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  1. #1
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    One of my sites has been obliterated by msn.com. All of the pages, and all of the traffic from those pages, are gone. Kaput.

    Since many of my pages are paid listings through Position Tech/Inktomi, I e-mailed Position Tech for their thoughts. They figure it's because I have somehow violated the Inktomi creed as shown at http://www.inktomi.com/products/sear...nt_policy.html

    Position Tech said many of my URL's have the same content.

    My site is an internet mall/shopping site. Yes, many of the pages are similar, especially if one page is pitching one brand of something and another page is devoted to another brand of the same thing.

    I don't know if this action reflects a legitimate concern on Inktomi's part, or if this is a targeted move against affiliate marketing and pages with affiliate links.

    Has anyone else run into this problem? If so, how did you fix it? And how long did it take?

  2. #2
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    Change the text on the pages that are similar, alter the code a little and wait to see if they get picked up again.

    If not, email Inktomi and explain the problem and what you've done to resolve it. You could try this email address: spamcrusader@inktomi.com . I don't have any better suggestions than that.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  3. #3
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    Weird. I've been on vacation for the past week, and this has been hanging over my head the whole time. Did a lot of "noodle" work on how to redesign pages that are essentially similar.

    Checked this morning - sometime last night, Inktomi blessed me with a restoration of all of my old positions. All pages are working fine.

    But I'll treat this as a wake-up call, and work on redesigning a bunch of my pages.

  4. #4
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    In the past nine months I have had three key sites dumped by Inktomi. Two were mall type sites and one was a themed site. One had no paid-inclusion pages, one had a few and one had many. Search engine optimization techniques varied among the sites. Site ages ranged from six months to three years (and never been dumped from Inktomi before).

    The only thing I can think of that they had in common were a lot of affiliate links, for obvious reasons since I run affiliate marketing sites.

    This leads me to believe that Inktomi is tightening the noose on affiliate marketers.

    I've said before that there is a lot of anti-affiliate sentiment at the search engines and I don't see the affiliate networks trying to enlighten them to the fact that there are good people and a legitimate purpose among the affiliate marketers.

    If there were clear rules at the search engines about affiliate marketing I would follow them, but as always the rules are fuzzy or secretive and seem to keep changing and appear to be applied at random.

    Everyone seems worried about parasite ware stealing 10% of their revenue (a very legitimate concern) but meanwhile a search engine dumps your site causing you to loose 50% of your revenue. The missiles are coming in from the right flank and the nukes from the rear ... the battle to survive in the affiliate marketing business has many fronts.

    IMO if the networks or some industry group don't band together and get the search engines to drop their affiliate site witch hunts a lot of us are going to be out of business before long.

  5. #5
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    I'm sorry to hear about your sites, but disagree totally with your conclusions. As far as I can tell, the search engines apply their algos pretty equally to all sites and don't discriminate against any type of site - affiliate or otherwise.

    The only exception that could be argued is Google, as an ODP listing gives a distinct boost and ODP do not list pure affiliate sites.

    In the case of Inktomi, there have been several large updates in the timescale you are talking about. They added over 1 billion pages in one of these. I think this is a more likely cause for the demise of your sites.

    I see no evidence of an affiliate site witch hunt in the search engines.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  6. #6
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    Well, markymark, I hope you right. But go try to get an affilate site in the PPC engines like Overture and Looksmart, or in DMOZ or the Yahoo directory without using some side or back door tactics.

    And take a look at Inktomi's stance on affiliate programs:

    From http://www.inktomi.com/products/sear...policyfaq.html :

    "Q: I want to make pages to drive people into my affiliate program. How can I best do that?
    A: The only way is to create an great site rich in original (not copied) content, which in and of itself offers a great value to the user. This usually resembles a "labor of love" and is difficult to do on a large scale. Some affiliates cut corners or make cookie-cutter sites; we do not want such sites in the index."

    So if your affiliate site is not a "labor of love" it's at risk of getting the boot at Inktomi.

    I'm well aware of the big update at Ink a short while ago and saw this drop my Ink traffic by about 80%. What I'm talking about is the boot, which drops your non-PFI pages to 0% and your PFI page to about 1% of what it was before the boot.

    [This message was edited by Whiznot on November 08, 2002 at 06:04 AM.]

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Should BuyerPort and other basic directory listing Cybermalls or shopping directories even get into Inktomi.
    Types of pages Inktomi wants in the index:

    Original and unique content of genuine value to humans
    Pages designed primarily for humans, with search engine considerations secondary
    Hyperlinks intended to help people find interesting, related content, when applicable.
    Metadata (including title and description) that accurately describes the contents of a Web page.
    Good web design in general
    Unfortunately, not all Web pages contain information valuable to searchers. Some pages are simply by nature unsuitable for including in the index. Some pages are created deliberately, to trick the search engine into offering inappropriate, redundant or poor-quality search results; this is often called "spam". Inktomi does not want these pages in the index.

    What Inktomi Considers Unwanted:

    Some, but not all, examples of the more common types of pages that Inktomi does not want include:

    Pages which harm accuracy, diversity or relevance of search results
    Pages whose sole purpose is to direct the user to another page
    Pages which have substantially the same content as other pages
    Sites with numerous, unnecessary virtual hostnames
    Pages in great quantity, automatically generated or of little value
    Pages using methods to artificially inflate search engine ranking
    The use of text that is hidden from the user
    Giving the search engine a different page than the public sees (cloaking)
    Cross-linking sites excessively, to inflate a site's apparent popularity
    Pages built primarily for the search engines
    Misuse of competitor names
    Multiple sites offering the same content
    Pages which use excessive pop-ups, interfering with user navigation
    Pages that are deceptive, fraudulent or provide a poor user experience

    I work all the time on my pages to put in pre-sell text for SE robot fodder. I don't pay Inktomi any listing fees but it looks like I'm going to have to cough up some bucks. I still just rely upon older grandfathered listings so I show up at MSN -Yahoo -AOL ect.

    WebMaster Mike

  8. #8
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    Go ahead and cough up the bucks, Mike, but be prepared to loose them without warning and without recourse if Inktomi dumps your paid-inclusion sites like it did mine.

    You'd think that after dropping a bundle on Inktomi's PFI that someone would have at least emailed me a warning about whatever it was I did to get dumped ... but nothing ... kaput as Tom says, that's all.

  9. #9
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    Whizznot,

    You are misreading that Inktomi statement. That is talking about merchants creating duplicate and cookie-cutter pages for affiliates. These obviously won't get into the search engines. It isn't talking about affiliates creating unique sites promoting merchants.

    Incidentally, I have affiliates sites in Looksmart, ODP and Yahoo without any backdoor tactics.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  10. #10
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    Keep in mind that Inktomi occasionally sputters and all listings disappear from MSN results for a day or two. This has happened 2 times in the past 6 months or so. It usually recovers soon enough, but when it happens it does tend to induce an odd type of neurosis [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] Just try to stay away from people until the listings reappear, and you won't lose any friends.

    All around the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel

  11. #11
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    Update -- my site which had been restored is now gone again. And a second site of mine has also been dumped by Inktomi. Both were under the paid submission program through Position Tech.

    I think Inktomi is biased against affiliate sites, since by nature they often do not present any compelling original content. Let's face it -- what we all do best is to drive customers to our merchants.

    I'm still trying to figure out what to do next, since it looks like a minor or moderate site redesign isn't going to fix Inktomi's bias. And in the meantime, I guess the money I have paid to Position Tech for my pages is flushed.

  12. #12
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    Tom >>money I have paid to Position Tech for my pages is flushed


    Yeah, I know the sound .... sluzzzzzpppeeeekkkksluzzuppahhhhhh ...kind of a great big sucking sound

  13. #13
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    Darn! It has happened to me also. I don't have a clue as to what happened. Kind of smarts when you pay for the Ink inclusion and get nothing in return. Most of my listings were in the #1 spot thru #10 and now I can't find any of them. And I also just bought 2 more last week. Will reread all of these posts and see if I can find a clue. Not sure if I want to start playing around with the pages as I might mess up my google rankings.
    Cazzie

  14. #14
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    I've got a question for the ones who have been dumped. Are you building one page sites? Are you building sites with no original content? Do your sites auto forward/refresh away? Is the design bad, and the same as your other sites? Etc...

    It sounds to me like you are building quick affiliate sites, ones that you can crank out 50 in a day and try to make a buck on.

    If that's the case, search engines are going to take you out. Pure affiliate marketing play is about building relevant, useful websites with great content. Not pages with a headline, a paragraph of copy, and a link to the merchant. So yes, the search engines will crack down on those.

    I'm not claiming you are doing that, but if you are, that might be the problem.

    "I want to make you more money with a professional and low cost web design. Let's chat."

  15. #15
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    No not making one page sites it is a shopping mall, but I did submit various affiliate computer product pages from that shopping mall site. Example would be a computer page, a barebones page, etc. Could that be the problem too many computer related pages? Maybe I should just list the major computer page and then different product pages such as jewelry etc.
    Cazzie

  16. #16
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    Cazzie,

    It shouldn't make any difference really. PM me some examples of terms you were top ten for and the pages they went to and I'll take a look if you like.

    Mark

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  17. #17
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    Cazzie - You can recoup your losses a bit on the spiders you paid for less than a month ago - they give you a 30-day grace period during which you can change the url to a different root domain.

    Just set up a new site, under a new domain, and point the spiders thatta way. Granted; it'll cost a few bucks to do this, but will be worth it if you have two or more spiders to recover.

    All around the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel

  18. #18
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    Just exchanging some notes:

    I first noticed Inktomi penalising my pages after their recent changes in September, when they started free crawling all and sundries.

    One of my penalised domains has since flipped in and out everytime Inktomi updates their database, but the other has been dead for 2 months continuously. Add to that, my other domains have also fallen victims to the single-day anomalies when they were wiped out for no reason whatsoever for just one day.

    And since I have been using Ineedhits and VeriSign for the Paid Inclusion, I can most certainly conclude that the foul-up is Inktomi's own makings. But for what reason, it's anybody's guess.


    VAN

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