Yahoo! Renting Links
Yahoo! was recently renting / leasing / buying / otherwise acquiring some high PageRank keyword rich links from gasbuddy.com. Normally when large companies buy these types of ads they use tracking codes, but these ads were straight links which are analyzed by search engines. Was Yahoo! Buying PageRank? Was Yahoo! Trying to Manipulate Search Results
Only Yahoo! knows what their true intentions were with the links, but within 4 days of people mentioning the links in the SEW forums the links were dropped. If they were not buying the links to manipulate the search results then one would wonder why they were not using a tracking code.
Yahoo!'s Problem with Link Renting
Yahoo! runs their own search engine which powers a ton of search worldwide. Not only are they renting links that manipulate Google's search results, but the links also manipulate the Yahoo! Search search results.
These links are essentially used to build keyword rich link popularity from powerful websites, which may fall under the following unacceptible practices:
Pages using methods to artificially inflate search engine ranking
Excessively cross-linking sites to inflate a site's apparent popularity
Recently someone at the SEW forums stated that Yahoo! told them the problem with their site is that they have too many links pointing at their site.
The Problem with Yahoo! Renting Links
Yahoo! manually edits their search results. If other people have too many links pointing at their sites it is a problem, but if Yahoo! does it then it is ok? why?
Yahoo! owns a valuable network. What they do with that network is up to them. When people search for information Yahoo! can throw whatever ads they want around the results, but the results themselves should not be internally tainted.
As an oracle of information an ethical question is raised when Yahoo! is paying people to edit their results and paying other people to manipulate those same results.
If Yahoo! decided what they want to place in their search results how can I trust them? What happens when they personalize my search? Will that mean that I get biased crap promoting more Yahoo! stuff? Will I not be able to find the information I need?
There is a level of trust associated with search. If Yahoo! wants to manipulate Google search results that is fine. If they are going to do that then they should prevent those same pages from being indexed in their own search results.
Yahoo!'s pages rank in the top 5 of Yahoo! Search for "cars," "new cars," & "used cars." Interesting how those search terms match up with the links they were renting.
Yahoo! just shot themselves in the foot if they were hoping to catch Google in search anytime soon.
Another Link Renting Problem
If you look at the Internet.com commerce partner network http://www.jupitermedia.com/partners/
you will notice that it is a random collection of websites. The only thing preventing these links from being considered a "link farm" is that:
they are expensive
they are attached to a huge powerful network
and Jupiter Media is making a ton of money from them.
Also, how can a company claim it
provides unbiased research, analysis and advice, backed by proprietary data, to help companies profit from the impact of the Internet and emerging technologies on their business. source
While Asking Jeeves...
MicroSoft has not publicly stated any great interest, but
Ask Jeeves President Steve Berkowitz suggested he might be open to deal if it was in the interests of the company's shareholders, although he did not comment directly on any offers coming from Microsoft. - source
New MSN Search Features
In addition MSN has added a drop down box to allow people to search for specific things such as movies or news. Elsewhere MSN added its search technology preview to the MSN sandbox.
Paid Inclusion is Garbage
MSN also decided to filter out their paid inclusion search results. (time to edit my ebook again) "We really we want customers to feel the best about the results being served," MSN's Grothaus said.
Google"It's hard to be sure that the end result of the algorithm would be the same and that everyone is being treated fairly," Google's Silverstein said of allowing paid inclusion.
Ask Jeeves"We will continue to get better at crawling," said Jim Lanzone, vice president of product management at Ask Jeeves. "The value proposition of Site Submit has ceased to exist."
More Paid Inclusion is Garbage / Bad Press for Yahoo!
Recently a person I consulted in the past had some of their Yahoo! listings disappear overnight (and from my talking to many other SEOs this is becoming somewhat common). After paying for inclusion into Overture Site Match, my friend's site still does not show up for terms he has shown up for ever since the inception of Yahoo! Search.
He sent them a request question and they gave him a complete crap form letter response that suggested he visit WebmasterWorld to learn more about SEO.
There horrific customer service and near complete disapproval toward the program from SEOs and webmasters has Yahoo! considering dumping or changing the program. (or at least that is what credible sources say)
Recently Mike Grehan interviewed Jon Glick, who is Yahoo!'s Senior Manager for Web Search. You can read all the good Yahoo! Search stuff (note to self: stuff is a generic word to use in anchor text) in it, or look at my synopsis below. Yahoo! Search
How was Yahoo! Search Made?
The goal in creating Yahoo! search technology was not, you know, let's take a piece here a piece there...AllTheWeb was very, very good at was rebuilding indexes and keeping very high levels of freshness...Alta Vista had a really good core technology called MLR (machine learn ranking).
The best of breed parts of those engines were included with some of the best parts of Inktomi to make the new Yahoo! Search.
How is Yahoo! Search using the meta keywords tag?
Each keyword is an individual token separated by commas...For best practice you just need to remember it's for matching - not ranking...‘laptop computers’ will count for ‘laptop computers’ and not ‘laptop’ or ‘computers’ separately.
Essentially this is a good place for synonyms & misspellings (I tend to have some of them in my copy anyway)...Each keyword phrase is unique and separated by commas, so you will not have set off a flag for laptops if you use a meta tag such as
<meta name="keywords" content="Yahoo! laptops, computer laptops, compaqt laptops, compak laptops">
but you will also want to get words such as "lap tops" and "compaqt lap tops" in your meta tags. Each version helps to get your file included in that specific subset of search results, but has no influence on rankings.
How does Yahoo! Search use the meta description tag>
Yes we do use meta keywords. So let me touch on meta tags real fast. We index the meta description tag. It counts similar to body text.
Page Title Tag
How should I write my page title tag?
The title tag? My biggest recommendation is write that for users! Because that's the one real piece of editorial in the search listing that you can absolutely control...We typically show, roughly 60 characters. That's the maximum we'd show. I'm not a professional copywriter, so I can't tell you "is short and punchy better than lots of information..."
Why does Yahoo! hate affiliate marketers?
Well let me just say first that, in that sense Spam has gotten a lot better over the years. You don't really much have people trying to appear for off topic terms as they tended to. You now have people who are trying to be very relevant. They're trying to offer a service, but the issue with affiliate Spam is that they're trying to offer the same service as three hundred other people.
Lots O good Google PageRank info below. Still not much out on Yahoo Webrank though... What is Google PageRank?
Google PageRank is a mathematical approximation that a random web surfer would cross any given page prior to starting to surf over again. It is a measure of link popularity on a 1 - 10 logarithmic scale. One powerful link from a strong site is worth way more than many links from small sites.
Rusty Brick also created a tool for figuring out future PageRank which is somewhat questionable in it's exactness, but fun to look at. It has been telling me that this site will rank as a 10 or 11, so that will require you providing manu links into me :)
How do I check my Competitors PageRank?
The same way you would check your own. OR
There are automated tools which process portions of the web to help you find link partners quicker. Here are two interesting tools:
SEO Guy has a tool which allows you to set PageRank levels and perform a search for any given term. It will return a list of top ranking websites which have a PageRank equal to or greater than the # you requested.
For deeper link analysis, OptiLink link analysis software - orders the backlinks of your competitors in order of PageRank so you can Quickly view his most important backlinks (in the eyes of Google).
More on PageRank
PageRank is only one aspect of website promotion. It does play a huge role in the current Google ranking system, but there are many other factors. Generally some sites could really do well by making sure their site is well integrated into their local community and then buying a link or two to suppliment their rankings.
The web does self organize into micro communities and PageRank does not take that into account as well as search engines such as Teoma do (see also: Teoma review).
It is probably worth it for many sites to buy 1 or 2 PR7 or so links. I have been able to locate them for under $100 a month and sometimes cheaper than $50...a few times even free. I have seen run of the site PR7 links around $200 per month.
There are many many reseller networks of people selling PageRank. You want to make sure you are as close to the source as possible when buying links. IE: you may want to buy off a website, a link broker, or link brokers friend, but you start to run into heavy inflation when you buy links off a link broker from a different link broker from a link broker...
The prices of the links are spread extremely wide. There are many important factors such as
How well the webmaster knows what their links are worth.
The PageRank of the page.
The number of links on the page.
How well that page fits the theme of your site.
The direct traffic that link will bring.
The length of the contract.
Sometimes you can get discounts for quantity buys.
On my other site I have listed more PageRank resources and more in depth Google PageRank coverage.
As you can see there is a ton of info out there on PageRank. Since Yahoo! Webrank is new and expiremental there is no solid data out there on it.
They are currently testing Yahoo! Webrank in a beta test which is closed. In Danny Sullivan's article he pointed me to a backdoor link he found in Webmaster World which will allow you to download the toolbar that will show the Yahoo! Webrank. In addition Digital Point has a Yahoo! Webrank tool which sometimes provides sporadic or random results. Its inaccuracies may actually be due to the fact that Yahoo! Webrank is still in a beta test.
What is Yahoo! Webrank?
The new Yahoo! Companion Toolbar is providing a ranking system by the name of Yahoo! Webrank. As I read through the details as to how their new ranking system worked they had two words over and over again: anonymous & sophisticated. There was no real description as to whether it worked like Direct Hit or Alexa or how exactly it will influence the search results.
The Web Rank values are calculated using a sophisticated scoring algorithm provides a measure of the popularity of the Web page or Web site that you are visiting.
Yahoo! Companion helps Yahoo! find new content
This new tool has a feedback loop which can be used to alert Yahoo! of the existance of new content which is not yet in the Yahoo! Search index. Want to know more about Yahoo! Webrank? Yahoo! gives very little data on how Yahoo! Webrank will work, but you can visit the Yahoo! Companion Webrank FAQ page.
Install the Yahoo! Companion
With many webmasters already having the Google toolbar it remains to be seen what type of distribution Yahoo! will be able to obtain with it's new toolbar. Download the new Yahoo! Companion with Webrank features.
I finally made my new page on Yahoo! Search at Search-marketing.info. This blog format is so much better than that huge evil site. I could literally work on that site for 10 hours a day and it would take me months to make it as kick ass as I would like. This site is more of a post and forget it...less maintenance.
New Yahoo! Search operators
site: this allows one to find all documents within a particular domain and all it's subdomains.
hostname: this allows one to find all documents from a particular host only.
Would show you sites that link to my other site with parnters in their url. In addition you filter page title instead of url by using intitle: or you can change the word partners to
or just about anything else that would show you the links are out of a textual context. This is a quick way to evaluate how and where to get some of the easiest backlinks that your competitors are enjoying. A good example for the intitle: might be a word like reciprical...
Another trick on the same concept. Using Yahoo! Search advanced features you can filter the domain to be .edu. If you have an exceptionally well thought out resource you can use the .edu filter and see who is linking to some of your competitors and search for certain words on that page. These .edu links are heavily weighted in Google search results...
An example of this trick might be that I could find out education sites that link to a search engine that no longer exist and update them. If I still get too many results I can search to see those that also have the words "Search Engine Watch" on the page, or further qualify the page by looking for more words in the URL. I could possibly help convince the professor that I know enough about search to ask him to link to me. There is no substitute for tact, but most people will not know how you came to their site. I never automate link requests, but I believe in making them easy to find.
Recently Yahoo! announced its Content Acquisition Program. Search Engine Watch did a review of the changes.
Yahoo! is to increase the size of its search database through the use of more aggressive crawling, Site Match, and human editors looking to find ways to include portions of the hidden web.
Yahoo! recently rewrote much of the Inktomi core which will allow them to
better process 3 and 4 word querries
easily change the algorithm in the future
easily turn stemming on or off
AltaVista and AllTheWeb are now using the same indexes as Yahoo!, though they are still powered by their own algorithms.
When Yahoo! reviews a site for Site Match they store data that the page has been quality reviewed. These sites may receive a ranking boost for being reviewed. This move alone would make paid inclusion seem exceptionally biased. Yahoo! is offsetting this by randomly reviewing other sites in its index.
Many people are concerned as to how this website review boost will effect the purity of the index, but any bonus that may be given will not be too large or Yahoo! would earn a bad reputation and a bunch of negative press in a time period where they are trying to aggressively expand their distribution.
Yahoo! believes they can offset some of their additional charges by opperating more transparently with webmasters when issues related to search come up.