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Yahoo traffic suddenly stopped

June 13th around 5pm



8:59 pm on Jun 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sometime on June 13th my main site was hit with a 95+% drop in visits from Yahoo.com. Since I get most of my traffic from Yahoo, I took notice to say the least.

Yahoo's Slurp spider is still indexing my site constantly, so much so that I put the crawl delay in robots.txt to slow it down (after the drop in visits, thinking it was bogging down my server).

The domain in question currently has 400,000+ pages indexed in Yahoo, so it's not a banning issue as far as I can tell. Once thing I did notice that when using Yahoo's site explorer when you click on the "Cached" link under each listing, the cached page is displayed. BUT when you click the "Current Page" link at the top of the cached listing in goes to my home page instead of the current version of the cached page. Could this be part of the problem, some kind of weird redirect issue? I could not duplicate the problem with other sites in Yahoo.

This traffic drop occurred sometime around 5pm Eastern Time on June 13th (Wednesday). It was almost like a switch was pressed. The sit gets several thousand visits per day, and now it's a couple hundred or so.

I even switched over to me backup server on a completely separate web host (thinking server issue), and traffic has not increased. This pretty much isolates the problem to Yahoo's end.

I'm at wit's end.... any ideas, anyone.


8:07 am on Jun 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

How many keyword phrases are bringing in the traffic (i.e. is the traffic coming in on the back on a few big phrases or many little phrases)?

Sounds obvious, but you didn't mention it, so I have to ask... did you lose positions on your keyword phrases?


8:49 am on Jun 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I noticed it yesterday for my site. Looks like an update and quite a radical one from my standpoint.

My site (two and three keyword established for over -ten, yes ten years) has slipped off first page.

I guess they feel they have to shake things up to please the bosses now that things are not going well at Y!

The results are not better, IMO. And I see some other very established sites taking a hit too.....


10:51 am on Jun 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

65% traffic lost for our sites.

My sites are absolute world top leaders in the industries and niches I'm working on (in fact rewarded by Y! as top 10 positions since year 1999 at least, with no major shifts since then), and no algo change can hit them so severely. It's against Yahoo own interest to cancel them like this from their index.

It's almost like if "www.whitehouse.gov" was not in the top 50 results for the search "white house"...


12:19 pm on Jun 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Keep optimizing your site on yahoo.


1:30 pm on Jun 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

martinibuster -- traffic as a result of many, many phrases. The drop off was so sudden and massive I first suspected a server problem. It's like someone at Yahoo pulled the plug on my site (though still has listings, so not banned).

It's interesting to hear others are having the same problem. By that I mean if other established sites are having the same problem perhaps Yahoo will take notice and reverse these disastrous changes.


4:49 pm on Jun 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

...perhaps Yahoo will take notice and reverse these disastrous changes.

Your definition of authority and what others consider authoritative are subjective. It's a moving target. Besides, Yahoo has never consistently shown true authority sites at the top of the SERPs. However Yahoo has become a lot better at it lately over the last few months.

It's indeed interesting that others are complaining about similar losses in rankings. Could this be an anti-SEO tweak, and if it is, what could Yahoo be targeting?

The week before your loss of traffic was a Yahoo update. Your loss of rankings could very well be related to that as well. But if it's not, you who have lost rankings could try to figure out what you have in common between you to determine if it's an anti-SEO tweak.


5:57 pm on Jun 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"anti-SEO tweak" Who knows..

My site was solid in Y! for as long as I can remember. I should really take some time to analyse a site that I now see at the top and others (which are starting to dominate in G as well). Trouble is the "leader" in our field has also been badly affected, they never put a foot wrong in G! or Y! and they too have been blasted.

possibly a blunder by Y!

I am at a loss..

I am in Travel by the way.

Anyone esle noticing changes in Travel or other sectors?


7:00 pm on Jun 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hello again.

No no this is not a technical issue or a change in algo that affects only the SEOed sites.

My sites have no SEO whatsoever.

The concept of "authority" is very clear to me and we are indeed authority on our market as we are the world leader on many terms.

Y! has always (since year 1999) rewarded us with the obvious 1st position for very, very competitive KWs (many of them). Without one single day of missed visibility.

We are talking about 700,000 clicks lost per year (80% of the traffic from Y!), because of this move. Can't be permanent, or the algo change is really, really worse than before.

As I said, believe me: it's like if the site whiethouse.gov was not showing for the search "white house".

This is a severe problem. Guaranteed.


9:44 am on Jun 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

though still has listings, so not banned

Not so - in the last two years we lost all our traffic overnight to three sites that had had listings since before 2000 yet all still retained their 20k,40k & 80k pages as 'listed'

However, over a perdio of weeks slowly but surely they all disappeared until only homepage left!

Yahoo's policy for removing sites makes no sense. They also never reinstate (please prove me wrong someone!)


12:30 pm on Jun 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Sure sure, it's not "removed from index": all the thousands pages listed are still listed.

If you


you'd see all your (usual) xx,#*$! pages....

Problem is: they are not ranking anymore.

Also: we requested a re-review of our sites and again, they are commenting (with exclusively canned answers) that our sites are violating the guidelines.

Ok, how come, if they have been sending us million of clicks in the last 7 years and always rewarded us with the top-3 positions for very competitive keywords?

They are *now* violating (new) guidelines, perhaps.

And what is worse: they are not violating any of the Y! guidelines. Really.

In exchange, the top 10 sites for those competitive keywords are now showing really random sites: no one is a real offerer of the products you are searching about. We know our competition and our competitors: none of the top 10 players are listed there (and: of course they are, and we are, on Google).

This is a really a big change in the algo... or a big penalization (and I see from this post that we are not alone)...


1:13 pm on Jun 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Status unchanged as of today, still virtually no traffic from Yahoo yet their spider is crawling like crazy.

Is anyone else who has suffered from Yahoo penalization also still having their spider crawl the site?

Would it be worthwhile to email Yahoo to see what they say, perhaps in regard to duplicate www/non-www pages listed? I have a 301 redirect from non-www to www but still both versions are listed....


2:56 pm on Jun 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


Not mine, mine are all with www (I also have a 301 of course and mine are not listed without).

Regaring the spidering activity, in 6hrs40min they have spidered the 30% of the pages of our biggest website (thousands of pages spidered).

Therefore, I guess they are really re-spidering all...

I've never seen such huge Slurp activity on our pages...


3:54 pm on Jun 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Are these ecommerce sites?

400,000 is a lot of pages, so are those largely product pages and descriptions?


4:36 pm on Jun 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A directory site.


4:45 pm on Jun 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

although your pages are indexed, are they cached?

400,000 is a gigantic directory, is it a directory like botw, dmoz, or another type of directory?


8:52 pm on Jun 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have noticed the same drop in traffic across several hundred domains I manage. A few that I checked have thousands of pages indexed, but only the index is cached. What does that mean? I have well over 2 million pages indexed, but the traffic is almost nothing. This time two months ago I was receiving over 5,000 uniques per hour, and now i'm down to 500-1000 per hour mostly from google and msn.


3:26 pm on Jun 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

We also had a similar problem. We're in Search Submit Express and our click reporting stopped after June 13th. I've been on the phone with them a few times and they keep giving me different answers. As of today (6/20) I was told it has all been fixed - anyone else lose Search Submit traffic?


4:43 pm on Jun 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Is there a better way to contact Yahoo search support than teh form at [help.yahoo.com...]

... or would removing all 301 redirects fix the problem? Would it take days, weeks, months?


1:17 pm on Jun 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This is the best way to contact Yahoo webmaster.
In facts, it works.


2:57 pm on Jun 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

For a directory with 400,000 indexed pages , consider the following

How many of those indexed pages are actually cached?

Do you have at least 1 unique website listing for each page?, excluding the various navigation or admin pages.

Do you have a titanic number of incoming links, that are not sitewides?

Basically, methinks Yahoo is being rather stricter on directory pages , product pages than it used to be


8:26 pm on Jun 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I am about to put a 403 on Slurp, No more.

1. Crawls pages that have not been on our site for at least 2 years.

2. Constant attempts to sniff some bogus URIs.

3. Ranking pages of products that have been out of Stock for over 2 years and thus are not linked to anymore from within the site for that long, which leads to "Click and Leave syndrome" for many Yahoo Visitors. I have tried putting the Item in INSTOCK Status, as soon as Crawled and mentioned an a few other pages with links pointing to it, the page rankings drops to the OBLIVION.

4. Truncating URIs and SERP, which leads to constant unnecessary bandwidth usage by other Robots, since there is a whole bunch of Scrapers using Yahoo API to get to the content.

5. A specific search term that is mentioned on our site brings up close to 100 sites, ALL MFAs, 3 in top 20 lead to the sites that try to install a Trojan. I have contacted Yahoo, no response.

We rank for many terms on Yahoo and outrank many of our competitors at this time, but the amount of time it takes to maintain the low level of frustration and the Brand Level presence is much higher than its worth at this time.

and Yes I have an Authority Site and the Y knows it.


7:10 am on Jul 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

ive totally stopped using yahoo now


4:24 pm on Jul 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm seeing shifts in 4 of the 5 sites I actively manage. 2 small increase in rank, and 2 big drops.

An update in progress?


4:25 pm on Jul 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm seeing shifts in 4 of the 5 sites I actively manage. 2 small increase in rank, and 2 big drops.

An update in progress?


6:42 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

No progress here -- Slurp crawls like crazy but no rankings. Seems to be a penalty as far as I can tell, but I have no idea why.

I've written several times, and even gotten a response a couple of times but only canned replies not relevant to my questions.


7:04 am on Jul 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It's been written about many times int he Yahoo threads, but directory type sites - no matter what the are about it seems - have been taking hits left right and center.

This trend started about a year and half ago from what I deduce, but have increased in frequency.

Some sites that list businesses in return for a link back, and ever websites that simply list other businesses and dont ask for anything back seem to get hit. Internal linking in combination with this previous property seems to cause the effect.

I have been reincluded to Yahoo.com before, but not with a directory site or a site with a directory of any kind on it.

It took three response / changes to be reinclded, the first two times they sent some BS auto mail about how I still was violating their guidelines in some way.


2:38 am on Jul 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I emailed Yahoo and received a reply that I had not been in violation of Content Quality Guidelines. But there seems to have been a de-ranking of some sort. Maybe due to being a directory site.


8:07 am on Jul 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I just noticed one my sites are number 1 in Google but not in top 1000 for Yahoo. This is over the past week...strange


11:19 am on Jul 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Google and Yahoo both are using different algorithms. That's why they show different results.
This 42 message thread spans 2 pages: 42

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