Paid Inclusion Feeds Hijacking Yahoo Organic Results

Oct 4, 2005 • 9:58 am | comments (0) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Yahoo's Overture
 

Business.com paid inclusion URL's in the search results get a closer look. SEW has a thread on some listings popping up in the Yahoo organic results originating from Business.com. The clicks appear to be routing through Business.com urls and there is a unique tracking code assigned once you click on the link. As Jeff Martin, a moderator at SEW explains he found since the last Yahoo update this past weekend, many business.com paid inclusions feeds were taking up some of the top spots above .gov's and .edu's in Yahoo. It would make sense to assume that something about those feeds is getting a boost to put them in the top position in the many serps and I can't say many would be happy about this either since it will cost advertisers. The particular site mentioned lost its previous rankings and they were replaced with the Business.com paid listings.

Now, Danny Sullivan explains that:

As for the ranking, paid inclusion URLs are given a quality score checkoff, and that can help with rankings. Some non-paid inclusion URLs are also given it, but that's more random. The checkoff for any site isn't a guarantee, but it can help. All the more reason why people may want to do paid inclusion at Yahoo -- or all the more reason Yahoo might want to elminated that, because of the trust issues involved.

Some words from the wise. Basically, if Business.com advertising is causing you to loose your rankings in Yahoo. Write, email, phone, or yell at Business.com and tell them to take your site out of the inclusion feeds it sends to Yahoo. By default, B.com will automatically put you site into a paid inclusion feed and inject it into Yahoo, thus causing your site to drop if it held natural rankings before hand.

Jeff goes onto explain that over the weekend the "business.com" 302 redirect urls in the serps have disappeared so it harder to identify, but they are still there. He also notes that while this may be something to consider for people that are not listed in Yahoo, he also notes that this will not be good for advertisers and their costs have gone up. For SiteMatch you might pay .10 a click, and in Business.com you are paying .65 a click. Good for them, bad for advertisers.

The big problem I see with some of this is the further encroachment of paid advertising links, feeds, and so on into the organic results. Why are Business.com feeds taking over previous rankings for a site in Yahoo? Are we approaching the point where a search engine no longer becomes a search engine, it become a search engine listing other search engines. Now how pointless is that? I think some of the time we often forget about what the web has to offer past the 10th result. To be honest I am not a fan of Yahoo search, and I can't see how these are helping relevancy or quality in the search results.

This SEW thread was pretty revealing and I think rather important.

Continue discussion on this at SEW - Paid Inclusion Making Yahoo Seem Hijacked

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