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Old 05-17-2005   #1
randfish
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Banned by Yahoo! - A good thing?

A site I run serves the commercial real estate market with a specific type of financial loans. For about 1.5 years they've been #1 at Yahoo! for a great number of related searches, until the beginning of this week, when all the pages dropped out of the index. I can only assume Yahoo! perceives the site to have some spam-type issue. That's not the subject of this thread, however.

Here's the funny part:

Usually, the office of the client is swarmed with a lot of "junk" requests from people who really don't qualify for their programs, don't understand what they do, etc. But, this week, even though requests are down significantly, they're only getting "the good stuff".

They asked me how I managed to filter out the bad requests... What do I say? You've been banned by Yahoo!, so their users aren't calling or e-mailing you anymore. They claim it's been great for productivity so far.

Do Google, MSN & Ask really have "smarter", more qualified searchers?

I'm sure if I was running a NASCAR or WWF site I'd be crying, but now, I'm not so sure I should have sent those re-inclusion request e-mails!
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Old 05-17-2005   #2
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Interesting, you usually hear how it's the Y!/MSN visitor that converts more easily...
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Old 05-18-2005   #3
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Are you sure it's not just another piece of fun with the Yahoo! update?
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=5583
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Old 05-18-2005   #4
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Brian - Nope, they dropped all our pages when you do a site: command - surest way to know you've been hit by a spam report.

After looking at the site, I think the reason it was caught is that it has WAY, WAY too many links to it from lots of spammy sites. This is probably just due to the fact that all those scrapers grab the top 10 results from the SEs, which always includes our site #1 or 2...

In any case, the client's thrilled about the more "relevant" traffic they're getting. I haven't decided whether to share this information with them and still have yet to hear back from Yahoo!

Incidentally, if any Yahoo! reps are reading, your "search help" submission box sends a confirmation e-mail back from "directory help". You may wish to repair that.
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Old 05-18-2005   #5
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Impressed you even got a response - I've tried a few different Yahoo! e-mail addresses about a missing site, and get nothing.

Perhaps we should e-mail directory help instead?
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Old 05-18-2005   #6
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WAY, WAY too many links to it from lots of spammy sites. This is probably just due to the fact that all those scrapers grab the top 10 results from the SEs, which always includes our site #1 or 2...
That doesn't sound fair, we can't control those scrapers grabbing our titles and descriptions.
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Old 05-19-2005   #7
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Personally, in the case I'm dealing with now, I dont' see HOW being banned can be good for a large company with a product that sells millions of dollars a year...

From what I can tell, if Yahoo is only showing the home page in a site: query, and that's all they have in their index, that indicates a penalty. OR, could it just be that for some technical reason the spider decided not to crawl the rest of the site, even though google and msn are crawling & indexing the entire site? Does Yahoo get hung up more easily? The site I'm referring to has no dynamic URL parameters, though most of the URLs are long.
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Old 05-19-2005   #8
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If you check out the Yahoo! section of WebMastWorld, there's currently a pretty abrasive thread complaining about Yahoo!'s banning and reinclusion policy.

While there is obviously no indication as to what people may have done to be banned, when added to the threads here complaining about Yahoo! having been unable to process redirects properly (and having seen one of my own reference sites unable to be listed in Yahoo! presumably because of such an issue) then it's hard to see Yahoo! as taking search perhaps as seriously as they need to, to even begin gaining ground on Google.
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Old 05-19-2005   #9
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Believe me, if the client wasn't "happy" about not dealing with what they call "junk inquiries", I'd be furious. The site (I'm sure you all know by now it's avatarfinancial.com) doesn't rank in the top 1000 for it's full name - "avatar financial group, llc".

According to the site: command, Yahoo! still has 14 pages left - down from over 400 pages a week ago.

I'm still waiting to hear back from them, but it is very dangerous to ban sites based on who links to them...

What's also interesting is that several other sites are also linked to by all of those spam/scraper sites (which I still assume to be the cause of the penalty), yet they have been unaffected so far.

The truly interesting part of this, though, has been the demographics and the effect on the inquiries the company receives. Has anyone else ever felt that being out of Yahoo!, Google, MSN, Ask was beneficial to the "quality" of traffic, even if the quantity was suffering?
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Old 05-19-2005   #10
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I'm so tempted to make a cheeky quip that, as Google has managed to become a verb synonymous with "search", then people with at least an ounce of understanding about the web will therefore be much more likely to use Google for search.

People who use Yahoo! and MSN are perhaps more likely to be portal junkies, without much clue of how else to find or use information outside of those behemoth networks.

I guess the only way to test this hypothesis properly would be to get your site banned from MSN. Can we try that?
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