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How can they justify the ranking of bad sites when so many good sites are purposefully penalized? Certainly not with their content guidelines. What do we really know about these guidelines, and how they are enforced? We've seen several members reporting log entries that suggest human judging of sites, but there seems to be some sort of automated system at work as well.
Beyond that, they need to focus on showing more mom and pop sites that may not be so well linked but nevertheless have useful content.
From what I've seen, it appears as though they are not so much paying attention to the quality of the website itself as much as they judge a site based on its age its backlinks
When I'm searching for information, I usually want long articles that treat the subject very thoroughly. I don't mind reading for a *long* time if I'm going to end up with an in-depth understanding of that topic. When I search on Yahoo, that's usually what I get in the top search results. I almost never care for a short article that provides a bit or piece of the subject but not enough to get a real understanding of the topic. That's what I often get from Google search results.
It is common that I find very useful sites in the top 5 Yahoo search results for my queries. To find the equivalent utility often requires scanning down the top 50 Google results. I have both set to return 100 results. I rarely have to go below about 20 in Yahoo, but often must scan through 50 in Google, where I often get to the bottom of the page (100), which almost never happens at Yahoo.
Naturally, what I like when I'm searching and reading is also a preference when I'm writing -- I publish loonngg in-depth articles, which have a strong tendency to rank better at Yahoo than at Google, even though I have almost no backlinks.
Other than that, I don't have much insight. Google's ranking algorithm, which is notoriously top-secret and which everyone, including Google, talks about endlessly, seems actually to be considerably more widely understood than Yahoo's, which nobody, including Yahoo, ever talks much about at all.
[edited by: SteveWh at 2:38 am (utc) on Feb. 16, 2009]
Once again, the frustrating thing is that there are plenty of spammy or low-quality sites that do get indexed, and even rank well. Just now, I searched for a random keyphrase on Yahoo and Google. Google returned good results, Yahoo gave me a set of half-relevant listings topped by a site with 7 pages of content taken straight from an article archive, apparently ranking #1 solely on the basis of having the keyphrase as the exact domain name. I'm sure they take on-page factors into account, but the external factors seem to outweigh these quite a bit.
My intention with this thread is not to give Yahoo a bashing, however. It was my intention to see if, collectively, perhaps we can create a kind of shortlist of possible 'violations' that can trigger a penalty at Yahoo - just like in the penalty threads over in the Google Search forum. I'd like to start, but, honestly, I don't have a clue. You can have good, unique content, a good design and plenty of good backlinks, and still get a penalty.
[edited by: MLHmptn at 8:18 am (utc) on Feb. 24, 2009]
Yahoo Yahoo Yahoo, where are you?
We've got some work to do now
Yahoo Yahoo Yahoo, where are you?
We need some help from you now
Come on Yahoo, I see you
Pretending you got a sliver
But you're not fooling me, 'cause I can see
The way you shake and shiver
You know we got a mystery to solve
So Yahoo ready for your act
Don't hold back!
And Yahoo if you come through
You're gonna have yourself a WebmasterWorld snack!
That's a fact!
Final verse missing for lack of Yahoo. Come on guys, even Scooby came through!
Whatever helps, you know.