as well as alert those we find to the drawbacks of such linkfarms.

The main thing is to try and work with Yahoo. Its a difficult transition and they have much to deal with at the moment as we know but there ARE humans the other end and they ARE listening - albeit with a heavy workload. What is said in these forums helps them too. Yes its frustrating but the beast is there, its changed and we have to adapt to that - what helps no one is total negativity.

I'm sure I'll get negative feedback on this but hopefully its a flickering candle for some.


1:04 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Unfortunately, negativity is all I feel at the moment.
Yahoo has been nice enough to communicate to me that they have banned my site. Yes, they refuse to tell me why as it will help me spam them. This is so patently ridiculous that I can't believe they have the nerve to say it.
As I pointed out to them, it's exactly like the poice putting you in jail without giving you a reason and saying they can't tell you what law you broke or others might think to break that law.
If it's a stated rule that I broke that what harm is there in re-stating it?!
I honestly have NO idea what they think I have done. My site is clean and honest and valuable to searchers. They also have claimed that I am up for re-review (that will take weeks) but I don't know what they didn't like in the first place so how can I change it?
It's like a friggin kafka nightmare. And it's killing my business.


6:49 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I do agree with you and face the same wait. However, thats the way things are. If you sticky mail me I'll take a look if you like. The problem I guess is being reasonably SEO but not going so far (whether deliberately or not) to trigger a drop. It also depends on just how much traffic you're losing by not being in Yahoo. Statistically I get a lot more traffic from Google but don't want to be reliant on one engine - thats a tightrope I don't wish to be on.

It is like being in jail but they simply can't be specific or the guidelines become too obvious and the whole problem of spam gets even worse.

I used to be a college lecturer and agree with a remark someone else made on WW regarding editorial judgements being subjective - much like marking assignments. They are to some extent but my theory was that whilst a student might not be strong in one area, they are just as likely to excel in another and that made marking a fairer system - from my own viewpoint anyway. Its more difficult to do that in a case like this.

As an aside, you have to aim for a compromise between Google and Yahoo and accept it. Or as another SEO just said, "Say it another way" - nicely put.


7:12 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

would love to hear from anyone who had a site reinstated soley through that means. Some early posters to this forum seemed to get sites back in but i havent heard of anyone else that has since had a site reinstated soley via the email addresses.


7:29 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Will definately keep you posted. Clearly if no sites were reinstated this way, Yahoo would be in the proverbial dung heap and the bad press that ensued would be prolific. I doubt that Yahoo envisaged the aftermath of the removal of the Google backfill (or at least the exact scale of it) and the takeover of so many engines, and even if they did, they're a business after all. We can all now see the wood for the trees. It has been a huge jolt. Yes it IS killing businesses - particularly the smaller ones (including my own). Thats never a good thing. The smaller business will often (in time) grow and provide work for more people - Yahoo should encourage that but quite how - thats the question. It has to be set against them making money but clearly all businesses benefit from showing some degree of consideration for those on the bottom rungs. Image is important - certainly is in my business.


8:14 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

im not sure you'll win with that argument. The overiding policy here is to remove their version of spam. From where they sit they believe they have got it right and indeed the email you recieve from them about the appeal process will state what a small precentage of sites will actually be unfairly penalised. What i found a little strange with that reply was that they said before the current appeal process was in place.


3:23 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't pretend for a minute Yahoo have got it right. Undoubtedly their most important priority is making money - I'm sure spam comes further down the list. If my appeal proves sucessful then great, but if not we have to join the 'put up and burn' sites brigade because there are no other options left. That ultimately brings in more and more spam and where do we go from there? In fact where do Yahoo go with it? Whether a site sits in or out of their guidelines is a highly subjective thing. It would be encouraging to think that Yahoo will indeed review dumped sites and only time will tell on that score. We all wait with baited breath but I'm not going to brood on it.


9:47 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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


Don't start polishing your badges just yet, or start thanking Yahoo for anything. You say:

I'm now back in for a re-review at least

Many, many people here are back on the re-review list, and have been for quite sometime. Just hang loose a bit longer to see if they actually let you back in. Incidentally, I am waiting too. ;)


10:06 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Oh its ok, I've got my lucky rabbits foot, a four leafed clover and I'm not walking under any ladders. May the force be with us. Hey at least they ARE replying even if the ensuing silence is un-nerving to say the least......


11:13 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am one of the fortuate ones who has been reincluded. Yahoo is listening and they are working on this. I worked on my site for over 7 months to figure out why we were dropped etc. I actually scheduled one hour each day to research Inktomi and why we had been dropped from the Inktomi index. I searched for phone numbers, wrote emails, visited message boards etc. We were reincluded about 6 weeks ago. So it does happen.

Patience is the key here. I don't know that Yahoo was prepared for the wave of people who were banned and didn't know why. They are fixing on the fly and doing the best that they can.

I totally understand your frustration. Trust me, I do sympathize. But I wanted to let you know that there are positive stories, and in time, Yahoo will figure out something.

Best of luck to all!


11:32 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

people who were banned and didn't know why

Let's not forget the people who are not banned and yet they too do not appear in Yahoo serps. People like me for instance. :(

Total frustration...


6:35 am on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yahoo is letting back quite a few sites... the webmasters are just too happy about the $ they're making and so they obviously aren't griping on this board.

Yes, I'm one of the individuals who had a site re-examined and is now back from 0 referrals to almost 1000/day on Yahoo... now when they grab the rest of the pages I'll be very happy.

I think Inktomi's criteria for banning websites has been toned down quite a bit. The only real change I made to our site was to tone down some of our off-topic reciprocal links... everyone and their dog has a "Links Directory" with link categories that do visitors little good. I also had a webpage about our criteria for Link Exchanges which I altered to make it sound like I wasn't gaming Yahoo's search.

Give them time, I'm sure they have a back-log with the new SiteMatch, penalty reviews, new spider/search engine/etc. I heard when our site was being forwarded to the proper individuals to re-examine it, then 3-4 days later we started noticing Y traffic gradually starting to trickle in.

Now back to the regularly scheduled gaming of Yahoo! :P


8:11 am on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you so much for backing up my positive start to this thread. I started it because there were so many threads full of angry webmasters over this Yahoo change. I'm banished myself but not a newbie by any means and I've learnt to just get on with it in situations like this. Things change and the Net has changed rapidly in recent years. I just don't see the point in griping about it. If you're in this business you have to expect the unexpected and be prepared to take a good hard hard sock on the jaw now and then.

Yes I did get a standard reply (thats policy) but the guy the other end was also VERY helpful too and whilst he wouldn't say specifically what had caused it, I do know that blocks of text are a triggering factor - and don't press me on that one. I mention that merely to thank the guy I spoke to - he was very helpful.

Things have changed and as I said before, we must adapt to it. I'm not saying I don't feel frustrated by it - boy do I. Its just that as in life, griping gets you absolutely nowhere and you have to think sharp and press on.

Patience I feel is the surest way of dealing with this problem. They are indeed listening (as I said) but the SUREST way of NOT being included is to vent your frustration on some guy the other end doing the best he can with something he has no direct control over.

I mean would YOU be inclined to assist someone with so much venom? I wouldn't. Chill out and wait this one out. If your business is THAT affected by it its worth considering the many other options of driving visitors - many of which are free and don't put all your eggs in one basket.


10:42 am on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The_Hitcher, do you mind telling us what exactly you changed and why you think you were banned in the first place?


11:49 am on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Clearly I can't anymore than Yahoo can be specific about what does or doesn't sit outside their guidelines - that would be plain madness and no two sites are alike. The general guide on producing a clean optimised site that Brett posted on WW a long time ago is still a good benchmark. A case of matching that to Yahoo's guidelines plus keeping a good safety margin. Sail too close to the line and its way too easy to get bumped off.

As I've already said, the critera that Yahoo (or indeed any engine I guess) use to decide whether a site should be banned is very subjective.

On the whole I do feel I was penalised rather unfairly when normally I'm surrounded by some of the most diabolical, spammiest sites you can imagine - miles of text at the bottom of pages, redirects, pages with masses of duplicate content and heaven knows what else.

I try to keep a very clean site. Whilst spam clearly works (for an undetermineed period of time) it has no long term future or stability as it only takes a competitor to get annoyed and you're wiped. Thats a possibility I guess but I steer well clear of those techniques anyway. I spent a lot of time looking at keyword density (not that I'm fastidious about it anyway) and dumped anything that I thought 'might' be a problem.

The reality for many of us here is that we don't know exactly WHAT triggered a ban but I'm making sure I'm at least a metre from that line I refered to and not forgetting that the line could well shift closer to me. What may be a problem for me may not be for you. The whole point of this thread was to drive home the point that Yahoo ARE listening and as others have said, ARE reindexing banned sites - albeit under a heavy workload. Specifics are covered all over WW - I'm just trying to waggle a bright torch at you guys in a very dark room. Just because you're out doesn't mean you can't get back in but don't expect it to be a rapid thing.

Yahoo like any large organisation is slow to respond - if you've ever worked inside a big organisation you'll know what I mean. It moves forward under the steam of many many people so therefore a sudden twitch isn't going to happen. However, big as Yahoo is, it IS made up of individuals and its far better to deal with them on that level than shout at a giant Yahoo logo - you'll get nowhere that way - just annoyed and frustrated which does no one any good.

A review takes several weeks by the way.


3:58 pm on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>>would love to hear from anyone who had a site reinstated soley through that means. Some early posters to this forum seemed to get sites back in but i havent heard of anyone else that has since had a site reinstated soley via the email addresses. <<

I requested a Yahoo review of my site back on March 7, 2004 and to date have not seen any changes except about April 15 I could no longer find my site at the bottom of the SERPS for a search using my title enclosed in quotes. I can't find it anywhere using this search term. I am still hoping!


7:59 pm on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My main site got hit by Yahoo on Saturday. Previously I had been getting 500-700 visitors a day just from Yahoo. I have submitted a thing to their suggestions page and will see what they say.

Interestly enough if I do a site:mydomain it shos pages indexed. I just don't see them on the rankings for search terms.

I did one search yesterday for a page that I know is indexed. My site was not in the listings on any page for just the term. But if I added my site name to the end it showed up.

I would love to hear explantions for this bizaare phenomenon


10:29 pm on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


What is the email to send in questions about being dropped, I can't seem to find it.

Yahoo recently dropped 25000+ pages of mine from their index and I don't really have any clue as to why. I know there is not any intentional spam so I'm at a loss.


12:56 pm on Apr 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

soapystar>would love to hear from anyone who had a site reinstated soley through that means.

For whatever it's worth, last night Y! seemed to begun spidering my new pages (about 3 months old) in a limited way.

I don't know whether I had a penalty/ban since it was spidering my older pages but not my main folder, or Google backfill problems. Still don't know whether these pagess will show up in the serps or not. (previously these pages showed up under extreme searches.)

I did request for review about a month ago.


1:55 pm on Apr 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

2 weeks now since our reply, still no penalty removal, pages remain listed but do not appear in serps. Still have fingers crossed. Congrats to any of you that have been depenalized.


2:14 pm on Apr 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


sounds hopeful. If youre being spidered you should be ok.


7:50 pm on Apr 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

twebdonny - Yahoo don't give a specific period in which banned (if banned is the correct word) sites get reviewed but likely to be several weeks if they do. After all, the more they have to review the more snowed under they'll get. Their little fingers must be a blur trying to go through all these sites, eyes scanning pages for anything that looks out of place.

"Hmmm, don't like that picture of the guy on the home page - eyes too close together for my liking - looks sinister - nah we'll drop that one......"

Seriously though, its a highly subjective thing - all too easy for a total amateur to get dropped through blissful ignorance I would think, let alone some over-zealous SEO freak. The guidelines are very reasonable, I don't think anyone is complaining about that, but there are so many ways of building a page, it does create a nail biting experience wondering if you've done something wrong. In the end the only safe thing will be a blank page with one word on it:)

Maybe we should run a competition to create a page that breaks EVERY rule in the book - we could all add things to it and see how bad we can get it then Yahoo could use it as an example of what NOT to do. We could have hours of fun with that - :)


9:18 pm on Apr 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I think the way to make this forum useful is to try and identify possible causes for penalties.

For example, I have a site that recently dissappeared from the index. I did a bit of research and noticed that another of my sites was ranking in its place.

What happened was that I had some content I wanted to delete, so I copied the content from my main URL and posted it on the home page of this other URL.

At that point my site disappeared because of the dupe filter.

Therefore I replaced the content on the 2nd domain and waited. My main site starting ranking again shortly after.

So I think it's important for people to research and try to identify waht's going on. If we compile a list of possible penalties, then we're not quite as dependent on Yahoo and this forum can become a forum about ranking better in Yahoo, not just complaining/criticizing/praising Yahoo.


6:27 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

By now the reasons for getting a penalty from Yahoo are well documented.

Yahoo is listening through informal channels such as webmasterworld.

That in itself is a pretty lame for a major US corporation.


7:22 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>>>>By now the reasons for getting a penalty from Yahoo are well documented.<<<<<

If they were, we wouldn't all be wondering why. Many 'banned' sites are clean from what I've read in here.

>>>>Yahoo is listening through informal channels such as webmasterworld. That in itself is a pretty lame for a major US corporation.

I'm glad they do:) Besides, Yahoo and Google have always had their ear to the ground. Don't forget they also attend SEO conferences. Its in their interests to do so - even more so if theres a problem and after a change of this magnitude I'd have been surpised if there hadn't been a problem. A lot of ingedients that don't exactly mix together perfectly.


7:36 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


When I said this

>>>>Yahoo is listening through informal channels such as webmasterworld. That in itself is a pretty lame for a major US corporation.

What is lame about this is the fact that they dont have true, open channels of communication.

I too am pleased that they listen here, though for a large US corporation, not being truly responsive to their customers, and in fact harming many of their customer's businesses, is lame.


8:16 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes sorry Cabos - misunderstood. I think this thread and "I've had it up to here with Yahoo" are the epitome of whats going wrong with the Yahoo/Site Match thing.

Perhaps I should have called this thread "Yahoo IS listening (but only a little)"

Heaven forbid anyone starts a thread called "So who has been dropped by yahoo, paid and remain dropped?". Could well be the biggest thread we've seen yet.....


1:46 pm on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you regained your postion after removing the duplicate content it does two things. Highlight the difference between a a filter and a ban, and also highlight poor implementation of the duplicate filter. If i read you right at no time did two sites have the same content, simply the content was moved from one to the other. A ban gives you no chance to tinker with your content.


8:38 pm on May 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Does anyone have any idea as to how much content can be duplicated before a penalty filter is tripped? I have a few lines of content that is the same or nearly the same on a few pages. This duplicated content is not meant to fool search engines, but to aid the Web user as each of these pages has some comonality with each other page.


9:15 pm on May 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

youd have to think it would take more than a few lines. your internal navigation would often do that alone. Google seems to allow just about anything within the same domain which is fair i would say. You should have a certain free reign to do what you want with your own site.
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