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Why We Never, EVER Trust Yahoo! for Search Results

By Patrick Mondout

There was a time when the only place I went to search on the Internet was Yahoo.com. They built up a reputation as a cool company with a great search engine that could find anything on the 'Net. That was before they bought Overture.com. Since then, they have systematically removed great sites like ours from their listings and have replaced them with spammers who pay to be in their results. They have cashed in on their once great reputation hoping that no one will notice. I've noticed. So have thousands of other small website owners and those who pay attention to search results.

It has become clear to us that Yahoo can no longer be trusted for search results. In fact, it is more appropriate to call Yahoo's service "spam results."

Here's a little background about our sites (there is more is here):

  • We have operated Super70s.com & Awesome80s.com since 1998.
  • We have over 10,000 pages - a number which will increase to over 400,000 by the end of 2005!
  • We have zero employees - I do everything here myself in my spare time (with the occasional help of family and friends).
  • We have been mentioned in the media by the likes of the NPR's Talk of the Nation, USA Today and the New York Times.
  • We do not allow banner ads or pop-under ads. We never have and we never will.
  • We do not allow porn, gambling or other offensive ads. We never have and we never will.
  • We do not charge for access to our sites. We never have and we never will.
  • We do not spam anyone. We never have and we never will.

I have no corporate backing or funding, nor am I independently wealthy and I've never spent a dime on advertising (nor do the Amazon.com or eBay ads I have here even pay the expenses - let alone pay a wage to me). This is a labor of love and I'm doing it the right way; I'm playing by the rules. NO search engine located here on planet Earth can claim to be a serious player in that industry without showing us in their results!

Unfortunately, Yahoo's "pay us for every single page on your site or we'll pretend you don't exist" approach means that getting both of our sites listed at Yahoo would cost us over $400,000 - per year!

Fortunately, you have a choice. Google has a sterling reputation among those of us who have been surfing since before Microsoft even had an "Internet Explorer." They are honest, constantly work at filtering out the bad sites (instead of taking money from them like Yahoo), and they properly list legit sites such as ours.

What About Alta-Vista? AOL Search? MSN Search?

So what about AltaVista.com? There was a brief time when those in the know only trusted AltaVista.com for search. That was in the previous century. However, AltaVista - which used to properly list thousands of our pages - now is owned by the thugs at Yahoo/Overture and you won't find a single one of our pages there. This once proud search engine has been relegated to the dustbin of history.

Thankfully, AOL and now Microsoft MSN search results do include our sites and can be trusted. (MSN once used Overture for their search results, but Bill Gates and company realized how incredibly poor the results were and built their own search engine. It may not be the equal of Google, but it was far superior to Yahoo even while it was in beta - and that's Yahoo's fault.) 

What's Wrong With Yahoo/Overture's Approach?

We have no problem with Overture (now owned by Yahoo) selling ads on search results. All of us want to be able to make a living with our websites. But when sites like Yahoo and AltaVista claim to be searching the Internet for you but slip you Overture's paid subset of sites instead, it raises serious questions about those websites that are listed.

We believe you are far more likely to get results from spammers, get-rich-quick schemers, and other shady operators because they are happy to pay to get to the top of a major search engine's results page - especially when legitimate sites like ours are excluded. That is, after all, Overture's whole business model.

The Yellow Pages lists all businesses with a telephone. Some businesses pay to have more exposure in the directory. That's fine and it maintains the integrity of the index. Yahoo (and therefore, AltaVista), unfortunately, refuses to play by those simple rules.

Summary

If you want to find something on the Internet, we believe you cannot trust Yahoo or AltaVista. They have violated our trust and who knows what they will do next. The best way to respond to corporate thugs like Yahoo is to not use their products. We recommend you delete all shortcuts to their sites and never visit them again. Anything they've got can be had for free from more trustworthy sites (such as Google, MSN Search, AOL Search, and Ask Jeeves).

Those of you who are stuck with a Web browser that always goes to Yahoo can learn how to fix that problem here. (The instructions are for Apple Safari, Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer. This link will take you to Earthlink. The instructions show how to change your start page to one of Earthlink's pages, but you can of course substitute your own favorite site or Google.com.)

Disclaimer: This site does generate a small amount of revenue from our Google links at the tops of our pages, but those could have been Yahoo links. I do not have any other financial interest in any of the companies mentioned nor do I personally know anyone who does. This is strictly about getting out the truth about shady search results in hopes that the situation will change for the consumer.

Thank you for reading!
Patrick Mondout

* Source: Yahoo's pricing: http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/srchsb/sse_pr.php

 
   
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