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Old 12-12-2004   #1
yellowwing
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My Experience with Site Match and Trusted Feed

Before that Yahoo purchase of Inktomi by Yahoo, I had an electrical distribution company signed with Site Match 48 hour indexing. They debuted on Yahoo at 15th. We changed the content and they moved up to 9th. One more change in content and they were ranked second on a their main keywords. They were happy to write checks for $.30 a click.

Fast forward to last week. A national real estate company Site Matched 3 State level URLs. The best we got was 236th. Okay, we updated the pages to include less outbound links and a more focused theme. No change, Even after 8 days of new crawling the search index did not reflect the changes.

We called Position Tech Customer Service and finally talked to the Senior Supervisor. We asked Tina, 'Why are not our changes being reflected in the search results? Old pages are being returned in search results!"

I swear on my daughter's life she said, "I don't know. Some times its takes 30 days to 6 months to reflect the indexed crawl to search results."

I asked Tina directly, "Okay, who can tell me the lag time from fresh crawl to search results?"

She said, "No one can." I retorted, "This is an algorithm written by humans, someone must know!"

Her answer was, "That is proprietary knowledge!"

What is the busness value of 48 hour indexing if it is not reflecting to the public for 1-6 months?

So I talked to Evelyn, she is an Account Rep for Trusted Feed, and she guaranteed there would be no lag in indexing and search results! It sounded great, at first.

But they would optimized the pages and placement for 0.28 a click. And only if you have an unlimited credit card limit. Otherwise they would manualy remove you from the searchable index.

Meanwhile Yahoo has great opportunites for Dating Services, Horoscopes, Autos, and Refinance Deals.

Moral of the story, in six weeks we have had better results in natural and FREE Inktomi crawl results.

Last edited by Nacho : 12-12-2004 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Removed phone numbers to respect Yahoo's privacy.
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Old 12-26-2004   #2
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The only part of this that's not astouding or jaw dropping is the fact that's it's Yahoo. They are hopeless.....
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Old 12-26-2004   #3
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Keep in mind that the SiteMatch program offers a "crawl refresh" of 48 hrs, not an index refresh as you mention. Here it is as mentioned in the "SiteMatch: How it works" section:

Quote:
Your URLs are refreshed (re-crawled) every 48 hours to ensure that the most up-to-date content is available to search users.
There is a huge difference between a "re-crawl" and when a page get's index. A quick glance of how a search engine works is:

1) Page gets crawled.
2) Crawlers send pages to a a central page repository.
3) Pages then get analyzed and formulated for indexes.
4) Pages then get stored in Indexes for text, untility and other forms.
5) Next step is to either re-crawl the page for fresh data or be used for query formulation and ranking in the search engine's results visible to users.

It can go in full detail, but this is as simple as I can explain it. For more info, I recommend you read Mike Grehan's "Search Engine Marketing: The essential best practice guide.".

Therefore, you should verify with your log files to ensure that the re-crawl is effective every 48 hrs. Otherwise, mention this to your account rep. If it is being effective, then somehow there is a lag between step #2 central repository and #5 being stored in the index and ready for ranking. Another thing to keep in mind, Yahoo! Search separates the two indexes (free vs. paid) and then mixes the resutls together with the same ranking as pages where analyzed accordingly to their algorithms without any additional benefit to paid inclusion.

I will send an invitation to Yahoo! to take a look at this thread and hopefully make some clarification about the SiteMatch program.
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Old 12-26-2004   #4
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To me, this all pans out to mean that, you pay Yahoo to chew up your bandwidth every 48 hours and some time in the future the last crawl will be reflected and all the time in-between they charge for clicks.

....and here is their way of saying the above. Bolding added by me
Quote:
Your URLs are refreshed (re-crawled) every 48 hours to ensure that the most up-to-date content is available to search users

Last edited by Dave Hawley : 12-26-2004 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 12-27-2004   #5
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Without the specifics of the URLs it is impossible to diagnose exactly what is happening. The update cycles for the main (free) crawl ranges from sub daily to around 4 weeks. We use adaptive crawling techniques in which we learn how often pages are changing on the web and visit pages that change more frequently and pages that dont change less frequently.

As for Site Match the guaranteed refresh is every 48 hours. It takes a few extra days sometimes when the page is newly added to the index.

Have you looked at your logs to see if we have revisited the three pages. It may be that you are being refreshed and your ranking is not changing due to the optimization techniques you are using on the page or just that real estate is a very competitive area and maybe more competitive than the area that you were previously using Site Match for.

We have a support email address you may want to try which is ystfeedbackremoveme@yahoo-inc.com.
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Old 12-28-2004   #6
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The pages that we signed up for were indeed crawled every 48 hours. The problem was the lag time in which the fresh copy was made to the public.

The client did not see the value of a paid 48 hour crawl if there was no way to predict when the updated pages would be presented to the public.

It did no reflect well on me as a professional to recommend a service that did not deliver value.
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Old 12-28-2004   #7
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Thanks for the clarification. I will look into this and see what is going on. Please sticky me your URLs so I can look into your specific instance as an example.
Thanks,
Tim
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Old 12-28-2004   #8
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i have had great success with yahoo! paid inclusion. while it hasn't produced gangbusters, it has given me a stronger ROI than PPC could ever dream of delivering.

one thing to keep in mind is yahoo (overture) are not the key components in this type of deal. it comes down to the company that has been "commissioned" as a yahoo partner and thus is responsible for your feed to the yahoo search indexes. it's very important that they create your feed in the best way possible. many of these companies are groups of techies that really have no idea how you promote yourselves. you will need to spend much time with them making sure the info that is getting out there is number one, what you want out there and number two, fed to yahoo in the most appropriate way.

it took us 3 free trials and a couple of weeks of "paid" time to finally get the yahoo feed-thing down. it's new, the reps are overworked and the turn-over at overture (at least in this department) has been rather signifigant.

good luck ...and keep trying. the service can work in highly competitive markets (such as someone's real estate example) as my industry is "tickets" and about as hotly competitive as exists....
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Old 12-30-2004   #9
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Quote:
i have had great success with yahoo! paid inclusion.
Assuming you mean Yahoo SiteMatch, how can it offer any succes, other than ensuring you are included in the organic results?

From my uderstanding. The money paid simply means Yahoo bot visits the submitted page and places you in the organic results just as it would if you were found by Yahoo bot via link. The only difference being you paid an upfront fee and then continue to pay for clicks. There is no ranking benefit.
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Old 12-30-2004   #10
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hi dave ...yes, yahoo sitematch.

in our case, we have had much success with google organic ranking but limited success with yahoo. we took part in paid inclusion to get our feeds optimized for better indexing within yahoo.

i spend approx. $3000/month for yahoo paid inclusion, which is much less than either another employee and/or a "consultancy" to help with yahoo rankings.

the success i speak of is as follows:

1) better ROI than PPC (much, much, much better) with an average cost per conversion for the entire campaign of between 20-30 bucks. this is quite good for our competitive space coupled with our high-end product

2) someone else monitors our conversions and CTR and can instantly modify the feed to optimize for certain "events". this makes it much easier on me as a one-man technology show.

3) did i mention ROI?

we hve seen our rankings improve dramatically with the addition of paid inclusion ...plus, as we get better at optimizing, our pages that hve already been indexed by yahoo are improving in rank.

therefore, we have our optimized 'paid' feed items driven by our wants and needs for exposure coupled with our ever-improving organic movement which equates to an additional gross number of sales.

as long as i am growing, slow as it may be, it's still growth and that's what i'm after.
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Old 12-30-2004   #11
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Hi Sebastian
Quote:
we hve seen our rankings improve dramatically with the addition of paid inclusion ...plus, as we get better at optimizing, our pages that hve already been indexed by yahoo are improving in rank
. Don't Yahoo themselves state that SiteMatch will not improve rankings? Are you saying this is not the case?

Other than updated pages every 48 hours (although yellowwing experience seems that's not true), I cannot see the point in paying for SiteMatch as they, like Google, have a free crawler. I guess if one has deep pages it may pay to use SiteMatch but for the vast majority I simply cannot see it's value?


Quote:
better ROI than PPC (much, much, much better)
Isn't SiteMatch PPC and PFI?
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Old 12-31-2004   #12
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hi dave.

sitematc improves my rankings quite a bit. we are a ticket company and thus store thousands of VIP tickets in a database with GUID structure for relational database purposes. many of our urls appear like this:

http://www.encoretickets.com/app/
listtickets.asp?EventID={539F7699-3474-43A6-A532-53671671E2CA}&
VenueID={DF74CA79-C823-4896-A82F-D14A80759448}&
EventDate=01/01/2055&EventTime=TBA&PS=1

...which is hardly search friendly. i know, i know - engines can crawl dynamic pages now, but the structure of our pages makes the engines believe we can create infinite combinations and thus causes many spiders to bail prematurely.

for sitematch, i have one url that the sitematch team hits everyday. this url simply creates a .csv file of my entire event database and my entire venue database with the URL field being a query string for that event or venue.

the sitematch team then converts the text file to an XML feed and feeds it into the yahoo database in a manner most efficient and acceptable to yahoo. this xml structure was something that had to get the "thumbs up" from yahoo engineers as acceptable.

now, all my events get indexed and while they may not ALL rank #1, or even first page, many of them do and many of the ones that do (which typically tend to be events that don't have a lot of other search 'competition') would never had made it to the index in the first place on just straight crawler activity...
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Old 12-31-2004   #13
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Sebastian, that is a very good example of good use of PFI! Thanks for providing that

What most people forget is that PFI is not the right choice for everyone but for some it certainly is. Just because its not right for some dosn't make it wrong for all.

Personally, I have had three main problems:

1) Bad distribution (or hardly any) in some regions (like Denmark, where I live)

2) Too slow inclusion (for one company I work with new content needs to be searchable within hours). Free Google indexing is still much faster than Paid inclusion in Yahoo.

3) Too high CPCs - for some keywords and industries. Some of the companies I service only profit very little per search user - sometimes as low as a few cent. With Googles 5 cent limit we can often just about make it (mixed up with the organic stuff) but Yahoo gets nothing on those campaigns. (this is also the same problem with Overture).


On top of this I just want to say, as many have said before me: Disclose those links! Even better, promote them and disclose them. After all, PFI is the only part of the index that undergo any real editorial quality check so these sites should be better than the regular crawl (if done well). I think everyone will benefit from such a disclosure - just like they did when engines was forced to disclose sponsor listings better. It simply legitimizes the whole thing, in my mind. Users are not afraid of “advertising” if it’s relevant and I think time have shown that it pays to be honest to them.
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Old 01-01-2005   #14
Dave Hawley
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Cheers Sabastian, with a URL like that I can see why you use SiteMatch to get into Yahoo.

I'm curious if Google spiders the same URL's (as you submit to SiteMatch) freely?
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Old 02-04-2005   #15
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Hi Dave Hawley,

Just to clarify this is the XML feed Site Match Xchange (only CPC), not Site Match Self Serve which is both CPC and PFI.

The XML feed service does boost rankings as you have far more control over the data that is sent to Yahoo. You can send only optimized data to Yahoo via this method. Strip many of the keywords that need to be on your site, but do not help in generating rankings and targeted traffic.

The normal Site Match program that is $49 for the review and either 15c or 30c does not work on XML feeds, Yahoo actually goes and crawl your site and extract the data directly from your live pages. In this case you do not have the same ability to influence the rank simply by participating in the program. This is done the normal way, by organic SEO of your pages.

Cheers
David
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